Scooby-Doo is an American animated franchise that has been made into numerous TV shows, movies, video games, and merchandise. The series was created by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears for Hanna-Barbera Productions, an American animation studio, back in 1969. The series became so successful and had fans, young and old, across the world. Scooby-Doo follows the story of four amateur teenage detectives, as they solve crimes involving supernatural entities.
The show is known for many things, such as its humor, the writing, and its ingenious (albeit formulaic) plot. But the most iconic part of all about the show is its cast of characters. Among all of them though, the one that stands out the most is no other than the eponymous protagonist, Scooby-Doo.
Designed by Iwao Takamoto, Scooby-Doo is the iconic dog that joins Fred, Shaggy, Daphne, and Velma throughout their misadventures. Scooby is often partnered with Shaggy and the two act as the comic relief of the group. Scooby-Doo is loved by fans for his silly personality, his love for tall sandwiches, and his surprising ability to speak broken English. But for today’s article, we’ll be diving into the history of Scooby and answer today’s mystery: What kind of dog is Scooby-Doo?
Scooby-Doo also know as Scrappy Doo is a Great Dane.
Before you click off this article, dear readers, there is a lot more to learn about Scooby than just his breed.
Let’s go back to talking about Takamoto. Takamoto was in charge of designing the whole cast of Mystery Inc. Originally, Scooby-Doo wasn’t even supposed to be named “Scooby-Doo.” The creators, Ruby and Spears, were planning on naming the dog “Too Much” and having Scooby Doo be a sheepdog. But CBS rejected the idea, thus they went back to the drawing board and that’s when they decided to instead make the iconic dog a Great Dane. But what about the name? Well, funny enough, Scooby-Doo’s name was actually inspired by the scat lyrics at the end of Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night.”
Takamoto was then tasked to make Scooby-Doo. But rather than putting every good thing a Great Dane has to offer, Takamoto took those aspects, from the dog’s personality to its appearance, and turned it on its head. Takamoto researched with breeders and took note of all of the ideal features of prized Great Danes. And then he did the opposite of all of that. Definitely not the sort of dog you expect of a Dane.
For starters, let’s look at them physically.
Great Danes are big dogs that tower every other breed with their massive height. They have lean, muscular bodies, a strong chin, and legs that can strike awe into anyone who sees them. Scooby, while has a point for being tall, has a rounder face and body, a small chin, bowed legs, and a bulging lower back. And this is not us hating on Scooby. In fact, it’s the reason why people love him. His design made him look loveable and harmless, especially to children.
Great Danes are known as the “Apollo of Dogs” They are graceful hunting dogs and are great, gently giants. They are also known as guard dogs, thanks to their large size and the ability to train them. Scooby-Doo, on the other hand, is pretty much not the dog you would want to bring to a fight, much less to a haunted house. Scooby is always depicted as a cowardly, voracious dog who will only do things when given a Scooby Snack.
It’s pretty obvious that Takamoto did an amazing job at making Scooby be the opposite of everything a Great Dane is great for. And yet, Scooby is so iconic and so well known on both the big and small screen. Scooby has made America and the world fall in love with him and his antics with Shaggy. Scooby-Doo the show has countless reboots as well as toys, apparel, foods, and other products made for it.
Scooby-Doo has become a household name through different generations. People with Great Danes that look like Scooby post pictures online, showing their love for the fictional canine. Even though Scooby is everything a Great Dane shouldn’t be, that did not stop him from winning over people’s hearts.
Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane, albeit not really the best representation of the breed. But even though he is the polar opposite of what an actual Great Dane is, he is still a loveable character in his own rights and is a part of a franchise that is still ongoing to this day. Great Danes are good dogs to have for those who are looking for a companion, although we can’t really say if they can be as good as a mystery solver as Scooby.