What Kind of Dog Is Scooby-Doo? Not A Great Dane? (The Truth)

what kind of dog is Scooby Doo

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Scooby-Doo, the lovable, bumbling Great Dane from the classic animated series “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!,” has been a cherished character in pop culture since his debut in 1969. Known for his goofy personality, insatiable appetite, and the iconic catchphrase “Scooby-Dooby-Doo!”, Scooby-Doo has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide, becoming a staple in the world of cartoons and children’s entertainment.

One of the enduring curiosities about Scooby-Doo is his breed. While many fans recognize him as a Great Dane, there’s much more to explore about his characteristics and how they compare to the real-life breed. We set out to answer this question and end the debate on whether or not Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane. We also uncover the intentions of the character’s creator when designing Scooby-Doo. Scooby-Doo may look like your typical Great Dane, but that is far from true. Let’s dive right in!

What Kind of Dog Is Scooby-Doo? History & Origin

Scooby-Doo was created by the legendary animation duo Hanna-Barbera, specifically by writers Joe Ruby and Ken Spears. Iwao Takamoto designed the character. Scooby’s original name is “Scoobert.” Scooby-Doo’s fictional character became widely popular with his first appearance in “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” in 1969. The cartoon revolves around Scooby-Doo and four teenagers—Shaggy Rogers (Scooby-Doo’s owner), Fred Jones, Velma Dinkley, and Daphne Blake—who are all members of Mystery Inc., a group that travels around the world in a van called the Mystery Machine, solving mysteries involving ghosts and supernatural creatures.

Following the success of the original series, continued reboots and spinoffs have kept the cartoon alive, winning over each new generation of viewers. Most recently, “SCOOB!,” an American computer-animated adventure comedy film featuring characters from the Scooby-Doo franchise, was released. The mystery of “What kind of dog is Scooby-Doo?” intrigues audiences every time a new Scooby-Doo film or series comes out, but we are here to set the record straight on Scooby-Doo’s breed.

What Type of Dog Is Scooby-Doo?

Iwao Takamoto, Scooby-Doo’s father and creator, revealed that the ideal features of a prize Great Dane inspired his endearingly klutzy canine Scooby-Doo. After speaking with a breeder of show dogs, Takamoto learned “what made a prize-winning Great Dane and went in the opposite direction,” Takamoto told Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald in 1997.[1] Scooby Dog has all of the opposite features of a Great Dane.

What Breed Is Scooby-Doo?

Scooby-Doo is officially identified as a Great Dane. This breed was chosen deliberately to contrast his large, imposing appearance with his skittish, cowardly behavior, adding a humorous element to his character. Takamoto insisted that making Scooby big and clumsy would give the dog more comic potential.

Scooby-Doo vs Great Dane

Let’s explore how Scooby Doo’s characteristics compare to that of a Great Dane dog breed.

Scooby-DooGreat Dane
Lifespan50 years8 - 10 years
CoatSmooth and shortSmooth and short
ColorBrownDifferent colors
Exercise needsHe is always on the run2 hours daily
IntelligenceSecond-smartest member of Mystery, Inc12th smartest dog breed
FriendlinessVery friendlyModerate
Energy LevelUnlimited energyEnergetic but laid back
SheddingNoneModerate to high
HealthConstant accidentsGenerally healthy
WeightAbout the same as a Danes99 - 200

Physical Characteristics

According to the American Kennel Club, Great Danes represent elegance and balance. Their regal appearance, great size, well-formed, smoothly-muscled bodies are signs of dignity and strength. Great Danes are known as the “Apollo of dogs” due to their stately grace. This breed is well-balanced and not clumsy.

On the contrary, Scooby-Doo is a misshapen Great Dane with a less refined frame and body type. In Takamoto’s own words, he said: “The legs were supposed to be straight, so I made them bowed. I sloped the hindquarters and made his feet too big. He was supposed to have a firm jaw, so I receded it. [Even his color is wrong].”


A Great Dane’s coat comes in different colors and patterns, perhaps the best-known being the black-and-white patchwork pattern. The Great Dane’s “official” colors include merle, brindle, fawn, blue, black, mantle, and harlequin. Scooby-Doo is brown from head to toe with several distinctive black spots on his upper body and does not have the melanistic face mask often found in Great Danes. The AKC does not list brown with a few black spots on the back as an official color. While there is a resemblance in coat colors, it’s not entirely accurate. Unsurprisingly, people are often confused about what kind of dog Scooby-Doo is.

Emotional Characteristics

Scooby-Doo is naturally a chicken heart, which is not a Great Dane trait. Scooby-Doo usually hides in wicker baskets to avoid danger. Great Danes’ emotional attributes are the opposite of Scooby’s. This dog breed is courageous and never timid. They are sweet by nature, great home guardians, and dependable dogs.


Stanley Coren, a professor of canine psychology at the University of British Columbia, ranked Great Danes as the 12th-smartest breed. In contrast, Scooby-Doo is the second-smartest member of Mystery, Inc., trailing only Velma. That certainly supports the belief that Scooby-Doog is a Great Dane!

Problem-Solving Skills

Great Danes, according to Professor Coren, are excellent problem-solvers. For example, they can quickly distinguish between intruders and friends. Scooby-Doo also has excellent problem-solving abilities. He becomes an escape artist when escaping from werewolves and monsters, requiring excellent coordination and fast thinking skills. Scoob may indeed be a Great Dane, after all! 


Despite their size, Great Danes consider themselves lap dogs. Great Danes may be large dogs, but they fit into the lapdog category in their minds. It is common for Great Danes to spread out on a couch or sit on your lap if you let them. They are very affectionate and friendly animals. Similarly, Scooby-Doo will often jump straight into Shaggy’s arms when frightened. Scooby-Doo is Shaggy’s best friend, and in the show, you can see the sheer moments of joy they share. Another reason Scooby Doo may be a Great Dane.


Scooby-Doo has an insatiable appetite for Scooby Snacks and his constant quest to devour entire buffets and enormous sandwiches when no one is looking. While real Great Danes have hearty appetites, their feeding habits are typically more regulated and do not involve the exaggerated obsession with snacks that Scooby-Doo exhibits.

Is Scooby-Doo A Great Dane? The Verdict

A comparison of our physical and emotional characteristics shows how Scooby-Doo differs from a Great Dane dog breed. Even Scooby Doo’s creator has stated that Scooby is the opposite of a Great Dane. Despite being entirely fictional (and animated), Scooby-Doo can be considered a “peculiar Great Dane” dog. Scooby defies all conventional wisdom about Great Danes. His anti-Great Dane characteristics probably made Scooby-Doo likable and the iconic cartoon figure he is today. Whether or not you consider Scooby-Doo a Great Dane, one thing is sure: he will remain a cultural touchstone for many years.

Scooby-Doo Breed In Real Life

Is there a Great Dane that looks like Scooby-Doo? Yes, a Great Dane named Presley is considered the real-life Scooby-Doo. His owner, Sian Barrett, 47, from Oldbury in the West Midlands in the UK, claims Presley is a real-life Scooby-Doo. “He is afraid of everything. He is always getting scared off by smaller dogs, and I’ve had to start hiding the plastic bags from him because he’s afraid,” says Barrett. Presley might be even more timider than his cartoon counterpart. His temper doesn’t match his size, and he fears everything he says.[2] There was a time when Barrett was walking Presley in the park, and he got scared off by a West Highland Terrier, which is tiny compared to him. The slightest fright will send him to his owner for a reassuring cuddle.

Dogs That Look Like Scooby-Doo

Meet some Great Danes and other real dogs that look like Scooby-Doo.

How Tall is Scooby Doo?

Scooby-Doo’s height has not officially been revealed, but a reasonable estimate is around 3.3 feet at the withers and, standing on its hind legs, between 6 and 7 feet tall.

How Old Is Scooby-Doo?

According to the live-action “Scooby-Doo” movie and several reports, Scooby-Doo is seven years old in dog years.[3] In human years, that would make Scooby-Dog 50 years old. Scooby looks like a full-grown dog. Unfortunately, if he were alive, he would have passed away years ago, as Great Danes sure get the short end of the stick when it comes to lifespan. Great Danes live between 8 and 10 years, with some living only 6 or 7 years and a few lucky ones reaching 12. However, we have no doubt Scooby-Doo’s popularity and omnipresence will continue to outlive all of us as he has done so since his inception in 1959.

What is Scooby Doo’s Real Name?

According to Business Insider, Scooby-Doo’s real name isn’t Scoobert Doobert.[4] It’s Scoobert Doo. Scooby’s full name, “Scoobert,” was revealed in the 1988 Scooby-Dospinoffff “A Pup Named Scooby-Doo.” But Scoobert’s last name, Doo, was confirmed in “It’s a Wonderful Scoob,” a 1985 episode of the short-lived series “The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo.” It is said that Scooby-Doo is named after a Frank Sinatra scat at the end of “Strangers in the Night”: “Scooby Dooby Do.” The former director of daytime programming at CBS, Fred Silverman, said he came up with the name after hearing Sinatra sing the song’s scat refrain, “Do be do be do.”

Fun Facts About Scooby-Doo Dog Breed

Scooby-Doo turned 50 years old last year, and to celebrate, we compiled a few interesting facts you might not know about the classic cartoon.

  • Scooby Doo’s first name before its release was “Too Much.”
  • Scooby Doo holds the record for the most episodes of a cartoon series
  • Scooby-Doo, Papa Smurf, and Scrappy-Doo’s voices are all done by Don Messick.
  • The voice for Shaggy, Casey Kasem, wanted Shaggy to be a vegetarian.
  • Scooby-Doo and their friends have faced and fought more than 390 different villains to date
  • Shaggy-Doo and Scooby-Doo are the only two characters that appear in every show
  • Scooby’s 17-year-old owner, Shaggy, appeared to be a stereotypical hippy with the munchies
  • The original title of the cartoon series was ‘W-Who’s Scared’ but was changed to Scooby-Doo to make it less scary
  • Scooby’s nephew Scrappy first appeared in 1983 in The New Scooby & Scrappy-Doo Show.
  • Scooby has a speech disorder. His excessive use of the letter “R” is called rhotacism.
  • He was going to be a sheepdog. However, producers thought he was too similar to Hot Dog from ‘Archie’ comics, so they turned him into a misshapen Great Dane.
  • The first episode aired in America in September 1969.
  • It’s aired in more than 160 countries.
  • Velma’s   catchphrase,  ”My glasses, I can’t see without them!” was an unscripted remark at the first ­read-through by actress Nicole Jaffe, who played her.
  • Scooby is a triple. His identical siblings are Skippy-Doo and Dooby-Doo
  • It was the first cartoon to feature a laughter track.
  • He was born of Mama-Doo and Dada-Doo and has an annoying nephew named Scrappy-Doo.

What Kind of Dog Breed Is Scrappy Doo?

Scrappy-Doo’s dog breed is a fictional Great Dane puppy created by Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1979 with the catchphrases “Scrappy Dappy Doo,” “Lemme at ’em!” and “Puppy Power!”. He is the nephew of Hanna-Barbera cartoon star Scooby-Doo. Scrappy is the son of Scooby’s sister, Ruby-Doo.

The Bottom Line

“Scooby-Dooby-Doo!” Another mystery was solved! Our analysis of the character Scooby-Doo has determined that he is indeed based on the Great Dane breed but with a peculiar twist. Scooby-Doo’s enduring appeal lies in his lovable and humorous personality, which has captivated audiences for generations. As a character, Scooby-Doo has entertained millions and brought significant attention to the Great Dane breed. Through his adventures with the Mystery Inc. gang, Scooby-Doo has highlighted the unique charm and endearing qualities of Great Danes, making them a beloved breed among dog enthusiasts. The character’s timeless popularity continues to introduce new audiences to the joys of having a Great Dane as a companion, ensuring that Scooby-Doo’s legacy as a cultural icon and ambassador for the breed endures.

We solved the mystery of Scooby Doo’s dog breed, and it’s time for Canine Bible’s gang to explore and solve other doggy topics. We hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful (quirky chuckle*).

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Canine Bible uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process and product review methodology to learn more about how we fact-check, test products, and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Sydney Morning Herald
  2. Daily Mail
  3. Arizona State Unversity
  4. Business Insider
Editorial Team at Canine Bible | + posts

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