Dog Gone

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media
Dog Gone Movie Poster Image
Lackluster Home Alone clone fails to inspire or engage.
  • PG
  • 2008
  • 108 minutes

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Owen demonstrates that people can be kind, accept differences, and maintain dignity in the face of bullying.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Owen is a clever and resourceful 11-year-old boy who admires da Vinci, loves dogs, and builds a fort by himself in the woods. Just as his parents leave town for business, Owen uses his wits to face down three inept crooks smuggling diamonds inside a sympathetic golden retriever mix. 

Violence & Scariness

Most threats of violence are comic, although smaller children may take the imminent danger more to heart. A bad guy wields a switchblade as he unsuccessfully attempts to cut smuggled diamonds out of the belly of a dog. Owen belts the criminals with catapulted tennis balls. He glues them to a small sled and sends it careening dangerously down a steep hill. He bonks them on the head with rocks and slams doors on them. No one incurs injuries more serious than bruises and blows to the ego. A bad guy punishes his underlings by giving them wedgies. Bullies throw Owen's pants and bicycle into a river. 

Sexy Stuff

Owen has a crush on a girl, and at movie's end he kisses her chastely.


"Dork" and "heck."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dog Gone (which in some releases was known as Diamond Dog) is a comic rip-off of Home Alone, violent in the same comic way, with equally bumbling criminals chasing a heroic and strategically superior child. But here, the parents are eliminated from most of the action by way of a business trip, forcing Owen to rely on his many mental resources. Two maddeningly dense henchmen hunt for a dog in which they've smuggled $5 million worth of diamonds. The goons' collective stupidity nullifies any real threat their nefarious mission might otherwise pose. Owen also has been bullied, and the plot simultaneously brings comeuppance to his bully as the criminals are arrested. Some mild name-calling ("dork").

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 15 years old Written byZach D. February 27, 2018

Dog gone

I think Owen should tell his parents about him getting bullied for example Owen is on a bridge then other kids come up and bully him and throw his pants in the... Continue reading

What's the story?

Owen (Luke Benward), an all-around nice kid with a paper route, a crush on a neighbor girl, and a gift for building neat inventions, has recently lost his beloved family dog. Three criminals are deposited on his suburban turf on their way to delivering a silky dog in which they're smuggling diamonds. Owen, who has seen the news about the heist, bonds with the dog and plots her rescue. A chase ensues through nearby woods that Owen knows inside out. He has long described to his family a "mountain man" living near Owen's woodsy hand-built "fort," but his mom, dad, and sister treat this story as a boy's fantasy. Of course, the "mountain man" saves the day when all other grown-ups in this film prove useless at best or criminal at worst. Ultimately, because Owen's sister has a dog allergy and because Owen has a kind heart, he sacrifices his beloved new dog by giving her to the "mountain man"  to assuage his loneliness.

Is it any good?

Every single component in Dog Gone was stolen, copied, or otherwise purloined from another, better movie. Although Luke Benward does a decent job of embodying the good-hearted Owen, the rest of the cast is as lackluster as the script. Even younger kids will know the difference between the boisterous fun of Home Alone and the plodding desperation of this lesser knockoff.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Owen handled the situation with the villains. What should you do when you come across criminal activity? Would Owen have minimized his danger if he had called the police?

  • Owen doesn't tell his parents that he's being bullied. Do you think a parent or other grown-up might be able to help a kid with a bullying problem?

  • Why might someone retreat to the woods after experiencing tragedy? Would it be difficult to be around old friends after losing a cherished family member?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animal tales

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate