If it weren’t for those meddling kids… we wouldn’t have Scooby-Doo! Without a doubt, you’ve probably seen either a TV show, movie, or maybe even the show’s characters at a theme park at some point in your life. Like Pluto from Disney or Santa’s Little Helper from The Simpsons, Scooby-Doo has become one of the world’s favorite four-legged friends. But everyone wants to know… Is Scooby-Doo a Great Dane? Let’s find out!
When it comes to dogs in television or movies, they quickly can go from ultra-realistic to talking and driving cars. But, all dogs have to begin from somewhere! Today, we’re going to take a closer look at the inspiration behind the show and find out exactly what kind of dog is Scooby-Doo.
Who Is Scooby-Doo?
An icon of popular culture, Scooby-Doo became famous for the TV show with the same name that began in 1969. Since then, there have been many reruns, spinoffs, films, and video game iterations that have been created throughout the years. The latest, the movie Scoob!, just came out in 2020.
You can always find Scooby-Doo with his owner and best friend, Shaggy Rogers. Together, they are part of Mystery Inc., where they solve mysteries with their friends Fred, Daphne, and Velma. However, things never go as planned, and there are often many antics. Scooby-Doo and Shaggy are known for being very cowardly and need Scooby Snacks as motivation to get the job done.
While being a dog, Scooby-Doo has a mixture of human and canine traits. He looks like a dog but oftentimes is on his hind legs and speaks English. He pronounces most words with an “R” at the front, but everyone always seems to know what he’s talking about!
When watching many cartoons, artists tend to get creative with their inspirations behind the characters. So, the real question many people have when watching the show is what kind of dog was Scooby-Doo? Is Scooby-Doo a Great Dane? The answer is yes! While he may be a simplified cartoon version of the dog, he still shares many traits with the real breed.
Let’s break it down!
Scooby-Doo vs. Great Dane Appearance
Without a doubt, the show’s creators took some notes from a real Great Dane and their appearance when creating the character of Scooby-Doo. Scooby-Doo has a brown coat with 3-4 distinct black spots on the back.
Great Danes do come in the same brown color, but the spots would be nearly impossible to find. Their coats can be:
Fawn, the most common, is a light brown color with a black muzzle. They can have spots, but it tends to be all over the body. For example, harlequin Great Danes have white coats with big black patches.
Reaching the height of already tall Shaggy’s shoulder when sitting, the size of Scooby-Doo may be a little off. However, Great Danes can be the size of a small horse. Their extra-large size ranges from 28-32 inches from feet to shoulder, and they can weigh anywhere from 110-175 pounds. Their large and gangly bodies make them prone to stepping on others, something Scooby often does!
The face of Scooby-Doo no doubt resembles a Great Dane with its long, rectangular head and deep-set eyes. He has the pointed ears of a Great Dane who has been ear-cropped, although they are a little droopy to go with his goofy persona.
Since it is a cartoon about a talking dog, Scooby has some human traits we don’t typically see in dogs. He has opposable thumbs and can use his paws like hands. He also often stands on his hind legs, more apparent in the later adaptations.
Scooby-Doo vs. Great Dane Personality
You can always find Scooby at the side of his best friend, Shaggy Rogers. Great Danes are incredibly loyal dogs and feel a strong sense of love and dedication to their owners.
They’re also social dogs who like being around others, such as a crew of 4 mystery solvers. Scooby-Doo likes lots of attention, and Great Danes certainly don’t mind getting some extra love from their owners.
While considered gentle giants, Great Danes were originally bred as guard dogs. This instinct can still be tapped into, and they tend to be wary of strangers entering their yard or home. While Scooby-Doo is best known for being cowardly, he does help at the end and taps into those (deep) protective instincts.
This especially comes out whenever his young nephew, Scrappy-Doo, makes an appearance. Great Danes are great around children and other dogs, and Scooby is one of his nephew’s favorite dogs to hang out with.
Not known as smart or dumb, the Great Dane has average intelligence. Scooby-Doo’s intelligence, however, can be questioned at times as he is always falling for the bait for the villains and often gets stuck in Fred’s traps. He is known as the Super Sniffer, with an incredible sense of smell based on the Great Dane’s hunting instincts.
Most viewers know that Scooby-Doo will do anything for a Scooby Snack. Due to their size, you need to feed Great Danes a ton of food to keep them full and happy.
As much as we wished our dogs could talk, that is a trait that is only reserved for Scooby-Doo and other cartoon dogs. He can speak English to his friends, and you can often hear him howling his signature catchphrase, “Scooby-Dooby-Doo!”
Scooby-Doo In Real Life
If you want to add a Great Dane Scooby-Doo to your life, check out some of these real-life examples of Great Danes over on Instagram. See if you can spot the similarities!
What Kind Of Dog Is Scrappy-Doo?
The young nephew of Scooby-Doo first made his appearance in 1979. Just like Scooby, he is also a Great Dane. However, he lives in perpetual puppyhood! Scooby and his best friend Shaggy were there for his birth, and he quickly took a liking to his uncle.
While Scooby is scared, Scrappy-Doo is a brave and energetic pup. He takes after most puppies, often being brave despite his small size. He has more naivety around mysteries, and the others often have to look out for him.
Scrappy has the same coloring as his uncle, with the brown coat. His ears are pointed, with one being slightly droopy. In reality, ear cropping would happen while a puppy is 6-12 weeks old. Scrappy-Doo’s age remains uncertain.
Fun Facts About Great Danes And Scooby-Doo
Here are some fun facts I thought you would love!
1. Scooby-Doo was inspired by Archie.
In 1968, the head of children’s programming at CBS network, Fred Silverman, was on a mission to make Saturday morning cartoons more exciting for children. After making The Archie Show, he couldn’t help but notice the huge success of Archie’s band singing “Sugar, Sugar.”
Silverman wanted to do something similar. He loved the idea of kids in a haunted house and decided to make another show about a band who solved mysteries in between sets. Funnily enough, the band part and main inspiration for the show were dropped completely from the concept.
After CBS President Frank Stanton thought the idea of exploring haunted houses was too frightening for children, they decided to make the show more about Shaggy’s companion, Scooby-Doo!
2. Scooby-Doo was almost a Sheepdog.
When developing the character of the dog sidekick, the creators of the show, Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, were toying between the idea of having a large cowardly dog or a small feisty dog. Of course, they went with cowardly, creating hilarious irony of a big, scared dog frequenting haunted houses.
Once they had the large dog decided, they wanted to choose between a Great Dane or a Sheepdog. Since The Archie Show already had a Sheepdog named Hot Dog on the same network, they decided to go with a Great Dane. The creators were worried viewers would find the dog too similar to the popular cartoon, Marmaduke, but they decided to go ahead with the idea anyway!
3. Scooby-Doo was named after Frank Sinatra (kinda!).
While Fred Silverman was on a plane en route to a meeting about his upcoming show, he heard the song “Strangers in the Night” performed by Frank Sinatra. During the song, Frank ad-libs at the end, singing doo-bee-doo-bee-doo.
At the time of listening, Silverman mistook the lyrics for Scooby-doo-bee-doo, and inspiration for the name Scooby-Doo was born. Originally, the show was going to be called “Who’s S-S-Scared?” but after shifting the focus to be more on the dog rather than the scare factor, Scooby-Doo ended up being the name of the show as well.
4. Scooby-Doo has had many voices.
Scooby-Doo has been on and off the air in many different iterations since 1969. While a few people have voiced various video games and attractions, 3 main actors can claim Scooby’s voice as their own.
Don Messick was the original voice of Scooby-Doo from 1969 all the way to 1996. After suffering a stroke in 1996, he decided to retire from the profession of voice acting.
Afterward, Scott Innes took over the role from 1998 to 2002. He is also known for voicing Astro Jetson (another Great Dane) and Shaggy.
Frank Welker took over in 2002 and has been voicing Scooby-Doo ever since. Not only does he voice the dog, but he also is the original and current voice of the show’s character, Fred Jones. He has worked over the span of 60 years and has more than 860 film, television, and video game credits to his name!
5. Scrappy-Doo was once considered a bad role model.
In 1976, Scooby-Doo moved from CBS to ABC. To ensure that ABC didn’t cancel the series, they introduced the new character of Scrappy-Doo. The Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo show began, but many network officials worried that Scrappy-Doo presented a bad role model for kids.
They believed the nephew of Scooby to be too independent and rebellious. However, others argued that Scrappy-Doo always fought for the better and that Scooby-Doo being scared all the time was not the better alternative. In the end, the show ran for 16 episodes and worked to revitalize the series.
6. The Great Dane is the world’s tallest dog.
It will probably come as a surprise to nobody that the Great Dane holds the Guinness World Record for the tallest dog to have ever lived. While the title for living dog changes, the official title of Tallest Dog Ever (male) goes to a Great Dane named Zeus from Otsego, Michigan.
In 2011, Zeus was measured to be 44 inches tall from feet to shoulder and weighed 155 pounds. If that sounds big to you, picture Zeus on his hind legs! When he stood on his rear legs, he was an astounding 7 feet and 4 inches tall. He should have tried out for the NBA, or Space Jam at the very least.
Zeus’ owner said that he ate 30 pounds of dog food every 2 weeks. Maybe the need for Scooby Snacks isn’t so far-fetched after all!
Note: Zeus died in 2014 at the age of 5 due to natural causes.
7. Famous People Love Great Danes!
Many famous faces have had Great Dane sidekicks. They include…
- Jim Carrey, Canadian actor, and comedian
- Bruce Lee, Chinese-American martial artist
- Fabio Lanzoni, Italian-American actor
- Greg Lougainis, American diver and Olympian
- Mario Andretti, Italian-American race car driver
- Chubby Checker, American rock and roll singer
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd U.S. President
Great Dane Crosses
While you won’t often find Great Dane crosses, the breed being unique in itself, there are some mixes you can find. A Labradane is a Great Dane crossed with a Labrador Retriever, Boxane being a cross with a Boxer, and a Great Poodane being a cross with a Poodle. Of course, due to their size, the mother should always be the Great Dane for these breeds.
Without a doubt, Scooby-Doo has captured the hearts of people around the world for many decades. Maybe you can have your very own Great Dane Scooby-Doo as a member of your household soon!