15 Sad Dog Movies That’ll Make You Cry Every Time

Movies have what it takes to make us feel a myriad of emotions all at once.

They can put us at the edge of our seats, make us laugh heartily, and even make us cry.

When it comes to crying, nothing beats sad dog movies—they’ll make you cry uncontrollably and might even have a deeper effect if your fur baby is seated right next to you.

Every dog lover and pet parent can definitely relate to the urge to grab hold of their pups and have a good ugly cry when watching tear-jerking sad movies about dogs.

Here are 15 really awesome but sad movies about dogs that are sure to make even the toughest of pet parents and dog lovers cry helplessly.

You might want to grab some tissues now!

Sad Dog Movies That Will Make You Ugly Cry

01. Marley & Me (2008)

Inspired by John Grogan’s autobiographical book, Marley & Me is bound to empty your tear ducts (pun intended).

In this brilliant movie, Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston take on the characters of a newlywed couple, the Grogans who consider parenthood.

To find out if they’re prepared to raise children, they start off by adopting a lovely – yet – naughty yellow Labrador puppy who they named after Bob Marley.

Grab your pup and get ready to sob towards the end of this tear-jerker.

02. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)

This movie tells the story of a dog who we’ll describe as the embodiment of loyalty.

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale is inspired by a real-life story about a Japanese Akita Inu who was extremely faithful. It is also a remake of the popular Japanese film Hachiko Monogatari.

The movie takes us on a journey into the life of a dog who meets his human at a certain train station.

His human suddenly passed away and a heartbroken Hachi spends the next ten years of his life waiting on his human’s return.

Loyalty at its peak! Do I see a tear?

03. Old Yeller (1957)

This movie probably takes the crown when it comes to sad dog movies that’ll make you tear up and hug your dog.

It’s a classic that takes place in the 60s on a farm in Texas. Travis runs into an Old Yeller.

At first, he isn’t fond of the pooch but soon warms up to him after he saved his little brother’s life from a vicious bear.

As time goes by, Travis starts to enjoy Old Yeller and they soon become best of friends.

However, the movie ends tragically and might leave you in a pool of your very own tears.

04. The Fox and the Hound (1981)

Voiced by Kurt Russell and Mickey Rooney, this Disney Classic tells the story of an unconventional friendship between a fox and a Bloodhound, both named Tod and Copper respectively.

When Tod and Copper meet as young pups, they become inseparable.

Despite the constant reminder from onlookers about the fact that they’re natural enemies, they carry on with their friendship.

The Fox and the Hound is packed with many touching scenes; however, nothing beats how phenomenally the farewell, in the end, stood out.

This one will surely have you curled up in suspense until the end.

05. My Dog Skip (2000)

Based on a true story, My Dog Skip is a movie that tells the story of a dog Skip that teaches Willie (a human) life lessons that were immensely useful to him up until adulthood.

It is a timeless love tale about how much a dog means to a little child. Tissues will definitely come in handy during this movie.

06. All Dogs Go To Heaven (1989)

Voiced by the late Burt Reynolds, All Dogs Go To Heaven is a popular animated dog film that tells the story of a German Shepherd named Charlie who makes the decision to come back to earth for revenge on the dog responsible for his demise, as opposed to going to heaven.

However, everything changed when Charlie makes friends with Anne-Marie, an orphan girl who teaches him the true meaning of friendship.

Will Charlie go back to heaven? The ball is in your court. But don’t forget to keep your tissues handy.

07. Turner & Hooch (1989)

Turner & Hooch tells the story of a detective who is stuck with a Dogue de Bordeaux who makes his life hell.

Despite the clash of both their personalities, Turner warms up toward Hooch and together they solve a murder case.

Might we add? You may not be ready for the end. Sit tight.

08. Where the Red Fern Grows (1974)

Of all the movies mentioned, Where the Red Fern Grows might be the saddest and most difficult to watch.

It’s a story about Billy Colman, a twelve-year-old boy who only wants to go hunting with a dog of his own.

So, Billy works as hard as he can to earn enough money to adopt two dogs. 

They go on a lot of adventures until both pups die a few weeks apart. As you watch, the meaning of the title unfolds itself.

09. The Stray (2017)

This movie tells the story of a stray dog, Pluto, who is greatly loved by the Davis family.

The family is going through a lot, however, Pluto proves to be a positive addition to the family through the way he gently offers companionship and helps to mend relationships.

The Stray is an inspiring story that’ll definitely make you tear up.

10. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)

This movie tells the story of three pets left behind by their owners who were going on a holiday.

Thinking they have been deserted, they set out on The Incredible Journey to California in order to reunite with their owners.

This adventurous story is sure to leave you curled up in tears—tears of joy to be precise. Make sure to keep tissues handy.

11. A Dog’s Purpose (2017)

Based on the beloved bestselling novel by W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog’s Purpose takes us on the journey into the life of a dog who dies several times and reincarnates in new bodies.

Sad, right? It might be quite a tough one to watch.

12. Eight Below (2006)

Inspired by a true story, this movie takes us into the life of three American geologists who get into a sudden accident and have no choice but to leave their team of sled dogs at the mercy of the harsh weather conditions of Antarctica.

The dogs are left with no option but to struggle through the harsh Antarctic winter in the frozen wilderness for several months.

Eight Below is a heartwarming story about adventure, loyalty, and friendship, and is sure to keep you guessing.

13. I Am Legend (2007)

In this movie, a dog plays companion to Will Smith as he makes his way through a new world filled with nocturnal mutant-looking creatures.

The death scene of this canine companion might be hard to manage. We’ll save you the details, but you should know that it isn’t just a walk in the park.

14. Red Dog (2011)

Red Dog is inspired by the true story of a dog that once lived in Australia.

This dog forms a bond with most of the townspeople, particularly John, an American man. In the end, Red Dog is found just beside his friend’s graveside.

15. Sounder (1972)

This movie tells the story of poverty, bad governance, educational inequality, and the demise of a father.

However, the adventures of Sounder, the dog, take center stage in this thrilling movie.


If you’re in the mood for a good cry, watching these sad movies about dogs is a good way to get the tears rolling down your cheeks.

In the end, don’t forget that most of the sad dog movies on this list offer a beautif, touching story to remember.

Either way, we hope you enjoyed this list of dog movies and we hope you would easily find a sad movie that you can connect with.

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29 Best Sled Dog Movies Ever (Some On Netflix & Prime)

Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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