Barbara Fitzgerald is an AKC Breeder of Merit and author of the column "Conversations with Champions" for the BCSA magazine, "Borderlines."
Dog Cartoon Characters
Some of the greatest cartoon characters of all time are anthropomorphic dogs. From superheroes like Underdog to dastardly villains like Muttley, cartoon dogs display the full range of human fallibilities, humor, and emotions. You are sure to find the right name for your canine companion from one of your favorite doggy heroes in this list.
Just wanting to remember your favorite Saturday cartoon favorites? Then take a trip down memory lane here, and check out these great dog characters from the golden age of cartoons. Video shorts abound of these cartoon classics with their signature snickers and slogans.
If we have left out one of your favorite doggy cartoon characters, please leave a note in the comments section; we will be happy to add that name to the list!
The Most Memorable Cartoon Dog Names of All Time
Here are some of the most famous cartoon dogs of all time.
Astro (The Jetsons)
The Jestons' family dog Astro was a Great Dane. He appears in the closing montage of each episode taking a walk in space, dragging his owner, George, behind him as he chases a cat. Best buddies with George and his son Elroy, Astro is a nonspeaking dog whose grunts and whines communicate just as well as words would.
Augie Doggy and Doggy Daddy
Augie Doggy and his Doggy Daddy have a relationship based on mutual love and respect. Daddy tends to be a little too strict, from his wild child's point of view, but then Augie usually persuades his dad to let him tag along on adventures. The outcome is usually equal amounts of chagrin and pride for Doggy Daddy. At moments of great pride, Doggy Daddy turns to the audience to say, "Dats my boy who said dat!" Voiced by Doug Young, it is a riff on Al Jolson.
Balto and Beethoven
An animated film produced by Steven Spielberg, Balto, is very loosely based on the true story of a sled dog that helped deliver medicine to an Alaskan town when it was struck with diphtheria. The real Balto is memorialized with a statue.
Based on the movie Beethoven, the animated version features a St. Bernard named Beethoven who speaks and finds his way into mishaps.
Brian (Family Guy)
Brian is the suave, alcoholic dog on Family Guy that offers sound advice and biting sarcasm to his family friends, most notably baby Stewie and Peter. To the horror of fans, Brian is killed, which nearly killed the series itself. To rescue the show, Stewie travels back in time to change the course of events and bring Brian and the franchise back to life.
Copper, Tod, Dixie, and Vixie (The Fox and Hound)
Copper is a hound puppy that makes a close friendship with a young fox named Tod. Together, the fox and the hound, natural enemies in the hunting community, teach lessons of friendship that blossom under both happy and unfortunate circumstances. Ultimately the first movie ends with Tod returning to the life of a fox with his female fox companion, Vixey.
Dixie, played by Reba McIntyre, is one of the "Singin Strays" and much of the plot revolves around her leaving the band and her subsequent return to the "Singin Strays." Tod and Copper reprise their roles from the original cartoon.
Vixey is a pretty, young fox and good friends with Tod the main character. The film ends with Vixey joining Tod as he looks down on Copper and Tweed’s homes and says a final goodbye to farm life.
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A Southern Deputy Sheriff, Deputy Dawg works hard to please the Sheriff and keep his pals, Musky Muskrat and Vince Van Gopher, out of trouble. As the cartoon evolved, Deputy Dawg's jurisdiction shifted from Florida to Louisiana and other Southern locales.
The antics are mostly sight gags that revolve around stereotypical Southern behavior, like fishing or hanging out at the jailhouse.
Droopy and Dribble
A mild-mannered hound who generally lets bad guys trap themselves out of sheer stupidity and greed, Droopy solves crimes with his sidekick, Dripple, in the Master Detective style. His signature line, calmly delivered, "Now that really makes me mad," typically precedes a ferocious whooping on his enemy, after which Droopy prevails.
Goofy debuted in 1932 as a pal of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and enjoyed a long career stretching into the 1990s. His character is dim-witted, clumsy, and lovable. Occasionally he proves to be intuitive and stumbles across the right answer in his own "goofy" way. The Goofy character has withstood the test of time with a TV series starting up in the 1980s and a new series of animated films in the 1990s, the best of which is A Goofy Movie, starring Goofy and his son Max.
Huck is a blue dog whose adventures mostly consist of attempting to take on human jobs, such as a policeman or dogcatcher. Huck has a thick Southern accent and frequently sings “My Darling Clementine” as he goes about his new human chores.
Lady and the Tramp
Lady is a well-healed purebred Cocker Spaniel and Tramp is her mixed-breed admirer, always on the run from dog catchers or in search of his next meal.
Tramp famously woos Lady over a plate of spaghetti. It's pure puppy love when their lips unexpectedly meet over a shared strand of spaghetti, slurped into a surprise kiss.
Mumbly and Muttley
Mumbly is a crime-fighting doggy detective. He is often confused with Muttley, as neither speaks and both employ a wheezy snicker. However, Mumbly is a very apt detective, regularly solving crimes, while his boss tries to take credit for Mumbly's good work.
Muttley is villain Dick Dasterdly’s sidekick on Wacky Races, best known for placing his paw to his mouth while making a wheezing laugh. Muttley does not speak, he just makes grumbles and grunts. Together they create Perils for poor Penelope Pitstop. Drat, Double Drat, and Triple Drat!
Odie is a normal house pet that is depicted as a slobbering dimwit in the Garfield comics and cartoons. A beagle/dachshund mix, Odie speaks only on the rarest occasions. While portrayed as the village idiot in most of the series, we get rare glimpses of Odie reading War and Peace while listening to Mozart, suggesting that he cunningly hides his great intelligence and savoir-faire, perhaps to avoid more taxing duties.
Mr. Peabody and Sherman
The erudite Mr. Peabody adopts a human, named Sherman, and together they enjoy strange retellings of historical events with help from Mr. Peabody's greatest invention, the WAYBAC Machine.
The TV series was bundled with other great cartoons of the era, including Rocky and Bullwinkle and Fractured Fairy Tales. These cartoons were written for a more mature audience; Mr. Peabody is a bit of a jerk and a true know-it-all. While the film version was enjoyable, it was a commercial failure.
Penry or Penrod Pooch
Penry Pooch works as a mild mannered janitor at the local police station on Hong Kong Phooey. When he hears calls of distress, he transforms himself into Hong Kong Phooey! He and his cat, Spot set the world to right with Kung Fu action. The Hong Kong Phooey character was voiced by Scatman Crothers.
Perdita and Pongo
Perdita is Pongo's wife and the mother of 101 Dalmatians. Their litter is stolen by Cruella De Vil, a Dalmatian hoarder with designs on their pelts.
Eventually the puppies are freed and all descend on Pongo and Perdita’s owner’s home. Their owners, Roger and Anita, are delighted at the dogs' return, so much so they decide to get a bigger home for all of the dogs, and become Dalmatian hoarders themselves.
While walking upright, Goofy sports a turtleneck, vest, and pants. Pluto wears no clothes and is generally found on all fours. Pluto is Mickey Mouse's bloodhound companion. He does not speak, but relies on comic gestures and facial expressions for his humor. Several of his films have actually been nominated for Academy awards.
The original TV Ghost Hunters, Scooby-Doo and his human pals Shaggy, Daphne, Fred, and Velma find themselves on one supernatural adventure after another, each building up to a compulsory and wacky chase scene. Episodes usually end with the uncovering of a villain whose machinations were behind the "supernatural" occurrences.
Created in 1969, the show had many incarnations over the years. Beginning with Scooby Doo, Where Are You? ever-popular revivals included The New Scooby-Doo Show, Scooby-Doo 2, as well as Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo.
Snoopy is one of the most beloved characters from the Peanuts series. Snoopy is Charlie Brown's clever beagle. He creates machinery and ultimately rides his dog house as a flying ace into "dog fights" with the famous pilot, the Red Barron, with his signature red scarf training in the wind behind him. According to Schultz, Snoopy retreats into his imagination to escape the boredom of a dog's life.
Snoopy does not speak, but makes his thoughts known through pantomime as well as grunts and growls. He is treated as one of the kids, and is allowed to play ball with them and other neighborhood games. Like Charlie Brown, Snoopy is treated cruelly by Lucy. When Snoopy character blossomed into Joe Cool, Snoopy-mania took off, with collectible posters, mugs, and T-shirts featuring the beagle in sunglasses.
Quick-Draw McGraw's treat loving pet dog Snuffles wraps his arms about himself whenever he is given a treat, levitates into the air, and floats back down to Earth in treat-induced rapture.
Mild-mannered shoeshine boy by day transformed into superhero Underdog whenever Polly Purebred is in trouble. Underdog speaks primarily in rhyme and most of his rescues cause substantial damage. Those who complain are regularly met with, "I am a hero who never fails. I cannot be bothered with such details."
Best Female Cartoon Names for Dogs
- Angel: From Lady and the Tramp 2: Scamp's Adventure, Angel is Scamp's love interest. Scamp, son of Lady and Tramp, has a wild streak. With him, Angel has a series of adventures with the Junkyard Dogs and the obligatory dog catcher.
- Belle: From Beauty and the Beast, Belle falls in love with the Beast for his good heart, in spite of his beastly looks. Her love breaks the spell and releases the beast and his servants from their enchantment. Thanks to Belle’s true heart, Beast is now a handsome prince and his servants are human again.
- Colleen: The only female dog in Road Rovers, Colleen is a trained medic with martial arts skills.
- Pebbles: From The Flintstones, Pebbles is Fred and Wilma Flintstone’s incredibly cute little girl who is always dressed with a bone tied in her hair.
- Smurfette: From The Smurfs, Smurfette was originally created by the Smurfs’ arch enemy to create strife among their all-male community. It did not work as she was created ugly. Papa Smurf performs plastic smurfery on her to make her beautiful, and the strife begins. In the original Belgian series, she leaves the community to restore harmony. In the American version, she stays on and the Smurfs learn to deal with jealousy and frustration.
Top Male Cartoon Names for Dogs
- Bamm Bamm: From The Flinstones, Bamm Bamm is Barney and Betty Rubbles extremely powerful toddler. A great name for a large breed puppy!
- Bandit: The bulldog companion on Johnny Quest.
- Buster: Andy Davis' dachshund in Toy Story.
- Dino: The family dog onThe Flintstones. He is a Snorkasaurus who barks and generally acts like a dog, regularly knocking down Fred and licking him mercilessly.
- Simba: From The Lion King, Simba is a young lion cub exiled from his homeland, yet destined to be the King of the Pridelands. First released at a cartoon in 1989, The Lion King eventually became a Broadway musical with music by Sir Elton John.
- Slick: From Tom Slick, Slick is a race car driver and all-around good guy.
- Yogi: From The Yogi Bear Show, Yogi is a picnic basket-stealing bear in Jellystone National Park. Fast talking, his voice is an imitation of Art Carney’s of the Honeymooners. Typically, heard in every episode, “Hey, Boo-Boo, let’s go rob some picinic baskets!”
Cute Names for White Dogs
- Kimba: From Kimba:The White Lion Cub, this Japanese anime cartoon from the 1960s featured Kimba, who was the son of the King of the Jungle.
- Casper: A nonconformist, Casper is a friendly ghost, who prefers to befriend people and animals rather than frighten them away. Wendy, the good little witch, was frequently his companion on his animated adventures, which date back to the 1940s.
Clever Names for Black Dogs
- Boris and Natasha: From Rocky and His Friends, Boris and Natasha are Russian villains that personify American views of Russians in the 1960's: dark-haired and dressed in dark clothing, they provided much thickly accented humor.
- Pepe Le Pew: The Amorous skunk with designs on Penelope Pussycat. Pepe is charmingly styled after Charles Boyer. Most episodes revolve around Penelope accidentally having a white stripe painted down her back, which then attracts Pepe's attentions. She invariably squirms and struggles to escape his advances.
Cartoon Character Names for Small Dogs With Big Attitudes
- Atom: From The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show, Atom Ant is regularly called upon by the local and inept police department to save the day and do their work for them.
- Boo-Boo: From The Yogi Bear Show, Boo-Boo is a small, childlike bear with good intentions, typically warning Yogi that the Ranger is not going to like them stealing more picnic baskets.
- Basil: From The Great Mouse Detective, this cartoon was based upon the children’s book, Basil of Baker Street by Eve Titus. Basil’s character draws heavily on the tradition of Sherlock Holmes. The clever lead character, Basil and his trusted associate Dr. Dawson, outwit the evil Ratigan and save the Queen. Titus named the main character after Basil Rathbone who famously played Sherlock Holmes in film.
- Mighty: From Mighty Mouse, this character was created as a parody of Superman. Mighty Mouse first appeared in 1942.
- Speedy: From Speedy Gonzales, this character is the fastest mouse in Mexico. Speedy speaks with a thick Mexican accent and regularly outwits his opponent, a cat and later Daffy Duck. A great name for a Chihuahua.
Still Looking for a Unique Dog Name?
- Greek Goddess Names That Make Unique Female Dog Names
Greek goddesses and heroines have amazing powers and gifts that every good dog could use. This list has meaningful names for your new female dog that will enhance her canine super-powers.
- Strong Dog Names – 18 Irish and Scottish Names
Looking for an unusual name for your new male dog? Celtic history and legend provide a rich pantheon of untapped dog names.
- 18 Male Greek Names That Make Cool Dog Names
Is there a secret to naming dogs? The Pantheon of Greek Heroes, Gods and Monsters offers many interesting and unique names for male dogs; learn their stories and tips for choosing the perfect name.
LittleWolfe on September 05, 2017:
We named our black pit lab mix Night Fury after the dragon in How to train your dragon.
raesorart on August 14, 2017:
I named my dog Arrow for the same reason! He's a shepherd/husky mix so pointed just like cartoon Arrow.
MeAndMyArrow on February 12, 2017:
I named my dog "Arrow" after Oblio's dog in Harry Nilsson's cartoon movie called The Point.
My late dog Sprocket was named after the dog in Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock. Sprocket was a puppet and not a cartoon, but it's such a cool name it belongs on this list.
Yogi on May 03, 2016:
What about Blue from Blue's Clues
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on April 20, 2016:
Sorry that cartoon character does not ring any bells for me. Maybe someone else her knows who that might be. Good luck finding out his name. Please share it back here if you do find out who he is!
firstname.lastname@example.org on April 20, 2016:
Hi - Does anyone know the name of a character dog that has long ears, wears a red hat and blue checked patterned shorts/pants and sports a mustache under a round brown nose? I have an Earl Bernard plush doll from the 60s - that I'd like to know more about
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on February 02, 2016:
Hi Sewnsew - Great memory! That was Tom Terrific and his dog Mighty Manfred.
sewnsew on February 01, 2016:
what was the name of the cartoon dog show which always ended with the line,"exhausted from the rigors of his last adventure?"
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on June 07, 2015:
Hi Peachpurple - thanks for dropping by! Snoopy IS one cool dude. I also love Underdog, however I was never a big Scooby fan.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on June 07, 2015:
Ilove snoopy the most, i do watch others but snoopy is the best
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on December 21, 2013:
Hi WriterJanis what color is Boo Boo Bear?
Janis from California on December 18, 2013:
I actually have a cat named Boo Boo Bear.
Megan Carroll from Boynton Beach, FL on November 09, 2013:
Haha! That is too funny. Bowie doesn't get in too much trouble...but he's super stubborn about everything so that gets him in the most trouble.
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on November 06, 2013:
That's funny because the Ziggy I knew was always in trouble lol.
Megan Carroll from Boynton Beach, FL on November 06, 2013:
Aw, nope he does not. That's a great idea. I call him Ziggy when he is in trouble!
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on November 06, 2013:
Love the name Bowie - does he have two different colored eyes? I named a dog Ziggy Stardust as he had a brown and a blue eye!
Megan Carroll from Boynton Beach, FL on November 05, 2013:
I love these names! Basil from "The Great Mouse Detective" is a great one! I always get props for my dogs name - Bowie! Great Hub! =)
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on November 05, 2013:
Thanks epbooks! Where can I find your books on dogs?
Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on November 05, 2013:
I love these. Some of these I have used in my fictional books about dogs!! :)
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on November 03, 2013:
Thanks for visiting Penlady. Snow White is an adorable name for a small white female!
penlady from Sacramento, CA on November 03, 2013:
Such cute names! I think Smurfette is cute for a Shih Tzu, or at least that's what I was going to name mine when I was interested in the breed.
Another cute name for white dogs is Snow White.
Interesting hub. Voted up and interesting.