Documentaries are becoming a popular genre for binge-watching people all over the world. Reality-TV shows are taking a side-seat, and movies are generating lukewarm responses, but documentaries, these days, are getting high praise from millions of armchair critics.
With compelling content on informative topics, documentaries give us a glimpse into another world. It's not surprising that various documentaries chronicle the trials, tribulations, and inspiring stories of man's best friend.
What makes a great dog documentary?
While our list is relatively small compared to the vast number of dog documentaries out there, these gems are certainly worth viewing.
If you finish watching all the dog documentaries we've suggested, here are some things to look for that make an excellent documentary:
Who is the producer? - Powerhouses tend to make the best documentaries. There is a level of filmmaking required to make this type of film compelling.
Look for documentaries produced by National Geographic, BBC, and even PBS, for quality content about dogs. Netflix is also a place to look for an abundance of shows for dogs and shows about dogs.
Quality over quantity - It is seen time and time again. Many documentaries run a bit too long. They are filling the time quota but falling short on quality.
There are some exceptions, like binge-watching a five-part mini-documentary series, but most of the best documentary content exists in films that are under 90 minutes long.
- Judge a book by its cover - When you are looking for an animal show, look for cover art that makes you pause. If the producers took care to create the cover art, the documentary's content is more likely to be great.
10 Of the best dog documentaries
Get Fluffy settled in their doggy bed, make some popcorn, switch on your TV, and start looking for these gems both you and your furry friend will love to watch.
Can dogs see tv? Surprisingly, the answer is yes, so go ahead, settle in with your best friend for some dog documentary binge-watching. To make sure your doggie can join you on the bed for a night of doggie movies, invest in a bed ramp for dogs!
With great movies like A Dog’s Purpose, Netflix is a good choice for documentaries as well. Make it a dog TV, Netflix night!
#1. Pet Fooled (2017)
Dogs need quality food to stay healthy. This documentary takes a look into the corporate world of pet food and their influence on dogs' health. Pet Fooled deals with several issues surrounding this industry.
Focusing on the lack of nutrition in pet food today, you'll want to watch this over and over. Informative and sometimes shocking, Pet Fooled gives you so much insight that it will affect your future dog food buying decisions.
#2. Secret Life of Dogs (2013)
Part of the BBC Earth series, Secret Life of Dogs digs deep into all the questions anyone has ever had about their furry friend. Diving into topics like "how a dog drinks water" and "puppies and their sense of smell," this documentary is a must-watch!
Secret Life of Dogs is a high-quality produced documentary that uses CGI and compelling storytelling. It gives the viewer a ton of knowledge and information about their furry friend.
#3. The Champions (2015)
The Champions is possibly one of the best dog documentaries available on Netflix. It focuses on dogs from the fighting ring and follows Pit Bulls rescued from fighting rings in New York.
Once rescued, these dogs enjoy a new life away from the violence. Netflix does an excellent job of not leaving a dry eye in the house as viewers watch the pups enjoy new lives in the loving arms of family life. This is a beautiful and touching documentary.
#4. Martin Clunes: A Man and His Dogs (2008)
This documentary follows British Actor Martin Clunes as he travels the world uncovering the ancestry of dogs. As Clunes meets ancestral dogs, he shares what he learns and compares it to the habits of his own dogs.
This documentary explores the bond between science, dog, man, and how the species has evolved. Clunes' journey takes him into the company of wild wolves and dingoes and the lives of today's domesticated dogs.
Informative and educational, this movie will have you contemplating your dog's origins.
#5. Death Row Dogs (2012)
An in-depth look into the horrors of the dog fighting ring, Death Row Dogs focuses on the dogs, and the measures law enforcement takes to shut these operations down.
It is not an easy documentary to watch, as it shows the breeds most affected by the fight and what happens to them. However, it is a valuable tool to help people learn what they can do to help stop this appalling situation.
#6. Shadow Trade (2014)
This might be the hardest documentary to watch, and it comes with a warning for the graphic nature of the content. The Shadow Trade Filmmakers expose the criminal nature of the illegal dog meat trade in Thailand in this documentary. It is tough to watch.
This documentary will answer some questions if you are interested in learning more about the famous Yulin Dog Festival. However, we must repeat that it is a terrifyingly brutal watch.
#7. Dog By Dog (2015)
Another hard-to-watch documentary, Dog By Dog, takes the viewer on a journey through the puppy mill industry. Set in the tone of a conspiracy film, Dog By Dog touches on some fundamental aspects of the trade. It is informative and educates the viewer about the corruption of these industries.
It also exposes their ties to the politicians in Washington and the large corporate agricultural sector. A shocking, hard-to-believe film at times, Dog By Dog will have you wondering and asking questions you've never thought of before.
#8. Beyond the Myth (2010)
A documentary that tackles legislation for specific breeds and focuses on Pit Bulls. It uncovers the breed-specific legislation that causes dogs to be taken away from their families and has even caused family pets to be killed.
This movie is a must for dog lovers and even more so for those who wish to learn more about Pit Bulls.
#9. Dogs with Jobs (2000)
For a lighter dog documentary, Dogs with Jobs is a documentary series that any dog lover will love. Each episode explores two dogs with jobs such as service dogs, police dogs, sheepherders, racing dogs, and more.
It is a light-hearted and touching quick peek at dogs that enjoy and love the work they do and how they spend their time working and enjoying life. So get ready to feel the feels with this one!
#10. Through a Dog's Eyes (2010)
We love our dogs. Videos like this one on our list explore the strong bond and love between service dogs and their human co-workers.
We've all seen these dogs in the line of service or as therapy dogs. But, if you have ever been interested in learning more about the role these dogs play in their service to us, Through a Dog's Eye is it.
This documentary goes much deeper than just what duties the dogs perform; it explores the unbreakable bond between human and dog in an endearing and feel-good film.
'Watchdog' has a whole new meaning!
Dog documentaries, dog movies, and dog TV series tug at the heartstrings. Some shock and horrify us, others fill our hearts with joy, and we may even shed a few tears while we watch dog documentaries.
These animal shows on Netflix and other platforms allow us to venture deeper into the world of dogs by examining their lives, jobs, hardships, and situations, both kind and violent. As viewers, we walk away with an added appreciation for our furry friends.