Military war dogs have – and do – play a critical role in military history, helping our troops on the front lines by detecting enemy threats and protecting their human companions while they engage in battle. Over the years, there have been countless military war dog movies, documentary films and other media that have brought these incredible canines to life on the big screen.
Here are our top 20 picks for the best war dog movies of all time:
1. “War Dogs/Pride of the Army” (1942)
In War Dogs, a good-hearted boy donates his best friend to the Dogs for Defense, a government organization that trained household dogs for the military during WW II. Following training, the canine recruit is assigned to keep a defense plant safe from saboteurs.
2. “The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin” (1954–1959)
This war adventure television series follows the exploits of Rin Tin Tin, a war dog who is adopted by the US Army and becomes a war hero.
3. Chips The War Dog (1990)
Misfits Danny Stauffer and Chips (a chicken-chasing German shepherd) are teamed up in the Army’s “Dogs for Defense” program during WWII. Danny is afraid of dogs, but he takes care of Chips and the two become close friends. They are sent to Europe to help fight the war. Chips is a brave dog who helps the soldiers in many ways.
4. “A Dog of Flanders” (1999 )
This war drama tells the story of Nello, a young boy living in poverty in Belgium during WWI. When he befriends a stray dog named Patrasche, the two bond and set out on an adventure that will change their lives forever.
5. “Finding Rin Tin Tin” (2007)
This documentary tells the story of a group of war dog lovers who set out on an epic journey to find Rin Tin Tin, the famous war dog from the 1940s. Their search takes them across America and around the world as they piece together clues about his fate.
6. “War Dogs Of The Pacific” (2009)
This war documentary follows the stories of war dogs who served in the Pacific Theater during WWII. These brave canines helped save countless lives and served with distinction during one of the most brutal conflicts in human history.
7. Dog Jack (2010)
Dog Jack movie tells the remarkable story of an enslaved boy and his dog who escape their plantation and join the Union army, only to face their former master on the battlefield. Inspired by the real-life adventures of the beloved mascot of Pennsylvania’s 102nd during the Civil War, Jack was so highly regarded for his skills in battle that he was exchanged for a Confederate prisoner of war two times.
8. “Always Faithful” (2013)
This war documentary tells the story of the Marine Corps war dogs who served in WWII. These brave canines helped save countless lives and served with distinction during one of the most brutal conflicts in human history.
9. “Max” (2015)
Based on a true story, this war drama follows the journey of a military dog who is traumatized by his service and must be rehabilitated before he can rejoin his human companions
10. “Meagen Leavey” (2017)
This war drama tells the true story of Marine Corporal Meagen Leavey, who was injured in Iraq while serving with her military dog, Rex. The film follows their journey as they recover from their injuries and adjust to life back home.
11. “Canine Soldiers: The Untold Story of War Dogs” (2017)
This war documentary tells the story of the brave dogs who have served alongside human soldiers in conflicts throughout history. These courageous canines have helped save countless lives and served with distinction during some of the most brutal wars in human history.
12. “Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero” (2018)
This biographical war film tells the true story of Sgt. Stubby, a stray mutt who was adopted by soldiers training for WWI and quickly became a hero on the battlefield.
13. “Dog” (2022)
A buddy comedy that follows the misadventures of two former Army Rangers paired against their will on the road trip of a lifetime. An Army Ranger and a Belgian Malinois named Lulu buckle into a 1984 Ford Bronco and race down the Pacific Coast in hopes of making it to a fellow soldier’s funeral on time.
Military War Dog Movies, Films & Tales
Whether they are war dogs, service dogs, or just family pets, dogs have played an important role in war throughout history. These courageous animals have saved countless lives and served with distinction in some of the most brutal conflicts in human history.
Their courageous spirits, physical strength and superior intelligence are the traits that contribute to the success of these war heroes who should be recognized for their bravery and sacrifice.