We love dogs, there’s no denying it, and we’re guessing you do too since you’re here!
While we’re all stuck inside for the next month, we want to bring you our top 10 recommendations for books, movies and TV shows about dogs to keep you entertained!
Check out our picks and let us know your favourites too.
Books about dogs
1. The Art of Racing In The Rain, by Garth Stein
Told from a dog’s point of view as his owner, a race car driver, goes through the highs and lows of life. Enzo (the dog) is philosophical as he seeks to learn and understand as much as he can from the humans around him while being there for them in times of need. It was released as a feature film last year, so check it out once you’ve finished the book!
2. Travels With Casey, by Benoit Denizet-Lewis
Satiate your wanderlust with this road trip buddy-book about a man and his Labrador-mix taking an epic adventure across America. Follow their four-month-long motorhome journey as they meet the enormous spectrum of dog-lovers across the U.S., from homeless teens and their dogs, to dog psychics and wolf-dogs in Appalachia. Educational, entertaining, and the only way to travel right now!
3. The Call Of The Wild, by Jack London
The classic adventure novel, The Call Of The Wild, is a must read for dog lovers. Following a dog who is stolen from his home and sold into service in Alaska, this story explores the working relationship between man and dog, and the innate wildness inside even domesticated dogs. Once you’ve finished the book, check out one of the many cinematic adaptations that have been made through the years, from silent to anime to CGI.
Honorable Mentions: How Dogs Love Us by Gregory Berns, A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron, My Dog: The Paradox by Matthew Inman (check it out online on The Oatmeal).
Movies about dogs
4. Marley & Me
Heartwarming, hilarious, and guaranteed to make you cry (don’t say we didn’t warn you), Marley & Me is one of the most popular dog movies out there. Marley is a beautiful but disobedient Labrador Retriever who becomes a central part of the family despite her frequent misbehaviours. She’s there as the family grows, moves house, children grow up, and parents change jobs. Touching and real, this film is based on a book of the same name, so check that out too.
A dog movie for the whole family! This Disney animated film follows a dog named Bolt who believes he has superpowers, and sets out across the country to rescue his human when he thinks she’s been kidnapped. Even as he discovers his superpowers aren’t real, Bolt will do anything to get back to his favourite person once again. Adorable, and a fun watch.
6. Hachi: A dog’s tale
Based on a true story, this is the ultimate tale of canine loyalty. A man and his dog become inseparable, to the point where the dog, Hachi, learns to wait at the train station for his arrival home from work every day. One day, the man suffers a heart attack at work and doesn’t return home, but still the dog waits for him. Every day, Hachi returns at the right time to the train platform, expecting his owner to show up. A beautiful and heartbreaking story, based on Japan’s most famous dog.
7. A Dog’s Purpose
Based on the novel of the same name, this story follows a dog through multiple reincarnations as he wonders what life’s purpose is, and seeks to fulfil it. From fun to protection to service, this story explores the many adventures dogs have and ways they find fulfillment. It leaves you thinking about all the roles dogs play in our lives, and wondering about our own purpose too.
Honorable Mentions: 101 Dalmatians, Isle of Dogs, Benji, Homeward Bound, Lassie, Turner and Hooch, The Secret Life of Pets.
TV shows about dogs
8. Scooby Doo
Whether you prefer the classic or the CGI version, there’s no denying that Scooby Doo is the best dog detective around. Joined by his gang of humans, Scooby always manages to bungle things up before saving the day in the end, revealing the supernatural villain to be just a man in a mask. Lots of fun for a rainy day stuck inside.
9. Dog Squad
See NZ pups embark on their training to become police and customs dogs, as they fumble through training, receive lots of treats, and ultimately catch the bad guys. It’s like real life Scooby Doo, and all filmed here in New Zealand. Adorable and bingeable.
This American documentary series (available on Netflix) explores the bond between humans and dogs around the world. See how dogs are employed in different professions, celebrated in different cultures, and loved by different people. Heartwarming and joyful to watch.
Honorable Mentions: Clifford the Big Red Dog, Dog Whisperer.