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

what kind of dog is Scooby Doo

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What kind of dog is Scooby-Doo? Is Scooby-Doo a Great Dane?

We know Scooby-Doo by name and sight. But what type of dog is Scooby-Doo? Most people believe that Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane for good reasons. But, even though Scooby-Doo’s traits are very similar to those of a Great Dane, it does not accurately represent Scooby-Doog’s breed. We set out to answer this question and end the debate on whether or not Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane.

Our research demonstrates how the cartoon characteristics of Scooby-Doo align with a particular dog breed. 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

Hanna-Barbera Productions cartoonist Iwao Takamoto created Scooby-Doo. Scooby’s original name is “Scoobert.” Scooby Doo’s fictional character became widely popular for his first appearance since Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! in 1969.

The cartoon revolves around Scooby-Doo and four teenagers, Shaggy Rogers (Scooby-Doo’s owner), Fred Jones, Vilma Dinkley, and Daphne Blake, all fellow members of Mystery Inc., a research society that travels around the world in a van called 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!, the latest American computer-animated adventure comedy film featuring characters from the Scooby-Doo franchise.

The mystery of “What kind of dog is Scooby-Doo?” continues to deepen every time a new Scooby-Doo film or series comes out, but we are here to set the record straight on the Scooby-Doo dog breed.

What Type of Dog Is Scooby-Doo?

You’ve probably read Scooby Doo’s dog breed is a Great Dane. Not so fast. Here are the facts.

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. So, is Scooby-Doo’s dog breed a Great Dane? Well, not really. Let’s dive deeper.

What Breed Is Scooby-Doo? Great Dane Comparison

Takamoto insisted that making Scooby big and clumsy would give the dog more comic potential. 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 are the picture of 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. 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 seem to have a melanistic mask face mask found very often in Great Danes.

The AKC doesn’t state anything about brown with a few black spots on the back. While there is a resemblance in coat colors, it’s not hundred percent correct. It’s not surprising that people are often confused about what kind of dog Scooby-Doo is.

Emotional Characteristics

Scooby-Doo is, by nature, 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.


A full-grown Great Dane can eat a ton of food. They need all those calories to fuel that giant body. Likewise, Scooby-Doo will devour entire buffets and enormous sandwiches when no one is looking. After looking through both pups’ main characters and traits, is Scooby-Doo a Great Dane? 

Is Scooby-Doo A Great Dane? The Verdict

Our physical and emotional characteristics comparison has shown 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 are 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 timider than his cartoon counterpart. His temper doesn’t match his size, and he is scared of everything he says.[2]

There was a time 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.

Image: Daily Mail

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

What Kind of Dog Is Scooby-Doo? — Conclusion

“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. 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 to learn more about how we fact-check 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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