What Kind of Dog is Scooby-Doo? (A Detailed Explanation)

Scooby-Doo is well-known to us both by his name as well as his appearance. The question today, though, is what breed has been used to create this beloved cartoon dog, and what would he most likely be like in real life?

Scooby-Doo is a talking Great Dane with dark markings on a brown coat, easily recognized by his trademark chuckle, rectangular head, and prominent ears. The American animated television series “Scooby-Doo” features him traveling alongside his fellow cartoon best friends, Shaggy and their gang of buddies, as they seek to solve intriguing mysteries.

The fictitious character Scooby-Doo is based in large part on a male Great Dane named “Scooby.” The character’s original artist, Iwao Takamoto, received inspiration for the character from a discussion with another member of the Hanna-Barbera crew who happened to be a Great Dane breeder. Following that individual’s description as a basis for Scooby-Doo, he opted to tweak numerous traditional qualities of the Great Dane breed to make him more like the character we know and love today.

what kind of dog is scooby doo
What Kind of Dog is Scooby-Doo?

Scooby Doo’s Origins and History

Iwao Takamoto, a cartoonist for Hanna-Barbera Productions, invented the character of Scooby-Doo. Scooby’s given name at his birth was “Scoobert.” It was Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? in 1969 that brought the fictitious but lovable Scooby-Doo’s persona to widespread public attention for the first time, and he’s been a hit with generations ever since.

In the cartoon, Scooby-Doo and four teenagers—Shaggy Rogers (Scooby-Doo’s owner), Fred Jones, Vilma Dinkley, and Daphne Blake—travel around the world in a van called Mystery Machine. They are all members of Mystery, Inc.—a research society that solves mysteries involving ghosts and supernatural creatures.

Following the popularity of the original series, a slew of reboots and spin-offs have helped to keep the animation alive, winning over new audiences with each new generation. Most recently, there was SCOOB!, the newest American computer-animated adventure comedy film that was released in May of 2020 and stars numerous characters from the Scooby-Doo franchise. As of 2021, there have also been some direct-to-DVD releases as well, such as Scooby-Doo! The Sword and the Scoob and even a crossover with the Courage the Cowardly Dog series.

A Comparison Between Scooby-Doo and a Standard Great Dane

Takamoto was certain that having Scooby be huge and awkward would increase the dog’s comedy potential, but is that how most Great Danes are in reality? Let’s take a look at how Scooby Doo’s qualities compare to those of a real Great Dane to see how they differ or share any similarities.

Physical Characteristics

Great Danes are the epitome of grace and balance. Their dignity and power are reflected in their royal demeanor, impressive stature, and well-formed, nicely-muscled physique. Great Danes are renowned as the “Apollo of dogs” because of their majestic stance and appearance. This breed is well-balanced and does not tend to be clumsy.

On the other hand, Scooby-Doo would be more of a “malformed” Great Dane with a far less elegant frame and body type than other dogs of this breed.

The coat of a Great Dane comes in various colors and designs, the most well-known of which is the black-and-white patchwork pattern known as “harlequin.” Scooby-Doo is completely brown from head to toe, with many obvious black patches on his upper body. He does not appear to have a melanistic face mask, which is common in Great Danes.

Not surprisingly, people are frequently puzzled about what sort of dog Scooby-Doo is, which is very understandable since he doesn’t fully look like one specific breed.

Emotional Characteristics

Scooby-Doo is chicken-hearted by nature, which is not a characteristic of Great Danes.

The emotional characteristics of Great Danes are very opposite of those displayed by Scooby. The Great Dane dog breed is fearless, and these dogs never show signs of fear or weakness. They have a gentle demeanor and make excellent home security dogs, along with serving well as trustworthy pets.

Behavioral Characteristics

Great Danes are lively, fearless, and never timid. By comparison, wicker baskets are where Scooby-Doo likes to take refuge from danger. Unlike our favorite cartoon dog, however, the majority of Great Danes do not have to contend with ghosts, monsters, goblins, and other awful horrors.

Nevertheless, after approximately three or four cases, Scooby definitely should’ve realized that he wasn’t dealing with monsters at all in these situations, but rather he was with that scary hotel concierge or business owner instead.

Great Danes as well as Scooby-Doo, though, are both kind and affectionate. That is something we cannot dispute.

What Level of Intelligence Do They Have?

Great Danes are ranked as the 12th most intelligent dog breed.

Scooby-Doo is the second-smartest member of Mystery, Inc. He is behind only Velma in terms of intelligence.

According to this smart factor, Scooby does indeed appear to be a Great Dane because his high intelligence is a solid argument!

How Much Do They Value Your Personal Space?

Great Danes consider themselves lap dogs despite their enormous size, and they will not hesitate to share your La-Z-Boy with you if you allow them to do so. They will do this without considering you, and they often appear confused when you express your dissatisfaction.

When Scooby-Doo is scared, he frequently goes into Shaggy’s arms and cuddles up to him like a frightened child. Does he seek permission first? Does he give any thought to the condition of Shaggy’s back when making these decisions? He does not.

What Kind of Food Do They Consume?

A fully grown Great Dane can consume almost the same amount of food as an army battalion, and it costs around the same to feed them, too.

In most scenes where food is involved, Scooby-Doo can eat a sandwich the size of his entire body, and he will always go to any lengths to get his hands on a Scooby Snack. Occasionally, he has been known to demolish whole buffets while everyone is looking the other way so that Great Dane’s appetite is consistent between the real breed and our favorite cartoon goofball.

Is Scooby-Doo a Great Dane?

Our analysis of Scooby-Doo’s physical and emotional qualities has demonstrated how his particular “breed” varies from the Great Dane. Even Scooby-Doo’s creator has claimed that Scooby is the polar opposite of a Great Dane in terms of both appearance and personality.

Although Scooby-Doo is a wholly fictitious, animated character, he can still somewhat just be regarded as a “peculiar Great Dane.” When it comes to Great Danes, Scooby violates all conventional thinking. However, Scooby-Doo’s non-Great Dane qualities are perhaps what has made him so appealing and iconic as the cartoon character he remains today.

Whatever your feelings may be about Scooby-Doo, one thing is certain: he is technically a Great Dane, and he will be remembered as a cultural icon for many years to come.

Great Danes Setting Records as Some of the World’s Largest Dogs

Knowing the dog breed behind the iconic cartoon character Scooby-Doo, let’s have a look at the two largest dogs on the planet… and yes, they are both Great Danes.

Freddy, the largest living dog in the world

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Freddy is the world’s largest living dog. His record for gigantism was approved on September 13, 2016, when he was just four years old.

Freddy is a majestic Great Dane measuring 3 feet and 4.75 inches at the withers and 7.4 feet from his hind legs when standing… or one-third the height of a giraffe. Claire Stoneman, his owner, is just 5.8 feet tall; thus, her beloved pup towers over her.

Freddy resides in Essex in the United Kingdom with his sister, Fleur. When he was a puppy, his owner took him in and raised him—but Claire couldn’t have imagined that her Freddy would grow to such magnificent proportions.

When it comes to eating, Freddy is incredibly picky as well! Feeding Fleur and her gentle 196-pound giant costs Claire roughly $10,000 per year.

Zeus, the greatest dog all the time

Freddy, however, could not dethrone Zeus—another Great Dane who holds the world record for being the tallest dog of all time.

On October 4, 2011, the American Kennel Club recognized Zeus’s record, with him measured as 3 feet and 8 inches tall at the withers and 155 pounds for his weight. Zeus lived in the town of Otsego, Michigan, in the United States. Sadly, Zeus died in 2014 at only five years old due to health problems.

Zeus was exceptional—not just in terms of his size, but also in terms of his soft nature, which made him a great therapy dog.

Is the Great Dane the Tallest Breed of Dog?

In a technical sense, no. A standard measurement of 32 inches for male Irish Wolfhounds, compared to most Great Danes clocking in at around 30 inches, makes most sources (including the AKC) recognize Irish Wolfhounds as generally being the larger breed by comparison. However, when large canines such as Zeus or Freddy come onto the scene, they far exceed all expectations and typical rules for a breed’s growth habits.

In recent years, it has been purely coincidental that all of the world’s record-holders for the tallest dog have been German Mastiffs.

great dane
Great Dane dog

Facts About Scooby-Doo You May Not Know

Scooby’s Real Name

Scooby’s full name is Scoobert, contributing to the first half of his nickname of “Scooby-Doo.”

“Doobie doobie doo” is taken from the Frank Sinatra song, “Strangers in the Night,” in which he sings our favorite cartoon’s pup name-related catchphrase in one of the song’s lines.

Who Designed Scooby-Doo?

Scooby was designed by Iwao Takamoto, a Japanese designer who had previously worked for the Walt Disney Company.

He is the son of Japanese immigrants in the United States, and he and his family were imprisoned in a concentration camp in the United States during World War II, following the assault on Pearl Harbor. Takamoto was born in Japan and raised in the United States. He learned to sketch while imprisoned there, thanks to the assistance of film crew members who were also detained.

What Breed is Scooby-Doo?

Initially, the production team believed that the character of Scooby-Doo should be an English Shepherd; but, after finishing their design, they found that their Scooby looked very similar to Archie’s—another popular fictional character—dog, so they changed their minds and opted for the Great Dane as the best fit for the character.

The Scooby-Doo design team visited with a Great Dane breeder to ensure that Scooby had all of the characteristics of the breed. However, they ultimately decided to remove practically all of them to make Scooby appear a bit sweeter and more entertaining.

Scooby’s World Records

Scooby-Doo held the record for being the longest-running animated series in history for a long time.

The Scooby-Doo franchise also held the Guinness World Record for the most episodes of any American animated television series for two years in both 2004 and 2005, but the show was eventually surpassed by The Simpsons in 2006.


What breed of dog is Scrappy-Doo?

Scrappy is Scooby’s nephew, and he happens to be a Great Dane as well, as you might expect. He has a distinct look because he is still a puppy, though—this is the cause of his disproportionately huge head and small body.

Scrappy is a solid brown, or fawn, hue with no markings, unlike his uncle. The same upright ears and boxy snout form that distinguish him as a Great Dane are also present.

Scooby-Doo has many more relatives, as seen in the variety of Scooby-Doo spin-offs and films that have been produced over the years. Some of the other related dogs who appear are Scooby’s parents—Dada-Doo and Mumsy-doo—as well as his siblings: Skippy-Doo; Howdy-Doo; and Ruby-Doo, Scooby’s only sister and mother of Scrappy.

Along with his numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins—including Scooby-Dum, Scooby-Dee, and even the ancient Missing Link Doo—Scooby has a large number of other relatives. All of the dogs in the Doo family are presented as being Great Danes; however, some of the dogs have a much more anthropomorphic appearance, while others have a more pet-like appearance.

Are Great Danes loving and affectionate dogs like how nice Scooby seems?

Great Danes, despite their intimidating size, are quite loving and gregarious. These puppies are madly in love with humans. As a result, they make excellent family pets since they require a tremendous deal of attention and interaction with people and other animals.

Danes are excellent with children, thanks to their lovely, kind, and patient personalities. However, they should never be left alone with small children, and they will need to be taught not to play as roughly as they would with a fellow puppy.

Related Reading: What Kind Of Dog Is Goofy The Disney Cartoon Character?

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Family Dog Expert Author

Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.