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What Breed of Dog Is Scooby-Doo?

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Scooby-Doo remains one of the most iconic and beloved cartoon characters from our childhood! Ever since he first appeared on our television screens in 1969, this cowardly yet lovable dog has been solving mysteries with his human pals in the Mystery Inc. gang. But one question that often arises for those not familiar with dog breeds is, what breed of dog is Scooby-Doo?

What Breed is Scooby Doo? image of cartoon character Scooby Doo as children's play figurine

🐾 Mystery Solved! Scooby is a Great Dane

Scooby Doo is considered to be a Great Dane! Scrappy-Doo, the nephew of Scooby Doo, is also a Great Dane.

Why did the cartoon feature a Great Dane? At one point creators Joe Ruby and Ken Spears had instead planned to make the dog detective a Sheepdog named “Too Much.” However, animator Iwao Takamoto began studying Great Danes because one of his colleagues at Hanna-Barbera was a Great Dane breeder–and so Scooby Doo became a Dane!

Scooby-Doo vs. Real-Life Great Danes

Great Dane Vs. Scooby-Doo--how are they alike? Image of Great Dane puppy and Scooby Doo children's toy

Known for their imposing size and elegant appearance, Great Danes are one of the largest dog breeds. Despite their intimidating stature, they are often referred to as “gentle giants” because of their friendly and affectionate nature, much like our dear Scooby, who is celebrated every year on Scooby Doo Day.

Here’s a look at the characteristics of a Great Dane–how much do these resemble Scooby Doo?

  • Size: Great Danes are large dogs. Males can stand around 30 to 34 inches tall at the shoulder, and some might even be taller. They weigh anywhere between 110 to 180 pounds or even more!
  • Coat and Color: The Great Dane short-haired coat can come in various colors such as brindle, fawn, blue, black, harlequin and mantle. Scooby-Doo, with his brown coat, most closely resembles the fawn variety.
  • Temperament: While Scooby might be a bit more scaredy-cat than the average Great Dane, these dogs are typically friendly, dependable, and patient. They’re great with families and form strong bonds with their owners.
  • Life Span: Great Danes generally live around 7 to 10 years. Thanks to the magic of animation, Scooby is over 50 years old and counting!
  • Behavior: Scooby’s cowardly behavior is more for entertainment value. Actual Great Danes can be protective and brave, although they’re generally not aggressive.
  • Talking Ability: Nope, real-life Great Danes don’t speak English or solve mysteries–though they might love treats just as much!

Is Scooby Doo a Real Dog in the Movies?

In the live-action adaptations of Scooby-Doo, Scooby himself was mostly created using computer-generated imagery (CGI).

However, for certain shots where a physical presence was necessary on set, a Great Dane puppet was used to give the actors something tangible to interact with.

Thus, while there was no real dog consistently playing the role of Scooby-Doo in the live-action films, the character’s breed remains consistent with the cartoons: a Great Dane. The CGI portrayal aimed to capture the cartoonish, exaggerated features of Scooby-Doo, which would have been difficult to achieve with a real dog.

While Scooby-Doo might be a bit more animated (literally and figuratively) than your average Great Dane, his character provides a fun and exaggerated glimpse into the lovable nature of this majestic breed. If Scooby-Doo has piqued your interest in Great Danes, remember to always do thorough research before bringing any dog into your home.

And the next time you watch a Scooby-Doo episode or movie, you’ll know just what kind of dog our favorite mystery-solving canine really is! 🐕‍

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Paris Permenter
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