The 40 Best Dog Names from Movies

Loyal Companion": portrait of a boxer dog with a loyal and confident expression
ibanezfilm/Shutterstock.com

Written by Carrie Woodward

Updated: October 30, 2023

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Who doesn’t love when a cute dog shows up on screen? The animal known as “man’s best friend” often makes an appearance in films and on television as a furry sidekick to a main character or even as the star of the show! From Old Yeller to Scooby-Doo, some of the most famous fictional characters are the dogs in our favorite movies!

If you are a fan of film and want to adopt a furry friend, look no further than this list of 40 best dog names from movies. We will include some of the best-known and most beloved names of dogs throughout film history. Maybe one will stand out to you as the perfect name for your new dog! Let’s get started – learning the best dog names from movies from A to Z!

Ace the Wonder Dog

Portrait of a German shepherd in a park. Purebred dog.

A German shepherd named Ace the Wonder Dog was in a number of films between 1938 and 1946.

Ace the Wonder Dog was a German shepherd who was himself a film star! The real name of a real dog, Ace the Wonder Dog appeared in multiple films between 1938 and 1946. His film credits include movies like The Rookie Cop and Orphans of the Street. Not only did he gain notoriety for his roles in these films, but he himself became a well-known dog actor!

Balto

Balto is the eponymous dog from the movie Balto. This name belongs to a sled dog who embarks on a dangerous journey to save the day when Alaska faces a deadly pandemic. He was famously owned by dog sled racer Leonhard Seppala, along with another dog on this list: Togo. However, Balto often gets the credit for saving an Alaskan town in real life, giving him the position of a national hero!

Baxter

In Anchorman, Baxter is the best friend of Ron Burgundy, the Anchorman protagonist. This Border Terrier hears many of Ron’s innermost thoughts and is his faithful friend. Baxter is a great listener and close companion to Ron through all of Ron’s ups and downs.

Beethoven

Saint bernard dog standing on the lawn

Saint Bernards, like the dogs in the movie

Beethoven

, are large and furry dogs.

Beethoven is the name of a troublesome Saint Bernard who wreaks havoc anywhere he goes in the family favorite 1990s Beethoven film franchise. The name Beethoven is also famously that of iconic German composer and pianist, Ludwig von Beethoven. If you have a Saint Bernard or love classical music, perhaps this is the name for your furry friend! 

Benji

Benji is a stray who shows his strong character when he goes on a perilous adventure to rescue two kidnapped children in the movie Benji. This mixed-breed dog doesn’t let his mutt status and life as a stray keep him back from befriending townspeople throughout his Texas hometown.

Bolt

Bolt from the movie Bolt is an American White Shepherd. He is unknowingly the star of a television show, which makes him believe that he has incredible superpowers. However, whether his superpowers were real or not, Bolt would stop at nothing to save his best friend from danger.

Bruiser

Chihuahua in a sweater

Elle Wood’s dog in

Legally Blonde

was a chihuahua.

In Legally Blonde, starring Reese Witherspoon as the iconic California girl who makes her way to Harvard Law School, Bruiser is Elle Woods’ tiny chihuahua. Bruiser goes everywhere with Elle – from the nail salon to the pool.

Buck

In Call of the Wild, Buck is taken from his home in California and taken to Canada to serve as a sled dog. This Saint Bernard mix is loyal, strong, and intelligent and stands out as a leader among other sled dogs. 

Buddy

In Air Bud, Buddy is a Golden Retriever in this sports movie focused on the game of basketball. He comes to befriend a 12-year-old kid named Josh at just the right time after Josh’s dad died tragically in an airplane crash. This Golden Retriever goes on to become the dad of multiple puppies and plays many other sports in subsequent films in the Air Buddies series.

Chance

This lovable American Bulldog in the film Homeward Bound goes on a rousing journey with his older counterpart Shadow, an aging golden retriever, and a Himalayan cat named Sassy to find their way home to their family. Chance is impulsive but loving and the best friend of the family’s youngest child, Jamie.

Charlie

All Dogs Go to Heaven features a German Shepherd mix who rises from the dead to find out who is responsible for his untimely death. Charlie escapes from Heaven to find his best friend, Itchy, and take revenge. When Charlie discovers that a young girl is at risk, he has to decide whether to pursue his mission or abandon it in order to rescue the young girl.

Clifford

The show Clifford the Big Red Dog was a favorite among children’s television programming. This story about a bright red puppy named Clifford who grows into a giant dog as big as a house gained so much popularity, that he eventually gained his own feature film: Clifford’s Really Big Movie.

Copper

Calmest dog - basset hound puppy

Bassett hounds make for a great family pet because of their demeanor with children.

In the classic Disney animated film The Fox and the Hound, Copper is an inquisitive young basset hound who forms a lasting friendship with a young fox. The film covers their growing friendship and is a heartwarming tale of growing up and building a relationship across differences.

Dodger

Oliver and Company’s Dodger is a terrier mix with an exuberant personality. This Jack Russell Terrier is Oliver’s companion and a sly dog and leader of a pack. 

Fang

In the Harry Potter film series, the beloved Hagrid has a Neapolitan Mastiff who accompanies him around Hogwarts and slobbers all over Harry Potter and his friends Ron and Hermione. This faithful friend is not the weirdest creature Hagrid cares for, but he may just be the most loyal.

Gromit

Beagle dog

The furry costar in the film series

Wallace and Gromit

is a beagle.

In the British claymation film series Wallace and Gromit, Gromit is a beagle and the best friend of a man named Wallace. Gromit is extremely smart, loyal, and emotionally intelligent. He often supports the cheese-loving Wallace in many eccentric schemes and clever inventions.

Hooch

In the 1989 movie starring Tom Hanks, Turner and Hooch, Hooch is a dog played by a rare breed called Dogue de Bordeaux. This buddy cop comedy follows Tom Hanks’ character, Turner, and his furry pal, Hooch.

Lady

cocker spaniel standing in grass

Disney’s leading lady in

Lady and the Tramp

was a cocker spaniel.

In Lady and the Tramp, Lady is a beautiful Cocker Spaniel who falls in love with a mutt from the wrong side of the tracks. In comparison with the “tramp,” Lady is a refined and high-bred dog used to the finer things in life. However, she cannot resist falling in love with a rogue dog from the streets. Remember that iconic scene of the two dogs slurping the same spaghetti noodle? Lady is an adorable name for a sweet little female dog.

Lassie

Lassie Hollywood star

Lassie got her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California.

In the film and television series Lassie, this Rough Collie gets up to all kinds of shenanigans! Lassie started off as a farm dog but ended up going on all kinds of exotic adventures to locations throughout the United States. From national parks to daily life on the farm, Lassie had all kinds of experiences during the long-running television show that aired throughout the 20th century.

Marley

Yellow Labrador Retriever
Marley & Me

is a drama about an undisciplined yellow lab and a newly wedded couple.

In the classic tearjerker Marley & Me, Marley is a mischievous yellow lab who gets into a lot of trouble but nevertheless forms a strong bond of love with his family. When a newly married couple adds a troublesome puppy to the family, Marley puts their love to the test while creating all kinds of shenanigans.

Max

In The Grinch, Max is a dog of an undetermined breed who is the Grinch’s sidekick and partner in mischief. From dressing up as a reindeer to hearing all of the Grinch’s schemes, Max is a faithful friend and accompaniment to the Grinch’s plan to “steal Christmas.”

Nana

In Peter Pan, the Darling children have a beloved hound named Nana who watches over them.

Old Yeller

The yellow lab named Old Yeller stars in the movie Old Yeller, a poignant tale of a young boy and his beloved dog. 

Otis

pug

Pugs learn quickly due to their sensitive and observant nature. They pick up on subtle cues and are eager to train.

In The Adventures of Milo and Otis, Otis is a little pug who goes on all kinds of wild exploits with the cat Milo.

Petey

In The Little Rascals, Petey is known as “the dog with the ring around his eye.” This iconic canine character was first played by an American Staffordshire Terrier and then played by an American Pitbull Terrier in the second film. 

Pluto 

One of the best-known Disney cartoon characters is Pluto. Pluto is a yellow-colored short-haired dog with droopy black ears who accompanies his owner Goofy on many adventures.

Pongo

When Cruella de Vil comes prowling around looking to steal Dalmation puppies in 101 Dalmations, Pongo is the Dalmation dad. Pongo is a brave dad who searches for his puppies in this classic animated film.

Purdy

Pongo’s counterpart in 101 Dalmations, Purdy is the mom of a lot of little puppies. Along with Pongo, Purdy goes on a quest to save her puppies from the evil Cruella.

Scooby

Adelaide, Australia - September 28, 2015: A Studio Shot of a Scooby Doo Lego Minifigure from the animated series Scooby Doo. This figure is part of a series of Lego kits released in 2015, lego is very popular with children and collectors worldwide.

Scooby-Doo is such a popular character that he has been made into toy figurines and even Legos sets!

This mystery-solving canine companion to the hippie character Shaggy is an iconic cartoon dog. Scooby is the star of both the Scooby-Doo television show and films and is a vital part of the crew’s work to solve mysteries and expose the truth behind seemingly supernatural incidents. 

Shadow

Along with the mischievous dog from the pound, Chance, in Homeward Bound, Shadow makes his way across the wilderness of the United States to make it home to his family. This older Golden Retriever makes the long journey to find his way back to his human companion, Peter, overcoming all kinds of challenges.

Shasta

In Snow Buddies, Shasta is a young Siberian Husky with a dream to become a successful sled racer. Shasta’s owner, Adam, has a dream to win the Alaskan sled dog race after a tragic accident involving his father the year before. 

Shiloh

In the film Shiloh, Shiloh is a beagle puppy who makes an escape from a cruel owner and befriends a young boy named Marty. Marty takes care of Shiloh, but keeps the dog a secret from his family – while growing closer to the pup.

Skip

Funny jack russell terrier dog jumping over a fallen tree in autumn forest

A Jack

Russell terrier

is featured in the film

My Dog Skip

.

In My Dog Skip, the Jack Russell terrier Skip is a birthday present for a nine-year-old shy young man named Will. The two quickly become best friends and Skip helps Will make it through the ups and downs of growing up.

Slinky

In Toy Story, Slinky is a slinky form of a dog who has all of a real dog’s mannerisms and characteristics – with the addition of a slinky middle that lets him slink his way down the stairs.

Snoopy

Sekiguchi Snoopy Retrons Snoopy is in the flower garden

Snoopy is one of the most beloved characters from the

Peanuts

franchise.

In Charlie Brown films and cartoons, Snoopy is a beagle who belongs to Charlie Brown. He lives in a red doghouse, gives smooches, and is often a source of trouble. This dog name from a movie also brings to mind famous Christmas specials, comics, and the Charlie Brown piano theme.

Togo

In the Disney film Togo, a sled dog named Togo joins a man named Leonhard Seppala on his quest to raise a newborn Siberian Husky puppy as part of a sled dog pack in Alaska. With the recent film covering the real-life history of Leonhard Seppala, Togo may be a dog name that is quickly rising in popularity.

Toto

In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy’s companion from Kansas to Oz is a little Cairn Terrier who travels with her down the Yellow Brick Road to find the Wizard. Say the name “Toto,” and everyone will immediately think of this iconic film. They may think of the famous line from Dorothy: “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” That makes Toto top of the list when it comes to distinctive dog names from movies.

Wilby

best big dog - Old English Sheepdog

Old English Sheepdogs are intelligent and gentle.

In The Shaggy Dog, Wilby is the main character. He is a man who becomes an Old English Sheepdog after saying magic words that transform him into a dog. Wilby is certainly one of the most unique dog names from a movie.

Winn-Dixie

In Because of Winn-Dixie, this mixed breed dog gets its name from a southern grocery store chain called “Winn-Dixie.” Winn-Dixie gets into all kinds of trouble, but ultimately saves the day for his new owner by helping her make friends as she adjusts to life in a new town.

Zero 

In The Nightmare Before Christmas, Zero is Tim Burton’s spooky dog creation. Zero looks similar to a Dachshund but with a pumpkin on his nose. This ghost dog friend helps his companion Jack Skellington make his way through the foggy night of Christmas Eve. Do not mistake him for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! Zero is his own unique character.

The Top 40 Dog Names from Movies

There you have it: a list of the top 40 best dog names from movies! The dog names above are some of the most famous and iconic names of dogs who are loyal, loving, and sometimes a bit mischievous. Have you seen the movies named above? If not, give these films a watch! Perhaps the dogs in the movies will inspire you with a new name for your furry friend. Even though this list may have some of the best dog names from the silver screen, it certainly is not complete! What other names would you add to this list?


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About the Author

Carrie is a writer and fan of all types of plants and animals. Her apartment is home to more than dozen different houseplants and she aspires to adopt more in the near future. You can find Carrie taking long walks or reading a book under the trees in the park.

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