A Great Dane laying in the grass, which is supposedly the kind of dog Scooby-Doo is based on.

What Kind Of Dog Is Scooby-Doo?

6 mins |

Let’s admit it: we all loved Scooby-Doo while growing up. Back then we only wanted to have some fun and enjoy our favorite cartoons, but now many questions pop up in our heads. For example, what kind of dog is Scooby-Doo?

According to Scooby-Doo’s creator, he is one of the biggest dog breeds: a Great Dane.   

About Scooby-Doo And His Friends

Scooby-Doo is one of the most famous animated dogs of all time, loved by kids as well as adults. He is the main character of the well-known American animated series, “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?”.

When figuring out what kind of dog Scooby-Doo is, we need to start with who created him. Cartoonist Iwao Takamoto worked for Hanna-Barbera Productions, and he created Scooby-Doo. Scooby-Doo was introduced to the public’s attention for the first time in 1969, and ever since then, he has been a hit for over 50 years.

In the cartoon, there is a group of crime-solving teens who call themselves “Mystery Inc.” Scooby travels the world with these four teenagers: Fred Jones, Shaggy Rogers, Daphne Blake, and Vilma Dinkley.

The quintet goes from city to city in their “Mystery Machine” van, solving spooky, supernatural mysteries that end up being of human origin in the end. The famous line of dialogue comes from these unmasked villains when they claim that they “would’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for those meddling kids.”

Is Scooby-Doo Based On A Real Dog?

A Great Dane laying on the ground.
Could this be Scooby-Doo in real life?

Despite being entirely made up, Scooby-Doo may be considered an “average Great Dane” dog. Takamoto kept track to set Scooby Doo apart from the typical traits of the Great Dane breed. It’s possible the anti-Great Dane’s traits are what made Scooby-Doo so likable and the classic cartoon figure he is today.

Furthermore, the final episode of the series hints Scooby-Doo may be from a mythical race. His tendency to act more like a human than a dog strongly suggests this.

What Kind Of Dog Is Scooby-Doo?

Takamoto studied the Great Dane when developing Scooby-Doo, but took plenty of liberties for the fictional series. With that in mind, you can now declare that Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane that never existed. He is actually quite a unique breed.

Scooby-Doo Vs The Great Dane: Similarities and Differences

Scooby Doo, for instance, lacks many distinguishing physical traits shared by Great Danes, such as a straight back, straight legs, and a small chin. Takamoto stated at a presentation at Cartoon Network Studios he decided to go for the quite opposite and built him with a hump back, bowed knees, huge chin, etc.

Grace and elegance are also characteristic of Great Danes. The breed is relaxed and has a lot of charm. Scooby-Doo, on the other hand, frequently runs motionless for a few seconds before moving off quickly. 

Also, his knees regularly knock together noisily, especially when afraid, and he produces a unique screaming sound when he stops running. All of this does not imply grace, harmony, or a noble gait.

Great Danes are assertive, brave, and never timid. Scooby is the opposite: he is a huge scaredy cat and his own shadow scares him.

There are some similarities between the Great Dane and the dog persona from Scooby-Doo besides size though. 

The Great Dane is a dog full of energy, has a great sense of balance, is friendly, lively, playful, and is an adorable “gentle giant.” Now that sounds a lot more like Scooby-Doo! These dogs are smarter than we sometimes assume.

Also, Great Danes are lap dogs despite their enormous size. Similarly, Scooby-Doo, when scared, frequently runs straight into Shaggy’s arms. Does he first seek permission? Does he take Shaggy’s back health into account in any way? No, he does not.

Scooby is also loyal to Shaggy. Great Danes are people-pleasers and get along well with children. The most distinguishing trait that Danes have is their large appetite, and Scooby-Doo fits this characteristic too since he loves his Scooby Snacks.

Interesting Facts

If you are a fan of this cartoon, as are we, here are some interesting facts you might not know:

Scooby-Doo Was Once A Sheepdog

He eventually evolved into the dog that we know, though! In order to make him appear sillier and more awkward, the animator claimed that he was created to look exactly the opposite of a flawless breed of Great Dane.

He’s Got Siblings

Scooby has quite a few siblings such as Skippy-Doo, Dooby-Doo, Howdy-Doo, Yabba-Doo, and Ruby-Doo. Dogs normally have three to eight young in each litter that they give birth to. The most litter of puppies ever born to a single dog, according to Guinness World Records, was 24.

Scooby-Doo Has Been On Television In More than 45 Countries

The show has been translated into many languages. Over the years, Scooby has “spoken” Arabic, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish.

Don Messick provided the initial voices for Scooby-Doo and Astro from “The Jetsons”

Astro is another Great Dane cartoon character. Scooby and Astro are frequently compared because of their identical speech patterns and distinctive “Ruh-roh” expression.

Dog Breeds That Look Like Scooby-Doo

When it comes to its genetic makeup, the Great Dane is a product of the crossbreeding of Irish Wolfhounds and English Mastiffs.

Some have questioned Scooby’s breed because of his unusual appearance. After all, he is still a fictional character and can fit and bend to please your imagination. Therefore, people often interpret Scooby as different dog breeds.

It may be the resemblance of the colors, the size, or some of the character traits that our fictional hero has, but there are several options to choose from. Which one do you think he looks like?


What Is The Age Of Scooby-Doo In Dog Years?

Great Danes only have an 8- to 10-year lifespan. Few Great Danes reach the age of twelve. Scooby-Doo is 7.

Was Scooby-Doo Originally Called Something Else?

For the 1969 Hanna-Barbera cartoon series “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?” Scooby’s original name was “Too Much.” Scooby-real Doo’s name isn’t Scoobert Doobert, but it is Scoobert Doo.

What Kind of Dog Is Scrappy-Doo?

Scrappy-Doo, our hero’s brave nephew, is also inspired by a Great Dane, despite his diminutive size.

To Sum Up: What Kind Of Dog Is Scooby-Doo?

The controversy over the Scooby-Doo breed has persisted for a while. Some people simply refuse to believe that you may own a dog identical to Scooby-Doo. In reality, Great Danes don’t use their hands to eat hamburgers or speak to their owners. However, they’re the closest thing to owning Scooby-Doo.     

Have you noticed what dog breeds are similar to others of our favorite fictional characters? Let us know what they are and how you know in the comments!

Sandra is a veterinary undergraduate student based in Macedonia. She combines her two passions: veterinary medicine and writing, and she also tends to raise awareness about animal welfare as much as she can. As a student, she has attended many seminars and conferences related to the veterinary profession, and currently, she is focused on veterinary content writing. Although she owns a cat, she strongly claims that “dogs are her favorite people”.