For all the dog lovers that can’t get enough of everything dog, Netflix and Amazon Prime has something great to offer. We've gone through every single one to pick out the ones worth watching on your favorite streaming service. So grab a box of treats, roll over on the couch, and check out these 20 best dog documentaries on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
1. Pet Fooled
Released in 2017, Pet Fooled is an enlightening dog documentary that every pet owner needs to watch in its entirety. Focusing on the complete lack of regulation in the pet food industry, this documentary explains how the corporate structure of the pet food industry influences the health of our dogs with their poor knowledge of canine nutrition. If you only watch one of the dog documentaries on Netflix today, make it this one – you’ll be astounded at what you learn and we promise that it’ll change how you feed your dog forever.
2. Secret Life of Dogs
Released in 2013, this dog documentary is part of the BBC Earth series and it takes a look at all of those questions you have ever wondered about when it comes to your dog. From how a dog drinks water using their tongue back to front and how puppies develop such an incredible sense of smell. Using cinematography and CGI animations, this is an interesting documentary that covers a wide range of general knowledge information about man’s best friend.
3. The Champions
Released in 2015, The Champions is among the best dog documentaries on Netflix that follows the lives of pit bulls who were rescued from the infamous Michael Vick’s dog fighting ring and given the opportunity to live the life a dog truly deserves. This is a real tear-jerker of a dog documentary, so have your tissues ready but be prepared to have your heart soar when you see just how forgiving these dogs are once rescued and how much they brought to the lives of their new families.
4. Martin Clunes: A Man and His Dogs
Released in 2008, Martin Clunes: A Man and His Dogs is a series that follows British actor Martin Clunes around the world exploring the ancestry of dogs. Meeting with the wild ancestors of dogs, Clunes learns more about the habits of his own dogs as well as how the bond between dog and man has progressed over time. In the first episode of the dog documentary series, Clunes visits wolves and wild dingoes before going on to visit with exceptionally well-trained border collies who put his own dog to shame in the second episode. I found this to be one of the more educational dog documentaries on Netflix.
5. Death Row Dogs
The Death Row Dogs documentary takes an in-depth look at “dangerous dogs” and the headlines that often spark their discussion focusing on criminal dog fighting rings and the police efforts to shut down these types of operations. I can’t put into words just how I feel about this dog documentary film (hint: it makes most of my family ill and we are proponents of banning breed specific legislation) but since dog fighting is a major problem in society there is some value to this and similar dog documentaries on Netflix in learning how you can help to work against dog-fighting rings wherever you live.
6. Shadow Trade
A word of warning first: this is not a dog documentary for everyone, so be warned that if you are easily upset, this is one to skip and check out other dog documentaries on Netflix listed above or below. Released in 2014, Shadow Trade filmmakers travel to Thailand to take a look at the criminal practice of the illegal dog meat trade. We wish we could give more detail on this one, but it’s a documentary we just couldn’t bring ourselves to watch. If you’re interested in learning more about how events like the Yulin Dog Festival have been so “popular” in the past, however, this documentary may answer a few questions.
7. Dog By Dog
Released in 2015, Dog by Dog is a dog documentary that delves into the “business” of puppy mills and follows the financial connections all the way back to their various sources. What’s surprising and sickening at the same time is that these financial roads lead back to the political bigwigs in Washington and the head honchos in big agriculture. Similar to a few other dog documentaries on Netflix mentioned here, this dog documentary has the feel of a conspiracy theory project, but the information that it uncovers is more shocking than it is unbelievable.
8. Beyond the Myth
Released in 2010, the Beyond the Myth documentary tackles the topic of breed specific legislation and the effect it has had on pit bulls around the world. This dog documentary film looks at how preconceptions resulting from breed-specific legislation has resulted in family pets being taken from their families with no cause. From citywide bans on the breed to the unwarranted execution of family pets, Beyond the Myth is an important movie that reveals the true ignorance behind the idea of B.S.L.
9. Dogs with Jobs
Produced in 2000, this is a much lighter dog documentary series that any dog lover will enjoy. Dogs with Jobs spends each episode looking at two dogs who have jobs and the lives that these pooches lead. Their jobs include being a service dog, police dog, sheepdog, racing dog, cheetah dog, and show dog. Each episode is a quick recap of what each job entails and is a great light-hearted opportunity to enjoy seeing dogs thriving in jobs they excel at! This is a particularly good choice after you've seen some of the heavier dog documentaries on Netflix I've already mentioned above.
10. Through a Dog’s Eyes
Released in 2010, the Through a Dog’s Eyes documentary is a heartwarming film that captures the special bond that develops between service dogs and the people they work with. It's already no secret how beneficial and important service and therapy dogs are for people. But if you’ve ever wanted to know a lot more about service dogs and how they help their humans, or if you simply enjoy experiencing and observing the bond between a canine and their person, this is a don’t miss dog documentary.
11. Sled Dog Soldiers
Released in 2012, the Sled Dog Soldiers documentary follows the 1915 story of two French Army officers whose job was to retrieve 450 sled dogs from Alaska and Canada before they lose access to fresh water and bring them to France. If you’re intrigued by the story like we were, this is an educational and interesting dog documentary that includes a look at how dogs played a role in shaping the end of WWI and is a great accompaniments to a few other dog documentaries on Netflix I've mentioned above.
12. Dog Power
Released in 2017, this is a very short (25 min) dog documentary that takes a look at various “dog powered” sports. While most people are only familiar with the Iditarod, this film covers many more sports that we weren’t even familiar with, including canicross, scooterjoring, skijoring, sled dog racing, cart sled dog racing, and bike-joring. This dog documentary is included and available to watch for free if you're an Amazon Prime member (or on a FREE trial) and I personally found it very interesting. But if you don’t have access to a Prime membership or the free trial, I don’t advise paying an additional fee to view it, because it's just too short and there are better dog documentaries on Netflix that are worth a watch instead.
13. A Dog Named Gucci
Released in 2016, A Dog Named Gucci is an incredible dog documentary and one you are sure to love if you’re a fan of the underdog coming out on top (and who isn't?) The movie follows a dog named Gucci who was set on fire as a puppy but who went on with his adoptive dad to change (or I should say, to create) animal cruelty laws. Similar to a few other dog documentaries on Netflix mentioned above, you will, no doubt, shed a few tears for this little pup Gucci. If you want to know more about how you can make a difference in animal cruelty laws in your home state, this dog documentary is a valuable resource of information as well as an amazing story.
14. Man’s Best Friend
A series released in 2018, Man’s Best Friend is more a series of short clips (1-5 minutes each) that touches on various dog-centered stories. A relatively new dog documentary series, there are currently only six episodes, but all of them are quite interesting. Of all six, my personal favorite is the final episode titled “The Doctor Studying Your Dog’s Brain.” Similar to the Dog Power documentary short film, each of these episodes is so short that I wouldn't advise paying to view this documentary unless you're an Amazon Prime member or have access to FREE trial, which is when it's free for you to view.
15. Hollywood Collection: The Story of Lassie
Released in 2009, this 60-minute dog documentary is a must see for every lover of the legendary TV canine Lassie and the show itself. This interesting movie ties together the real-life Lassie with the television and movie icon, and overall it’s a gentle and enjoyable dog documentary (which you may need if you started with some of the more “raw” dog documentaries on Netflix that I've mentioned earlier in the list).
16. The Road to Yulin and Beyond
Released in 2018, this 32-minute dog documentary isn’t for everyone – in fact, I couldn’t bring myself to watch it all the way to the end – but I hear from my friends who have seen it that this documentary film is one that deserves to be seen. The reason this may be a difficult watch for some is because the documentary shares the Vanderpump Dog Foundation initiative to put an end to the Yulin Dog Meat Festival by exposing the hideous practices of abuse and violence behind it (and yes, they really do show you what's going on in those festivals).
17. Prison Dogs
Released in 2017, the Prison Dogs documentary is one of our favorite dog documentaries not available on Netflix but still on Amazon, simply because it focuses on a message of redemption and positivity. This movie follows one of the many prison dog programs in the country that have prisoners train shelter dogs to provide service to injured veterans. As the dogs learn their duties from their prisoner handlers, the prisoners learn that they can make a positive contribution to society while also having their value reaffirmed in the eyes of a shelter dog.
Released in 2018, Pitbull is another dog documentary that looks at the concept of the “dangerous dog” and how persecutory and unfair breed specific legislation can be, similar to a few other dog documentaries on Netflix I've mentioned above. The 50-minute movie follows a number of families and their beloved pitbulls and focuses on the strength of the bond these dogs and their families develop. I like that this movie fights against breed stereotypes and B.S.L., and I also enjoyed the fact that it spends time highlighting the importance of training (which is important for any dog, obviously).
19. Madonna of the Mills
Released in 2014, this 50-minute dog documentary highlights the story of a Staten Island woman who has dedicated her time to rescuing over 2,000 Amish puppy mill dogs. The Madonna of the Mills movie focuses on four of those dogs who began their lives in hellish circumstances and follows their rehabilitation and treatment through to their happily ever after with the people who adopted them. It's an easy and very heartwarming watch.
20. Adele and Everything After
A few months back, Samantha had Marty Harris, the protagonist of this film, on her podcast. If you're interested in her more personal story and how this dog documentary came about, I highly recommend listening to the podcast episode here.
Released in 2018, this 85-minute dog documentary follows the story of Marty, a young woman who fainted every day as the result of her heart condition. When Marty was matched with her cardiac alert dog, Adele, everything changed for her. This documentary follows the story of Marty and Adele all the way up until Adele’s retirement day – a day that Marty has struggled with facing, but one that she knew was coming. Similar to some other dog documentaries on Netflix mentioned above, you will need tissues for this tale of a spectacular service dog and her handler, but you may also find yourself inspired to look into raising service dog puppies to help other people like Marty (I encourage you to look into it, because it’s incredibly rewarding!)