Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Russell nipping at your toes. Yuletide howls being sung by rottweilers, and corgs dressed up in human clothes. Whether you’re traveling or staying put for the holidays, you can enjoy one of these canine Christmas heroes. These twelve pups prove that dogs make Christmas movies better!
The Bumpus Hounds from A Christmas Story
Mr. Bumpus was that neighbor in A Christmas Story who probably had more dogs than what was legal. As dog lovers, we don’t blame the guy. The Bumpus Hounds notoriously snuck into Ralphie’s house and demolished the Christmas turkey, causing his family to opt for a Chinese take-out dinner.
Zero from Nightmare Before Christmas
Everyone’s favorite Halloween-Christmas hybrid has an oft-forgot hero, Zero! Zero is Jack Skellington’s number one comrade in Nightmare Before Christmas. While Zero is at home in the land of Halloween, we think his “very shiny nose” would make a great addition to Santa’s sleigh.
Max from How the Grinch Stole Christmas
We can’t forget Whoville’s favorite mutt, Max! Without him, the Grinch would have never been able to pull off his Santa shtick. We like to think that Max was the real reason behind the Grinch’s big change of heart.
Barney from Gremlins
Even if Barney did demolish Mrs. Deagle’s snowman, her salty attitude and cruel proposal on how she would kill Barney makes us think she totally deserved it. He later befriends the gremlin Gizmo, who is sort of like a Furby-Brussels Griffon hybrid, and they get into much mischief together. (And yes, Gremlins counts on this list of Christmas movies)
Snoopy from A Charlie Brown Christmas
Snoopy is the only four-legged friend in the Peanuts gang and the only beagle we’ve ever seen play such a mean guitar. And while Charlie Brown might think that nobody loves him, we know Snoopy has unconditional love for his human counterpart.
Fluffy from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Based on the Greek myth of Cerberus, Fluffy is Hagrid’s pet dog. Though he’s supposed to guard the forbidden area on the third floor of Hogwarts, Fluffy’s foil is his inability to resist falling asleep to music. Harry uses the flute that Hagrid gave him for Christmas to lull Fluffy to sleep, so he totally counts as a Christmas doggo… or three.
The puppies from Lady & the Tramp
After their flourishing springtime love, Lady and Tramp are greeted with the Christmas miracle of babies! This ending scene perfectly captures the mischief of young pups and the feeling of love and family that we all long for around the holidays.
Goofy Marley from Disney’s A Christmas Carol
For those of us who were shown A Christmas Carol as children, we might recall Goofy playing Jacob Marley, who comes to warn Ebenezer Scrooge about the consequences of his greed and, well, Scrooginess.
Beethoven from Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure
Because it wouldn’t be a movie franchise without a Christmas spin, our favorite St. Bernard from the ’90s made a comeback in 2011 with Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure. In this Christmas flick, Beethoven must use his super-dog smelling senses to find Santa’s lost toy bag and save Christmas from peril.
The rottweiler from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Another mutt that foils an already dysfunctional Christmas Dinner, this rottweiler is famous for “yakking on a bone” and spearheading the squirrel chase that tears apart the Griswold family house. Unfortunately, this movie probably contributed to the negative stereotyping against rottweilers, but sometimes a dog just can’t resist a chase.
Rowlf from A Muppets Christmas Carol
Rowlf was featured as the pianist at Fozzwig’s party in this rendition of the classic Christmas tale. He has also appeared in several Muppets Christmas specials. Not be forgotten: Rowlf’s cameo playing keyboard during The Roots’ performance of “Twelve Days of Christmas” on Jimmy Fallon’s Christmas Special.
Paws from The Search for Santa Paws
After Santa is struck by an NYC taxi and loses his memory, Paws comes to the rescue. Because Santa is unable to deliver all the Christmas presents, Paws teams up with some elves and a group of orphans to save Christmas.
These dogs prove that sometimes, you need a little extra puppy love to make Christmas movies all the more magical. Did we forget any of your favorite doggie Christmas movie heroes? Comment below!