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What Kind Of Dog Is Brian From Family Guy? 31 Fun Facts

Are you curious what kind of dog Brian is from Family Guy? Brian’s image may not easily give away his breed.

What Kind Of Dog Is Brian From Family Guy

This article will answer that and more.

Continue to read to find out:

  • What kind of dog Brian is.
  • The person behind Family Guy.
  • Why other shows seem to hate the Family Guy.
  • How Brian and Stewie became unintentional war veterans.
  • And many more…

What kind of dog is Brian from Family Guy?

Brian, the talking dog from Family Guy, is a white Labrador Retriever. He was born in a puppy mill and taken away from his mother too soon. The show’s creator based Brian and Peter on his previous creation’s main characters, Larry and Steve.

31 fun facts about Brian Griffin from Family Guy

#1: World, meet Brian

Nice To Meet You Brian Griffin

On January 31, 1999, Family Guy premiered on television.

The viewers were introduced to the Griffin family, including Brian the talking dog.

In the succeeding episodes, Brian appears to be the only sane member of the family. That is, even though he smokes, loves dry martini and is sarcastic.

Brian, voiced by MacFarlane using his normal voice, isn’t your ordinary pet. Although, yes, he’s still a pet in many ways. 

For instance, he couldn’t resist a game of fetch. And he’s scared of vacuums, too.

Aside from speaking in English, Brian walks on hind legs. His front legs serve as arms. 

In addition, he has opposable thumbs, enabling him to grip things.

Did you know that William H. Macy auditioned for the role of Brian? Macy had been in countless films such as Fargo and Jurassic Park III.

The audition was unsuccessful, though. 

The Fox executives decided to have MacFarlane voice Brian throughout the series. 

Mainly because they have gotten used to his voice in the initial pilot. They decided they didn’t want to change the voice.

#2: From Larry to Brian

Brian is largely based on Steve. As Peter is on Larry.

Here is the original thesis film MacFarlane created:

If you watch closely, you’ll see a huge similarity between the dogs.

#3: Stewie and Brian at the 2007 Emmy Awards

Both Stewie and Brian (digitally) appeared at the 59th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in 2007.

They opened the show with a song that had the audience crack up laughing. MacFarlane provided both of their voices.

The song was in the tune of The Fellas at the Freakin’ F.C.C. It insulted a lot of TV shows. Including Two and a Half Men and Scrubs.

#4: America’s favorite dog

Any ideas about Brian’s breed? 

Brian is a Labrador Retriever. A white one at that.

Did you know that Labrador Retrievers are the most popular breed in the US? For 29 years straight!

The breed has held the top spot since 1991.

The accepted colors in conformation shows are yellow, black, and chocolate. This is according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).

A white Lab will be disqualified.

In addition, Labradors originated from Newfoundland, and not Labrador. In Newfoundland, the breed worked as duck retrievers.

English nobles took the breed to the UK in the 19th century.

#5: Brian came from normal parents

Brian’s parents are Coco and Biscuit. 

While Brian is a talking dog, his parents are non-speaking.

From puppyhood, Brian has shown human attributes. The show does not explain why this is so.

#6: Brian’s age

Brian Griffin is 8 years old.

According to AKC, the life expectancy of a Lab is 10-12 years.

#7: Brian’s old jobs

Brian may be unemployed, but he did hold many jobs before.

For a time he was a waiter, a car wash attendant, even a pornographic film director. He had also worked as a screenwriter while in Los Angeles.

In addition, he was a substitute teacher and a taxi driver.

#8: From a puppy mill

Brian was bred and born in a puppy mill.

The owner of Brian’s mother says that it wasn’t her intention to give Brian away out of spite. But she gave Brian away so he could have a happy life.

After his mother died, the owner stuffed her and made her an end table. Brian and Stewie stole her remains and buried her in a park.

Stay away from puppy mills

Just like Brian, there are countless puppies bred in puppy mills. When getting a puppy, stay away from these puppy mills.


  • Sick puppies do not receive veterinary care.
  • They lack proper nutrition due to inadequate or unclean food and water.
  • They stay in overcrowded cages. Sometimes sitting on their own poop and pee.
  • Puppies are taken from their mothers too soon. This could lead to behavior problems later on.

This study shows that dogs from puppy mills develop fears and phobias. They find it difficult to cope with normal existence.

Another study shows similar results. That dogs from puppy mills are more likely to develop behavior problems.

#9: A driving dog

Brian drives a 2004 Toyota Prius, the license plate reading BRI-DOG.

#10: Unemployed writer

Brian is unemployed throughout the show. But he is an aspiring, albeit struggling writer.

He is often seen pursuing his career by writing essays, novels and screenplays. His novel, Faster than the Speed of Love, is a rip-off of the Iron Eagle films.

When it is published, it does not sell even one copy.

Brian also writes a TV script What I Learned on Jefferson Street

Plus a book titled Wish It, Want It, Do It. This one’s a success though it contains mostly blank pages.

His most recent is a play A Passing Fancy. This is very popular in Quahog. 

However, Brian realizes that Stewie has written something better than his.

Note: Brian’s lack of talent is often made fun of in the series.

#11: All about clams

Family Guy is set in the fictional city of Quahog, Rhode Island.

Did you know that quahog is an edible clam? The show makes references to clams in several episodes.

For instance, Brian and Peter spend a lot of time at ‘The Drunken Clam’. They also visit the strip club called ‘The Fuzzy Clam.’

#12: Green belter

Brian knows Taekwondo.

In fact, he already has a green belt. He’s a year away from getting a black belt.

#13: A vision?

Are you familiar with Bruce Jenner? No?

How about Caitlyn Jenner?

Caitlyn was born Bruce but came out as a trans woman in 2015. She fathered the famous models Kendall and Kylie Jenner.

But long before coming out, the Family Guy had made a reference to Bruce. Brian and Stewie joked about ‘Bruce Jenner’s vagina’ in 2009.

Six years later, Bruce had a gender reassignment.


#14: A dog who loves to drink

Brian could possibly be an alcoholic dog.

He loves dry martinis. He suffers from withdrawal symptoms when he stops drinking.

#15: Brian got addicted in cocaine

Brian had worked as a drug sniffing dog for a time.

This led to a cocaine addiction, which he overcame through rehab.

#16: Stoner of the year

Brian might have overcome cocaine addiction. But now he regularly smokes marijuana.

High Times even awarded Brian the 2009 Stoner of the Year. This was the first time an animated character received the award.

#17: Brian’s Ivy League education

Brian attended Brown University, a private Ivy League school in Rhode Island. 

He was one course away from graduation. 

#18: Love her and hate her

Brian has a big crush on Peter’s wife, Lois. 

Stewie, on the other hand, hated his mother, as shown in the early episodes.

#19: An unintentional war veteran

One of Brian’s accomplishments is being an Iraq War veteran.

Though it is unintentional.

Stewie enlists himself in the Army. He ends up enlisting Brian as well when he’s told there’s a $100 bonus for enlisting a friend.

After training, they go to war and get caught up in a terrorist attack. They try to get out of the Army by trying two things:

  • Pretending to be homosexuals.
  • Shooting each other in the foot.

#20: The poop and pee problem

Brian can only pee and poop in the front lawn of the Griffin’s house.

Before this, Lois has forced Brian to toilet train himself. She’s had enough stepping on his poop too many times. 

She even forces Brian to wear Stewie’s diapers.

In the end, Brian pretends to use the toilet, for which Lois praises him. What she doesn’t know is that Brian has a new place to poop.

At Mayor Adam West’s house. The mayor believes the poop is a sausage he has planted.

#21: A dog with a human son

Brian has a human son named Dylan.

Like Brian, Dylan was a regular marijuana smoker. But Brian helps him turn away from this life to become a kind-hearted man.

It confuses Stewie how a dog has a human son. 

#22: Personal influence

Many of Brian’s political and personal beliefs mirror those of MacFarlane’s.

Including their liberal political views and atheism.

#23: Brian’s death

Nobody expected it.

On November 24, 2003, the episode treated the viewers to a shocking news:

Brian is struck by a car and dies.

The family, in their effort to cope, adopts a dog named Vinny.

The death of Brian, who became a fan-favorite character, did not sit well with the viewers.

Some thought it was to up the ratings. However, others noticed that Brian was removed from the opening credits.

Could this be his permanent removal from the show?

The fans flocked to a petition to get Brian back on the show. Within hours the petition garnered more than 120,000 signatures.

In response to the petition, the show brought back Brian 2 episodes later.

According to MacFarlane, the fans’ response to Brian’s death was a surprise. They did not expect that the viewers cared about Brian that way.

#24: Shock value

MacFarlane shed light as to why they killed off Brian.

He said it achieved what it was designed to do: to shock people.

He also added that the death reminded people that ‘anything can happen.’

Would they kill off Brian again?


#25: Brian as Chewbacca

In the Star Wars parody, Brian plays Chewbacca.

#26: A dog and a baby

Brian is the only one who hears and understands Stewie.

It’s the writers’ decision when to make Stewie heard and understood by other members of the family.

#27: Cannabis controversy

In one episode, Brian is seen campaigning for the legalization of cannabis in Quahog.

His campaign succeeds, although it leads to unpleasant results.

The episode caused the Venezuelan government to ban Family Guy. Any local network that aired the series would receive penalties.

#28: The force is with Family Guy

George Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars franchise, is a fan of Family Guy.

It turns out to be a good thing because the show has a lot of Star Wars jokes. They might face lawsuit without Lucas’ blessing.

And so the legal team consulted with Lucasfilm. To their surprise, George Lucas approved the gags.

MacFarlane thought of making a Family Guy Star Wars trilogy. Lucas agreed.

After completing the first trilogy, George invited the Family Guy team to watch the movie at his ranch.

#29: An Outstanding Comedy Series

Family Guy was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2009.

The show was the first animated show to be nominated in 48 years. The Flintstones was the first animated series to be nominated in 1961.

#30: A lucrative character

Brian has become one of the show’s biggest merchandising characters.

He appears in the show’s video games and has his own toy figurines. 

In 2004 the Mezco Toyz released the first series of toy figures. Each member of the Griffin family has a figurine.

In addition, books are released about the Family Guy. There’s one written from Brian’s point of view.

#31: What’s in store for Family Guy

It’s been more than 21 years since the very first episode of Family Guy aired. Today, there are over 358 episodes in 19 seasons.

It has faced criticisms and controversies over the years. The Parents Television Council even deemed Family Guy as the ‘Worst TV Show of the Week’ 44 times.

However, the show has no plans of stopping now. It has proven that it can churn out an episode that’s better than the last. 

So, if you’re a fan, good news for you! You’ll be seeing more of Brian.

11 more facts about Family Guy

#1: The man behind the show

Brian Griffin was introduced to the world in 1999 in Family Guy

Thanks to its creator, this animated sitcom slowly but surely attracted worldwide acclaim. In the US alone, it is Fox’s 2nd longest-running animated series, right behind The Simpsons.

It is also the 4th longest-running animated series on American television.

Did you know that Family Guy was the brainchild of a lone man? That’s Seth MacFarlane.

Aside from creating Family Guy, MacFarlane also voiced several of the main characters. Including the family dog, Brian.

Talk about a very dedicated fellow.

Change of heart

MacFarlane’s thesis film, The Life of Larry, landed him a job at Hanna-Barbera.

This is the same animation studio that brought you Scooby-Doo.

Even from a young age, MacFarlane knew he was going to pursue a career in animation. After high school, he studied film, video, and animation at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

While there he planned to work for Disney. But he had a change of heart when he graduated.

At RISD, he created a thesis film, The Life of Larry. Around this time, Hanna-Barbera conducted a student film competition.

Without MacFarlane’s knowledge, a professor submitted the film to the competition.

MacFarlane was 2 weeks short of graduation when he received a job offer from the company. Turns out, Hanna-Barbera liked his film and wanted him to be one of their writers.

At Hanna-Barbera, MacFarlane wrote for Johnny Bravo and Dexter’s Laboratory, among others.

While working at Hanna-Barbera, MacFarlane created a sequel to The Life of Larry. He would call this Larry & Steve.

Both of these shorts revolve around a man and dog duo.

His own Final Destination moment

Did you know that MacFarlane almost boarded the American Airlines Flight 11?

The plane crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Lucky for him, he was late and missed the flight.

#2: The precursor to Family Guy

Larry & Steve made way for the conception of Family Guy.

This short revolves around a middle-aged man, Larry, who adopts a talking dog, Steve. Steve became the inspiration for Brian the talking dog in Family Guy.

Larry & Steve was broadcast in 1997 as one of Cartoon Network’s World Premiere Toons.

#3: Meet the Griffin family

Meet the Griffin family

Family Guy chronicles the adventures of the Griffin family.

The patriarch, Peter, is based on Larry. He is a blue-collar worker. Peter’s wife, Lois, is a stay-at-home mom. 

They’ve got three children:

  • Meg – Whom the family mostly ignores or ridicules.
  • Chris – The overweight and unintelligent son. More like the younger version of his dad.
  • Stewie – The genius baby.

And of course, the family is not complete without Brian, the talking dog.

#4: Thanks, King of the Hill

Family Guy wasn’t an overnight success.

MacFarlane pitched Family Guy to Fox but was turned down. It was wrong timing for him. Mainly because King of the Hill had already signed a deal with Fox.

This was an animated sitcom about the life and adventures of a middle-class family. 

The Fox executives weren’t sure how viewers would accept the show. They didn’t want to add another comedy show.

But Family Guy has to thank the eventual success of King of the Hill. After a year, MacFarlane pitched his show to Fox again.

Fox decided to take on Family Guy because the King of the Hill was a success.

#5: A ‘meager’ budget

Now that MacFarlane got the Fox’s attention, the company offered him a deal:

Create a 15-minute short, which could lead to a series.

He was given a budget of $50,000. This was meager compared to what other shows receive for the pilot episode. Most episodes cost at least $1 million.

But MacFarlane worked on the short for 6 months. 

He did everything. Drawing all the frames. Providing the voice for every character.

The Fox executives loved the pilot and gave him a $2-million-per-season contract. The very first episode of Family Guy was shown in the highest profile slot.

#6: Why other shows hate Family Guy

Family Guy was a success waiting to happen. It drew 22 million viewers!

But not everyone was happy with this animated series. Starting with the creators of South Park.

South Park is another American animated sitcom. It follows the lives of four boys in a Colorado town. The show became known for profanity and dark humor.

To show their hatred for Family Guy, South Park dedicated episodes attacking the show. They portrayed that the writers of Family Guy are manatees.

John Kricfalusi, creator of Ren & Stimpy, went as far as saying:

‘You can draw Family Guy when you’re 10 years old.’

#7: Big fans

Despite the hate, a lot of people came to love Family Guy.

Even celebrities admitted to watching the show for years. 

Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr. even offered to produce the show. Or help in creating an episode.

Dwayne Johnson, Britney Spears and Rihanna were also big fans.

Rude and crude

Why did Family Guy become such a popular show?

One of the reasons is, it can make fun of almost everything. Even actors and directors.

In fact, the subjects allow themselves to be the receiving end of these jokes. They are such fans of the show.

#8: Lawsuits

Judging by the show’s content, it’s no wonder there were lawsuits.

The comedian Carol Burnett filed a lawsuit against Fox. She claimed her character was used on the show without her permission. 

The court rejected the lawsuit.

In another case, Bourne Co. Music Publishers filed a lawsuit. They accused the show of copyright infringement when it parodied the song ‘When You Wish Upon a Star.’

The court decided that the show did not infringe the copyright.

Actor Art Metrano also filed a lawsuit. The lawsuit was about a specific scene in Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story

The case was settled out of court.

#9: Surviving two cancellations

Petition Against Family Guy Cancellation

Family Guy might have been one of the greatest comedy shows. But did you know that it survived two cancellations?

The first cancellation was in 2000. 

For the past 2 years, Fox moved the time slot of Family Guy. Sometimes putting it opposite other popular shows such as Friends.

Thus, the ratings dwindled down.

At the last minute, Fox renewed the show, then cancelled it again.

Distraught fans made a petition to bring the show back on air. In fact, the petition reached more than 100,000 signatures.

One fan observed the delivery of a hundred packages of diapers for Stewie to the Fox studios. The diapers came with a few of the petitions.

Note: Fox donated the diapers to local shelters.

#10: A multi-billion dollar franchise

Cartoon Network bought the rights for reruns of Family Guy from Fox. The show premiered on Adult Swim in 2003.

Family Guy’s viewers followed the show to Cartoon Network. There the show flourished on its time slot.

In the same year, Fox sold the first 28 episodes on DVDs. The DVD sales skyrocketed, selling more than 2.5 million copies.

This was the best-selling DVD of 2003.

Because of this, Fox offered MacFarlane to put the show back into production. This was unusual, because this had never happened before.

In addition, Fox ordered 35 episodes. This was again unusual, because the typical is 22 episodes.

Lastly, Fox put Family Guy in the Sunday at 9 time slot.

Family Guy was on its way to becoming a multi-billion dollar franchise.

#11: Awards and nominations

Here are some of the awards and nominations the show bagged throughout the years:

  • Nominated for a Grammy.
  • Nominated for 11 Annie awards.
  • Nominated for 27 Emmy awards.
  • Ranked 7th in the ‘Top 100 Animated Series.’
  • Brian chosen as the dog for ‘The Perfect TV Family.’
  • Ranked 12th greatest TV show of all time by the Empire.
  • Ranked 45th best American show in 2009 by The Times.
  • Ranked 6th in the ‘Top 25 Primetime Animated Series of All Time.
  • Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for MacFarlane’s performance as Stewie.
  • In 2013, the show was the 9th Greatest TV Cartoon of All Time, according to TV Guide.