Are you a movie buff with a new barking buddy? Why not name the dog who has landed a starring role in your life after a dog seen on the silver screen? From classics to today’s Hollywood hits, we’re shining a spotlight on a long list of potential movie dog names–including more about the dogs who played these famous movie roles!
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Albert — In “reel life,” Elvis Presley shared screen time with a Great Dane who played the role of Albert in the musical romp Live a Little, Love a Little. In real life the King of Rock ‘n Roll shared his home with a Great Dane he dubbed Brutus!
Algonquin — In the 1988 tongue in cheek fright flick Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, the queen bee of all things B movie inherits her late great aunt’s estate, which includes Algonquin the Poodle. The name Algonquin was perhaps chosen as an homage to The Algonquin Hotel, the famous haunt of Dorothy Parker and other celebrated members of The Vicious Circle.
Ambrosius — In the Jim Henson fantasy flick Labyrinth, Ambrosius was portrayed by both a Muppet and an Old English Sheepdog.
Andrew — A Bearded Collie mix portrayed the pup who converses with the nanny who is practically perfect in every way in the original 1964 version of Mary Poppins. The name Andrew means “manly, brave and strong.”
Angus — An English Bulldog named Lili (along with fellow Fidos Billy, Ciccy and Lazania) stepped into the role of Mr. Magoo’s barking buddy in the 1997 comedy about the famous short-sighted cartoon character.
Arthur — A rescue Jack Russell Terrier named Cosmo, whose acting resume includes Hotel for Dogs, starred in the 2010 romcom Beginners as Arthur (a name which means “courageous.”) The dog’s acting skills were so respected that Christopher Plummer thanked Cosmo in his Golden Globe acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor.
Asta — The pup of sleuthing soul mates Nick and Nora Charles in the light-hearted series of The Thin Man films was portrayed by a Wire-Haired Fox Terrier named Skippy, a talented tail-wagging thespian who also starred in such Hollywood classics as The Awful Truth and Bringing Up Baby.
Atlas — Fans of classic movies may want to name their pup after the phantom Fido Mr. Atlas in the 1938 comedy Topper Takes a Trip.
Baby — A Jack Russell Terrier named Barkley tickled the collective funny bone of movie audiences as Baby in the Dana Carvey comedy Clean Slate. Barkley’s acting abilities can also be admired in Ernest Scared Stupid and A Boy’s Life.
Balto — The animated feature film that bears his name tells the true tale of a Siberian Husky who gained fame in 1925 as the leader of a pack of sled dogs that charged through treacherous conditions on the last leg of a life-saving mission from Nenana to Nome, Alaska to deliver a diphtheria serum.
Banjo — The true movie buff might want to name their new barking buddy after the little-known 1947 family film Banjo, which starred an English Setter in the title role.
Baxter — Both former shelter dogs, a Border Terrier named Peanut portrayed Ron Burgundy’s barking buddy in the first Anchorman movie, while fellow Border Terrier Quince helped Will Ferrell bring the funny to Anchorman 2.
Beethoven — A St. Bernard named Kris starred as the dog named after the master of classical music in the first two Beethoven movies.
Benji — Did you know that the dog who starred in the original 1974 movie Benji also portrayed the pup in the sitcom Petticoat Junction, which aired form 1963 to 1970?
Bimini — Meaning “two islands,” Bimini was a Yorkshire Terrier in the hit movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
Boi — The Yorkshire Terrier who portrayed Sharpay’s four-legged sidekick in the TV movie High School Musical 2 was actually the canine companion of the show’s director and choreographer, Kenny Ortega.
Boy — As Boy, an Australian Kelpie helps to save the day in the fun 2020 fright flick Love and Monsters.
Buck — An Alaskan Malamute starred as one of a pack in the 2006 drama Eight Below.
Buddy — Based on the tale of a basketball-playing pooch, Buddy the Golden Retriever starred in the original Air Bud movie.
Butch — The Anatolian Shepherd member of D.O.G.S. in the spy send up Cats & Dogs.
Chance — Michael J. Fox provided the voice of the young American Bulldog who learns the true meaning of “home” in 1993’s Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. The part of Chance was played by a dog named Rattler.
Chico — An Australian Cattle Dog shared the silver screen with Johnny Depp in the Stephen King-penned horror story Secret Window.
Chiffon — Sam, or rather Lillybrad’s Sammy’s Shadow, was the Old English Sheepdog who starred in the title role of The Shaggy Dog. Fun fact: Doggedly devoted Disney fans can see the late tail-wagging thespian’s pawprints on display in the courtyard of the Burbank Animal Shelter alongside fellow famous Fidos Benji and Lassie.
Chum — A “fetching” name, a Labrador Retriever starred alongside Adam Sandler in the romantic dramedy Spanglish.
Clown — If you are looking for a classic comical name for your new canine companion, you might want to choose the moniker of an Old English Sheepdog’s character in the 1965 Patty Duke musical Billie.
Colossus — Ryan Reynold’s English Bulldog buddy in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder.
Cujo — Looking for a frightfully fun name for Fido? How about the scary St. Bernard conjured up by the King of Screams, Stephen King?
Daisy — A profusion of “daisies” have popped up on the big screen, with the name given to the Bumstead’s barking buddy in the 1938 film inspired by the comic strip Blondie; the Beagle in John Wick; the Labrador Retriever in Gran Torino and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier in the Guy Ritchie-directed Snatch. The name Daisy means “day’s eye.”
Danny Boy — Ace The Wonder Dog, a German Shepherd who starred in 15 films over the course of his career (most notably as the main character’s canine companion in the 1943 feature The Phantom) played the role of a war dog who struggles upon his return home in the 1946 movie Danny Boy.
Daphne — Academy Award-winning animal lover Diane Keaton provided the voice of Daphne the Poodle in Look Who’s Talking Now!, the last of the Look Who’s Talking film franchise. The name Daphne means “laurel tree.”
Dash — A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Tori portrayed the canine confidante of Queen Victoria during her adolescence and the early years of her reign in both the small screen series Victoria and The Young Victoria on the silver screen. The real Dash was the first in a long line of the late monarch’s pals with paws. Here’s a fun fact about Tori: She lives in the same home as Dodger, the dog who stars in the hit British series Doc Martin!
David — Audrey Hepburn’s miniature Poodle in the classic romantic dramedy Sabrina.
Delgado — A name that means “slender,” Delgado is the stout-hearted German Shepherd/former police dog who helps to save the day in Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
Dewey — Regardless of whether you’ve seen the 2007 family film Firehouse Dog (with an Irish Terrier taking on the movie’s title role) you might want to consider dubbing your dog Dewey, as the name means “beloved.”
Diggs — A German Shepherd/secret agent in the 2010 send up of 007 flicks, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.
Dog — A name that gets right to the point, Dog was the chosen moniker for canine characters portrayed by an Australian Cattle Dog in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, and the Collie who collected a coveted PATSY Award for his work in the John Wayne western Big Jake.
Dolce — Meaning “sweet,” a Pomeranian portrayed the four-pawed pal of Charlize Theron’s character in the 2011 dramedy Young Adult.
Dolores — Although Dolores means “pain” and “sorrows,” you might want to name the dog who turns your frown upside down after the Pomeranian character in the 2001 buddy flick Double Take.
Domino — A great name for a Spot with spots, like the puppy who portrayed Domino in 102 Dalmatians.
Dooley — A Hound portrayed the canine companion of Clark Gables’ character in The Misfits, the final movie of the iconic star’s career.
Dougal — Meaning “dark stranger,” a Great Dane named Dougal became the main character’s canine companion in the 1936 adaptation of Little Lord Fauntleroy.
Duke — Perhaps the most popular name for Fidos in films, two Great Danes have been called Duke in big screen ventures, including the dog who made a big splash with movie goers in the 1944 Esther Williams musical Bathing Beauty and the 2008 Will Smith hit Seven Pounds, while an English Mastiff took on the name for the 2002 romantic drama The Quiet American.
Edison — While some may think you’ve named your new fur baby after the inventor of the light bulb, fans of classic children’s movies will know that you’ve dubbed your dog Edison after inventor Caractacus Potts’ Old English Sheepdog from the family-friendly flick Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!
Edward — A name meaning “wealthy guardian,” Edward is the canine companion of dog trainer Muriel Pritchett in The Accidental Tourist.
Ernie — Short for Ernest, the name– which means “serious” and “battle to the death”– was the moniker of the cuddly Brussels Griffon who is cared for by Charlize Theron’s character in the romantic drama Sweet November.
Fang — Movie buffs and bibliophiles alike will recognize Fang as the name of Hagrid’s pal with paws in the Harry Potter franchise. Described as a Boarhound in the books, on the big screen Fang was portrayed by several Neapolitan Mastiffs, including Bella, Bully, Hugo, Luigi and Vito. (Don’t miss our Harry Potter dog names for more ideas!)
Fluke — Buddy, who is better known by TV buffs as Comet from the 90s sitcom Full House, portrayed a man reincarnated into a Golden Retriever puppy is this 1995 fantasy Fido flick.
Flush — Elizabeth Barrett Browning immortalized her Cocker Spaniel companion in verse with To Flush, My Dog, and director Sidney Franklin brought the poet’s pup to life on the silver screen in the 1934 flick The Barretts of Wimpole Street. (Fun fact for lovers of literature: Virginia Woolf wrote a biography of Flush!)
Fly — Actress and animal advocate Miriam Margoles provided the voice of Fly, a maternal Border Collie who teaches a piglet who to herd sheep in the family-friendly flick Babe.
Frank — If you are looking for a movie dog name that’s out of this world, why not call your new canine companion Frank, the alien disguised as a pug in the Men in Black franchise! The Rover who portrayed the Remoolian in the original 1997 blockbuster and its 2002 sequel was named Mushu.
Fred — Riding shotgun in Cledus Snow’s truck, the Basset Hound who starred in the 1977 comedy Smokey and the Bandit was chosen for the role by none other than Burt Reynolds himself!
Friday — Cosmo, a Jack Russell Terrier who showed his skills on the silver screen in the 2009 comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop and the 2010 Ewan McGregor dramedy Beginners, began his acting career as Friday in the 2009 kids comedy Hotel for Dogs.
Genevieve — Meaning “of the race of women,” Genevieve was a stray who came to stay in both Ludwig Bedelman’s classic children’s books and the live action movie Madeline.
George — A leopard wasn’t the only performer with paws in the 1938 screwball comedy Bringing Up Baby. A Wire Hair Fox Terrier also shared screen time with Hollywood legends Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant.
Gidget — Not only the name of the perky Pomeranian who helped to save the day in The Secret Life of Pets, Gidget (which is a nickname for a small girl) was also the real name of the Chihuahua who portrayed the Taco Bell mascot as well as Bruiser Woods’ mother in Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde.
Gladstone — An English Bulldog named Leo took on the role of Watson’s pal with paws in Sherlock Holmes.
Greyfriars Bobby — Is the story of Greyfriars Bobby true, or merely a tall tale created years ago to boost tourism? Whether fact or fiction, the image of the tiny Skye Terrier has become synonymous with a canine’s loyal heart. The devoted dog has been honored in many books, in a memorial fountain topped with sculptor William Brodie’s bronze depiction of the faithful Fido, which stands at one end of the George IV Bridge, and on screen in Disney’s Greyfriars Bobby.
Gus — A Siberian Husky starred in the 1994 adventure film Iron Will.
Hachi — The 2005 Richard Gere movie Hachi; A Dog’s Tale was loosely based on the tale of an Akita Inu whose loyalty to his two-legged friend led him to wait at a train station every day, even years after his human pal had passed. Three Akitas named Chico, Forrest and Leyla portrayed the dog who has come to symbolize the bond between humans and their canine companions.
Hank — The Great Dane in The Truth about Cats & Dogs.
Harvey — A Golden Retriever played Elliott’s four-pawed pal in E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. The name Harvey means “battle worthy” and “blazing iron.”
Hercules — AKA “The Beast,” Hercules was a supposed killer canine who had struck fear into the hearts of neighborhood children for years before the tales of terror were proven untrue in the 1993 comedy The Sandlot. The character of Hercules was brought to life on screen by Gunner, an English Mastiff.
Hooch — A drooling Dogue de Bordeaux called Beasley shared the screen with Tom Hanks in the action comedy Turner and Hooch.
Hosehead — Fans of the Canadian comic duo Bob and Doug McKenzie (who became a part of pop culture thanks to Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis) will recognize the name of the brothers’ beer-loving barking buddy from both SCTV’s series of Great White North sketches and the movie Strange Brew.
Hubert — The Bloodhound from Best in Show, and his name, are winners in our book! The name Hubert means “bright heart.”
Jasper — The Cocker Spaniel who helped to dig up the truth about Max de Winter’s first wife in Daphne Du Maurier’s masterpiece, Rebecca.
Jip — Charles Dickens used the name Jip for Dora Spinlow’s dog in the classic novel David Copperfield. In the 21st century the name was given to Dr. Dolittle’s canine companion in the 2020 comedy, Dr. Dolittle.
Katie — The name of the devoted Dalmatian who met Robin Williams’ character in the afterlife in the fantasy film What Dreams May Come means “pure.”
Khyi Yang Po — A Bearded Collie named Cole portrayed the centuries old Spot whose DNA transforms Tim Allen’s character into a canine in the 2006 comedy The Shaggy Dog.
Kevin — Four American Eskimo dogs named Flurry, Nanu, Sitka and Winter shared screen time with Sandra Bullock in the comedy The Proposal. The name Kevin means “of noble birth.”
Kiki — Meaning “new beginning” or “new life,” Kiki was the name of Muay Thai trainer Xian’s German Shepherd in the 1989 Jean-Claude van Damme action movie Kickboxer.
Lady — The acting ability of a Basenji called My Lady of the Congo has tugged on the heartstrings of generations of dog devotees through her role in the 1956 film adaptation of the book, Good-bye, My Lady.
Lassie — A recipient over the years of 11 PATSYs (the American Human Association’s Animal Television Star Awards), this charismatic collie has been a canine icon for more than 80 years was first celebrity movie dog to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the first dog star inducted into the Animal Actors Hall of Fame.
Lord Nelson — While he answered to his real name on The Doris Day Show, Lord Nelson the Sheepdog also acted as Calico the dog in Doris Day’s last feature film, With Six You Get Eggroll.
Lester — Meaning “fortified place,” Lester was the German Shepherd who met his fate at the hands of Michael Meyers in the classic horror flick, Halloween.
Lightning — Like the lumbering, slumbering Bloodhound in the 2005 comedy Racing Stripes, Lightning would be a good name for a canine companion couch potato.
Lloyd — Charlie Murphy, the brother of Eddie Murphy, provided the voice of Lloyd the Pug in the comic actor’s 2007 movie Norbit. The name Lloyd means “sacred” and “gray-haired.”
Lou — Although he was originally given the name Lou as a nickname for “loser,” Lou the Beagle won the hearts of film fans as the lead character of the 2001 spy comedy Cats & Dogs.
Luath — A dog dubbed Rink portrayed the lovable Labrador Retriever Luath in the original 1963 Disney adaptation of The Incredible Journey. The name Luath derives from the Old Irish word for “ashes.”
Marvin — A female English Bulldog named Nellie (who had been adopted from The New York Humane Society) used her acting chops to embody the role of a male dog in the dramatic motion picture Paterson, which starred actor Adam Driver, and her passion for her craft was rewarded in with the coveted Palm Dog Award at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. The name Marvin means “great lord.”
Moreover — Known as Promise in the original 1940 film, Disney’s 1972 remake of The Biscuit Eater tells the tale of a German Wirehaired Pointer, the runt of the litter, who learns how to be a bird dog.
Murphy — Pet parents with a quirky sense of humor may want to call their new canine companion Murphy after the deadly Doberman Pinscher in the 1972 movie They Only Kill Their Masters. The name Murphy means “descendant of sea warrior.”
My Little Darling — Gershwin composed “Walking the Dog (Promenade)” for the 1937 Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers musical comedy Shall We Dance, which played as the tiny paws of a Cairn Terrier followed famous hoofer Rogers as she strolled with her dog on the deck of a luxury ocean liner.
Nana — In the eyes of many Disney devotees, the Saint Bernard is synonymous with the Darling children’s canine caretaker in Peter Pan. A proud pet parent to a Saint Bernard named Porthos at the time he penned the tale about the boy who wouldn’t grow up, J.M. Barrie would later immortalize his dog Luath in the same story by making the character of Nana a Newfoundland in the script for a Peter Pan play. A sweet name for a dog of any breed, the name Nana means “grace” in Hebrew, “Lady” in Swahili and “spring” in Japanese.
Nanook — An Inuit word meaning “polar bear,” Nanook was Sam Emerson’s faithful four-legged friend who helped to vanquish vampires in the 80s comedy/fright flick The Lost Boys. Nanook was played by an Alaskan Malamute called Cody, who would go on to star as Wolf, Byron Sully’s barking buddy in the long-running series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.
Ned — A name meaning “wealthy guardian,” Ned was a spirit dog in the Joel Schumacher-directed horror flick The Number 23.
Nelson — Fans of classic cinema may want to name their new movie binge-watching buddy after the canine character in the 1957 Ava Gardner movie The Little Hut.
Nerak — We would tell you the meaning of the Scottish Terrier’s name in the suspenseful supernatural Disney movie The Watcher in the Woods, but that would be giving away a plot point!
Nevins — The Cat in the Hat may focus on a talking feline, but the comedy based on Dr. Seuss’ children’s book also included the tail-wagging members of Walden family. A terrier mix dubbed Bugsy stepped into the role, while actor Frank Welker provided the pup’s voice. (Fun fact: The 2003 comedy wasn’t the first time that Frank Welker’s voice spoke for a dog from a Dr. Seuss-inspired movie. In 2000 he was the voice of Max, The Grinch’s cute canine sidekick in How the Grinch Stole Christmas.)
Oddball — If you are doggedly devoted to Disney movies, you could name your new pup after one of the dogs from the 1961 animated classic 101 Dalmatians or from the 2000 sequel 102 Dalmatians, which featured a spotless Spot named Oddball.
Odie — A Terrier/Wirehaired Dachshund with a name inspired by a car dealership commercial, is a happy-go-lucky canine in Garfield, which made the leap from newspaper comic strip to both the big and small screen.
Old Dan — The golden retriever in Where The Wild Fern Grows.
Old Drum — Loosely based on the life of a real Rover, The Trial of Old Drum told the tale of a beloved dog who was killed in 1869 for a crime he did not commit. Shot by a neighbor whose sheep had died from a dog attack, Old Drum’s pet parent went all the way to the Missouri Supreme Court to clear the name of his late four-legged friend. The memory of the beloved dog lives on thanks not only in the 2000 TV movie (which features a Golden Retriever in the role of Old Drum) but also to a statue of the hound dog that stands guard outside of the Johnson County Courthouse in Warrensburg, Missouri.
Old Jack — The senior member of the pack of sled dogs who took the movie Eight Below all the way to the number one spot at the box office back in 2006 was actually portrayed by a young Siberian Husky named Apache..
Old Yeller — A Black Mouth Cur named Spike has tugged at the heartstrings of generations of dog lovers with his portrayal of the faithful four-legged friend of the Coates family in the 1957 Disney depiction of author Fred Gipson’s tale. Fans of the Newberry Award-winning story can learn more about the writer who brought Old Yeller to life in his home town of Mason, Texas, where a statue of the fictional Fido stands guard outside of the Mason County M. Beven Eckert Memorial Library.
Ollie — The 1960 Western The Sundowners was nominated for several Academy Awards thanks to the acting talent of Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum, Peter Ustinov…and the talented Australian Kelpie who portrayed the canine companion of Kerr and Mitchum’s characters. The name Ollie means “elf army.”
Otis — A popular name for movie dogs, Otis (a name which means “wealth”) was the moniker of the precocious pug in The Adventures of Milo & Otis and of Bear, the Jack Russell Terrier who starred in the comedy Son of The Mask.
Pard — A dog with acting in his blood, Daisy II– who starred alongside Jack Palance and Shelley Winters in the crime drama I Died Thousand Times— was the puppy progeny of Daisy, the Cocker Spaniel/Poodle/Terrier who starred in the popular Blondie film franchise in the 1940s.
Peek — Joe Pantoliano provided the voice of the Chinese Crested agent in the 2001 comedy Cats & Dogs.
Peirrot — The perfect name for a comical canine, Peirrot (a reference to a pantomime figure) was the name of a Poodle in the 1957 Lauren Bacall/Gregory Peck dramedy Designing Women.
Perdita — Perhaps predicting the peril that her pups would find themselves surrounded by in 101 Dalmatians, the name of the beloved four-legged family member of the Darling household and mother of 15 puppies- means “lost.”
Petey — Our Gang’s barking buddy was portrayed by several tail-wagging thespians in the 1930s and 40s, starting with a Pit Bull known as Pal, The Wonder Dog. Second to step into the role was Lucenay’s Peter, an American Staffordshire Terrier. At the Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park, fans can pay their respects to the Rover who once ruled the silver screen.
Pilot — Although the pen of Charlotte Bronte portrayed him as a Landseer Newfoundland dog, he’s been played by many breeds through the years. For silver screen adaptations of Jane Eyre, directors cast Great Danes in the 1943 and 1970 version of the classic novel. An English Springer Spaniel mix starred alongside Timothy Dalton. In 1996, Franco Zeffirelli chose a Belgian Shepherd to portray Mr. Rochester’s canine companion. A Scottish Deerhound stepped into the role in a version of the novel that starred Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens. In 2011, a Golden Retriever/Labrador Retriever showed off his acting chops. Only in a 1997 British television production have bibliophiles seen Pilot brought to life with the breed that the author imagined.
Poe — A Pit Bull named Screamer portrayed a dog named in honor of Edgar Allen Poe in the 2000 dramedy The Wonder Boys. Screamer’s acting ability can also be seen in the family adventure film Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco.
Pongo — The proud Poppa of 15 pups in 101 Dalmatians.
Poppy — Proving to be a popular name for Chihuahuas in the movies, the name Poppy popped up in the 1996 sci-fi comedy Mars Attacks!, with a tiny-tail-wagger portraying the pup of Sarah Jessica Parker’s character, and in 2008 with a Chihuahua actor named Fizz playing a pup named Poppy in a movie adaptation of the Noel Coward play Easy Virtue.
Porthos — The faithful canine companion of Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie, in Finding Neverland (the 2004 movie based on the writer’s life) the author’s pal with paws was portrayed by a Great Pyrenees rather than a Saint Bernard, the breed of the actual dog. Surprisingly, Barrie did not name his barking buddy after the character in The Three Musketeers. Instead, the name Porthos was inspired by the name of a dog in the novel Peter Ibbetson by author George du Maurier.
Precious — Darla, the Poodle who portrayed killer Buffalo Bill’s pet in Silence of the Lambs, was an accomplished canine actress who also starred in Batman Returns, The ‘Burbs and Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.
Prince — A German Shepherd starred alongside Mary Astor and William Warren in The Case of The Howling Dog, the movie that introduced author Erle Stanley Gardner’s famous defense lawyer Perry Mason to movie audiences in 1934.
Prince Terrien — Paddy, a Havanese, portrayed the mixed breed dog who plays in an imaginary land with friends Jess and Leslie in the movie adaptation of the Newbury Award-winning novel The Bridge to Terabithia.
Puffy — Slammer the Border Terrier starred alongside Cameron Diaz and Ben Stiller in the romantic comedy There’s Something About Mary.
Quark — If you are looking for a science-themed name for Spot, how about the name of the family dog in the Disney hit Honey, I Shrunk the Kids? Portrayed by a Border Terrier, a Rover named Rusty acted in the role in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show.
Rambo — Fans of 80s flicks can go retro with the name Rambo. While many may assume that a dog given the macho moniker was named after Sylvester Stallone’s iconic character, romcom lovers will recognize the name as that of Captain Felix Maxwell’s English Bulldog in Mannequin.
Red Dog — By choosing the feisty color for the name of a new canine companion, pet parents are also naming their dog after an Australian Kelpie who won the hearts of a mining town in the 2011 film Red Dog. Portrayed by a canine called Koko (who made personal appearances in order to raise funds for animal welfare charities), the memory of the real Red Dog lives on thanks to a statue of his likeness that welcomes visitors to Dampier, the Australian community he decided to make his home.
Rin Tin Tin — Perhaps the most noble name on the list, Rin Tin Tin was born in the battlefields of France in World War I. After his rescue by an American soldier, the stout-hearted German Shepherd would go on to be a symbol of courage in a number of films. Rinty’s son Rin Tin Tin III would play a key role in the creation of the US Military Working Dog training program at California’s Camp Hahn in 1939, and his progeny would serve their country as war heroes and even as a member of a search and recovery team at the Pentagon after the attacks of 9/11.
Sam (Samantha) — Portrayed by German Shepherds Abby and Kona, who starred alongside Will Smith in I Am Legend.
Savage Sam — The pup who carries on the legacy of his Pop Old Yeller, a Bluetick Coonhound starred in the 1962 Disney adaptation of Fred Gipson’s novel.
Shep — A German Shepherd named Flame found stardom portraying the title role in the 1946 movie My Dog Shep. The name was also used for the Rough Collie in The Painted Hills, portrayed by none other than Pal (better known as Lassie.)
Snuffy — Danny, a Cairn Terrier, not only shared screen time with Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak in the 1957 Academy Award-nominated musical Pal Joey, he also appeared on the movie’s poster. Danny would also make his mark in Hollywood history with his role as Muffy in the 1959 thriller Anatomy of a Murder.
Sparky — This name seems to have ignited interest in both film maker Tim Burton, who chose the moniker for the reanimated Rover (a Bull Terrier) in Frankenweenie, and by the writers behind the Nora Ephron-directed hit Michael, which not only stars John Travolta, but also a talented Jack Russell Terrier.
Spike — The football term was an apt name for the English Bulldog in The Game Plan, a comedy starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Sci-fi fans will recognize the name as that of the Rottweiler who became a host to a facehugger in Alien 3.
Teddy — A performer with paws who paved the way for other dog actors, Teddy the Great Dane was one of film’s first tail-wagging thespians. Over the course of his nine-year career, the silent screen dog movie star appeared in approximately 60 movies, including The Extra Girl with Mabel Normand, in which he portrayed a pooch also known as Teddy.
Thor — Named after the Norse god of thunder and lightning, Thor– the German Shepherd who plays a prominent role in the 1996 horror flick Bad Moon— was primarily portrayed by a dog actor named Primo.
Toto — Arguably filmdom’s most famous Fido, Dorothy Gale’s tail-wagging travel companion on The Yellow Brick Road in The Wizard of Oz was portrayed by a Cairn Terrier named Terry. A prominent pup in motion pictures during the 1930s, Terry also shared screen time with Spencer Tracy in the film Fury, Shirley Temple in the family-friendly flick Bright Eyes, and even made a cameo appearance alongside Joan Crawford in The Women. Not only does Terry’s memory live on in the pages of I, Toto: The Autobiography of Terry, The Dog Who was Toto, fans can also pay their respects to their favorite dog star with a visit to a life-size bronze sculpture of her likeness at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Tramp — For many dog lovers, the sight of a spaghetti meatball will forever be synonymous with this lovable rapscallion. Beloved by Disney fans since its premiere in 1955, Lady and the Tramp‘s four-pawed protagonist is believed to be a Schnauzer mix. While the original movie showcased the animated antics of Tramp, Lady and their furry friends, in 2019 fans of Fidos had the chance to enjoy the tale acted out in by actual dogs in a Disney made for TV version of Lady and the Tramp, with a two-year-old rescue dog named Monte taking on the role of the male lead.
Truman — Named after the 33rd President of the United States, Truman the sled dog was portrayed by a Siberian Husky in the movie Eight Below.
Underdog — “Never fear, Underdog is here!” A Lemon Beagle named Leo portrayed the comedic, cape-wearing canine crime fighter in the 2007 live-action silver screen homage to the 1960s cartoon.
Valentine — Even if you don’t receive a card or roses, you’ll have a happy Valentine’s Day if you name your dog after the German Shepherd in the 2007 dramedy The Year of the Dog.
Verdell — Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt may have both won Oscars for their roles in the 1997 romantic comedy As Good As It Gets, but Jill–the Brussels Griffon who portrayed Verdell–won the hearts of Fido-loving film fans! The name Verdell means “green” and “growing.” (Here’s a fun fact: Jill lived in the same house as fellow famous Fidos Moose and Enzo, who portrayed Eddie in the hit TV series “Frasier”!)
Wag — Even if you never watch this 2008 comedic British tale of canine reincarnation, the name of the Welsh Springer Spaniel’s character Wag would be a dog name to bring a smile to your face!
White Fang — The Jack London-penned novel about a wolf hybrid has been a popular tale for movies from Tinseltown, starting with the silent 1925 big screen adaptation.
Wilby — Meaning “farmstead,” Wilby was the name of the teenage boy who transformed into an English Sheepdog in the 1959 Disney movie The Shaggy Dog, which was based on the novel The Hound of Florence. (Fun Fact: Disney devotees may have recognized the name when it was used in a 2016 episode of the ABC series Once Upon a Time.)
Wildfire — Not to be confused with the classic equine-themed song by Michael Martin Murphey, Wildfire was the name of a Bull Terrier who tells his tale in the 1955 flick It’s a Dog’s Life.
Winky — One of the canines competing to be named top dog in the 2000 mockumentary Best in Show. Winky was portrayed by a Norwich Terrier.
Winn-Dixie — A pair of rare Picardy Shepherds stepped into the title role in the family-friendly film Because of Winn-Dixie. Based on Newbery Honor-winning children’s novel, the name Winn-Dixie derives from a brand of supermarkets which are common in the Southern states.
Won Ton Ton— Augustus Von Schumacher was the name of the German Shepherd who portrayed a Rover whose popularity rivaled that of Rin Tin Tin in the 1976 comedic ode to the Tinseltown of yesteryear, Won Ton Ton, The Dog Who Saved Hollywood.
Wonder — A mixed breed dog named Woofer co-starred alongside Keith Carradine and Mare Winningham in this 2003 children’s tale.
Yellow— A Yellow Labrador Retriever named Dakotah inhabited the role of a stray dog who saves the boy who befriended him in the 1996 adventure film Far from Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog.
Zero — Jack Skellington’s spectral dog in The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Zowie — An Akita Inu portrayed the zombie dog in the Stephen King-inspired Pet Semetary 2.