Scooby Doo is a familiar part of every person’s childhood. Fans of this popular TV series are enchanted by Scoob’s every activity; from his charming “Ruh-roh” and accompanying headcock to his dizzying array of adventures with his fave sidekicks Shaggy, Daphne, Fred, and Vilma. Scooby Doo is a household name and is recognized by fans all over the world. However, one thing about this beloved cartoon character remains a bit of a mystery—just what breed is Scooby Doo?
Where Did Scooby Doo Come From?
A little bit of research unearthed that the character Scooby Doo indeed is based on a specific purebred dog breed. A creation of cartoonist Iwao Takamoto who was employed by Hanna-Barbara Productions at the time, Scooby Doo was originally known by a different name entirely—Scoobert. Scoobert was first introduced on a television show by the name of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! The first broadcast of this show took place in 1969.
This TV show centers on the lives and adventures of a dog resembling a Great Dane named Scooby Doo and his four youthful friends named Shaggy, Fred, Vilma, and Daphne. Scooby’s four teenage pals all belonged to a group known as Mystery Inc. The main role of Mystery Inc was to travel in a vehicle known as the Mystery Machine on a quest for paranormal mysteries to solve.
This cartoon was highly successful, leading to many spinoff series and several reboot attempts. The most recent film SCOOB! enjoyed great success at the box office in spite of a pandemic in 2020.
Is Scooby Doo a Purebred Dog Breed?
Cartoonist Iwao Takamoto, the creator of Scooby Doo, has confirmed that this beloved canine companion of Shaggy, Daphne, Vilma, and Fred was indeed modelled after the delightful Great Dane…in a sense. Scooby’s likeness was designed after careful consideration of top winning Great Danes and was intended to represent the exact opposite of these highly prized show dogs to increase the comedic factor of the character. One of the key characteristics to increase Scooby Doo’s appeal to TV viewers was to make him large, awkward, and prone to clumsiness.
The American Kennel Club breed standard for the Great Dane indicates that the ideal dog of this breed should be elegant and well balanced. The Great Dane naturally carries itself with a regal air and has a lithe, muscular body. Unlike Scooby Doo, Great Danes are dogs of refinement and sophistication and not at all prone to clumsy behavior.
To help emphasize the differences between a show quality Great Dane and the iconic Scooby Doo, here are the characteristics Iwao Takamoto gave our fave canine hero:
- Scooby Doo has bowed legs
The ideal Great Dane should possess legs that are perfectly straight. By comparison, Scooby Doo’s legs curve into the hindquarters, and his feet are oversized.
- Scooby Doo has an overbite.
Great Danes should have strong jaws and what is considered to be a scissors bite. An overbite is considered to be a very serious fault in show line Great Danes.
- Scooby Doo’s coloring is incorrect for a Great Dane.
Great Danes come in seven main colors and several different patterns. One of the most common patterns associated with the breed is a black and white patchwork known as Harlequin.
Another distinctive mark of the breed is a dark face mask. Scooby Doo does not have this darkened pigment and also is a color that is considered to be incorrect for the Great Dane: brown with uniquely placed black spots.
What is Scooby Doo’s Personality Like?
The Great Dane is known for its brave nature, a trait Scooby Doo does not share with this dog type. Scoob is fearful at heart, running for cover when things get a little too frightening on Mystery Inc adventures with his pals.
Can Scooby Doo Be Considered a Great Dane?
Though there are many differences between Scooby Doo and top winning show dog Great Danes, there are also some similarities; enough of them to say that yes, Scooby Doo is a member of the Great Dane family. When breeding dogs together, breeders get a mixed bag of genetics in every litter. Even from champion show dog parents, breeders may end up with some puppies that are excellent examples of their breed and others that differ from the expected norm in significant ways. This is the best way to describe Scooby Doo: he is not your average Great Dane.
Is There an Actual Dog Like Scooby Doo Alive Today?
A Great Dane by the name of Presley is touted to be the real-life equivalent of our cartoon hero Scooby Doo. Owned by Sian Barrett of the UK, this dog resembles Scoob in personality and appearance.
How Tall is Scooby Doo?
A dog of unusual and exaggerated proportions, it is believed that Scoob stands at just over 3 feet at the shoulders. With his legs and head taken into consideration, our cherished canine companion rings in at a height of approximately 6 to 7 feet tall.
What is Scooby Doo’s Age?
Scooby Doo is believed to be a 7 year old dog. Sadly, if Scooby Doo were a real dog, he would be nearing the end of his life expectancy. Like most giant breeds, the normal lifespan for a dog the size of the Great Dane is 8-10 years with some only surviving as long as 6. One of the biggest problems faced by this breed is bloat, a life threatening condition that involves the twisting of the intestines. Bloat is most often fatal.
What are Some Little Known Facts about Scooby Doo?
Here are a few interesting tidbits you may not know about our favourite cartoon canine Scooby Doo:
- Some people think Scooby Doo’s name is taken from the Frank Sinatra song “Strangers in the Night.”
- Scoobert is Scooby’s full name, and Doo is considered to be his surname.
- Before settling on the name Scooby Doo, our fave cartoon canine companion was to be named “Too Much.”
- Scooby Doo is one of the longest running cartoon series and to date has the most episodes of any show of its kind.
- The characters of Scooby Doo, Scrappy Doo, and Papa Smurf were all done by Mr. Don Messick.
- The late Casey Kasem provided the voice for the character of Shaggy.
- Scooby Doo and the gang have battled over 390 different supernatural villains.
- Shaggy and Scooby appear in every single episode of the TV series Scooby Doo.
- Scooby Doo’s nephew Scrappy Doo made his first appearance on the show in 1983.
- Scooby Doo has a speech condition known as rhotacism that causes excess use of the letter “r” when speaking.
- The TV show Scooby Doo is broadcast regularly in over 160 countries around the world.
- Scooby Doo is a triplet; his other siblings are named Skippy Doo and Dooby Doo.
What kind of dog is Scooby Doo? Though based on the purebred dog the Great Dane, Scooby was designed to be the opposite of some of this beloved dog type’s best traits to increase his lovability and appeal.