Dogs are man’s best friends. We enjoy their company in tough times, and we build a lot of memories with their presence. Their impact on our lives is immeasurable, which is perhaps why a lot of artists include dogs in their songs.
If you ever wondered if there are songs out there talking about our canine friends, we’ve got you covered. We prepared a list of the best country songs about dogs that you should add to your playlist!
Country Songs About Dogs
1. “Gypsy, Joe, And Me” by Dolly Parton
The story of this song is rather dark and unfortunate. It’s about a girl who lived with her boyfriend and her dog. They wandered endlessly for they were broke and homeless. Gypsy, the dog in the story, was hit by a car and died afterward. Her boyfriend then caught pneumonia and died on a cold winter night.
Because of these tragedies, the girl decided that her life is not worth living anymore and that her miseries will haunt her forever, so she jumped off a bridge. Parton is such a cheerful person, and for her to write tragic songs is perhaps where she plays out some of her afterthoughts.
2. “Cracker Jack” by Dolly Parton
This song is about the time Dolly Parton rescued a stray dog named “Cracker Jack” who turned out to be her best friend during childhood. She was surprised by how dogs love their owners unconditionally that they leave a huge hole in someone’s heart when they’re gone.
In her book called Songteller, Parton says that she loves dogs, and even though they don’t have the same lifespan as humans, dogs can live in memories of the people they’ve touched and loved. She further explained that you can tell pets anything you want, and they won’t tell anyone about it.
“Cracker Jack” received a Netflix adaptation in 2019 on an episode in a series called Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings.
3. “Like My Dog” by Billy Currington
This song was written by Scotty Emerick, who also used to perform it in different parts of the country during songwriters’ nights. It’s a comedic take on how the persona wants his girlfriend to learn more from his dog on how to deal with him, or maybe even love him.
“He never tells me that he’s sick of this house
He never says, ‘why don’t you get off that couch?’
He don’t cost me nothin’ when he wants to go out
I want you to love me like my dog”
Billy Currington wanted it to be on his album so bad but a lot of the people he works with were against it. He wasn’t able to include it at first because he had another song that needs to be on the album. However, on his next album, he presented it again to his team, and just like before, they were against it.
Currington didn’t mind so he went on ahead and recorded it. He even included a howl at the end of the song to be funny. Well, we guess he had the last laugh on that one.
4. “Can’t Be Replaced” by Dierks Bentley
Dierks Bentley wrote this song to give us a sentimental take on what really matters in life. It’s those things that “Can’t Be Replaced.” It talks about all the ups and downs you experience in relationships.
The song starts with Bentley talking about his Levi jacket that he lost. It is then followed by the chorus and a few more topics about things that can’t be replaced. Towards the end of the song, Bentley talks about his dog named Jake and how the dog was with him through different stages of his life.
“For fifteen years right by my side
From a single man to three kids and a wife
Friends come and ago, but when it comes to Jake
There’s just some things that can’t be replaced”
Bentley explained that some people might find it silly to be so sentimental about a dog, but he said that for him, it’s very important.
5. “Maggie’s Song” by Chris Stapleton
In 2019, Chris Stapleton had to say goodbye to their family dog named Maggie. She passed away at the age of 14. The day after her death, Stapleton wrote this song to pay tribute to their beloved canine friend.
The song talks about the family’s entire journey with Maggie. They found her in a shopping cart where the previous owner abandoned her. They brought her home and took care of her. When they had to move to a new house, they brought Maggie with them and protected their kids.
The latter parts of the song talk about how Stapleton had to bid farewell to Maggie. It was a rainy day on a Monday morning, and Maggie just couldn’t use her legs anymore. She laid her head on Stapleton’s hand who told her she was a good dog before finally saying goodbye.
Stapleton says that he always finds it hard to sing the song because he almost always cries when performing it.
6. “I’ll Name The Dogs” by Blake Shelton
The lyrics of this song are pretty straightforward, just as what the persona wants to be while talking to his lover. It’s basically about being in love with someone and finding joy in the naivete or bliss of a domestic partnership.
“You name the babies,
and I’ll name the dogs”
If you love those lyrics, you should watch the music video, too. It consists of clips where a groom and a bride are preparing for their wedding day, and what could possibly be the best part? There are several cute and adorable dogs in the video, too.
7. “Ol’ Red” by George Jones
“Ol’ Red” tells the story of a prisoner who had to take care of a bloodhound dog named Red. Red is very good at sniffing all sorts of things, especially prisoners who escape. So, when the persona in the song was tasked to take care of Red, which includes taking the dog for a walk, he came up with a plan to escape.
He called his cousin to bring a Bluetick Coonhound somewhere south of the prison. Every day, the persona would bring Red south to meet the Bluetick Coonhound. He then stopped bringing Red for three or four days. Eventually, he made a run for it to escape the prison.
Red wanted to see the Bluetick Coonhound so the dog ran south. However, the persona ran north to avoid being chased by Red, and he escaped successfully.
“Ol’ Red” was covered by other artists including Blake Shelton and Kenny Rogers.
11. “Tennessee Hound Dog” by Osborne Brothers
This song is a tribute to a “Tennessee Hound Dog” named Romeo. Even though he’s ugly, old, and a has-been, he’s still agile when he stretches his legs out. Additionally, Romeo is also very enthusiastic with the ladies, and he often regains all his energy back when he sees one walk past.
“When he gets a certain kind of look on his face
She hounds run for a hiding place
‘Cause when he takes a notion all the girl dogs know
He’s a dynamite up tite outta sight backyard Romeo”
9. “Martha My Dear” by The Beatles
Paul McCartney believed he had a personified force, or a muse, within him that he found as his source of inspiration, telling him what to write and sing. This personified force’s name is Martha. When he got a sheepdog, he also named it Martha to perhaps make the force tangible in his life.
McCartney did love his dog Martha a lot. One of Martha’s offspring even appeared on the cover of the album Paul Is Live in 1993. In a way, “Martha My Dear” is about McCartney’s dog and his muse.
“Take a good look, you’re bound to see
That you and me
We’re meant to be for each other
It’s not uncommon for artists to write about their muses. Bob Dylan did so in his song “Love Minus Zero,” and Paul Simon did as well in his song “Cecilia.”
10. “Every Dog Has Its Day” by Toby Keith
The song mainly uses the phrase “Every Dog Has Its Day” as an idiom. It’s simply about being lucky or unlucky sometimes. That’s what we see in the lyrics,
“Every dog has its day
When the big dog throws him a bone
One moment in the sunshine
When your ducks line up in a row”
However, we believe this song still deserves to be on this list, solely because of Toby Keith’s nonchalant tirade about all the different kinds of dogs that crossed his mind.
“Fat dog, skinny dog, little itty bitty dog
Hot dog, kurd dog, weenie dog, bird dog, hound dog
Cow dog, bow wow wow dog, wonder dog, barkin’ dog
Chasin’ parked car dog”
11. “Move It On Over” by Hank Williams
“Move It On Over” is a funny take about a man who gets home and faces trouble with his girl. He had no choice but to sleep in the dog house. While that may seem as if it’s a metaphor, it’s actually a literal dog house that the persona is talking about, and he’s asking his dog to move over so that they’ll fit.
“Move over, little dog
‘Cause the big dog’s moving in”
The persona and the dog eventually became friends, and thanks to this dog, Hank Williams earned his first-ever major hit.
12. “My Dog and Me” by John Hiatt
This song from John Hiatt is about him and his dog going on adventures. It also narrates how the dog is his hunting buddy, and how he knows his dog is so loyal to him that she would face anything so that Hiatt is safe.
Fortunately, they never end up in harm’s way. They just keep on roaming and taking on adventures, letting him feel free with his dog.
13. “I Love My Dog” by Cat Stevens
Back when he was younger, Cat Stevens wrote sullenly. Proof of that is his song “I Love My Dog.” You may think it’s funny that someone named Cat will write a song about dogs, but wait until you hear the lyrics.
He starts off by saying that he loves his girl as much as he loves his dog. However, the big difference is that his dog will always come through, unlike his girl.
“I love my dog as much as I love you
But you may fade, my dog will always come through”
Cat Stevens, whose real name is Steven Demetre Georgiou, which he later changed to Yusuf Islam, found a dachshund outside a London bookshop when he was young. When nobody seemed to be claiming ownership of the dog, he took it home and took care of it.
You might think it’s a silly song, but this actually earned Stevens a record deal.
14. “The More Boys I Meet” by Carrie Underwood
“The more boys I meet, the more I like my dog.” Yep, that’s what Carrie Underwood thought after meeting several men who had poor taste, huge egos, and just generally are bad boys.
It’s quite comedic, but it’s also true in a sense because dogs are, according to Underwood and maybe for a lot of people, “warm and loyal, open and friendly.” She always ends up choosing to love her dog more than these boys, and honestly, sometimes that’s the best route to take.
15. “Little Boys Grow Up and Dogs Get Old” by Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan takes us on a sentimental journey about how dogs love us and how we try to reciprocate that love to them. As the title suggests, it’s about a boy who grew up with his dog named Bandit, a black labrador.
They go on adventures together and immediately become the best of friends. They were so close that the persona, or maybe Bryan himself, didn’t know if he was raising the dog or the dog was raising him.
Unfortunately, the persona had to leave home and he can’t bring Bandit with him because he’s getting older. He gives him a hug and another “good boy,” before leaving.
16. “It’s Just a Dog” by Mo Pitney
Based on the title, you might think that this song has a negative take on our canine friends. After all, that’s what a lot of people say when they see a dog by the side of the road, “It’s Just a Dog.” However, the persona brings the dog home.
As they spend more time together, the persona realizes that the dog is the best companion he could ever ask for. She became the persona’s fishing buddy and she provided him with comfort during difficult times.
Well, it’s a testament that dogs are so much more than just dogs. They’re memories waiting to be made, stories waiting to be told, and in this case, songs waiting to be sung.
17. “Feed Jake” by Pirates of the Mississippi
Dogs are loyal to us and they love us unconditionally. When the going gets rough, it’s nice to know that there’s a friend waiting for you at home, and that will really keep you calm and grounded. In return, all they ask is for us to love them, too.
That’s what the lead singer of Pirates of the Mississippi, Bill McCorvey, is singing about in their song “Feed Jake.” It’s a song about a cowboy and his dog named Jake, and it’s a reminder to the people that know the persona to feed Jake if he ever can’t anymore.
“He’s been a good dog
My best friend right through it all
If I die before I wake
18. “Old King” by Neil Young
Cowboys often exude the macho-charisma, which sometimes includes not expressing what they really feel. Well, maybe this song could be their guilty pleasure if they ever owned a dog they really love.
“Old King” talks about a fearless hound dog and the memories it left behind.
“King went a-runnin’ after deer
Wasn’t scared of jumpin’ off the truck in high gear
King went a-sniffin’ and he would go
Was the best old hound dog I ever did know”
19. “Old Shep” by Elvis Presley
“Old Shep” was written by Arthur Willis, and the tune was composed by Red Foley. It’s about a German shepherd named Hoover that Foley owned when he was younger. Unfortunately, Hoover was poisoned by his neighbor.
The song was first recorded by Foley himself in 1935. When he was ten years old, Elvis Presley joined a singing contest, which was also his first time performing in public. He sang “Old Shep” and came in fifth which won him about $5 or about $78.81 in today’s money. He also won a free ticket which allowed him to ride the fairs at the event.
It became one of his go-to songs for contests as he performed it again at the age of 16 in a talent show at the school he was studying in. Well, these are perhaps indicative of how much the song means to Presley, which led him to release a cover version in 1956.
Dogs mean so much more to us than just pets we regularly see in our houses. They become our best friends, fishing buddies, companions, protectors, and in certain cases, inspirations for songs.
This list would not be possible without all the good dogs that have touched these artists’ lives, and we’re sure there are more out there providing the warmth and comfort to their humans.
If you find one song that resonates with you, add it to your playlist! Better yet, why not compose your own song about your dog and who knows? Maybe you’ll be on our next list of songs about dogs.