Despite being one of the most popular dogs in the cinematography of all time, the breed of Scooby-Doo remains a mystery. Amateur investigators have carried out many surveys to solve it, but none gave a precise answer – what kind of dog is Scooby-Doo? Is it a Great Dane like most people are inclined to think? The research we’ve undertaken will give final answers to these questions giving millions of Scooby-Doo fans peace of mind at last.

Table of Contents:

Scooby Doo: History and Origin
What Kind of Dog Is Scooby-Doo?
Is Scooby-Doo A Great Dane?
Scooby Doo Great Dane In Real Life
Fun Facts About Scooby-Doo
What Kind of Dog Is Scrappy-Doo?
Scooby-Doo Dog Breed Mystery

Scooby Doo: History and Origin

Scoob-Doo, Where Are You?

Since September 13, 1969, nearly every kid in the States has grown loving the friendly canine Scooby-Doo thanks to Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, talented cartoonist at Hanna-Barbera Productions. Along with his buddy Shaggy-Doo and teenage friends Daphne Blake, Freddy Jones, and Velma Dinkley, this personage traveled in a van named “Mystery Machine” worldwide and solved mystery stories. All the stories involved tales of ghosts and other supernatural forces, and the friends gave a rational explanation to them at the end of every episode. The villains were ordinary criminals who tried to distract people’s attention by frightening them. 

The cartoon first debuted on CBS’s Saturday morning cartoon line-up with the series “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?” At first, the toon ran for two seasons, with a total of 25 episodes. Since it was a huge success, reboots and spin-offs were created from then on to win every new generation’s love. Later series involved other characters such as Scooby-Dum, Scrappy-Doo, and others. However, the main cast remained the same throughout the decades. The most recent computer-animated film by Warner Animation Group SCOOB, based on the Scooby-Doo franchise, features all the cartoon’s main characters.  

What Kind of Dog Is Scooby-Doo?

So what’s the breed of our beloved amateur sleuth solving countless crimes over the last five decades? Well, most dog owners will state he is a Great Dane based on the similarities in appearance. However, things are not that easy. You see, Iwao Takamoto, the creator of Scooby Doo’s personage, took the image of an ideal Great Dane and re-created it as a cartoon personage with all of the opposite features. By giving Scooby-Doo a small chin, a humpback, the wrong color, and plenty of other “anti-Great Dane” features, Takamoto made the character more of an endearing every dog. After all, are Scooby-Doo and Great Dane the same? Let’s dig deeper.

Scooby-Doo Vs Great Dane Comparison

So, in an attempt to create a more lively and exciting dog than an ordinary Great Dane, Takamoto schemed out Scooby-Doo. These two have much in common, yet, perhaps, much more different. Let’s explore all the noteworthy characteristics of the two.

Physical Characteristics

Great Dane

People praise Great Danes for their inborn elegance and balance. They feature the smooth stride peculiar only to English noblemen; they are tall while their shoulders measure 32 inches. Great Danes are taller than most other breeds, have well-formed muscled bodies. They are strong and graceful. And can we say the same about Scooby-Doo? Well, not exactly. Scooby-Doo has a less refined body type. Since basically, children would watch the cartoon, Takamoto made him appear funny. So he is everything that’s the diametrical opposite of the purebred.

Scooby has a sloped humpback, bow legs, a tiny sloping chin, abnormally long tail, and distinctive black spots over the upper brown body – something untypical to any Great Dane. Mainly these purposeful differences have made people wonder what breed Scooby-Doo is for already several decades. The character has opposable thumbs so that he can use his paws like human hands. You see, it’s no wonder people get frustrated when trying to guess what dog breed Scooby-Doo is.

Emotional Characteristics

Here, too, we have contradictory characters. On the one hand, Great Danes are sweet natures who are patient with kids and easy friend makers. On the other hand, these dogs are alert home guardians. Generally, the mere sight of a Great Dane is enough for a smart intruder to think twice whether it’s worth trying to break in or they’d better not risk their lives. One should never get fooled by these dogs’ friendliness and consider it a softness. Every Great Dane features real courage and can turn into a powerful foe when necessary. 

Coward Scooby-Doo

Opposed to Great Dane, Scooby-Doo is a coward and perpetually hungry. When creating Scooby-Doo, the writers said they got inspired by the great comedian Bob Hope who played a coward in scary scenes yet became brave once his friends were in danger. Scooby-Doo is a speaking dog, yet not without speech flaws. He uttered most words as if they began with an “R.” That sounds funny, and what’s great is that both adults and children can easily understand him.

This personage also has a fantastic sense of balance since he can ride a unicycle while balancing a fishbowl on his head and juggling. Above all, he is a fabulous singer, while his catchy phrase, “Scooby-Dooby-Doo!” has become iconic.

Is Scooby-Doo A Great Dane?

The comparison of Scooby-Doo and Great Dane shows these are two different creatures despite the physical similarities noticeable only at first sight. Moreover, even Takamoto confessed he made Scooby a complete contrast to Great Dane. And particularly these funny differences made the cartoon character so loved and admired! The fact Scooby-Doo still brings a smile to the faces of numerous kids-at-heart worldwide is out of the question.


The first difference between Scooby-Doo and Great Dane is the coat. If the character’s base coat is quite similar to that of a fawn, specific differences strike the eye. First of all, Scooby’s haircoat is much darker than that of the real fawn. We can also distinguish black, harlequin, brindle, and mantle Great Danes. However, none of them has a brown coat with black dots on it. Secondly, the big black dots all over the upper body make Scooby one of a kind.
And at last, Scooby-Doo has no mask while a Great Dane’s muzzle is black, and it extends up to their eye rims and eyebrows.


Pet owners describe Great Danes as friendly, gentle, loving, and affectionate with an inborn grace. These dogs seek physical affection with their owner and are well disposed to other dogs. You can hardly meet a Great Dane exposing aggression. However, these dogs become amazing home guards since they are intolerant toward strangers or those trying to harm their owners.

If compared to Great Dane, Scooby-Doo might yield in courage. You must have seen him many times jumping into Shaggy’s arms at the sight of a ghost. However, he never lets down or leaves his friends in danger, and it speaks much of this character. Scooby-Doo is a bit coward and comic to show kids that they should not be ashamed of their fears. Overcoming them and showing your inner courage once your beloved ones need you is what matters.


Exercising is the key to keeping a dog healthy. Great Danes, too, need exercising yet moderate. Daily walks in the park are enough for these dogs to stay fit and feel great. When still a puppy, you shouldn’t overburden a Great Dane with exercising. You see, they grow large very quickly, thus putting their bones and joints in danger. Besides, these dogs have so much energy that their owners have to find ways to calm them down and minimize their activity. Great Danes keep on growing almost up to two years! This growth period is much more extended than that of most dogs.

We can say the same about Scooby-Doo. Since the first long-running TV series, Scooby-Doo has been acknowledged as one of the most active individual characters, even ahead of Tom and Jerry! The USA Department of Health noted how many times they show a physical activity during the series. The cartoon itself is much of action, and Scooby-Doo perfectly transfers the whole energy a Great Dane has. However, being a great fan of snacks and hamburgers (generally whatever Shaggy eats), Scooby-Doo somewhat “spoiled” his image of a healthy life leader.


Most big dogs have a faster metabolism than smaller ones, and Great Danes are not an exception. Accordingly, these dogs consume more food and have more energy to spend. They are not weak and can boast of quite good health. However, like in all giant breeds, Great Danes frequently face bloats. To avoid them, you should provide these dogs with an hour rest after they have consumed a meal. Other health problems these breeds can face include dilated cardiomyopathy, congenital heart diseases, wobbler disease.

Even though some Great Danes have overlived ten years, this breed’s average lifespan is 6 to 8 years.  And our beloved canine Scooby-Doo seems to have lived much longer than any other Great Dane, hasn’t he? Based on his physical shapes and sizes, however, one can give him seven years. It’s been already over 50 years since this cartoon personage brings sincere smiles on our kids’ faces. And it’s already evident that this cultural touchstone will remain immortal as long as people love and watch the series.

Scooby Doo Great Dane In Real Life

Whether Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane or not does not matter as long as we’ve got a real-life Scooby-Doo living in Oldbury. The Great Dane Presley got the nickname “Scooby-Doo” thanks to its very familiar cowardliness. At the mere sight of a dog, let him be several times smaller than Presley, he would run to his owner for a reassuring cuddle. Presley is not a tiny dog; he is 38 inches at the shoulder and weighs 13 and a half stone. Yet this doesn’t prevent him from using a cushion as a comfort blanket when he is scared at home. Presley is such a coward dog that his owner has to hide plastic bags at home so that the dog doesn’t get frightened at the sight or rustling of a plastic bag, which he usually does.

Real-Life Scooby-Doo Presley

Fun Facts About Scooby-Doo

Could you imagine that Scooby-Doo has been on the screen for over half a century?! That sounds great, and to celebrate the anniversary, we’ve compiled the most interesting facts about this cartoon personage:


  • You can read in the official magazine released the same year as “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?” that the cartoon character was seven years old then.
  • Before changing the dog’s name to “Scooby-Doo,” it was planned to be “Too Much.”
  • The record of the most cartoon episodes ever released belongs to Scooby-Doo.
  • Don Messick did the voice of Scooby-Doo from 1969 up to 2002. The voices of Astro in The Jetsons, Papa Smurf, and Scrappy-Doo all belong to Messick, too.
  • From 2002 on, Frank Weller (the voice of Freddy of all times) has voiced Scooby-Doo. 
  • A famous early 1969s TV comedy starring Bob Denver inspired the cartoonist when creating all the human personages included in the cartoon series except for the main ones. It was titled “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.”
  • Casey Kasem, Shaggy’s voice, insisted on making his personage a vegetarian, yet his idea wasn’t a success.
  • Up to this date, Scooby-Doo and his friends have fought and defeated around 400 different villains.
  • Scooby-Doo and Shaggy are the only characters appearing in every show since the creation of the cartoon series.
  • Initially, they planned to name the TV series “W-Who’s S-S-Scared,” but it was soon changed into “Scooby-Doo” to make it sound less scary for kids. 
  • Scooby’s speech flaw of uttering the letter “R” before almost every word sounds funny. Yet, the speech disorder is medically known as rhotacism. 
  • Initially, Scooby-Doo was to be a sheepdog. Once ready, he looked so much like Hot Dog from “Archie” that the cartoonists turned him into a Great Dane, yet misshaped. 
  • The cartoonists feared Scooby would be much similar to the comic strip character Marmaduke and the latter’s fame would shade Scooby. However, right the opposite happened. 
  • It’s not known how exactly Shaggy and Scooby met. In the first series, the dog was with Shaggy ever since he was a puppy, while in later series, Scooby came to Shaggy when already old. 
  • Velma’s catchphrase, “My glasses, I can’t see without them!” was not included in the script. It was Nicole Jaffe’s (the actress voicing Velma) remark and soon became iconic. 
  • Scooby-Doo is famous in as many as 160 countries. 
  • Scooby is one of the triples, and his identical siblings are Dooby-Doo and Skippy-Doo, while the annoying Scrappy-Doo is his nephew. 

What Kind of Dog Is Scrappy-Doo?

Scrappy Doo is the annoying and naughty nephew of Scooby-Doo. This feisty puppy first appeared in the series in 1979. The cartoon producers aimed to boost the series’ flagging ratings on ABC with this new character. And as you can guess, the trick worked since the new naught puppy saved his uncle from TV cancellation. Additionally, this puppy’s iconic phrases Scrappy Dappy Doo”, “Puppy power!”, “Lemme at’em” significantly promoted merchandising for the Scooby-Doo franchise. 

Through Scrappy-Doo, the cartoonists showed how caring Scooby-Doo could be. When Scooby solves mystery cases with Scrappy, he becomes very protective. Poor Scooby has to run after the puppy to prevent him from going straight to a monster.

Scooby-Doo Dog Breed Mystery

Now we can consider the mystery “what kind of dog Scooby-Doo is” solved. He is a Great Dane with some palpable changes. Scooby is identifiable by his large size, the shape of the head, and erect ears. However, he has appearance and character features peculiar exceptionally to him. No Great Dane can ever have those lovely black dots upon brown coat, those bow legs, the funny cowardliness that quickly turns into courage once his friends are in danger. And no Great Dane can ever exclaim “Scooby Dooby Doo” with so much energy!



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