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What Type of Dog is Scooby-Doo?

Nearly everyone knows who Scooby-Doo is, the main protagonist of the children’s cartoon “Scooby-Doo.” Together with his gang of friends, including Shaggy, Velma, Fred, Daphne, and his nephew Scrappy-Doo, he helps to solve spooky mysteries that others are unable to solve. You may be wondering exactly what type of dog he is. Well, you’re in the right place to find out because we will cover this and more today.

Scooby-Doo is the main protagonist of an animated series produced in 1969 by writers Joe Ruby and Ken Spears. He is a male Great Dane, going by the nicknames of “Scoob” and “Scooby,” and is well-known for his comical accent and signature catchphrase: “Scooby Dooby Doo.”

However, even though Scooby-Doo is supposed to be a Great Dane canonically, he isn’t exactly a normal one. We’ll take a closer look as to why that is, also going over anything else you might want to know about the cartoon character, so keep reading to get all the details.

About Scooby-Doo

Scooby-doo cast

Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane given anthropomorphic qualities who assists the Mystery Gang in solving strange and spooky mysteries. He is usually paired with Shaggy, his owner, and lifelong friend.

If you’re wondering how old Scooby-Doo is, the cartoon was first aired in 1969. However, the dog himself is canonically 7 years old in the cartoon, even though he’s been around for over 50 years now.

But what about him being an irregular representation of a Great Dane? According to one of the original series creators, Iwao Takamoto, Scooby-Doo was given rougher features on purpose.

Takamoto wanted Scooby to be a relatable, endearing everyday dog, so he gave him slightly bowed legs, a less defined jaw, and an irregular coloring. He didn’t want Scooby to represent a prize specimen of a Great Dane, so he made the necessary changes to accomplish this look.

More About Great Danes

Great dane illustration

The Great Dane is known in its native Germany as the German Mastiff. This statuesque dog often referred to as the “Apollo of dogs,” is descended from the Molossus hounds of ancient Rome.

In the Middle Ages, it was used as a wild boar hunter, companion, and bodyguard, and the breed also played its part in bull-baiting.

In the 1800s, the Chancellor of Germany, Bismarck, who had a particular interest in mastiffs, crossed the mastiff of southern Germany and the Great Dane of the north to produce dogs similar to the Dane we know today.

Despite its massive size, this breed should not be kenneled outdoors but kept indoors as a family member. The Great Dane is good-natured, playful, and easy to train. However, it should not be teased lest action is misinterpreted.

Physical Features

Great dane height illustration

A typical great Dane can grow to be 32 inches tall at the shoulder, towering over most other dog breeds when standing shoulder to shoulder with them. When standing on their hind legs, they can often be taller than most humans.

Even though they are massive, they are also known to be elegant and poised, said to stride with a nobleman or lady’s smooth and easy gait.

Their coats come in varied colorings and patterns, but the best-known combination of both is a black and white patchwork pattern called a “harlequin.” Great Danes also make great guard dogs, remaining alert at all times, despite their typical gentle disposition.

One reason they’re so good at home security is because of their size; home invaders may take one look at a growling Great Dane and flee right back out the way they came in.


Great dane silhoutte

Lastly, Great Danes are very patient dogs, which makes them great for handling small children. They’re also fairly sociable and make friends easily, both with other dogs and humans.


This breed of dog also doesn’t require too much maintenance. Proper grooming tips include a weekly brushing of the dog’s coat to reduce shedding, using a medium-thistle brush or rubber grooming mitt to get rid of excess fur.

However, during the two annual shedding seasons, the shedding will be much heavier. Additionally, as with all dog breeds, you should keep the Great Dane’s nails short to prevent discomfort and issues when running and walking.

Diet and Exercise

Great dane running vector illustration

Speaking of running and walking, Great Danes also require daily exercise to stay fit and healthy. A brisk walk two to three times daily should be all the exercise they need, but they can also make great companions for hiking and jogging.

It’s important to note that for more rigorous exercise, however, you should wait until they are 2 years of age to prevent damaging their growing joints.

As for diet, Great Danes should be fed high-quality dog food and should only be fed table scraps sparingly.

Avoid cooked bones and foods with high-fat content, as these dogs are prone to bloating. This is, in fact, the number one killer of Great Danes, where their stomachs get distended and twisted while bloating.

Other Dogs That Look Like Scooby-Doo

scrappy doo and marmaduke

Maybe you’ve really got a thing for dogs that look like Scooby-Doo. Or, in other words, you really enjoy Great Danes and TV characters that portray them. Well, if that’s the case for you, luckily, we know of a few other characters who also look like Scooby.

First off, we have Scrappy-Doo. Scrappy is actually a character in the same show as Scooby and is also a Great Dane. However, instead of representing a full-grown Dane, Scrappy is a Great Dane puppy.

Another “great” example of a Great Dane character is Marmaduke from the movie and comic strip entitled “Marmaduke.”

Marmaduke is more of a classic-looking Great Dane, without the rougher features given to Scooby-Doo. Please take a look at our article on Marmaduke for more information on him.

Final Thoughts

happy scooby-doo

Scooby-Doo is iconic. Nearly everyone on the planet has at least heard the name Scooby-Doo, and most people know exactly what he looks like and sounds like. Scooby’s unique design has led many to wonder what kind of dog he is supposed to be.

 He is a Great Dane; however, he was designed not to appear as a typical example of one of these giant canines.

Scooby has a long, stocky torso and lanky, skinny legs. 

His creator took careful measures to make Scooby look more endearing and dopier while making him appear less stately and regal at the same time.

We hope the information we’ve outlined above has given you all the insight you were seeking into Scooby-Doo, his history, and the kind of dog he portrays. Check the articles linked above for more information on other popular canine characters and the breeds they portray.

Related Questions:

  • What Type of Great Dane is Scooby-Doo? Scooby-Doo is a normal Great Dane; however, he was specifically designed to represent your everyday version of a Great Dane. Takamoto (Scooby’s creator) did not want the dog to appear perfect as a prized Great Dane would. He gave Scooby rougher features to make the dog more endearing for the audience.
  • What is Scooby Doo’s Real Name? Some may be wondering if Scooby-Doo is Scooby’s real name or if it’s a nickname for something else. Scooby’s full name is “Scoobert Doo.” However, this wasn’t revealed until a 1988 Scooby-Doo spinoff entitled “A Pup Named Scooby-Doo.” Scooby seems to be a nickname for his full name of Scoobert.
  • Is Scooby-Doo Based on a Real Dog? As far as we can tell, Scooby-Doo is not based on a dog in the real world. He is based on a real-world breed, Great Danes, but not on a specific dog. Scooby’s creator, Takamoto, did not have his own Great Dane to base him on.
  • What Breed of Dog is Scrappy Doo? As discussed above, Scrappy-Doo is based on a Great Dane puppy. When watching the show, you can easily see the similarities in build between Scooby and Scrappy, making it clear that Scrappy is also based on Great Danes.
  • What Breed of Dog is Jake? When you take a good look at the artwork of Jake and strip away any of the strange colors or shapeshifting, you’ll see that at Jake’s core is an extremely simple rendition of an English Bulldog.
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About the author: Pablo Pascua created dogbreedsfaq.com because of his interest in all the different breeds, and his desire to learn more. His inspiration comes from the many dogs he has owned throughout his life.