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The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

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This week, everyone’s favorite dog-loving assassin is back for seconds with John Wick 2. Starring Keanu Reeves and a who’s who of notable veterans, from Deadwood‘s Ian McShane to Keanu’s Matrix mentor Laurence Fishburne, the next chapter promises more bullets, bodies, and bones. Surely some bones will be reserved for his new dog.

So to commemorate dogs and movies, and you’re gonna love this, we’ve listed the top 101 dogs in the movies. That’s right, 101. From Benji to Bingo and Buck to Baxter, we’ve got dogs! Lots of dogs! A whole damn listicle loaded with dogs! Good dogs, bad dogs, demonically possessed and racist dogs. Old dogs, new dogs, dogs that are likely now deceased. Dogs with digital lips, dogs played by multiple dogs, we got ‘em!

What we don’t have are any animated or completely digital dogs since John Wick doesn’t either. Also, 101 is a lot, but that doesn’t mean we were able to name every last one of your favorites, so feel free to tell us if this list is pure-bred or a mutt. If nothing else, it’s proof positive that Consequence of Sound has truly gone to the dogs. In the movies! Dogs in the movies. We went to them, and put them in this list.

Woof.

 –Blake Goble
Staff Writer

101. Max

Man’s Best Friend (1993)

max-man's-best-friend

100. General Cornwallis’ dogs

The Patriot (2000)

99. Chloe

Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008)

beverly hills chihuahua e1427830216517 The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

98. Zeus

Zeus and Roxanne (1997)

zeus roxanne The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

97. Rusty

The Adventures of Rusty (1945)

the adventures of rusty The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

96. Zowie

Pet Sematary II (1992)

pet sematary 2 dog The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

95. Flike

Umberto D (1952)

umberto flike The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

94. Demon Dog

The Omen (1976)

demon dog omen1 The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

93. The Killer Racist German Shepherd

White Dog (1982)

whitedog The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

92. Lester

Halloween (1978)

lester halloween The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

91. Reno

Top Dog (1995)

top dog The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

90. Fluke

Fluke (1995)

fluke e1427832648721 The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

89. Pongo and Perdita

101 Dalmatians (1996)

101 dalmations pongo perdita The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

88. Bruiser

Legally Blonde (2001)

legally blonde bruiser The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

87. Digby

Digby, The Biggest Dog in the World (1973)

 digby the biggest dog in the world The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

86. Boomer

Independence Day (1996)

Dog_In_a_Fiery_Tunnel

85. Marley

Marley and Me (2008)

marley and me The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

84. Sparky

Michael (1996)

sparky michael The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

83. Pippin

Jaws (1975)

Jaws_Blood_on_the_Beach

82. Hachi

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)

hachi The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

81. The Dog

Goodbye To Language 3D (2014)

GoodbyetoLanguage

80. Odie

Garfield (2004)

odie The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

79. Copernicus

Back to the Future III (1990)

copernicus e1427835743140 The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

78. Speck

Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)

speck The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

77. Talking Dog

Road Trip (2000)

76. Snoopy

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

snoopy The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

75. Hank

The Truth About Cats and Dogs (1996)

harry truth about cats and dogs The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

74. Harry

The Amityville Horror (1979)

73. Brinkley

You’ve Got Mail (1998)

youve got mail brinkley The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

72. Winn-Dixie

Because of Winn-Dixie (2005)

because of winn dixie The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

71. Riggs’ Rottweiler

Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpJNCO6Aj2Q

70. Petey

The Little Rascals (1994)

petey little rascal The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

69. Nanook

The Lost Boys (1987)

lost boys nanook The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

68. Daphne

Look Who’s Talking Now (1993)

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67. Sandy

Annie (1982)

sandy annie The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

66. Mother Theresa

Must Love Dogs (2005)

must love dogs The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

65. Wilby

The Shaggy Dog (1959)

the shaggy dog The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

64. Fang

Harry Potter Series

fang harry potter The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

63. Flealick

Babe: Pig in the City (1998)

62. Blood

A Boy and His Dog (1975)

ABoyandHisDog

61. Mugatu’s Dog

Zoolander (2001)

Zoolander / Zoolander

60. Verdell

As Good As It Gets (1997)

verdell The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

59. Max

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

The Grinch Played By Jim Carrey Conspires With His Dog Max To Deprive The Who's Of Thei

58. Daisy

Snatch (2000)

57. Fred

Smokey and Bandit (1977)

smokeybandit The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

56. Rocks

Look Who’s Talking Now (1993)

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55. The Unluckiest Dog In The World

The Thing (1982)

the thing 1982 john carpenter dog The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

54. Beau

Iron Will (1994)

iron will beau The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

53. Beethoven’s Puppies

Beethoven’s 2nd (1993)

beethoven's-2nd-puppies

52. George

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

george bringing up baby The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

51. Miss Agnes

Best in Show (2000)

best in show miss agnes The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

50. The Queen’s Corgis

The Queen (2006)

queenscorgis The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Look at these regal pooches! They’re just waddling and wiggling, providing the needed backup that Queen Elizabeth (Helen Mirren, in her Oscar-winning role) severely needed. It’s safe to assume these dogs got Mirren the Oscar. Along with the great performance by Mirren, yeah that too. –Blake Goble

49. Rhapsody in White

Best in Show (2000)

rhapsody in white best in show The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Rhapsody in White may be a Standard Poodle, but there’s nothing standard about a pooch with two names and two semi-closeted lesbian caretakers. Sure, poodles are a bit fussy and high-maintenance, but at least Rhapsody—er, Butch—has every reason to be. –Collin Brennan

48. Skip

My Dog Skip (2000)

 The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

While the historical stuff about war, segregation, and moonshinin’ in 1940s Mississippi is treated respectfully, so is the simple story about a misfit boy and a misfit dog making each other happy. Even when (SPOILER!) Skip dies of old age, there’s no treacly melodrama. He simply lies down on his owner’s bed and goes to sleep. –Dan Caffrey

47. Talking Dog

Billy Madison (1995)

“Speak for yourself, moron!” No one knows what TV show this talking pooch is from or if it’s even a real show at all. What we do know is that it’s funny. Oh my God, that is funny. -–Dan Caffrey

46. Elvis

Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead (1991)

elvis dont tell mom babysitter The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Dogs are supposed to feel like your best friend, right? Well, Elvis is quite a pal for the Crandall family. He watches daytime game shows, gets stoned with heavy metal rejects, and keeps his injured fellow man company. All of his hard work pays off, however, when he gets a larger-than-life-sized bone to chew on — paid by embezzled petty cash, no less. Long live the Corg. –Michael Roffman

45. Shiloh

Shiloh (1996)

shiloh The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

It’s a cruel world that puts such a cute dog through so much misery. All Shiloh wants is to be loved, but the beagle with a heart of gold takes his share of licks before the inevitably happy ending. Shiloh the film may be a bit too saccharine for our tastes, but Shiloh the dog? Give him a damn Oscar already. –Collin Brennan

44. Quark

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)

honey shrunk kids quark The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

The Szalinskis’ scrappy mutt made it onto the poster and into our hearts. Cute enough to elicit the requisite “aw,” smart enough to fetch the morning mail, and loyal enough to overcome his fear of the neighbors’ cat Spike to bring his shrunken owners to safety, Quark is quirky scientist man’s best friend. –Leah Pickett

43. Rex

Babe (1995)

rex babe The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Sure, Rex isn’t the nicest to Babe for a long time. Unlike his motherly mate, Fly, Rex takes a firmer hand with the sheep-herding pig, indignant with Fly for teaching him to do it in the first place. But it’s also ultimately Rex who teaches Babe those essential secret words for getting any sheep to do your bidding: baa-ram-ewe. Rex’s is a story of redemption. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

42. Sam

Lethal Weapon (1987)

lethal weapon sam dog1 The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

It takes a special type of dog to stop a widowed owner from blowing his brains out every night. Alas, that’s the job of good ol’ Sam: Sgt. Martin Riggs’ scrappy pooch, who lives a beachfront life inside a lofty trailer home. It’s there, amidst the waves and rotating babes, that he also keeps a sharp ear out for gun-toting baddies. And no, he never gets too old for this *woof.* –Michael Roffman

41. Rin Tin Tin

Rin Tin Tin Series

rin tin tin The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

According to IMDB, did you know that Rin Tin Tin’s Hollywood career spanned across three decades in ruff-ly 40 movies? That’s because Rin Tin Tin existed in three incarnations through three separate dogs (Rin Tin Tin, Rin Tin Jr., Rin Tin Tin III). And people howl over reboots… –Blake Goble

40. Barney

Gremlins (1994)

barney gremlins The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

In the original script for Gremlins, Billy’s hapless pooch died! The final cut is a bit kinder to him, with Stripe and the rest of his mogwai brethren stringing up the dog with Christmas lights rather than biting him to death. Barney thankfully makes it to the end of the film, his survival made all the sweeter since his enemies—the mogwai and the miserly Mrs. Deagle—are dead. –Dan Caffrey

39. Max

Terminator 1 and 2

max terminator 1 2 The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Wolfie’s not fine, honey. Wolfie’s not just fine. When Sarah Connor went “cuckoo” and was thrown in the mental hospital, her cybernetic-sniffing dog, Max, was entrusted over to her angsty son/future leader of the human resistance, John. He took care of the dog, sure, but then the T-1000 came a knockin’. If we’re to take a deleted scene to heart … well … hasta la vista, baby. –Michael Roffman

38. Puffy

There’s Something About Mary (1998)

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 10.44.10 PM

Poor Puffy. The loyal terrier is merely trying to defend his turf when Ben Stiller puts him in a half nelson, smashes him into a kitchen counter, and straight-up manhandles him. We’d like to say that Puffy gets the last laugh, but flying out of a window and ending up in a full body cast doesn’t leave much to laugh about. If it’s any consolation, Puffy, you nearly stole the film. –Collin Brennan

37. Hubert

Best in Show (2000)

harlan pepper best in show The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Most of the dog-owners in Best in Show are outright dicks, which is probably why I like the bloodhound Hubert so much. His keeper, Harlan Pepper, isn’t snobby or power-hungry—he’s just a nut-obsessed good ol’ boy with a penchant for ventriloquism. Too bad Hubert and Harlan don’t win, despite making it to the finals. –Dan Caffrey

36. Buckley

The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

buckley The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

In the DVD commentary for The Royal Tenenbaums, Wes Anderson says he tried to get across that Buckley was sick and dying throughout the film to lessen the sadness of (spoiler!) Eli Cash running the dog over with his car in the finale. He even considered adding coughing sounds, or using CGI to make the dog cough, but decided that would be too cartoonish. According to IMDB, Buckley is named after singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley. May both rest in peace. –Leah Pickett

35. John Wick’s Dog

John Wick (2014)

john wick beagle The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

It’s so sad that this adorable beagle is murdered so early in the film. But we’re grateful the lil’ fella made John Wick happy for such a short time, and glad he died so John Wick could get his awesome revenge. –Roy Ivy

34. Chance

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)

chance cake The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Chance, you big dummy. You should have never gotten so close to that porcupine, but we love you anyways. Also, your Michael J. Fox voice was nice. –Blake Goble

33. Buddy

Air Bud (1997)

air bud buddy The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Despite bringing a perfectly innocent family into the world of illegal animal hoarding and taking away positions from young men developing their basketball skills at a young age, Buddy is still the face that started a bizarrely lucrative franchise.  –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

32. Milo

The Mask (1994)

milo the mask The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Where would Stanley Ipkiss be without Milo? Still stuck in that jail cell, probably. –Leah Pickett

31. Edward

The Accidental Tourist (1988)

the accidental tourist The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Corgis are typically rambunctious pooches, and Edward fills that cuddly stereotype to a T. His owner (William Hurt) is an anti-social writer who publishes travel books for people who hate traveling. Meanwhile, his furry pal loves to travel and also barks at random ghosts, which are two characteristics only this school bus-shaped canine could ever convey. –Michael Roffman

30. Frank

Men In Black (1997)

Frank-the-pug_SS_01

When the ‘90s left us, so did our collective interest in talking animal protagonists in our summer movies (Rocket Racoon notwithstanding), but Frank is a fun reminder of the wonderful world of early anthropomorphic animal CGI. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

29. Bingo

Bingo (1991)

bingo e1427861643994 The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Bingo faces off with guns, cannibals, carnies, fires, small children, and worst of all, the Green Bay Packers, and he still lived to tell the tale. Bingo was not just a very silly family film about an intrepid dog, but it showcased one extremely charming, snide blonde doggy just trying to make it in this crazy world. –Blake Goble

28. Asta

The Thin Man (1934)

asta thin man e1427860376736 The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

As the faithful companion to Nick and Nora, this Wire Fox Terrier sniffs out corpses and solves crimes better than his masters. Perhaps because he’s not stinking drunk. –Roy Ivy

27. Samantha

I Am Legend (2007)

iamlegend samantha The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

For the entire excellent first hour or so of I Am Legend, Samantha follows Will Smith’s lone survivor around a desolate New York City and in no way makes him draw lengthy Shrek analogies, so she’s a treasure in that respect. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

26. Baby

Clean Slate (1994)

MSDCLSL EC003

Recognize that little spud? Meet Barkley, the legendary Jack Russell who also played Rimshot in a couple of Ernest films (ahem, stick around). For Clean Slate, he dons an eye patch as Baby, an energetic pooch with an invaluable secret absolutely lost on his amnesiac of an owner (Dana Carvey). The fun is watching the terrier jump and bark his way into clarity. –Michael Roffman

25. Lassie

Lassie Come Home (1943)

1944 Lassie Come Home Roddy Mc Dowall & Lassie

“Homer, are you wearing a tie to impress Laddie?” “Do you think he noticed?” When The Simpsons parodied Lassie with “The Canine Mutiny”, they poked fun at just how tedious the iconic collie could be by being so goddamn perfect. Still, you can’t fault a trusty, benevolent dog, and that’s one reason why her Depression-era adventures were so valuable at the time. She offered hope and redemption with every bark and life-changing favor. Today, we’d proudly open the door for her; that is, if she couldn’t already open it herself. –Michael Roffman

24. Jerry Lee

K-9 (1989)

k9 belushi dog The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Not only does Jerry Lee take a bullet — don’t worry, he lives — but he also sweats through 102 minutes alongside Jim Belushi. The latter feat alone deserves all the milk bones across the world. It should be noted, however, that the dog’s real name was Rando, he was from West Germany, and he was only three years old at the time of filming. To quote Larry David, “It’s nice to be affectionate to something German. You don’t get the opportunity that often, you know?” –Michael Roffman

23. Jack

The Artist (2011)

uggie the artist The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Fun fact about the Cannes film festival: there’s an award, given yearly since 2001, called the Palm Dog, that exists to honor excellence in canine film performances. Last year the entire cast of White God took the prize, but in 2011 it was bestowed upon Uggie, less-heralded star of that year’s eventual Best Picture winner, The Artist. Where much of the film relies on reminding you of other, better movies made decades ago on similar topics, Uggie is a delight, a faithful companion to Jean Dujardin’s silent film star through his many struggles in the early days of the talkies. The award is warranted in every possible way; it’s a superb performance for a superb Jack Russell Terrier. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

22. Baxter

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

baxter anchorman The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Oftentimes, a hero has a really cute canine sidekick, and they never do anything except bark, eat, and, if we’re lucky, maybe rescue them from a burning building or something. Thankfully, Adam McKay and the rest of the Anchorman team kicked reality’s ass off the side of a bridge (that’s how they roll!), and gave Ron Burgundy’s “little gentleman” terrier mix near superhuman abilities. Swimming, barking in Spanish, talking to bears, eating an entire wheel of cheese… He really is like a tiny Buddha covered in hair. Only way cooler. –Dan Caffrey

21. Rimshot

Ernest Series

rimshot ernest The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

As promised, Barkley returns again on this list as Ernest P. Worrell’s faithful partner-in-crime, Rimshot. This is a dog who can drive cars, do jail time, and fend off ancient trolls. Granted, he only appeared in two out of the 6,000,001 Ernest films, but they’re among the best of the bunch: Ernest Goes to Jail and Ernest Scared Stupid. Things admittedly got a little hairy with that second film — he was turned into a creepy wooden doll, Vern! — but that only proved how he was all bite and little bark. Here’s hoping Barks and Jim have found more adventures for themselves in the afterlife. –Michael Roffman

20. Fly

Babe (1995)

Scene from movie Babe

As Babe’s adoptive “Mum,” Fly learns to overcome her prejudices against other animals and confronts her dog-husband Rex, who attacks her for supporting the little pig. Rex has issues, fine, but calling Fly “a two-faced, traitorous WRETCH” and going for the jugular? This will not stand. –Leah Pickett

19. Buck

Call of the Wild (1935)

callofthewild e1427898240886 The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Every dog has his day, and Buck’s was in William Wellman’s classic adaptation of Jack London’s Call of the Wild. If it weren’t for Clark Gable as Jack Thornton, Buck might have been shot. If it weren’t for Buck, Clark Gable might not have survived to tell Scarlett he didn’t give a damn. Either way, Buck’s a wild man, baby! He rides the line between loving his owner and running with the wolves. Listen to your heart, Buck! –Blake Goble

18. Hooch

Turner & Hooch (1989)

hooch e1427898327703 The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

It’s weird to consider that the buddy cop flick had a subgenre of “buddy-cop-and-dog” flicks in the late ‘80s to the early ‘90s, yet Turner & Hooch is the one that’s still totally watchable if it’s on basic cable. Hooch was a gnarly animal, a Dogue de Bordeaux that was humongous and drooly and loveable in spite of eating Turner’s car. Weirdly enough, Henry “The Fonz” Winkler directed this movie for two weeks before getting fired. One can only assume Beasley, who played Hooch, demanded this, and nobody flinched given his size and ferocity. –Blake Goble

17. Hosehead

Strange Brew (1983)

hosehead strange brew The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

The notion of an alcoholic dog that looks like a skunk and is prepared to eat his owners if he’s not given some suds is terrifying. But we’re talking about Hosehead here, eh? He was the bordering-on-surreal, rat-like hero dog of Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas’ Canuck caper comedy Strange Brew. All hoshead wanted was some beer, hosers. –Blake Goble

16. Old Yeller

Old Yeller (1957)

Spike_as_Old_Yeller

Of course Bill Murray already perfectly articulated the tragically identifiable qualities of Old Yeller, that poor damn dog. And he did it in Stripes of all places: “But there’s no animal that’s more faithful, that’s more loyal, more loveable than the mutt. Who saw Old Yeller? Who cried when Old Yeller got shot at the end? Nobody cried when Old Yeller got shot? I’m sure. I cried my eyes out.” –Blake Goble

15. Otis

The Adventures of Milo and Otis (1986)

adventures of milo and otis The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

In the original Japanese version of Milo and Otis, the tiny pug playing “Poosky” fights a bear in a long and terrifying National Geographic-style sequence that was significantly shortened for the English revamp. Whether that dog was severely harmed during the altercation is unknown. Just focus on the cuddly Dudley Moore voiceover –“Here comes the dog, strong and brave!”—and everything will be okay. –Leah Pickett

14. The Hound

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939)

baskerville3q The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Give credit to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for creating one of the most ominous and terrific canine creations in literary history, a vicious Great Dane that terrorizes the moors of England. The Hound of the Baskervilles has seen dozens of film and television adaptations, yet none are more striking and spooky than the 1939 Sidney Lanfield adaptation with arguably the best Holmes, Basil Rathborne. The titular dog was what it should be: ghostly, fierce, and best of all, mysterious. He’s the reason you should be scared if you hear a single howl in the distance. –Blake Goble

13. Shadow

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)

shadow homeward bound The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Here’s a good way to test whether you are a human or an unfeeling cyborg: watch the ending to Homeward Bound. If you don’t cry when Shadow comes limping over the hill, start questioning. –Leah Pickett

12. Snots

Christmas Vacation (1989)

Snots

Throughout cinematic history, plenty of dogs have gotten to hump legs, but how many of them have actually gotten to finish? Granted, we don’t get to see Snots finish either, but his owner, Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid), alludes to the fact that he can, making the Mississippi leg-hound all the more hilarious and disgusting. But besides somehow sneezing backwards all over his snout, Snots actually plays a pivotal role in Christmas Vacation, marauding a bone-dry turkey that everyone’s probably happy he ate and inadvertently tracking down the squirrel in the Griswolds’ living room. And let’s not forget, the last image we see in the film is Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold staring up at the nighttime clouds with the gross-ass pooch next to him. It just wouldn’t be a National Lampoon Christmas without Snots. –Dan Caffrey

11. Dog

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

road warrior pooch The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Ah, Dog. Poor, noble Dog, who followed Max (Mel Gibson) through the deserted Australian wastelands. Shortly before the triumphant, all-time great chase sequence at the end of Mad Max 2 or The Road Warrior, whichever you prefer, Dog ultimately meets its untimely demise at the crossbow of one of the desert’s marauders, and with Dog passes Max’s last tethers to humanity, and to his old life in a world more civilized than this one. We remember you fondly, Dog, in the smiles of every feral child and the flights of every swarthy gyroplane captain. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

10. Winky

Best in Show (2000)

eugene levy winky best in show The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Winky, you cute little dork of a dog. Congratulations on beating the other popular dogs, those other anxiety-ridden show dogs, and for putting on such a beautiful display despite your owner having two left feet, which could have totally blown your walk at the dog show. No, you’re better than that. You’re Winky, the winner in Best in Show, and you truly were … best in show. –Blake Goble

09. Killer

Half Baked (1998)

“To understand what happened to Killer, you’ve got to understand who Killer the dog was.” So begins the odd epitaph for the rottweiler with a heart of gold and a serious addiction to pot (or is it crack?). We may never know if Killer was really forced by small-time gun runner Tito Leibowitz to fight and kill his brother Nibbles, but who cares? Other dogs may have their day, but Killer is forever immortalized in film history as the one pup who’d rather smoke his bowl than eat from it. –Collin Brennan

08. Beethoven

Beethoven (1992)

beethoven The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Before Marley wreaked havoc everywhere he went, there was Beethoven, the Dog of Destruction audiences couldn’t help but love. The 1992 film, co-written by John Hughes under the pseudonym “Edmond Dantès,” has a darker premise than most family fare—the tagline: “A slobbering St. Bernard becomes the center of attention for a loving family, but its veterinarian secretly wants to kill him”—and the American Veterinary Association was rightfully pissed that one of their own was portrayed as the leader of a dog-napping ring. Still, that didn’t stop sales of St. Bernards from spiking after the film’s release, nor the seven (yes, seven) Beethoven sequels that followed, the most recent being the direct-to-VOD Beethoven’s Treasure Trail in 2014. The original is worth a re-watch, though, if not for its big, dumb, and loveable namesake, than for a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt making his film debut as “Student #1.” –Leah Pickett

07. Cujo

Cujo (1983)

bloody cujo The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Let’s hope the anti-vaxxers don’t go after rabies shots next—we wouldn’t want Castle Rock to feel too close to home. Cujo’s reign of terror may have been limited to that quiet New England town, but the rabid St. Bernard continues to haunt dreams everywhere. He’s the last canine you’d want to see in a dark alley, and certainly the only one capable of turning a Ford Pinto into a ravaged hunk of metal. –Collin Brennan

06. Shithead

The Jerk (1979)

shithead the jerk The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

He’s cantakerous. He’s disloyal. And he doesn’t deserved the name “Lifesaver.” But what’s not to love about this rascally Border Terrier, who also protects us from seeing Steve Martin’s dong? –Roy Ivy

05. Beatrice

Best in Show (2000)

beatrice best in show The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Poor Beatrice. Her human parents are catalog people who met at Starbucks; actually, their eyes met from “different Starbucks across the street from each other,” which is much worse. She accidentally walks in on her parents having sex, which is awkward and traumatic for everyone. And when she is about to take the stage for the biggest dog show of her career, those overanxious imbeciles lose her favorite squeaky toy, Busy Bee, and try to placate her with a plush rooster instead. How dare they. Beatrice, come live with me. They don’t deserve you. –Leah Pickett

04. Benji

Benji Series

benji the hunted The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

You have to be a rotten, miserable, no good grouse to not find Benji a little adorable. He’s a scrappy little stray, just getting by in a dog-eat-dog world. Look, we’re not made of stone. It was a simpler time, and the name stuck in movie dog-dom. The dog wanders the streets to the tunes of soft rock; that’s so chill! He was a pre-cursor to YouTube dog videos! There’s a reason this dog was such a huge star in the ‘70s and ‘80s and in a failed reboot in 2004. His films were huge commercial hits. He survived Chevy Chase’s coked-up werewolf period (Oh Heavenly Dog!). But best of all, Benji provided Siskel and Ebert with one of their most famously heated (read:pissy) arguments to ever make it to air. –Blake Goble

03. Toto

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

toto The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Toto doesn’t have an especially distinct personality. He’s more or less a pretty normal, sometimes mischievous dog (a cairn terrier, to be exact). What makes him special is that he’s Dorothy’s one true connection to home, the only thread to Kansas that remains unaltered. Whereas the Land of Oz morphs the farmhands into an anthropomorphic lion, scarecrow, and tin man, and the town curmudgeon into a literal witch, Toto actually comes along for the ride with no alternate version of himself in sight. And that’s what makes him unique. He doesn’t gain the ability to talk, or any other magical power, for that matter. He’s just there to remind Dorothy of what she misses, the place she longs to return to, even if she wanted to be anywhere else in the world at the start of the film. There’s no place like home, indeed, and if there’s a character that represents home, it’s Toto. –Dan Caffrey

02. Einstein

Back to the Future (1985)

einstein The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) named all of his pooches after famous scientists. He owned the adorable Copernicus (see No. 79 above), and he also palled around with a shaggy ol’ sheepdog named Einstein. Both were special in their own ways — hell, Copernicus sniffed out Doc’s grave in film buff Gregg Turkington’s favorite entry in the series, Back to the Future III — but only one of them was the world’s first time traveler. That feat goes to Einnie, who would successfully go forward in time by one minute, leaving at 1:20 a.m. and arriving at 1:21 a.m. on October 26, 1985. He would eventually go on to see the past and even more of the future. Come to think of it, he’s like a modern-day Toto. That’s pretty heavy. –Michael Roffman

01. The Beast

The Sandlot (1993)

sandlot the beast e1427900612656 The 101 Greatest Dogs in Film History

When you’re a kid, lots of things seem more frightening than they actually are. That goes for dogs, too. So kudos to The Sandlot director David Mickey Evans for using a variety of oversized prop paws and puppets to portray “The Beast” before we get a good climpse of the mythical neighborhood canine. By turning to such ludicrous conventions—he never tries for a second to make The Beast look real, at least for the first half of the film—he conveys how larger-than-life and frightening the dog is to the kids, while also letting the adults in the audience know that they’re probably letting their imaginations run a little wild.

When we finally do get a full look at the creature, we feel a little sorry for it. He’s just a dirty junkyard dog—albeit one that has a penchant for gobbling up priceless baseballs—and even shows affection to the kids after they help him out from under a fence. By the end of the film, his blind owner (a terrific James Earl Jones) has saved the day by replacing the lost Babe Ruth ball, and The Beast (real name Hercules) has even become the Sandlot kids’ mascot. It’s a rather sweet coming-of-age metaphor—as we grow older, the things we fear the most often become the things we love the most. And anyone who loves The Sandlot naturally loves The Beast. –Dan Caffrey

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