What Kind of Dog Is Scooby Doo?

what kind of dog is scooby doo

For over fifty years, Scooby-Doo has been entertaining and amusing people with his exploits along with Shaggy and the gang as they tracked down bad guys. Like many cartoon dogs, he has inspired all kinds of kids to long to have a dog just like him. But what kind of dog is Scooby-Doo?

In all probability, Scooby-Doo is, at least mostly, a Great Dane. Both physically and in personality, the beloved cartoon character embodies a fictionalized Great Dane.

  • Size. Male Great Danes weigh up to 140 pounds, which lines up with the giant size of the cartoon character.
  • Snout. Great Danes have a long snout and droopy jowls, just like Scooby-Doo.
  • Body-type. Great Danes are tall and lanky. A male Great Dane like Scooby-Doo can be as tall as 32 inches.
  • Tail. Great Danes have a long whip-like tail like Scooby-Doo’s.
  • Pattern. Patched colorings like Scooby’s are common in Great Danes.
  • Fun-loving. Great Danes are known for being happy, friendly, and great lovers of a good time-characteristics which are embodied by Scooby-Doo.
  • Smart. Just like Scooby-Doo, the average Great Dane is quick to use his brain to get himself into or out of all kinds of situations.
  • Loving. Scooby-Doo is loved not only by his cartoon family but by people for many generations, in part because he is himself so loving and devoted. This devotion and love is well-known in Great Danes.

Some differences

The things that Scooby-Doo has in common with Great Danes overwhelmingly points to him being a Great Dane, but there are a few key differences between Scooby and the average Dane.

Physical

Ears

What is actually going on with Scooby’s ears? Most often they seem to fall over at the tips like a partial fold. Occasionally they are upright. Other times, one is up and one folded. Great Danes have ears that naturally flop over and are held slightly out from the head. Many people crop their Great Dane’s ears and tape them up so that they stand upright. Scooby-Doo appears to have neither cropped nor uncropped ears.

Color

Scooby Doo is a distinct coloration of all brown with black patches. While the pattern of patches on a differently colored background is very common, black patches on a brown dog are extremely uncommon. Something like this may be seen in:

  • Brindle: lines of different colors, usually shades of brown, red, and black
  • Merle: patches of color are dilute, so may appear grey on black or tan on brown

Neither of these patterns look quite like Scooby-Doo’s coloration.

Behavior

Great Danes have very sweet natures, but they aren’t scared of much. It is typical for a Great Dane to fearlessly defend his property. These courageous dogs have spirit and the brawn to back up their determination.

Scooby-Doo, on the other hand, is well-known for his cowardice. Rather than confronting a bad guy head-on, Scooby takes any and every opportunity to hide from the scary criminals. Granted, Scooby has to take on potential ghosts and goblins, which is more than the average Great Dane is expected to handle.

Of course, there are exceptions to every breed standard. There is even a real-life Great Dane named Presley who is scared of West Highland Terriers and plastic bags, among other things.

Scooby-Doo can talk!

Many people argue that their Danes come close to talking, but of course, no real dog comes close to the linguistic capabilities of Scooby-Doo. While his family doesn’t seem surprised by his communications, other people are clearly shocked that Scooby-Doo is able to speak some semblance of English, however doggish it might sound.

How can we explain these differences?

The simplest explanation is that Scooby is a cartoon character, but why not have some more fun with interpreting the differences between Scooby-Doo and the average Great Dane? MTV makes a solid argument worth investigating, based on the musings of a Reddit user.

Scooby-Doo was bred to be a super-intelligent test subject for a Soviet space program.

There is some good evidence to back up this possibility. After all, wouldn’t a super-intelligent Great Dane find ways to outsmart the criminals besides barking and putting himself in danger? This theory can also explain Scooby’s ability to talk.

Even Scooby’s ears might be explained by the idea that he was bred as a super-intelligent Soviet dog. It makes sense that they would breed a dog as large and powerful as the Great Dane, and Great Danes, being a German breed, may have been very available to the Soviets.

However, they would have wanted to make a dog as smart as possible as well. Naturally, they’d want the intelligence of the smartest breed, the Border Collie. Border Collies have ears that partially stand and are slightly folded at the tip, just like Scooby Doo’s ears.

Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane… probably kind of

Most of the evidence points to Scooby-Doo being a Great Dane, but there are definitely a few scraps of evidence that make a mixed-breed dog, perhaps even a Soviet bred super dog, a possibility. Whatever kind of dog Scooby-Doo is, he remains loveable and entertaining, decades after his conception.