Movies have the ability to take us through a whole range of emotions. They can make us laugh, put us on the edge of our seats, and, yes, even make us cry. Speaking of a good cry, there’s nothing like a sad dog movie to make you sob uncontrollably, especially if your beloved pup is watching at home right next to you.
As dog lovers and pet parents, when we see tear jerkers about pooches, we can’t help but ugly cry and hold our pups a little tighter.
Here are eight really sad–but really great–dog movies that will make even the toughest, most emotionless dog lovers shed a tear. Bring the tissues!
1. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)
If loyalty had a face, it would look like this dog. Hachi is based on the real-life story of a faithful Akita Inu in Japan and a remake of the 1987 Japanese film Hachiko Monogatari. It stars Richard Gere who develops an unbreakable bond with his dog.
The film tells the story of the dog, Hachi, who meets his owner at the train station where he leaves and arrives from work every day. When his owner suddenly dies on the way home from work, Hachi spends the next ten years of his life at the train station waiting for his owner to return.
Yes, Hachi is very loyal. And yes, I am crying already.
2. Marley & Me (2008)
Based on the autobiographical book by John Grogan, this film is a real tear jerker. Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston play a newlywed couple, the Grogan’s, who contemplate parenthood. To see if they’re ready for children, they first adopt a beautiful-yet-mischievous yellow Labrador puppy who they name Marley—after Bob Marley.
The rest of the film follows Marley’s many misadventures with his family from his puppy years all the way to a heartbreaking end that we as dog lovers are all too familiar with.
You might end up sobbing out loud while firmly holding your pup in your arms after watching this one.
3. My Dog Skip (2000)
This one is based on another true story, adapted from the memoirs of writer Willie Morris. The film centers on Willie’s lonely childhood in the 1940s. Growing up in Yazoo, Mississippi, he receives a Jack Russell Terrier for his ninth birthday who he names Skip.
From there, the story unfolds as Skip, “an only dog”–as Willie describes in the film– teaches him, “an only child,” life lessons he carries all the way to adulthood.
It’s an undying tale about what a dog means to a small child. You’ll definitely want tissues by your side.
4. Turner & Hooch (1989)
Through the years, we’ve seen all kinds of buddy-cop movies, but none quite as memorable as this. In this film, Tom Hanks plays Scott Turner, a bookish neat freak detective who is thrown together with Hooch, a slobbering Dogue de Bordeaux who turns his world upside down.
Even as their opposite personalities clash, Hooch finds his way into Turner’s heart, and together they’re able to solve a murder case. It also leads to a climatic and heart-wrenching end that not only makes Tom Hanks cry, but us, as well.
5. All Dogs Go To Heaven (1989)
Many of us have seen this memorable animated film about a German Shepherd mix named Charlie B. Barkin, voiced by the late Burt Reynolds. The movie follows Charlie, who nixes heaven to go back to earth for revenge after one of his doggy pals murders him.
It sounds a little dark, but it delivers on heart and sadness when Charlie befriends an orphan girl named Anne-Marie who changes his outlook on life and teaches him what true friendship really means.
Does Charlie get back to heaven? You’ll just have to find out. But be warned, you might cry while doing so!
6. The Fox And The Hound (1981)
An animated masterpiece in a long line of Disney classics, this story centers on an unlikely friendship between a fox, named Tod, and a Bloodhound, named Copper—voiced by Mickey Rooney and Kurt Russell, respectively.
As soon as Tod and Copper meet as young pups, they’re the best of friends. Despite being reminded by everyone around them that they are “natural enemies,” they continue their friendship. That is, until they grow older and realize it’s not that easy.
There are many moving scenes in this film but nothing so poignant as their farewell in the end. This one will have you balled up in your bed while the credits roll.
7. Where The Red Fern Grows (1974)
Out of all the films mentioned, this might be the hardest and saddest to watch. The story centers on a twelve-year-old boy named Billy Colman who wants nothing more in life than to have a dog he can go hunting with.
We watch as Billy works his tail off to earn enough money to adopt not one, but two Coonhounds named Old Dan and Little Ann.
From there, adventures ensue for the boy and his beloved dogs, until the end when [SPOILER ALERT] both pups die within weeks of each other. It’s not just their deaths that will break your heart, but how it ends that really tears you up inside.
By the end, you’ll know what the title of the film means. You’ll also know why your floor will be littered with tissues.
8. Old Yeller (1957)
This just might be the godfather of all sad dog movies–the one movie that directly comes to mind when we think of dog films.
The classic takes place in the 1860s on a farm in Salt Lick, Texas. Travis, the eldest of two boys, runs into Old Yeller, a yellow Labrador mix. Not fond of the dog at first, Travis soon warms up to Old Yeller when the pooch saves his young brother, Arliss, from a black bear.
As time passes, Travis grows fonder of Old Yeller and they become best friends.
In the end, [SPOILER ALERT] a rabies outbreak leads to a tragic conclusion that will have you drowning in your own tears.
Do you love any of these classic, sad dog movies? Which other dog movies make you cry? Let us know in the comments below!
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