From fluffy little Poodles to huge huggable Saint Bernards, dogs have always been man’s best friend and, apparently, Hollywood’s as well. In the world of romantic comedies, canines have been used as a source of comic relief, as wingmen, and sometimes even as matchmakers.
The fluffy and adorable pets often steal the spotlight from their human counterparts and add an extra level of cuteness and heart to these movies. They have not only made us laugh and cry but also reminded us of the true meaning of unconditional love. So, grab some popcorn, and get ready to fall in love with our favorite canine co-stars all over again!
Whether you’re a dog lover or simply appreciate the value of a good rom-com, these top 12 dogs in romantic comedies are sure to melt your heart with their cuteness and make you root for the lead characters’ happily ever after.
Krull: Chinese Crested from “How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days”
Krull, the lovable Chinese Crested, made a memorable appearance in the 2003 romantic comedy classic, “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” This quirky and endearing pooch stole our hearts with his unique appearance and irresistible personality. He played a significant role in the movie, serving as the faithful companion to Andie Anderson, portrayed by Kate Hudson.
Andie, a talented writer for a women’s magazine, takes on the challenge of an article about how to lose a guy in 10 days. To accomplish this, she dates Benjamin Barry, played by Matthew McConaughey, with the intention of driving him away. Andie’s antics, as she tries everything from redecorating his apartment to taking him to a Celine Dion concert, provide plenty of comedic moments.
Krull’s presence in the film adds a layer of humor and charm to Andie’s antics. He accompanies her on these absurd and comical escapades, often looking bewildered by the chaos surrounding him. His expressions and reactions are priceless, and his loyalty to Andie is heartwarming.
Brinkley: Golden Retriever from “You’ve Got Mail”
While he may not have been the leading star in the timeless rom-com featuring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, Brinkley, the Golden Retriever, played an essential role as Joe’s (Hanks’) loyal confidant and trusty sidekick. From being the center of the movie’s eponymous email exchanges to being by Joe’s side during his endless waits for AOL to notify him he’s “got mail,” Brinkley’s character brought humor and heart to the film. However, Brinkley’s role goes beyond mere companionship, as he is ultimately the character who plays a crucial role in bringing Joe and Kathleen (Ryan) together in the film’s memorable finale.
Bruiser Woods: Chihuahua from “Legally Blonde”
In “Legally Blonde,” Bruiser Woods, the Chihuahua makes his appearance during Elle Woods” (Reese Witherspoon’s) college days. Elle, reeling from a breakup with her boyfriend, Warner Huntington III, receives an uplifting surprise from her sorority sisters in the form of Bruiser. This pint-sized pup quickly ingrains himself in Elle’s life, becoming her steadfast and devoted companion throughout her journey.
Bruiser’s role in the film is much more than cute comedic relief; he symbolizes Elle’s determination, resilience, and boundless love. Often unwittingly drawn into Elle’s legal escapades, Bruiser steals every scene he’s in. His unwavering loyalty and endearing personality have endeared him to fans, making him a cherished character throughout the series.
Kevin: American Eskimo from “The Proposal”
Inarguably one of the greatest rom-coms of all time is the 2009 movie, “The Proposal.” Despite boasting an all-star cast featuring Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, and Betty White, it was the lovable little white dog in the romantic comedy who truly captured our hearts.
Playing the role of Kevin, the American Eskimo, were four incredibly talented canine actors, including Sitka, Winter, Nanu, and Flurry. Each of these fluffy pups had the honor of bringing Kevin to life on the big screen.
But it was Flurry who really stole the spotlight. In one of the movie’s most unforgettable moments, tiny Kevin (as played by Flurry) is swept away by a giant eagle! Luckily, the bird of prey drops the adorable pup, opting instead to steal Margaret’s (Sandra Bullock’s) cell phone. Margaret then offers Kevin up to the sky as a sacrifice in exchange for her device. This nerve-wracking yet memorable scene proved that dogs an act with the best of them.
Mother Teresa: Newfoundland from “Must Love Dogs”
We’re no strangers to the “middle-life crisis after a divorce” trope in the romantic comedy genre, but “Must Love Dogs” stood out amongst the cliché due to the introduction of Mother Teresa — a faithful and understanding Newfoundland. Sarah, the main protagonist portrayed by Diane Lane, relied heavily on Mother Teresa’s approval in order to find the courage to move forward with her romantic journey. It’s astonishing how sometimes our furry companions are able to understand our true selves better than we do.
Arthur: Jack Russel Terrier from “Beginners”
While “Beginners” may not be a traditional romantic comedy, it’s a film that beautifully captures the complexities of life and the power of the human-animal bond. At the heart of this poignant story is Arthur, the Jack Russell Terrier who plays a vital role in connecting the characters and adding depth to the narrative.
In the film, Arthur is introduced as a lovable but grieving pup. He has lost his human parent (portrayed by the late Christopher Plummer), to cancer, leaving behind a void of sadness and loneliness. Ewan McGregor’s character, Oliver, is then forced to adopt Arthur, and in doing so, their journey of healing and connection begins.
What makes Arthur’s presence in “Beginners” so touching is the meaningful bond he forms with Oliver, grounded in the shared tragedy of losing a loved one. The passing of Oliver’s father becomes the catalyst for their relationship, as both human and canine grapple with the profound loss they’ve endured.
Through the use of subtitles, Arthur “talks” to Oliver, or rather, Oliver projects what he imagines Arthur is thinking and feeling. This clever narrative device allows McGregor’s character to maintain an ongoing dialogue with his faithful pet about the person they both loved and deeply miss.
Marley: Yellow Labrador Retriever from “Marley & Me”
If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s a good time when Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, and an adorable pup share the spotlight. “Marley & Me” tells the story of a furry friend who appears innocent enough, but quickly proves to be a wild, energetic creature that devours anything in his path.
John and Jennie decide to bring Marley, a Yellow Labrador Retriever, into their home for companionship, but they have no idea the chaos he will cause, challenging their relationship at every turn. Despite the hurdles, in the end, Marley’s antics bring the family closer together, proving that sometimes the craziest things can also be the most rewarding.
Hooch: French Mastiff, from “Turner & Hooch”
When Scott Turner, an impeccably neat cop unexpectedly adopts a slobbery dog with a penchant for saliva showers, the result is cinematic gold. Especially when Tom Hanks takes on the role of that cop. Thanks to Hooch, the French Mastiff, Turner crosses paths with Emily. Initially indifferent to her, Scott’s perspective shifts as his newfound furry friend develops an affinity for Emily’s pooch. As the story unfolds, Scott and Emily’s connection deepens, blossoming into a romantic relationship, and their family grows with the addition of many new, tiny paws.
Bart: Anatolian Shepherd from “Kate & Leopold”
As the loyal companion of Stuart Besser — an amateur physicist and great‑great‑grandson of Hugh Jackman’s character Leopold — Bart, the Anatolian Shepherd, contributes both comedic and heartwarming moments, responding to Stuart’s actions with endearing charm. Later in the film, Bart unwittingly triggers chaos by pulling Leopold into a wild chase through city streets. Bart’s escapades mirror the film’s theme of serendipity, serving as a symbol of the unpredictable nature of love and becoming more than just a sidekick, but a cherished character in his own right.
Verdell: Brussels Griffon from “As Good As It Gets”
In 1997, director James L. Brooks brought us the critically acclaimed romantic comedy-drama film “As Good As It Gets.” While the human characters certainly hold their own, there is no denying that the true star of the show is the one and only Verdell — a Brussels Griffon pup with a personality bigger than his little frame.
Verdell is nothing short of a scene-stealer, charming audiences with his adorableness and heartwarming presence. But he is not simply a cute addition to the film. In fact, he plays a pivotal role in the development of Jack Nicholson’s character, Melvin Udall. At first, Melvin seems to be the last person on earth who would appreciate the company of a little dog. However, as Verdell’s love and affection begin to wear away at his grumpy exterior, Melvin embarks on a journey of self-discovery and transformation.
Thanks to the impact of this precious little pooch, “As Good As It Gets” becomes more than just a run-of-the-mill rom-com. It’s a story about the transformative power of love, both for others and for oneself.
Jack: Portuguese Podengo from “The Lake House”
Jack, the Portuguese Podengo from “The Lake House,” rightfully earns a spot in the top 12 dog characters in romantic comedies. He serves as a charming and symbolic narrative device in the film, bridging the gap between the years 2004 and 2006, and uniting the film’s protagonists, Kate (Sandra Bullock) and Alex (Keanu Reeves). Named after a character from their first film together, “Speed,” Jack’s paw prints on the front door become a touchingly sweet element of their correspondence. This loyal canine embodies the magical romance at the heart of the movie, making him an unforgettable and delightful character in the world of romantic comedies.
Puffy: Border Terrier from “There’s Something About Mary”
Cameron Diaz and Ben Stiller light up the screen in this rom-com that has secured a special spot in the hearts of fans. Brace yourself for non-stop laughter and pure comedic gold, because this movie is a gut-buster from beginning to end. The chemistry between Stiller and Diaz is truly unparalleled, making them the ultimate dynamic duo.
And of course, there’s also a pint-sized pup in the mix — a cute and furry little guy who resembles a Border Terrier, although his breed is never confirmed. Don’t be fooled by his innocent appearance though — this dog packs a punch in the romantic comedy! From taking down Diaz’s shady ex-boyfriend to being flung out a window, this fierce little ball of fur steals the show and provides non-stop entertainment, cementing his status as an iconic movie animal.
Why we love dogs in romantic comedies
These charming dogs in romantic comedies have proven to be endearing additions to these films. Whether they serve as the catalyst for love or add a dose of humor, these pooches have an innate ability to tug at our heartstrings and leave us feeling warm and fuzzy inside. Their presence reminds us that love and companionship can come from the most unexpected places and in the form of the most unlikely creatures. So, the next time you settle down to watch a romantic comedy, keep an eye out for the four-legged friend that just might steal the show.