Reading about and actively supporting dogs indicates a great dedication and passion for our canine friends. It’s great when you can combine two hobbies into one avenue such as becoming involved in charity work for dog organizations. We all know that hobbies that include staying informed, proactive or emotionally connected can be some of the most fulfilling activities in the world. For many people, the art of documentaries — even just watching them —  helps bridge the gap between the emotional and the informed.

If you happen to love watching documentaries, but life myself and love to spend time with your pup, another hobby that combines these two is watching what people are loving called “dogumentaries”.

This weekend, grab some “pupcorn” and spend some time on the sofa watching a dogumentary with your dog.  

Here are a few of our favorite dogumentary films:

1. Dog Man —  The Dick Russell Story

Not many films follow the leaders or activists who’ve helped to spearhead positive changes for the support and well-being of dogs. Dick Russell, an unassuming Louisiana man, is one such person who has helped argue for and promote the socialization and positive reinforcements in the life of every dog. Having trained over 30,000 dogs through his “basic obedience class”, Russell introduces the concept of “large field socialization” to North America before his death. The documentary is both emotional, uplifting, and characteristic of the bond between human and dog.

2. The Secret Life of the Dog

This highly-rated BBC documentary special explores why our bonds with canines are so special. The feature highlights how scientists and researchers are studying dogs and gaining insights more than ever before. The documentary seeks to understand how dogs can understand our emotions and how they can help us gain knowledge of our bodies. Recently, advances in sequencing dog genomes and other studies have helped humans identify genes responsible for causing human cancers and other diseases. When watching this documentary, you can gain a new perspective on how the human/dog relationship controls the hormone that also allows mothers to bond with their children. It’s a powerful look at the rational and emotional symbiotic bonds between us and why they’re so important.

3. Second Chance Dogs

Just as each person has a nuanced life, each job and organization has its intricacies that people often don’t consider. Second Chance Dogs takes a look at the ASPCA’s Behavioral Rehabilitation Center following the stories of stray animals and their journeys to forever homes. If you want to appreciate a feel-good ending while seeing the sometimes harrowing and emotional challenges for these dogs and the people who care for them in the shelter system, then this documentary can shine some much-needed insight.

4. Madonna of the Mills

The synopsis of this 2010 HBO documentary follows Laura F, a Staten Island Office Administrator, and her quest to save over 2,000 dogs from Amish Country puppy mills. Operating a modern underground railroad for these pups, Laura embarks on weekend quests to rescue missions in Pennsylvania. Opening to high reviews, Madonna of the Mills is a compassionate film that details the journeys of four dogs from the time their saved, the healing process until they’re adopted by their forever families. This documentary will definitely inspire you to help abused dogs and other animals in any way possible.

5. Mine

Do you ever worry or wonder what happens to the pets and animals when a natural disaster strikes a thriving community? Mine is a documentary that addresses the destinies of dogs who were separated from their owners during Hurricane Katrina. During this documentary hurricane victims try to reunite with their lost pets to find they’ve been adopted out of the city. The heartwarming tale is a redemptive and powerful healing story that highlights the importance of animals in times of crisis and during one of America’s most devastating natural disasters ever.

There are plenty of films that offer insight into the lives, abilities, and emotions of dogs. That’s why many of us at the Eddie Croman Foundation love hearing and seeing powerful stories that give meaning to our lives and the work we do. These films can help inspire us to take the necessary action to support canines every day. What’s your favorite film on the list? Happy dog-watching!