NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy

The film opens with a small terrier named Reggie (Will Ferrell) narrating how he thinks every day is the best day ever, because he lives with who he thinks is the greatest owner in the world, a guy named Doug (Will Forte). In reality, Doug is a rotten manchild who hates Reggie. He was picked as a puppy by Doug’s girlfriend, but after Reggie came in with another woman’s underwear, she broke up with Doug and tried to take Reggie with her. Doug only kept Reggie to spite his girlfriend, and it led the dog to believing that Doug needed him.

Doug frequently tries to abandon Reggie by throwing a ball out into a field and driving away when Reggie runs to grab it. He always manages to find his way home, so Doug ends up driving three hours into the city into an alley so that Reggie would have no way of coming home.

Reggie wanders through the alleys and is found by an antagonistic Rottweiler named Finn (Jimmy Tatro), but Finn gets scared off by a smaller Boston Terrier named Bug (Jamie Foxx), who acts crazy enough to keep them away. Bug brings Reggie with him, and after hearing his story about Doug, Bug concludes that Reggie is now a stray, even though Reggie still believes Doug actually cares about him.

Bug brings Reggie to a dog park where he introduces Reggie to his other dog friends. There is Hunter the Great Dane (Randall Park), who was actually a former police dog that now chooses to wear a cone for protection, and Maggie (Isla Fisher), an Australian Shepherd that has an incredible sense of smell, but her owner neglects her for a Pomeranian named Bella (Greta Lee) that she can use for influencing. The three dogs show Reggie how much fun life as a stray can be, from picking up scraps of food that drunk people drop, to sampling their leftover beer, and even humping inanimate objects. They meet a bulldog named Chester (Jamie Demetriou), who cannot leave his home because of an electric collar, which the other dogs think is an invisible fence, but after Reggie runs onto Chester’s lawn with nothing happening to him, the other dogs think he is legendary.

When Reggie brings up Doug again, the other strays make him realize that Doug never loved him, which makes Reggie sad, but he comes to a conclusion – he will return to Doug’s house with the intention of getting revenge by taking away the one thing Doug cares about most…his dick. The other dogs agree to the mission and use clues from Reggie’s memories to try and find their way back to the house.

On their journey, the dogs start to get hungry, so Maggie guides them to a county fair where they can try and steal food. They see one dog, Gus (Josh Gad), who narrates his owner’s story (like “A Dog’s Purpose”), except that Gus is the only one who knows his owner is a serial killer. After the dogs find food, they become startled when fireworks start popping off, thinking they are under attack. Hunter and Maggie are able to hop the fence while Reggie and Bug have to dig under the fence to escape.

By the next day, the dogs are tired and hungry. Bug starts to complain, just before a hawk swoops down and snatches him up. Reggie chases after him and is able to latch onto his leg as the hawk gets higher up, which is witnessed by Dennis Quaid (playing himself) as he is bird-watching. Reggie and Bug crash into a tree and hit every branch on the way down, but they are okay.

The dogs end up deeper in the woods and come across a bunch of mushrooms. They eat all of them and soon begin to experience strong hallucinations. Hunter and Maggie see each other in different animations while Bug hallucinates seeing a couch that he used to hump and call Dolores (Sofia Vergara) before the hawk comes to grab it. Reggie envisions Doug calling him a good boy for the first time ever. They then go near a rabbit den and believe that they are toys, so they start “playing” with them. Once they come down from their high, the dogs are horrified to learn that they mauled actual living rabbits to death, so they bury them.

The strays are then found by a police dog named Rolf (Rob Riggle), who used to work with Hunter. The police dogs are searching for a missing girl scout named Riley (Mikayla Rousseau) and Maggie offers to use her skills to help, but the strays are tricked into getting captured by animal control and being brought to a pound.

At the pound, Bug reveals why he hates humans. He used to be owned by a girl named Emma (Aven Lotz) who genuinely loved him, but after she accidentally stepped on him, Bug bit her leg and was sent to a kill shelter. He managed to escape and ended up a stray, but he clearly misses Emma. The dogs then try to figure out a way to break out, first by using Hunter’s large erect penis to try and hook the keys toward them, but he is too far away for it to realistically work. Reggie then realizes that the guard, Willy (Brett Gelman), would have to come in and clean the cages if the dogs poop, since the strays believe humans collect dog poop for special reasons. Reggie gives a rousing speech to all the dogs to encourage them to poop for their freedom. The dogs follow suit and crap all over the place, forcing Willy to come in and pathetically end up slipping and falling into the turds, allowing the dogs to all run free.

Continuing their trip, the strays start to go back toward Doug’s house, but they notice Reggie insisting on bringing his tennis ball with him. Reggie then admits that he is still holding out hope that Doug cares about him, even though the other dogs have told him he doesn’t. Reggie then makes a callous remark toward Bug, saying it’s his fault Emma got rid of him, so Bug tears off the bandana that Reggie wears around his neck, and they separate.

Bug later attempts to split off from Hunter and Maggie, but when he goes into the woods, he is found by Riley. She tries to approach him, but he starts to walk away from her, not wanting to be fooled by another child. Riley begins to cry, and Bug cannot help but return to her and lick her arm to comfort her. He realizes who she is and calls out to Hunter and Maggie, who come to him and then call the police dogs to go to her. Riley is rescued by the authorities, and Rolf thanks the dogs for their help despite screwing them over earlier. Maggie then finds Reggie’s bandana and picks up his scent, leading Hunter and Bug to follow her and get their friend back.

Reggie makes his way back to Doug’s house, but by then he has already realized that the other dogs were right about Doug. He finds Doug getting high alone again and gives him his own little dog speech (which registers as regular barks) about how he was never a bad dog, and that Doug was just a bad man. Reggie prepares to leave, but Doug snaps and decides the only way to get rid of Reggie is to kill him. He grabs a bat and prepares to bludgeon the little dog until Hunter breaks the door down and throws his cone away. Doug tries to kill Reggie with his bare hands, but Hunter and Maggie line up so Bug can jump off them and knock Doug on his ass. Hunter then holds him down while Bug and Maggie spread his legs apart, allowing Reggie to complete his mission and bite Doug’s dick off. Hunter tops it off by shitting in Doug’s mouth. The house then catches fire thanks to one of Doug’s bongs, and the dogs flee the scene while Doug is left humiliated and homeless.

Later on, Reggie narrates what happened to him and his friends. Hunter rejoined the police force while Maggie was adopted and brought in to use her sniffing skills along with the police dogs. They also begin a sexual relationship and do it “regular style”. Bug was adopted by Riley and is happier than ever. Reggie chooses to remain a stray to guide other lost dogs to find their way in life, but he still visits Bug at Riley’s house and takes a liking to her little brother Liam (AJ Bernard), who tells Reggie he is a good boy. Reggie and Bug then proceed to bark at “the devil”, AKA a regular mailman.

During the credits, Doug is in the hospital being told by a doctor about his many injuries and infections. He is also told that they are unable to reattach his dick, causing Doug to scream “FUCK!”

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Reggie is a happy little terrier who thinks he has the best owner in the world, Doug. In reality, Doug is a terrible person who doesn't care at all for Reggie and frequently tries to abandon him. After he successfully ditches Reggie in the city, the little dog befriends other strays - Bug, Hunter, and Maggie. While they show him how much fun it can be to be a stray dog, Reggie resolves to return to Doug's home and get revenge by biting his penis off. The other dogs agree to join him.

The strays get into several misadventures, including running from fireworks, nearly getting grabbed by a hawk, tripping on psychedelic mushrooms and mauling a family of rabbits to death, and later getting caught by animal control. After they escape, Reggie is still shown to be holding out hope that Doug cares about him, and he abandons his friends. Later, the other strays help locate a missing girl scout named Riley, and it inspires them to go after Reggie.

Reggie returns to Doug's house after finally realizing he was always a bad owner, but Doug decides the only way to truly get rid of Reggie is by killing him. The other dogs show up just in time and help knock Doug down, allowing Reggie to bite his penis off while his house goes up in flames.

Hunter and Maggie become police dogs and also a couple, while Bug is adopted by Riley. Reggie chooses to remain a stray to help other lost dogs, but he visits Bug at Riley's house since she and her little brother welcome him.