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What Kind Of Dog Is Scooby-Doo? 39 Interesting Facts

What Kind Of Dog Is Scooby Doo

Are you unsure about what kind of dog Scooby-Doo is? You’re not alone.

Apparently, there is some confusion although Scooby-Doo resembles a certain breed.

This article will reveal a lot of things, including:

  • Scooby-Doo’s breed, and why he looks that way.
  • The diagnosis of Scooby-Doo’s speech impediment.
  • Why the creators of Scooby-Doo did not write him as a Sheepdog.
  • What Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination has to do with Scooby-Doo.
  • And many more…

What kind of dog is Scooby Doo?

Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane. The show’s writers chose between a small feisty dog and a big cowardly one. They settled on a big cowardly one as it has more comedic potential. The artist created Scooby-Doo’s features as the opposite of a Great Dane’s characteristics.

De-mystifying Scooby-Doo’s breed

Have you watched some episodes of this popular TV show? Or at least saw a poster of Scooby-Doo?

If you have, then you might have some ideas regarding his breed.

However, some people are still unsure.

A user comments on a forum that Scooby might have Pit Bull or Doberman in his genes. She said that Scooby was ‘too thick and more active’ than any Great Dane.

But that’s it, Scooby is a Great Dane. He not only resembles one, but his creators had a Great Dane in mind when creating him.

A Great Dane vs Scooby-Doo

Scooby-Doo came to life thanks to Iwao Takamoto, a Japanese-American artist.

He recounted consulting with a breeder of Great Danes at Hanna-Barbera. The breeder showed him photos of the breed and told him all the characteristics. 

Did you know that the American Kennel Club (AKC) calls Great Danes the ‘Apollo of Dogs’? Apollo is the Greek god of the sun.

But Takamoto decided to ‘go the opposite.’ 

He created Scooby with features that are opposite that of a Great Dane.

Physical characteristics

Great DaneScooby-Doo
Strong chinDouble chin
Strong, straight legsBowed legs
Clean, even coatWith spots (no fawn Great Dane has black spots)
Straight backSloped back
Elegant and balancedClumsy
Well angulated hindquartersSloped hindquarters
Round and compact feetFeet too big

Takamoto created Scooby-Doo this way because it gave the dog more comic potential. However, Scooby’s description only confused a lot of people regarding his breed.

Emotional characteristics

According to AKC, a Great Dane makes for a home guardian. That means the breed is known for their bravery and courage.

Scooby-Doo is very far from that. He is a coward and easily runs away from scary things.

You might also enjoy: What Kind Of Dog Is Brian From Family Guy? 31 Fun Facts

39 facts about Scooby Doo that you didn’t know

Before Scooby-Doo came along

#1: Pre-Scooby-Doo days

Did you know that creating Scooby-Doo was a strategic move?

This was in light of the societal upheavals of 1968. 

A time when children’s TV on Saturday morning was full of action-adventure cartoons. There was a lot of violence and terror depicted in the TV shows.

Scooby-Doo was a deviation from these TV shows. 

#2: The producers of Scooby-Doo had created many successful shows

The Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc. was behind these successful children’s TV shows:

  • The Jetsons.
  • Tom and Jerry.
  • Wacky Races.
  • The Flintstones.
  • The Yogi Bear Show.
  • The Huckleberry Hound Show.

#3: 3 broadcast networks ruled the TV animation

Namely, ABC, CBS, and NBC.

In 1966, these giants were running action-adventure cartoons on Saturday morning. A lot of these shows were popular among young viewers.

These TV shows had a lot of action and violence. They revolved around superheroes defeating and killing monsters.

These networks urged cartoon suppliers to keep creating shows of the same topic. They wielded such power over the content of TV shows.

Producers like Hanna-Barbera kept producing these grim series. They said it was the only thing they could sell to the networks.

In addition, it was proven that horror upped the Saturday morning ratings. The more horror shows, the better.

#4: ‘Worst in the history of TV’

In the mid-1960s, the government slowly lost its influence on children’s programming.

Thus, TV networks were able to cater to their and their advertisers’ commercial needs.

This led to nationwide criticisms over violence in children’s TV shows. The National Association for Better Broadcasting dubbed March 1968 as the ‘worst in the history of TV’.

After March 1968, people became more aware of media violence and its effect on children.

#5: How Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination led to Scooby-Doo

Robert F. Kennedy was a US senator when he was assassinated in June 1968. 

This led to the removal of action-adventure cartoons from Saturday morning lineup. 

Kennedy was a champion of causes for children. Including improving the children’s TV programming.

After the assassination, President Lyndon B. Johnson established the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence.

This led to more calls for regulation of media violence. Even people who did not agree with Kennedy’s causes supported the censorship of TV violence. 

The domino effect of the assassination led to one good thing. 

The TV networks yielded by removing action-adventure cartoons. They announced that they would focus more on comedy.

And this pivotal moment would eventually lead to the creation of Scooby-Doo.

The people behind Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc.

#6: Conception stages of Scooby-Doo

Mystery Inc Scooby Doo

The TV networks would lose millions if they canceled a series.

In 1968 some action-adventure series were still airing. Fred Silverman and Hanna-Barbera collaborated on a project.

Silverman was an executive at CBS. He wanted a TV show for the 1969-1970 Saturday morning lineup. 

Something that would please the general audience. Like a show featuring a teenage rock group that solves mysteries between gigs. 

More like a cross between the popular TV shows I Love a Mystery in the 1940s and The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.

#7: Before Mysteries Inc., there was Mysteries Five

Hanna-Barbera commissioned writers Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, along with artist Iwao Takamoto.

They called the story Mysteries Five, and was about five teenagers. They were Geoff, Mile, Kelly, Linda and Linda’s brother W.W. 

And of course, their bongo-playing dog, Too Much.

They were in a band called Mysteries Five.

In between their gigs, the band was off solving mysteries. These involved zombies and supernatural characters.

#8: Feisty or cowardly

Fun fact: The writers couldn’t decide whether to make Too Much a small feisty dog or a huge cowardly one.

They eventually decided Too Much would be a huge cowardly dog. They believed that a huge cowardly dog had more comedic potential. 

According to Ruby, kids could relate more to this kind of dog. And for their part as writers, it would be more fun to write about a cowardly dog.

#9: A Great Dane or a Sheepdog

The writers decided Too Much would be a Great Dane. 

But Ruby had a change of heart. He was worried Too Much might be too similar to Marmaduke. Marmaduke was a comic strip character and was a Great Dane as well.

They were worried that Hanna-Barbera might be sued by the creators of Marmaduke.

And so they made Too Much as a large Sheepdog.

#10: First pitch failed

The writers presented their pitch to Silverman, who rejected it.

They consulted with Joe Barbera about what to do next. Barbera gave them the go signal to create Too Much as a Great Dane.

In addition, artist Takamoto created what would become Scooby-Doo’s appearance.

#11: Too Much in the background

Ruby and Spears made more changes to the materials they have.

For instance, they leaned more on Dobie Gillis as a template than on Archie.

In addition, they reduced the number of band members from 5 to 4. Too Much was in the story. But still in the background. 

The band members’ names were changed as well. From Geoff to Ronnie, Kelly to Daphne, Linda to Velma and W.W. to Shaggy.

These members were based on the 4 characters from The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.

Note: Ronnie was later changed to Fred, as requested by Fred Silverman.

#12: Mysteries Five to Who’s S-S-Scared?

Silverman liked the new concept. Except for the name Mysteries Five.

Silverman recalled watching Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein as a kid. He thought that the premise, of kids being in a haunted house, would be a hit.

And so he changed Mysteries Five to Who’s S-S-Scared?

#13: Second pitch failed

Silverman presented the idea to CBS president Frank Stanton. 

Who thought it was too scary for young viewers. He didn’t want another of those horror shows and so he turned it down.

#14: Putting Too Much to the forefront

Silverman and the writers made more changes again to focus more on comedy.

In Who’s S-S-Scared? the dog was just in the background. 

But this time, they decided to put the dog in the forefront. To make things humorous.

They also removed the rock band concept and decided to focus more on Shaggy and Too Much.

Silverman said that Shaggy and Too Much would be their Abbott and Costello.

#15: Where ‘Scooby-Doo’ came from

Following the rejection of Who’s S-S-Scared? Silverman was on a redeye flight to L.A.

He was still trying to come up with new ideas for the show.

Suddenly, Frank Sinatra’s Strangers in the Night came on the PA of the plane. What Sinatra said at the end of the recording was all that Silverman needed for the show:


Silverman decided to name the dog Scooby-Doo. And they renamed the show to become Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?

At last, the CBS executives approved the show.


#16: Getting to know the basics

Personal information:

Full name: Scoobert Doo

Gender: Male

Species: Great Dane

Eye color: Black

Fur color: Brown with black spots

Alias: Scooby, Scoob

Identification: Wears a diamond-shaped blue-green collar with his initials ‘SD’.

#17: How Scooby-Doo looks

Scooby Doo Great Dane

Scooby-Doo has a brown coat, with several black spots on his upper body. 

He does not have a melanistic mask. This is distinctive among fawn-colored Great Danes.

According to this study, a melanistic mask is a pattern that is either inherited or a fixed trait. 

A Great Dane’s pale coat color is due to the pigment pheomelanin. The melanistic mask is due to the pigment eumelanin.

In addition, Scooby-Doo is quadruped, meaning having 4 feet. But sometimes he shows bipedal capabilities. Such as running away using his 2 back feet.

Also, Scooby-Doo has opposable thumbs. An opposable thumb enables one to grip things like humans do.

Furthermore, he’s got 4 toes on each foot. But what makes it different is he only has one pad on the sole of a foot. 

His tail is prehensile (it can grasp) and can be used to press buttons. It is also malleable, as is his head.

#18: The Scooby personality

Aside from being perennially hungry, how well do you know Scooby-Doo?

Like his owner Shaggy, Scooby-Doo is a big coward. Too cowardly that they sometimes refuse to help others.

But they are both motivated by food. Sometimes it only takes ‘Scooby Snacks’ to pluck up courage.

And just like any dog, Scooby-Doo loves attention. There are also times that he appears brave.

When it comes to his nephew, Scrappy-Doo, Scooby-Doo is protective.

Every time a mystery is solved, Scooby-Doo recites his catchphrase:

‘Scooby-Dooby-Doo’ or ‘Rooby-Rooby Roo.’

#19: Scooby-Doo was modeled after Bob Hope

When creating Scooby-Doo’s personality, Ruby and Spears modeled him after Bob Hope.

Or, in particular, to the characters that Bob Hope played in horror-comedies.

Bob Hope was a British-American comedian. His character was that of a coward who suddenly became brave when his friends were in danger.

#20: Scooby-Doo’s special powers

Scooby-Doo is not your ordinary pet. Here are the reasons why:

  • He dances well.
  • His nose is the ‘Super Sniffer.’
  • He can stand and run on his back legs.
  • Shaggy calls him the Video Champ of Coolsville.
  • He can talk to animals. This is helpful when the gang needs more help.
  • He can balance perfectly. He can ride a unicycle all while juggling and balancing a fishbowl on his head.
  • Speaks in broken English. He mostly starts a word with an /r/, such as ‘Ruh-roh, Raggy!’ for ‘Uh-oh, Shaggy!’ 

But in recent episodes, Scooby-Doo can talk in complete sentences.

#21: Scooby-Doo’s age and height

A Great Dane’s lifespan is 7 to 10 years, according to AKC.

Scooby-Doo is 7 years old. According to his bio list, he is 12 paws tall, or about 4 feet 2 inches.

Great Danes have short lives compared to other breeds. But they are known for their imposing heights.

The oldest and the tallest Great Danes

The Guinness World Records holder of tallest dog is Zeus from Michigan, USA. He was given the title in 2011. 

By then, he was 111.8 cm (3 feet 8 inches) tall. When standing, he was 223 cm (7 feet and 4 inches) tall.

Zeus still held the record when he died in 2014 at the age of 5.

Now the tallest living dog is Freddy from the UK. He was 103.5 cm (3 feet 4.75 inches) when he received the title in 2016. 

If standing on hind legs, he’s 227.33 cm (7 feet 5.5 inches) tall.

To see just how tall and big he is, watch Freddy here:

And it seems as though he’s about to get another title. That is, the Guinness World Records title as the oldest Great Dane. 

Freddy turned 8 in May 2020. Guinness had confirmed to Freddy’s owner that they have no record for an older Great Dane.

Fun fact: Freddy was the runt of the litter and was sickly when he was a puppy. No one expected him to grow so big and tall. Also, his owner spends £500 a month on food.

#22: Scooby snacks: real and reel

There must be something about the Scooby snacks.

Because these can make Scooby, and even Shaggy, do anything!

Here’s proof:

These Scooby Snacks are real and reel. 

Reel, because it was a fictional food item that the show’s writers created. According to William Hanna, they imagined the snacks to be caramel-flavored. 

It’s usually a biscuit or a cookie shaped like a bone. But more recently, the treats were in the shape of Scooby-Doo’s dog tag.

The snacks are also real. Warner Bros. licensed these snacks both as doggie treats and as snacks for humans.

#23: Scooby-Doo has a speech disorder

Have you noticed the way Scooby-Doo talks?

You’ll probably think he’s got a speech impediment.

Well, you’re right. As I’ve mentioned in #20, he almost always starts a word with /r/. 

According to a speech pathologist, Scooby’s diagnosis is rhotic replacement. It’s a phonological disorder where Scooby substitutes and adds sounds in his speech.

Apparently, rhotic replacement only afflicts talking dogs. This disorder had not been documented among adults and even children. 

#24: Scooby-Doo’s family

Here’s the Doo family where Scooby belongs:

Skippy-DooIdentical sibling
Dooby-DooIdentical sibling
Ruby-DooSister, mother of Scrappy-Doo
Scrappy-DooScooby’s nephew

#25: A change in the voice

Scooby-Doo was voiced by Don Messick from 1969 to 1996. 

In 1994, Messick quit smoking. It affected the quality of his voice, because it was no longer as raspy as before.

#26: The real-life Scooby-Doo

Have you heard about the real-life Scooby-Doo?

That’s Presley, a towering Great Dane from Oldbury in the UK. 

His similarity with Scooby-Doo? They are easily scared. By even the most trivial things.

Presley would even come running to his owner when he’s frightened. 

According to his owner, Presley is most frightened by plastic bags and the hover. Even dogs that are small compared to him easily scare him.

Norville ‘Shaggy’ Rogers

#27: The coward of the gang  

During the conception phase of the show, Shaggy was first W.W. in the rock band Mysteries Five.

Fun fact: He was meant to be Velma’s brother.

Shaggy is labeled as a hippy due to his laid back attitude and appearance. He also loves adding the word ‘like’ when talking.

Like Scooby, Shaggy is a coward. He is also food motivated. These and other similarities cause Shaggy to treat Scooby as a person than a pet.

Another thing they have in common is being dim-witted.

#28: The Mystery Machine

It was Shaggy who bought the Mystery Machine and painted it.

#29: Why shaggy and Scooby love food

If there’s one thing these two have in common, it’s their love for food.

They can easily gulp down layers of sandwiches and still have space in their stomach for more.

How can this be so?

This study shows that people will eat more calories from small food in small packages.

If you’ll notice, the Scooby Snacks that they constantly eat are bite-sized and in small portions. This could explain why they constantly eat.

#30: Buzz

Before he was Shaggy, his nickname was Buzz.

He was called this name until he was 10 due to his buzz haircut.

#31: Shaggy becomes vegan

Shaggy loves to eat and always ends up overeating.

Then he becomes vegetarian. What gives?

Casey Kasem provided the voice to Shaggy for years. Until 1997. 

He was to provide his voice for Shaggy in a Burger King commercial.

However, Kasem refused to promote the brand. He was a strict vegetarian.

When the producers refused to approve his request of making Shaggy a vegan, Kasem quit the series.

In 2012 he returned as Shaggy’s voice actor. The producers had agreed that Shaggy be a vegetarian.

#32: The largest collection of decorator belt buckles in the world

Collecting decorator belt buckles became Shaggy’s new hobby.

This was a time when Shaggy had the habit of overeating. This hobby helped him to battle this problem.

His collection has 653 decorator belt buckles.

Frederick ‘Fred’ Herman Jones

#33: The leader of the gang

Fred often takes the lead in solving mysteries. 

He has an obsession with nets. He constructs traps for villains, which Shaggy and Scooby-Doo often set off by mistake.

While the show was in the conception stages, Fred was originally named Geoff. Then Ronnie. 

Eventually, he was named by and after Fred Silverman.

#34: From Fred to Megatron

Frank Welker has been the voice of Fred since the show’s first episode.

Fun fact: Welker also voiced Megatron and Soundwave in the Transformers franchise.

Velma Dinkley

#35: The intelligent analyst

Velma is born ‘with a mystery book in her hand.’

That’s according to her sister, Madelyn. This is due to the fact that Velma is fascinated by mysteries.

Velma is not only intelligent. She can also be sarcastic at times.

One of her special skills is identifying fake jewels by just looking at them.

#36: Is Velma gay?

Is Velma’s rumored homosexuality true?

Here are the facts:

In the series Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated, Velma has a romantic relationship with Shaggy. But it doesn’t last long.

The episode’s director also labeled Velma as bisexual. Producer Tony Cervone addressed the issue on his Instagram post:

‘I obviously don’t represent every version of Velma Dinkley, but I am one of the key people that represent this one. We made our intentions as clear as we could ten years ago. Most of our fans got it. To those that didn’t, I suggest you look closer. There’s no new news here.’

The post was accompanied by a photo of Velma and Marcie ‘Hot Dog Water’ Fleach.

In addition, director James Gunn of the 2002 movie Scooby Doo believed that Velma is gay. In fact, he mentioned that in the drafts of the script, Velma was written as a lesbian.

#37: A running gag

An episode is not complete without Velma losing her eyeglasses.

So much so that Velma’s catchphrase is, ‘My glasses, I can’t see without them!’

This wasn’t in the script during the first read-through. It was attributed to Velma’s voice actress, Nicole Jaffe. 

Jaffe also ad-libbed another of Velma’s catchphrases, ‘Jinkies!’

Daphne Blake

#38: Damsel in distress to kick-ass

Pretty and popular Daphne is always the damsel in distress. 

In many episodes, Daphne is clumsy and danger prone. In fact, her friends call her ‘Danger-prone Daphne.’

She is always kidnapped, tied, or imprisoned.

Eventually, Daphne becomes more kick-ass and independent. She even learns self-defense.

#39: Fat-shaming controversy

The Scooby-Doo franchise was in hot water following its movie, ‘Frankencreepy.’ 

They were accused of fat-shaming after what happened to Daphne.

In the movie, Daphne is cursed, her body growing from size 2 to size 8.

It didn’t sit well with the viewers, particularly parents. They accused Warner Bros of sending the wrong message about body image to children.

Note: An American woman’s average dress size is said to be 12 or 14.

Bonus: Scooby-Doo’s legacy

Scooby-Doo was introduced to the Saturday morning lineup on September 13, 1969.

The 17 episodes of the first series ran from 1969 to 1970.

More episodes have been shown on TV, plus various spin-offs. There were cartoon movies and live-action movies. 

That’s in addition to direct-to-DVD movies and even video games.

Scooby-Doo proved to be a rating success. Nielsen ratings showed that about 65% watched Scooby-Doo.

In 2013, TV Guide listed Scooby-Doo as the 5th greatest TV cartoon of all time. Just behind Peanuts (4th), Looney TunesI (3rd), The Flintstones (2nd), and The Simpsons (1st).