Gifts given by foundations, private individuals and bequests include donations of paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, bronzes, porcelains, and decorative arts as well as books and archival materials of interest. In the 1980s, Marie A. Moore donated numerous works of art of mastiff subject and later in 1993 a gift donation of thirteen outstanding paintings by important artists were given to the museum by the estate of Cynthia S. Wood. Included in the Wood donation are the superb oil on canvas of Deerhound and Recumbent Foxhound painted by Sir Henry Edwin Landseer and a vibrant portrait of Salukis by the English artist James Ward. Both of these works of art were included in the exhibit "Best in Show: Dogs in Art from the Renaissance to the Present" organized by the Bruce Museum of Arts and Science and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 2006. More recent gift donations include an estate gift of bronzes, porcelains, and sculptures given by Herman L. and Judy S. Fellton and a gift donation of numerous bulldog figurines given by the estate of Jean Ann Cone.
The Art Show at The Dog Show, a national juried fine arts competition sponsored by the Sunflower Cluster Kennel Clubs of Kansas, is the source for many of the museum's contemporary works of art with the Best in Show winning entry donated to the museum. Gift donations by The Art Show at The Dog Show include an impressive oil on canvas of a Labrador Retriever by Linda Budge, a whimsical pastel of a Mastiff by Virginia Marshall, and a ceramic of Whippets by Sandi Rolfe, to name a few. The museum has received twenty-four donations of art given by The Art Show at The Dog Show since 1987.
The museum's galleries showcase more than seven hundred works of art and include the All-Star Dogs Hall of Fame with colorful wall murals painted by the American artist Stephen Hubbell and All-Star Dogs Hall of Fame story boards created by the international design firm Hellmuth Obata Kassabaum. An exhibit on dogs of war comprised of historical photographs and limited edition prints as well as memorabilia on the famous WWII Yorkshire Terrier mascot Smoky is also on permanent display.
Few museums are devoted to simple ideas that live forever, like love and devotion.