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Famous Cartoon Dogs

By Suzanne Alicie

For decades the cartoon world has been filled with notable pets. From Tweety and Sylvester to Tom and Jerry, there have been all sorts of animated pets. Julia Williams has written an article about Famous Fictional Felines, so on the other side of that coin my favorite animated animal characters are usually of the canine persuasion. Let’s have a look at some of the famous cartoon dogs that we all know and love!

Scooby Doo and Scrappy
Okay, talking dogs are always fun. Scooby Doo is a lovable, mystery solving scaredy-cat Great Dane who was introduced in 1970. He is also one of the most popular cartoon dogs ever, with his famous phrase “Ruh-roh Shaggy” being well known by kids of all ages. His nephew Scrappy is a much braver and tougher cartoon dog that’s also a favorite of many cartoon viewers. You can find Scooby begging for some Scooby Snacks on Cartoon Network and Boomerang, as well as on the big screen.


“No need to fear, Underdog is here!” Quiet, unassuming Shoeshine Boy has an alter ego; he is known as Underdog and since 1964 he’s been saving Sweet Polly Purebred from the villains. I look at Underdog as the canine version of Superman, and when I was younger I could sing along with the theme song as if I’d written it myself!

Pluto and Goofy

Whenever I think of Pluto and Goofy, my mind turns to the movie “Stand by Me” when the boys have a discussion about “What is Goofy, anyway?” I’m sticking with the theory that he’s a dog. Goofy and Pluto have been staples in many Disney features. Pluto is Mickey Mouse’s pet dog, and Goofy is Mickey’s friend. One talks, the other doesn’t; one wears clothes while the other is left with just his fur, and only one of these famous cartoon dogs walks on four legs!


The Jetsons were known for their futuristic settings and storylines, but no matter how far in the future the boy still loved his dog. Elroy and Astro were a team, and Astro was the lovable but bumbling oversized dog that kept all the Jetsons on their toes. With his adorable “speech” that begins everything with an “R” as if he is growling, Astro is actually a major character on the show and there are entire episodes that revolve around the Astro/Tralfaz storyline.


Snoopy is Charlie Brown’s dog. He’s a World War I Flying Ace, and he’s also a novelist who begins his books with “It was a dark and stormy night…” and of course he’s a therapist! (Aren’t all dogs?). Of all the famous Peanuts characters, Snoopy and his little birdie pal Woodstock are my favorites.

I could go on and on about the different famous cartoon dogs over the years, from Clifford the Big Red Dog to Deputy Dog and Huckleberry Hound. Then there’s Santa’s Little Helper from “The Simpsons” and Brian the talking dog on “Family Guy.” What about Mr. Peabody and Lady and the Tramp? Looney Tunes has several dogs, from K-9 to Hector the Bulldog. The Tom and Jerry cartoons feature Spike and his baby bulldog quite often. There’s also Odie from “Garfield” and Ren of “Ren and Stimpy,” and who can forget Dollar from the “Richie Rich” show?

Dogs are a staple of any family cartoon. They are loyal and fierce, they are protective, and a lot of times they are downright funny! Not so different from our real dogs, huh? You may not have a dog who begs for Scooby Snacks, but I bet if you offer up some CANIDAE TidNips, you just might get your dog to perform a feat to get one!

Photo by Kristymp

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