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Famous Dog Breeds That We All Know and Love

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Writing is one of my several hobbies, and lists like the one below help me with writer's block every now and again.

Dogs wearing sunglasses.

Dogs wearing sunglasses.

Some of the most popular breeds of the world are often famous dogs from the silver screen, and make for great choices when deciding on what kind of new pet you want to spend the next few years of your life with. None of us may want to admit it, but seeing a dog in a movie, TV show, comic, or book that we enjoyed makes us (at least subconsciously) more agreeable to owning that particular breed of dog. If you are even remotely thinking about getting a dog, famous dogs play a huge role in our decision-making process . . . and there's nothing wrong with that.

Keep in mind that dogs are very unique creatures; despite having an innate desire to please their owner, you should always be aware that the dog you get won't necessarily act like the dog you fell in love with on the big screen. More often than not, it takes a lot of work and training to make any dog behave the way you want them to. Thanks for giving this article a chance, and good luck on choosing that perfect "famous" dog.

Famous Dogs From Pop Culture

Name of DogKnown FromBreed of Dog


Peanuts Comic Strip



Georgia Bulldogs College Football Team

White English Bulldog


Cujo Film (1983)

St. Bernard


Wizard of Oz (1939 Film)

Cairn Terrior

Bruiser Woods

Legally Blonde (2001)


Rin Tin Tin

The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin

German Shepherd


Dukes of Hazzard TV Show

Basset Hound


The Lost Boys (1987)

Alaskan Malamute


Men in Black (1997)



Beverly Hillbillies (1962)



Beethoven (1992)

St. Bernard

Jerry Lee

K-9 (1989)

German Shepherd

Famous Breed Spotlight: Affenpinscher

Famous TV Dogs

  • Lassie from the Lassie TV show was a Rough Collie. This breed was bred to be a good all around work and herding dog as well as guard and companion dogs. The thick coat was necessary for surviving in the cold Scottish weather where they originated from as well as surviving attacks by other predators. They are easily trained and naturally protective of children, but the herding gene is in their blood.
  • Scooby Doo from the Scooby Doo, Where Are You! 70's cartoon series is a Great Dane. Most of the aggression and hunting mentality that was in the breed early on has been bred out of them. You'll find these couch potatoes lounging about for most of the day and you should be prepared to shoo them off your bed if keeping them indoors. Due to their large size they need plenty of space, early training and extra large waste bags. Oh, one more thing... they eat a lot.

Santa's Little Helper From "The Simpsons"

Bart Simpson and his dog.

Bart Simpson and his dog.

Santa's Little Helper is a greyhound. While these dogs are built for speed (and racing) but can adapt to life as companion dogs very easily. This ancient breed is known for chasing anything with speed as that is what they were bred for. These even tempered dogs are sweet and easy to train, but because of its speed emphasis must be spent on training them to promptly return to you when called. One interesting fact is that they lounge around quite a bit, needing only around a half an hour of exercise a day. They also stay quite healthy compared to other breeds.

Famous Movie Dogs

  • Daisy from John Wick (2014) is a Beagle. This dog was bred to be the perfect chasing hound, so you should be prepared for plenty of barking and howling. Their amazing scent of smell could make them wander, so fences and leashes are almost a requirement. You really can't train them to not follow their nose.
  • Gus the lead dog from the 1994 film Iron Will was an all white Siberian Husky. These cold-weather dogs were bred to be sled dogs and built for the Arctic. They need plenty of space for exercise and generally love children as they are pack dogs. You should also be prepared for howls that can be heard from 10 miles away.
  • Milo from the 1994 Jim Carrey comedy The Mask is a Jack Russell Terrier. These little dogs are super-cute and a lot of fun to have around, but they are very energetic and need a lot of attention and exercise. Most people don't realize just how fast these little guys go... all the time.

Hooch From "Turner and Hooch" (1989)

Hooch is a Dogue de Bordeaux, also called a Bordeaux mastiff or French mastiff. Despite being large and rowdy breed, this breed is quite affectionate, loyal and protective. They are called by most "gentle giants" and aren't too active, making them a good family dog. One thing to keep in mind is that there will be drool.

Canine Celebrities From Books, the Web, and All the Rest

  • Boo is one of the most famous dogs on the internet and is a Pomeranian. These small, energetic dogs are often thought of as one of the cutest breeds you can get. Be prepared for lots of barking unless you train them well. They also need to be walked and groomed daily. Poms are quite fragile, so may not make a good family dog.
  • Fang from the Harry Potter series of books was a boarhound, or Great Dane, but in the movies he was portrayed by a Neapolitan Mastiff. The Neapolitan Mastiff can be very wary of strangers, but loving and caring to their owners or family. They make wonderful guard dogs as they are extremely watchful.
  • Spuds Mackenzie from the 1980's Anheuser-Busch beer commercials was a white female English Bull Terrier. Although on the small side, this dog is pure muscle and very strong. They need daily vigorous exercise, so may not make good apartment dogs.

Loyal Companions

Sergeant Stubby the Decorated Military Dog

A famous military dog.

A famous military dog.

Sgt. Stubby was described as a dog of uncertain breeding, but most likely contained mixes from the terrier and pit bull families. This lovable mutt helped save many lives for the U.S. during World War 1, and was decorated many times over because of it. Below are just a few of the duties he performed:

  • Due to a keener sense of smell and hearing warned soldiers of incoming artillery and gas attacks before they happened.
  • Brought supplies to injured soldiers on the battlefield.
  • Uncovered a German spy when he made the mistake of speaking to Stubby in his native tongue.

Famous Dog Breeds From History

  • The Komondor was bred for guarding livestock, specifically sheep. Its mop-like hair helped keep it hidden among the flock and when a predator came to attack, it was able to take them by surprise. The breed is best suited for the country, and are quite wary of strangers. These dogs are quite willful and independent and require early, focused training. They don't like to be teased.
  • The Pharaoh Hound was originally bred to hunt rabbits, and that instinct is still in their blood. They are chasers who need plenty of physical and mental exercise.

Top 10 Easiest Dog Breeds to Own

Famous Dogs From Games

  • Barbas, an Irish Wolfhound, is a talking dog from Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. These animals, though large, make wonderful companions as they are patient, courageous and calm. They are also much too peaceful to be fierce guard dogs, though the size alone can deter criminals.
  • Chop from Grand Theft Auto V is a Rottweiler. Rottweilers are very smart, loyal dogs that can live anywhere. Early training is essential to make sure it knows when it does and doesn't need to go in protection mode. This working dog of Ancient Rome is responsible for a lot of dog attacks outside of its family, but if raised and trained properly makes a wonderful pet.

Dogmeat From the Fallout Games

Dogmeat the German Shepherd from the Fallout Games

Dogmeat the German Shepherd from the Fallout Games

Dogmeat is a German Shepherd, a fearless breed held in very high regard by both the military and law enforcement. Bred to be an ideal service dog, the breed is extremely versatile due to their above average intelligence and athleticism. These all-weather dogs have amazing discipline if well trained and will follow orders almost immediately. This breed is a top biter, so early training and socialization is a must. It's makes for a great family dog as it's extremely protective, but outsiders need to be careful around them.

More Canine Movie Stars to Fall in Love With

  • Benji from the Benji movies was labeled as a Border Terrier, but widely believed to be a mixed breed dog made up of Cocker Spaniel, Miniature Poodle and Schnauzer. Mixed dog breeds, while looked down upon by many can make amazing pets and wonderful family dogs.
  • Lady from Lady and the Tramp (1955) is an American Cocker Spaniel. These dogs are loyal, affectionate and very playful, which makes them terrible watch dogs, but wonderful family dogs. Since everyone is a friend to them, you may have to watch them more carefully when taking them on walks or to parks.

Hachi From "Hachi: A Dog's Tale" (2009)

Hachi was an Akita, a territorial Japanese breed that is known for its loyalty to family. The result of its over-protective nature is that it is seen as aggressive to strangers. The breed is quite primitive and rugged when compared to other dogs and is closely linked to the wolf. Early training is a must as these dogs are quite large and very strong. Not recommended for apartments or families unless socialized from a pup.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Don

What famous dogs are you a fan of?

Don (author) from Tennessee on April 19, 2019:

People who have never really owned (and loved) a dog don't realize that they are just like a member of the family and when they pass away... it's devastating. The bright side is there are a lot of good memories.

Tommi Grace from Woodward on April 18, 2019:

When I was a little girl, my dad took me to see the movie "Benji" I had to have a dog after that. My dad got me a mixed terrier for my 5th birthday and she looked just like Benji. She was my best friend for 11 years when she died from diabetes. My dad came to my school to get me when she died. It was the first time I ever saw him cry. I have such fond memories of her; 36 years after her death, I still think of her and smile.