What Kind Of Dog Is Scooby-Doo? Breed Information, Pictures, and Facts

Written by Carrie Woodward
Updated: May 26, 2023
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Starting in 1969, four teenagers and their faithful furry friend entered the scene in their flower power-decorated van called the Mystery Machine. In the original animated series Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! The gang investigated supernatural mysteries, identifying suspects and chasing down clues to get to the bottom of suspicious events and paranormal activity. Alongside Fred, Shaggy, Daphne, and Velma, Scooby-Doo is a loyal companion and adventurer. He speaks stilted English and helps the group solve all manner of mysteries. 

Of course, Scooby-Doo is not the average dog. Most real dogs can’t talk, after all! However, this popular furry friend became a beloved part of pop culture, lasting from the 1960s until now. Recent revivals of the classic series may cause fans new and old to wonder: what kind of dog is Scooby-Doo? 

When Scooby-Doo was created, his animator based him on a Great Dane. However, his animator deviated in a few important ways. With that in mind, this article will explore Scooby-Doo’s characteristics and the similarities he shares with other dogs of his breed. Let’s go!

What Kind Of Dog Is Scooby-Doo?

The famous animated dog, Scooby-Doo, is popular among kids and adults and has graced television screens for more than half a century. Created by Iwao Takamoto, an animator at Hanna-Barbera Productions, Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane. In fact, Iwao Takamoto studied Great Danes before animating Scooby-Doo for the cartoon series. Though the animated Scooby-Doo shares some characteristics with Great Danes, there are also a few ways in which his personality and physical attributes depart from those of the average real-life dog. 

Characteristics of Great Danes

Physical Attributes of Great Danes

Great Danes often appear large, tall, and elegant. These dogs have athletic builds with strong muscles, large heads, and graceful necks and legs. This large, powerful dog breed often looks imposing or regal, and the dogs carry themselves gracefully. Their coats are short-haired and sleek, coming in multiple colors. The seven official colors of Great Danes are black, blue, fawn, brindle, harlequin, mantle, and merle. Other colors can be achieved by cross-breeding but may be associated with other health risks.

Great Danes are big! They are among the tallest dogs in the world and male Great Danes can reach up to 200 pounds! However, thanks to their gentle personalities, these dogs are gentle giants who may look intimidating but have soft hearts of gold.

The Personality of Great Danes

Great Danes are often considered to be gentle giants. Though big, these dogs are playful and loyal. These affectionate dogs get along well with children and will typically get along well with other dogs too. Their personalities are often described as friendly, playful, curious, and affectionate. Their relatively low energy levels keep them happy without becoming hyperactive. However, Great Danes can guard their home. Though they are unlikely to “snap,” and generally have a patient temperament, they may become aggressive with unfamiliar dogs.

Great Danes have average intelligence. They are smart dogs who can learn new commands and tricks quickly and remember their skills. Great Danes typically have high levels of adaptive intelligence. This means that they are skilled at adapting to their environments and solving problems independently. This is in contrast to instinctive intelligence, which refers to the dog’s ability to succeed at tasks it has been bred to do, and obedience intelligence, which refers to the dog’s ability to learn skills from humans. Together, Great Danes are strong in adaptive intelligence and average in other areas. This should make them loyal, faithful companions who will get along well with humans and pick up new commands fairly easily.

Characteristics of Scooby-Doo

Physical Attributes of Scooby-Doo

While Great Danes are elegant, tall, and graceful, Scooby-Doo has a humped back, bowed legs, large feet, and a big jaw and large nose. These characteristics give him a distinctive appearance but do not represent the typical look of Great Danes. However, like Great Danes, Scooby-Doo is muscular and has plenty of power. His brown fur with black spots would be unusual for an average Great Dane, but it is possible you could see a Great Dane with a coat of those colors in real life.

Adelaide, Australia - September 28, 2015: A Studio Shot of a Scooby Doo Lego Minifigure from the animated series Scooby Doo. This figure is part of a series of Lego kits released in 2015, lego is very popular with children and collectors worldwide.

Scooby-Doo is one of the most beloved cartoon figures. He is represented in many forms of toys, memorabilia, and artwork.


Personality of Scooby-Doo

Scooby-Doo is known for being fearful – he is constantly afraid of ghosts, monsters, and even his own shadow. He is also often very clumsy– entirely unlike the regal and poised Great Danes who are more well-known. While Scooby-Doo is scared and will hide from danger, you can trust a Great Dane to be courageous, steady-going, and calm. This makes them good guardians for your home.

However, Scooby-Doo does have a few qualities that represent more common traits of Great Danes. Like Scooby-Doo, many Great Danes are energetic, playful, affectionate, and loving. Though large, these dogs are “gentle giants.” Great Danes are also smarter than many people give them credit for – much like Scooby Doo, who often saves the day when it comes to rescuing his pal Shaggy or their other friends in a moment of need. Like other Great Danes, Scooby-Doo is loyal, protective, and a good friend. He gets along well with other people and will be a faithful companion until the end – a great representative of other Great Danes in real life!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Credit:BiancaGrueneberg

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About the Author

Carrie is a writer and fan of all types of plants and animals. Her apartment is home to more than dozen different houseplants and she aspires to adopt more in the near future. You can find Carrie taking long walks or reading a book under the trees in the park.

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