Zoinks! Scooby Doo is one of the most famous animated dogs of all time, loved by kids as well as adults for over 50 years. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! features a group of four crime-solving teens who call themselves “Mystery Inc,” lead by the beloved clumsy canine detective, Scooby Doo.
The quintet travels from city to city in their “Mystery Machine” van solving spooky, supernatural mysteries that end up being of human origin in the end, with the unmasked villain claiming that they “would’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for those meddling kids.”
But there is one mystery that has perplexed cartoon fans since the show’s debut. What kind of dog is Scooby Doo, anyway? We have the answer and lots of other fun Scooby facts below.
What Kind of Dog Is Scooby Doo?
Scooby Doo is a Great Dane, one of the biggest dog breeds. The character was created by Iwao Takamoto, animator at Hanna-Barbera Productions. Takamoto studied the breed when developing the character, but took plenty of liberties for the fictional series.
Great Dane Characteristics: Scooby Doo’s Similarities and Differences
Takamoto made sure to differentiate Scooby Doo’s character from traditional Great Dane breed characteristics.
For instance, Great Danes have several defining physical qualities that Scooby Doo didn’t have, such as a straight back, straight legs. and a small chin. “I decided to go the opposite and gave him a hump back, bowed legs, big chin and such,” Takamoto explained at a talk at Cartoon Network Studios. “Even his color is wrong.”
Personality-wise, Great Danes are known as the “Apollo of dogs” due to their stately grace and elegance. The breed is easygoing, with plenty of poise. That doesn’t sound anything like our Scooby Doo! Great Danes are also alert home guardians, but Scooby is a big scaredy cat—afraid of his own shadow.
There are, however, several similarities to the Scooby Doo dog character and that of a Great Dane, besides the size. The Scooby Doo Great Dane is high energy, has a great sense of balance, is affectionate, playful, and is a sweet and lovable “gentle giant.” And Great Danes are smarter than we sometimes think. That definitely sounds a bit more like our favorite childhood character!
Scooby Doo is loyal and protective of his owner, Shaggy. Together they haphazardly help solve the mysteries, often rescuing their three other companions who are in trouble. Danes are people pleasers, have big appetites, and are good with kids—now that describes Scooby Doo to a tee!
“I dare say Scooby is the ‘greatest’ Dane of all time!” proclaims Jerry Beck, an animation historian and author of The Hanna-Barbera Treasury. “He’s protective of his Scooby Snacks, loving of his owner Shaggy and smart about when to quickly exit a haunted house.” He notes that while Scooby is not always in line with a classic Great Dane, he can be “intimidating to any mad scientist, mummy, or witch doctor.”
What Kind of Dog Is Scrappy Doo?
Scrappy Doo is a Great Dane puppy. Scrappy Cornelius Doo joined the mystery-solving team in 1979 as Scooby Doo’s fearless nephew. Opposite his uncle, Scappy was ready to take on any monster with catchphrases like “Lemme at ’em!” and “Puppy Power!” despite his small size. Scrappy Doo had a similar appearance to Scooby and idolized his “Uncle Scoob.”
Scrappy Doo was created by Joseph Barbera of Hanna-Barbera Productions to save the show when the ratings were falling in 1979, almost to the point of cancellation. Scrappy once again saved the day! And for most of the series, Scrappy Doo was voiced by famous disc jockey, Casey Kasem.
Other Interesting Scooby Doo Facts and FAQs
Besides wanting to know what kind of dog Scooby Doo is, there are other common questions and interesting tidbits that pop up about this four-legged cartoon character.
Scooby Doo FAQs
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about our beloved dog detective:
When Did Scooby Doo Come Out?
CBS debuted the first episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, “What a Night for a Knight” on Saturday, September 13, 1969 at 10:30 a.m. EST. It quickly achieved great success and was a fun addition to the action-packed Saturday morning cartoons.
What Is Scooby Doo’s Full Name?
Scooby Doo is a nickname for “Scoobert Doo.” His name actually comes from lyrics that were “scatted” at the end of Frank Sinatra’s song “Strangers in the Night.” After the last verse, Sinatra sings “doo-dee-doo-be-doo.” Now go ahead and take a listen!
Who Voiced Scooby Doo?
Throughout the years, Scooby Doo was played by several different voice actors. Hanna-Barbera cartoon actor, Don Messick, was the original Scooby Doo voice and worked on the series for decades. In 1994, Messick quit smoking and could no longer achieve Scooby Doo’s deep, raspy voice. Scooby Doo’s character would then be played by several different actors including Scott Innes (who was also the voice of Shaggy) and Frank Welker (who also was the voice of Fred since 1969).
Who Created Scooby Doo?
The Scooby Doo dog character was developed by Japanese-American animator, television producer, and film director, Iwao Takamoto. Early in Takamoto’s career he was a production and character designer at Walt Disney working on films such as Cinderella (1950), Lady and the Tramp (1955) and Sleeping Beauty (1959). Eventually he moved to Hanna-Barbera Productions where he developed most of the characters, including Scooby Doo and The Jetsons dog, Astro.
Ken Spears and Joe Ruby developed the Hanna-Barbera show, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! The American series was conceived by Fred Silverman as an alternative to the violent action-packed popular cartoons of that time that he wasn’t a fan of.
Scooby, says Beck, is a classic animation character, with new series and movies in constant production for over 50 years with no end in sight. And the main reason he’s so beloved, he says, is that viewers can identify with him. “That’s the number one trait of any cartoon star – and any great dog!” Beck exclaims.
Other Interesting Scooby Doo Facts
- Scooby Doo was given some unique qualities for a dog. His front paws are finger-like with opposable thumbs, which allow him to grab and hold things like a balancing stick while walking a tightrope. He also has an incredible sense of balance on his hind legs!
- Scooby Doo has a very impressive appetite, often downing an enormous sandwich or pizza in seconds. In the series, Scooby Doo is mostly seen with his owner Shaggy. They are a perfect duo, as both are scared easily and constantly hungry! Biscuit dog treats called “Scooby Snacks” are often used as a bribing tool to go after the villains.
- Scooby Doo’s tail is prehensile—allowing him to point, press buttons, or grasp things, often helping the team get out of sticky situations.
- Scooby Doo can speak English, which is impressive for a dog! However, he pronounces most words as if they began with the letter “R,” like his catch phrase howl at the end of each episode, “Rooby-Rooby-Roo!”
- Scooby Doo is actually a triplet. His identical siblings are named Dooby Doo and Skippy Doo.