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16 Dog Christmas Movies to Watch During the Holidays (2024 Guide)

Written by: Chantelle Fowler

Last Updated on April 22, 2024 by Dogster Team

A girl in a Santa Claus hat and 3D glasses is sitting on the couch with a beagle dog

16 Dog Christmas Movies to Watch During the Holidays (2024 Guide)

There’s nothing better during the holiday season than snuggling on the couch with your kids or dogs as snowflakes float silently to the ground outside your window. The Christmas tree adds a cozy glow to your space, and the hot chocolate in your mug warms you from the inside out. Add a Christmas movie to the mix, and you’ve got yourself a near-perfect evening.

We’ve rounded up 16 of the best holiday-themed movies that feature dogs as one of the main characters. Whether you want to watch something fun and animated to clear your head of the holiday stress or a more serious movie with meaningful lessons, we have you covered.

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Top 16 Dog Christmas Movies

1. Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws

Runtime: 1h 29m
Release date: November 24, 2009
Streaming on: Disney+

Santa Buddies is one of many Disney “Buddies” movies, alongside the wildly popular Air Bud collection.

At the North Pole, Santa Claus and his canine pal Santa Paws discover that the magical Christmas Icicle is meeting because no one has any holiday spirit anymore. If the icicle keeps melting, Christmas will disappear forever. At the same time this crisis is happening, Santa Paws’ son, Puppy Paws, wishes for Christmas to disappear so he can get away from the North Pole and be a normal puppy. Puppy Paws sneaks a peek at Santa’s naughty list to scout out the perfect dog who can teach him how to be an ordinary puppy. He runs away to meet up with Budderball, one of the many Golden Retrievers this franchise is known for.

This movie may be better suited for slightly older children as some potentially scary scenes take place in a dog pound.

2. Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure

Runtime: 1h 30m
Release date: November 8, 2011
Streaming on: Available to buy on multiple platforms

The Beethoven movies are one of those classic 1990s flicks that all Millennials saw and loved growing up. There are actually nine movies total in the series. If you want to share your love of Beethoven with your littles this holiday season, Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure is a good place to start if you don’t want to go with the 1992 original.

As with the previous movies in this franchise, this holiday movie revolves around the antics of a Saint Bernard, Beethoven. A Christmas elf takes off in Santa’s sleigh and crash lands in a small, losing the magical toy bag in all the commotion. With the entire holiday now at risk of being canceled, the elf, a young boy, and Beethoven work together to save Christmas and learn some important lessons along the way.

Parents should note that there is a “there’s no Santa Claus” narrative at the beginning of the movie.

3. The 12 Dogs of Christmas

Runtime: 1h 42m
Release date: November 1, 2006
Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video, Plex, Tubi TV, Cineverse

The 12 Dogs of Christmas is set during the Great Depression. It tells the story of a young girl, Emma, who’s forced to live with an aunt in a small town. Upon her arrival, Emma is shocked to find that her new home has a law that forbids residents from owning dogs. Emma rescues a small dog from being caught and eventually devises a plan with the owner of a nearby dog sanctuary to teach the residents of the town the true meaning of Christmas.

4. An All Dogs Christmas Carol

Runtime: 1h 30m
Release date: November 17, 1998
Streaming on: Hoopla, Tubi TV

An All Dogs Christmas Carol is an animated musical television special based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol novella. It follows three dogs as they try to save Christmas from an evil spirit who wants to ruin the holiday for the children in an orphanage.

5. I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown

Runtime: 49m
Release date: December 9, 2003
Streaming on: Apple TV+

I Want a Dog for Christmas Charlie Brown is a prime-time animated TV special first released on ABC in 2003. It follows Linus and Lucy’s younger brother Rerun, who, as you may suspect from the special’s title, wants a dog for Christmas. He believes that having a pet will make him feel better about being treated unfairly by his older siblings. However, his mother objects to him adopting a pet, so he spends some time playing with Charlie Brown’s dog, Snoopy. Rerun finds out that Snoopy has a brother named Spike and instantly becomes interested in adopting him.

Kids will find Rerun’s obsessive “I want!” syndrome is extremely relatable.

6. How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Runtime: 1h 45m
Release date: November 17, 2000
Streaming on: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is less about dogs than some of the other holiday movies on our list. However, the Grinch’s dog, Max, plays an undeniably critical role in the movie, so we had to include it in our list. The movie is based on the 1957 Dr. Seuss classic children’s book and is the second big-screen adaptation after the animated 1966 TV special with the same name.

The book and subsequent films center on the Grinch, a green creature who lives in a cave on a mountain with his dog Max. It is Max’s unwavering loyalty that teaches the Grinch true companionship and, eventually, holiday spirit.

7. A Charlie Brown Christmas

Runtime: 30m
Release date: December 9, 1965
Streaming on: Apple TV+

One of the oldest movies on our list, A Charlie Brown Christmas, was actually an animated television special that first debuted on CBS in 1965. At the time, Peanuts was a daily American comic strip that had become a worldwide phenomenon.

This holiday classic follows Charlie Brown, who’s upset about the commercialization of Christmas. While it isn’t as dog-centric as other options on our list, Snoopy does play an integral role in the movie.

8. The Search for Santa Paws

Runtime: 1h 36m
Release date: November 23, 2010
Streaming on: Disney+

The Search for Santa Paws is an adventure fantasy film and yet another addition to the Air Bud franchise. It also acts as a prequel for Santa Buddies. When Santa has his memory ripped from him after getting hit by a cab in New York City, it’s up to his talking dog, a team of elves, and two children to help rescue him.

Parents should know that the film has some intense scenes that could be scary for young or sensitive viewers.

9. A Golden Christmas

Runtime: 1h 35m
Release date: December 13, 2009
Streaming on: Not currently available for streaming

A Golden Christmas is a made-for-TV romance movie that centers around a recently widowed woman named Jesse who returns to her parent’s home for the holidays. Jesse has many fond memories of their home, especially concerning a particular summer when she and a little boy were brought together by a very special pup. Jesse learns that her parents have decided to sell the house and decides to buy the home as a Christmas surprise for her son. However, she discovers her parents have already sold the house to the very same person she spent that special summer with all those years ago.

10. A Doggone Christmas

Runtime: 1hr 22m
Release date: November 1, 2016
Streaming on: Tubi TV

A Doggone Christmas is a children’s film centering around an orphaned Jack Russell Terrier with telepathic abilities. When the government finds out about the pup’s skills, they try to capture him to use him as a secret weapon. Fate allows him to escape the evil clutches of Washington and puts him in the arms of two brothers right before Christmas. Of course, the FBI isn’t going to give up on their secret weapon that easily.

11. A Dog Named Christmas

Runtime: 1h 35m
Release date: November 29, 2009
Streaming on: Hoopla

A Dog Named Christmas is a Hallmark movie that follows a young man named Todd, who has developmental challenges and a penchant for caring for animals in need. Todd launched an “Adopt a Dog for Christmas” program at his local animal shelter and has his heart set on welcoming home a pup himself. Unfortunately, Todd’s father has a strong “no adoption” policy, but will Todd’s persistence pay off?

12. Project: Puppies for Christmas

Runtime: 1h 33m
Release date: May 14, 2019
Streaming on: Not currently available for streaming

Project: Puppies for Christmas is a heartwarming film that centers on Peyton and Alex, two best friends who met at the hospital when both of their mothers died of cancer. The girls visit a pet store and realize they both have a profound desire to adopt a puppy. Unfortunately, owning a pet is not within either family’s financial reach, but the girls have a plan up their sleeve.

13. 3 Holiday Tails

Runtime: 1h 28m
Release date: November 15, 2011
Streaming on: Noovo

3 Holiday Tails is a made-for-TV movie that centers on old flames reuniting and sparks reigniting. Unfortunately, the man in the equation is already engaged to another woman, but a recently retired married couple with a Golden Retriever may have something to say about that. The couple, their dog, and the woman’s three puppies all work in partnership to bring the couple back together.

14. The Search for Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups

Runtime: 1h 28m
Release date: November 20, 2012
Streaming on: Disney+

If you can believe it, we have yet another Airbuds franchise movie. The Search for Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups is a sequel focusing on a group of all new canine stars that stow away on Mrs. Claus’s sled. When the Christmas spirit begins to disappear, these mischievous pups must work together and race to save Christmas.

15. Santa Stole Our Dog: A Merry Doggone Christmas!

Runtime: 1h 34m
Release date: November 21, 2017
Streaming on: Available to buy/rent on multiple platforms

Santa Stole Our Dog: A Merry Doggone Christmas! is a Canadian-made film that is said to take place in the Yukon. When Santa Claus accidentally steals the Whitehaven’s family dog, the family must travel to the North Pole to get their pup back.

16. Lady and the Tramp

Runtime: 1h 16m
Release date: June 22, 1955
Streaming on: Disney+

Lady and the Tramp is a great Disney movie to watch at any time of the year, but we particularly like the final scenes that take place over Christmas. This foundational Disney classic is about a prim and proper Cocker Spaniel (Lady) whose cozy and comfortable life fades away when her owners have a human baby. She meets a streetwise Mutt (Tramp) who comes to her rescue. As the two mismatched pups fall for each other, viewers are left to wonder whether their divergent lifestyles will allow a romantic pairing to take place successfully.

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We hope this list has gotten you in the holiday spirit. No matter the season, sometimes it is nice to curl up and watch a Christmas film. Which one have you seen before? Was there a new one on this list that interests you? We think you will enjoy all the ones on this list. Happy watching!

Featured Image Credit: Viktorya Telminova, Shutterstock

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