What Kind of Dog is Scooby Doo? Read & You Won’t Believe

Last Updated on July, 2024

Scooby-Doo has become an iconic fictional character for over five decades, captivating audiences of all ages. The teen detectives of Mystery Inc. and their beloved pet dog, Scooby-Doo, is an animated series many of us will recognize at first glance. 

After all, it’s hard not to enjoy these “meddling kids” solving supernatural mysteries as they travel across cities in their “Mystery Machine.”

Yet, amidst all these adventures, one question has puzzled fans of the Scooby-Doo franchise from the beginning: What kind of dog is Scooby-Doo? Is there any confirmation on what type of dog breed he is? 

Fear not; we have the answer to all your questions. We’ll even throw in some fun facts for all you Scooby-Doo superfans. So, grab a Scooby Snack and join us as we sniff out the truth behind what kind of dog is Scooby-Doo, the beloved best friend of Mystery Inc. 

Quick Summary

Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane, as confirmed by the animator who created him.

Scooby-Doo has a combination of traits from Great Danes and unique characteristics that add a humorous element to his character.

Scooby-Doo has helped break stereotypes about big dogs and has influenced how people perceive and love Great Danes.

So, What Kind of Dog is Scooby-Doo? 

The question that many fans have been dying to know is: what kind of dog is Scooby-Doo?

Scooby-Doo is actually of a Great Dane breed, as confirmed by Iwao Takamoto of Hanna Barbera Productions, who is the animator who created Scooby-Doo. 

This lovable character, Scooby-Doo, is known for his distinctive appearance with spots and towering stature, droopy jowls, and penchant for snacks, particularly Scooby Snacks. 

Scooby-Doo is a gentle giant despite his imposing size, often displaying a comical streak of cowardice. His endearing personality has made him a beloved character in animation.

Scooby Doo dog Great Dane

What’s interesting to note here is that the Hanna Barbera creators of the cartoon series made the deliberate choice of making Scooby-Doo a Great Dane to add a humorous element to the contrast between his size and timid nature.

While there may be stark differences between Scooby-Doo’s character and the characteristics of actual Great Danes, there are also many similarities. Stick around to find out!

About Great Danes (In Comparison to the Scooby-Doo Character) 

Iwao Takamoto, an animator at Hanna-Barbera Productions, was the creator who took on the task of crafting Scooby-Doo’s animated persona. His vision was to capture the essence of a real-life Great Dane, while infusing the character with its own distinctive quirks.

He collaborated with a colleague at Hanna-Barbera, who also happened to be a Great Dane breeder. This partnership helped Takamoto to shape a character, sharing enough traits with the Great Dane breed while having unique personality traits for humor and relatability.

Let’s delve into the parallels and distinctions between Scooby-Doo and an actual Great Dane, unraveling what brings this iconic animated dog to life. 

How Big Are Great Danes? 

Great Danes rank among the largest dog breeds globally, with males towering up to 32 inches at the shoulder and tipping the scales at a whopping 175 pounds, though females tend to be smaller. 

Scooby-Doo shares the size characteristics of a Great Dane remarkably well. His stature matches that of a full-grown Great Dane.

With his insatiable appetite for Scooby Snacks, he might even surpass the weight of the world’s tallest dog when standing on his hind legs.

Scooby-Doo isn’t just Great Dane-like; he’s a colossal canine!

Great Dane Dog Standing near a beach

What Do Great Danes Look Like? 

The American Kennel Club (AKC) outlines seven standards for Great Dane coats, colors, and patterns.

These standards include:

  • Fawn: The most common, showcasing a tan color across the entire body except for a darker “mask” on the face. 
  • Harlequin: Characterized by a white base fur coat adorned with random black splotches. 
  • Black: A beautifully rich, black coloration throughout the entire body.
  • Merle: Similar to Harlequins, but with a gray “undercoat” instead of white.
  • Brindle: A mix-match of colors and patterns, often with a fawn coloration underneath the fur. 
  • Blue: A coat of regal appearance ranging from light to dark gray, with ideally no other colors on their fur. 
  • Mantle: Marked by consistent black and white patterns on the feet, face, and chest over a black base coat.

Contrary to these AKC standards, Scooby-Doo doesn’t align with any specific Great Dane colors or patterns.

At best, his fur may resemble the spots of a Harlequin with the coloration of a Fawn Great Dane, although this is a bit of a stretch. Scooby-Doo also lacks the prominent face mask characteristic of many Great Danes. 

Additionally, the AKC describes Great Danes as “the picture of elegance and balance, with the smooth and easy stride of born noblemen.” 

In stark contrast, Scooby-Doo’s antics defy this description of stately grace. He tends to jog in place before zooming off suddenly.

His knees often loudly knock together, especially when he’s scared, and there’s a distinct screeching sound when he comes to a stop. None of this really screams elegance. 

To add more differences to Scooby-Doo’s appearance from Great Danes, he has bowed legs, a small chin, and a long tail, all characteristics foreign to the Great Dane breed. 

How Intelligent Are Great Danes? 

Stanley Coren, a canine psychology professor at the University of British Columbia, placed Great Danes in the 48th spot among the most intelligent dog breeds. (1)

Scooby-Doo, all things considered, proves to be quite the clever dog who demonstrates remarkable problem-solving skills, though most of it concerns whether there’s food at stake or his life is on the line. 

In fact, Scooby-Doo might be the second smartest member of the detectives, second only to Velma.

Great Dane sitting on a grass ground

How Brave Are Great Danes? 

The Great Dane was originally bred for hunting and to act as guard dogs back in the 1500s. They are lively, courageous, and never afraid. 

As we all know, Scooby-Doo almost always hides from danger in wicker baskets, and is quick to flee at the sight of it. 

As a matter of fact, it’s hard to see who is the bigger coward; Scooby-Doo or his best friend, Shaggy Rogers. 

What is a Great Dane’s Appetite Like? 

A prize-winning Great Dane can devour a meal of up to six to eight cups of kibble per day for females, and eight to ten cups for males. 

Scooby-Doo has a very healthy appetite, to put it lightly! This dog is known for his insatiable appetite and is notorious for clearing out entire buffets when nobody’s looking.

While the scales may differ, both Scooby-Doo and the Great Dane share a formidable capacity for devouring impressive quantities of food. 

Are Great Danes Friendly? 

This great dog is known for its sweet disposition and is popularly called a gentle giant.

Despite their enormity, Great Danes see themselves as lap dogs. They will make themselves home on your couch and, yes, even on your lap. These canines have a penchant for cuddling up with their owners. 

Scooby-Doo aligns perfectly with this characteristic as we can see how he effortlessly hops into Shaggy’s arms. He embodies the affectionate and companionable nature shared by the Great Dane. 

Other Possible Scooby-Doo Dog Breeds 

Scooby Doo look-a-like dogs

While we’ve already answered the question of what kind of dog is Scooby-Doo, various other dog breeds serve as popular headcanons among fans of the fictional series. 

  • Mixed Breed/Mutt: Scooby-Doo’s exact breed is never canonically mentioned in the show, leaving room for the possibility of a lovable mutt. 
  • Bernese Mountain Dog: With a similar large size and friendly demeanor, this dog breed could be considered a contender. 
  • Saint Bernard: Another giant breed known for its gentleness. Perhaps Scooby-Doo has a bit of Saint Bernard in him. 
  • Irish Wolfhound: Known for their large size, this dog breed could also be a suggestion for what kind of dog is Scooby-Doo. 
  • Newfoundland: With a sweet, gentle temperament and large size, this dog breed might be playfully linked to Scooby-Doo. 

The Impact of Scooby-Doo on the Dog World 

Scooby-Doo has made a significant mark on the dog world. This lovable, mystery-solving dog has become a pop culture icon. He’s not just a cartoon character; he has influenced how people see dogs. 

Scooby’s goofy antics and friendly nature have shown that big dogs can be cuddly and fun. Many folks now associate the Great Dane with Scooby-Doo’s character. This has led to more interest and love for these giant, yet sweet, canines. 

In a way, Scooby-Doo has helped break stereotypes around big dogs, showing they can be both silly and affectionate. He’s not just solving mysteries; he’s changing perceptions about our furry friends in the real world. 

Should I Get a Great Dane? 

Great dane dog breed standing and looking his left side

Deciding whether to get a Great Dane is a big decision, just like the dog itself. Let’s look at the pros and cons to help you figure out if a Great Dane is the right dog for you.


Gentle Giants: As we’ve already discussed, Great Danes are known for their friendly and gentle nature. Despite their size, they often think they’re lap dogs and love to cuddle.
Good With Families: They are usually good with kids and make loyal family pets. Their calm demeanor can bring a sense of security to households.
Low Exercise Needs: Despite their size, Great Danes don’t need as much exercise as you might think. A daily walk and some playtime usually suffice.
Short Coat: Their short coat means less grooming compared to long-haired breeds. This can be a plus for those who prefer lower maintenance. 
Watchful Guardians: Great Danes make excellent watchdogs. Their size alone can deter potential intruders. 


Size And Space: Their enormous size requires ample living space. If you’re living in a small apartment, a Great Dane might feel cramped.
Health Concerns: Like many large breeds, Great Danes can be prone to certain health issues, including joint problems and heart conditions. 
Short lifespan: Unfortunately, large dogs tend to have shorter lifespans. Great Danes typically live around 7 to 10 years, which can be a tough aspect to consider.
Financial Commitment: Caring for a Great Dane can be costly. Their large size means more food, and veterinary bills can add up, especially if health issues arise.
Training Challenges: Training a Great Dane breed can be difficult due to their size and sometimes stubborn nature. Owners need to start consistent training from an early age. 

Ultimately, it boils down to your lifestyle, living situation, and commitment to care for a sizable canine breed. If you have the space, resources, and love for a gentle giant, a Great Dane would make a wonderful addition to your family. 

Other guides and tools you might need when training your dog:


Yes, there is a real-life Scooby-Doo! In 2015, an English Great Dane earned fame for being a real-life Scooby-Doo. This dog has a massive fear list, including small dogs, vacuum cleaners, and even plastic bags.

Scrappy-Doo is a Great Dane puppy.

Over the years, various voice actors played Scooby-Doo. The initial voice behind the character was Don Messick. However, in 1994, Messick quit smoking, impacting his ability to produce Scooby-Doo’s deep voice. Subsequently, Scott Innes and Frank Welker took over the role.

Scooby-Doo’s full name is Scoobert-Doo and he has two siblings named Dooby-Doo and Skippy-Doo.

Scooby-Doo was named after the song “Strangers in the Night” by Frank Sinatra, where the lyrics “doo-dee-doo-be-doo” inspired the famous catchphrase “Scooby-dooby-doo.

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! was released on September 13th, 1969.

Final Thoughts 

Scooby-Doo embodies the charm of a Great Dane, creating a timeless and beloved character. His goofy and gentle nature captures the essence of this real-life breed, making Scooby-Doo a classic in the hearts of fans. 

The question of what kind of dog is Scooby-Doo doesn’t really matter.

Whether he’s a Great Dane or a mix of imagination and laughter, Scooby-Doo highlights the joy and companionship dogs bring, proving that it’s not just about the breed, but the enduring connection they form with us. 

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Laura Vinzy
Laura Vinzy is one of our contributors. She is also a certified professional dog trainer & currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and her two rescue dogs.

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