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Fun Stuff

8 Famous Movie Dogs Who Won Us Over on the Big Screen

At A Glance

From Toto in The Wizard of Oz to Old Yeller.

The most famous dogs in the history of cinema are fascinating to read about.

Last Updated on: Jan 16, 2022

Since the very beginning of film, famous movie dogs have won over the hearts of millions of people who watched them. Hollywood hits have always had one major goal in mind: to be relatable to the masses.

When the general public can connect with the characters and storylines of a movie, then more tickets will sell. It comes as no surprise that many of the most popular films of all time include a furry friend as a co-star.

custom oil-painted dog portraits by Poshtraits

Chris, the dog who played Beethoven


Claim to Fame: Beethoven, 1992

Beethoven is one of the most sensational family comedies of the 1990s. A family adopts a gigantic St. Benard, and hilarity ensues as the massive pup proceeds to cause chaos and mayhem within the home. The film was so successful that Beethoven 2 & 3 were made to carry on the storyline.

Beethoven is played by 185 lb. St. Benard, Chis. One of Chris’s trainers, Kar Miller, had worked on a horror film about St. Bernard dogs, Cujo. Miller was excited to see Chris work on a movie that portrayed his breed positively and lightheartedly.


Claim to Fame: My Dog Skip, 2000

My Dog Skip, based on the true account by Willie Morris, is another family favorite from the turn of the century. The movie heartwarming story about a 9-year-old boy, Will, and his best friend, Skip. The film was a considerable success and is one of many famous dog movies.

Enzo is a Jack Russell Terrier who had his fair share of screen time during his acting career. He even played as a stand-in on the TV show, Frasier a few times. However, it is his impressive work as Skip that landed him his true claim to fame.

Terry, the dog from The Wizard of Oz


Claim to Fame: Toto, The Wizard of Oz,1939

Perhaps the most famous dog in the movies, Toto is one of the starring characters in The Wizard of Oz. Starring alongside Judy Garland, Terry the Cairn Terrier played Toto in one of the most famous movies of all time. In fact, this dog is the subject of one of the most famous lines of all time: “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.

During the filming of The Wizard of Oz, Terry performed all of her own stunts. She also suffered a traumatic injury when her foot was broken on set. She recovered at Judy Garland’s home for several weeks. The two developed a special bond that was evident in the relationship they had on screen.

Kiva from Zoolander


Claim to Fame: Zoolander, 2001

The unnamed poodle in the Zoolander movies earned her claim to fame as the villain’s sidekick in this hilarious film. Although the part was not supposed to be a starring role in the film, viewers loved the performance of this charming poodle.

If you search for famous poodles in movies, Kiva’s name is likely to appear in your results. She might look sweet and innocent, but she played the part of a villain’s sidekick like a professional.

Moonie, the dog from Legally Blonde


Claim to Fame: Bruiser, Legally Blonde, 2001

If you ask yourself “who is the most famous dog in the world,” then the face of Elle Wood’s adorable best friend, Bruiser, should come to mind. In this groundbreaking comedy, Bruiser’s character quickly became one of the most talked-about aspects of the film.

Moonie is a Chihuahua who was trained by the same trainer as the dog in the Taco Bell commercials. His claim to fame might be just as strong, as he gave Reese Whitherspoon a lesson or two on shining in front of the camera. In terms of famous movie dogs, Moonie is a contender for the number one role and he earned every bit of his fame.

Spike from Old Yeller


Claim to Fame: Yeller, Old Yeller, 1952

One of the most iconic Disney films, Old Yeller broke the hearts of everyone who watched the story unfold. Old Yeller has stood the test of time and become a staple in American historical fiction. Part of this success is due to the love the audience has felt for the lovable dog, Yeller.

Spike was a mix between a Mastiff and Labrador Retriever who was trained by acclaimed dog trainer, Frank Weatherwax. His performance in Old Yeller has made him the most famous celebrity dog in the world.

Pal, the dog in Lassie Come Home


Claim to Fame: Lassie Come Home-1943

The fictional character of Lassie the dog first became popular during the days of radio entertainment. But when Hollywood got a hold of the character in 1943, Lassie became the single most famous dog character in the world.

Pal, who is one of the most famous movie dogs, was a well-trained Rough Collie chosen to play Lassie. Being cast as Lassie was what brought this male dog’s massive success to light. Although Pal was a male dog, he played a female character, Lassie.


Claim to Fame: Benji, 1974

Benji was an extremely popular film in the early 1970s that saw major success in theatres and at home. Benji is a heartwarming story about a stray dog that becomes an everyday hero. He helps to rescue kidnapped children. The movie was a huge hit with the family crowd and still remains relevant to this day.

Higgins was discovered in an animal shelter by an acclaimed animal trainer, Frank Inn. Frank and Higgins hit it off immediately and Higgins went on to work in many different acting projects. His most successful part was that of Benji.

A dog sittingDogs have been winning over the hearts of the human race for thousands of years. It comes as no surprise that so many of our beloved movie stars are actually loveable dogs. The unfortunate truth is that the audience does not always get to fall in love with the furry stars so much as they fall in love with the characters they portray.

These pups and their trainers have worked hard to become famous movie dogs. The hours of training and travel have paid off by warming the hearts and minds of people across the globe through the characters they portray.

Now that you know about these canine celebs, check out some of the most famous dogs on YouTube!


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Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.