Famous Cartoon Dogs and Their Breeds

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By Allison Salonko.

Allison is a Veterinary Technician in the state of Indiana. She graduated from International Business College and Vet Tech Institute of Indianapolis with a degree in Animal Science and Technology in 2011.

Cartoons have been a part of Saturday mornings for decades, whether it’s Looney Tunes, Peanuts or Nickelodeon most people can say they are familiar with several cartoon dogs. And will probably even give you their favorite!

Have you ever wondered about some of those cartoon characters and how they got their names and personalities? Did the artist have a personal connection with that type of dog or did they just think that Scooby-Doo looked best as a big ol’ Great Dane?

I’ve always loved animals and can list off so many famous dogs and cats, but I decided to keep it to my top 5 cartoon doggos and a bit of their past.

Below I’ll get into some of history’s most popular and beloved cartoon pups and their awesome breeds.

The Peanuts – Snoopy

Snoopy. Who doesn’t know Snoopy the dog?? His white body and black ears are easily recognizable as he has been a part of the home holiday specials for over 70 years.

He and his friend, Charlie Brown, struggle with making the right decisions in a difficult world, with a little help from Woodstock too.

Who doesn’t recognize Snoopy napping on his red dog house?

He actually didn’t become the most popular character until the late 60’s when NASA used them as their mascot in the aftermath of the Apollo disaster.

While he hardly looks like it, Snoopy the dog is a Beagle.

While beagles are known more for having a characteristic brown or black coat, it is possible to see them in black and white.

Snoopy is claimed to be one of the most recognizable and popular dogs from a comic book in US history.

Many fans love the imaginative depth and free-spirited nature of this well-known beagle and his friends and the impact that he has left on so many viewers over the last 7 decades.

Mickey Mouse’s Dog Pluto

It has always been funny to me that a mouse would own a dog.

Well, I guess it is a cartoon so that’s the only thing about it that makes sense. Mickey Mouse was the first cartoon character to ever grace a screen.

Most people are familiar with “Steam Boat Mickey” but have no idea when Pluto comes into the mix.

Pluto was first thought of by the original illustrator and creator, Walt Disney, himself. Disney was inspired by the dogs that he loved as a child when he grew up on a farm in Missouri.

Pluto made his first appearance in 1930 as a nameless bloodhound dog in the short called “The Chain Gang”.

Pluto continued to look the same, even as Disney used him several different times as a few different characters. However, he has always maintained his brown hair and dark ears, with the apparent look of a hound dog.

This sweet boy is called a “pantomime character” which means that the creators express his emotions through physical action and not words.

On the other hand, he has had a few speaking lines throughout Disney’s history, dating back all the way to 1931 when he told Mickey to “kiss me!”

Disney as a franchise has always taken pride in how the character’s personality and physical appearance are unwavering throughout history and they will continue to keep Disney’s original pieces of work in his image.

Scooby-Doo, the Cartoon Who Made the Great Dane Popular 

The lovable and giant brown and black dog, known as Scooby-Doo, got his start on morning television in 1969 and is still played today!

This fun show has been revamped almost a dozen times and has been owned by several different parent companies since its debut, but continues to have the same general idea and characters throughout the decades.

Scoob’s fans and his gang of friends have maintained over all the years, hardly ever changing from the original character designs, and most critics feel that it continues to stand up to the test of time.

The writers have done a great job of finding a way to continue to adapt and keep the fans wanting to come back for more.

Scooby’s design has not changed much from his original character illustration from the ‘60s.

Great Dane was always the idea.

The original creator of his physical form, Iwao Takamoto, decided to portray him as the opposite of what an ideal Dane would look like.

Giving him an awkward appearance and bipedal human qualities (on occasion), that makes him more likable and fits his goofy nature.  

Odie, Garfield’s Slobbery Friend

Garfield the cat was not only known for enjoying lasagna but he also had a dog friend named Odie.

He may not have chosen to be Odie’s friend and really just tolerated him, many fans of the show found Odie to be endearing and lovable, despite all the drool.

Odie the dog is another Beagle, like our friend Snoopy. 

Except Odie has a brown coat color with darker brown ears. There is some debate about Odie being a mix with a Dachshund and  Beagle but there is no confirmation from the creator to say otherwise. Garfield just says that he is “pure clown”.

His mouth hangs open constantly, where he drools and slobbers huge puddles and tortures Garfield with his incessant panting. Odie is another character that cannot speak in an articulate fashion but instead barks in sentences that only Garfield can translate.

Our funny and seemingly dumb friend, Odie, is known for sometimes showing his intelligence and love for his friend Garfield but attending his parties and teasing him on occasion.

Brian, the Family Guy Dog Who is More Like A Human

This sophisticated wine-drinking canine has graced American television since the show Family Guy aired after Superbowl XXXIII in 1999.

This highly popular TV show is creator, Seth McFarlane’s brainchild, where he plays several of the voices and characters while being responsible for writing most of the content.

Brian is the wacky Griffin family’s overly self-aware and anthropomorphic dog. He speaks with wit and intelligence and shows all of the complex human emotions. His mix of humor and unique nature has easily made him one of the show’s most loved characters.

Brian is a white labrador retriever.

He is around 10 years old, yet has the wise intuition of a human 5 times his age. This character has continued to make audiences laugh with his sharp wit and hilarious banter with other people, especially Stewie, on the show.

Dogs – Entertaining On Screen and in Real Life

The canine companion has continued to be a source of entertainment and laughter on screen and in real life. Humans have adored dogs for several millennia and they have shown their love for us unconditionally.

By bringing a character to life on paper, the artist shows how much dogs can impact our daily lives through empathy, bravery, intelligence, and most of all, laughter.


Photo by Dinu J Nair on Unsplash.