Written by Kaira

Modified & Updated: 23 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Scooby Doo

Did you ever wonder what kind of dog is Scooby-Doo? The question continues to plague the minds of those who grew up loving the smart dog and his friends. Aside from Scooby’s breed, the beloved cartoon holds more unsolved than solved mysteries. Let’s unlock your inner sleuth just like old times and solve the mystery surrounding Scooby-Doo’s kind. Don’t be afraid to join the Mystery Incorporated gang and take another spin in the Mystery Machine.

Scooby-Doo graced our TV screens in 1969. Since then, the cartoon has made its mark in the hearts of young sleuths. We all laughed and loved Scooby-Doo and the gang as they took on investigations and unmasked culprits. Like most child-friendly shows, “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” and its sequels focused on making kid brains work with simple problem-solving. The cartoons also featured life lessons after busting crooks who pulled underhanded tactics for personal gain. In truth, each unique episode veered us away from asking questions about the cartoon’s main characters. Some prequel stories may give us ideas but most leave more questions than answers. Where did Scooby-Doo get his catchphrase? Is Shaggy’s family richer than Daphne’s? What is Velma’s sexuality? And, our main question is, what kind of dog is Scooby-Doo? Let’s attempt to answer all this and more as we delve into the mysteries surrounding Scooby-Doo and the gang.

Table of Contents

Scooby-Doo is Inspired By The Great Dane

When you type “What Kind of Dog is Scooby-Doo?” on Google, the search engine presents the Great Dane as the famous dog’s breed. Upon looking closely, you may see the resemblance between Scooby and the large dog breed. Scooby-Doo’s breed has been a subject of debate for a long time. Some people just don’t accept that you can own a dog just like Scooby-Doo from almost anywhere in the world. In truth, Great Danes do not speak in broken English or eat hamburgers with their hands. However, these canines offer the closest features you need to own a real-life Scooby-Doo.

Great Dane
Image from Adobe Stock

Despite the endless debates, we already know the answer to “What Kind of Dog is Scooby-Doo?” According to the canine’s original animator, Iwao Takamoto, he created Scooby with a Great Dane in mind. In truth, he consulted a fellow staff member who breeds Great Dane dogs. Thanks to this inquiry, Takamoto came up with the goofy canine we came to know and love. However, it’s easy to understand why some people disagree with this answer. The original animator’s words don’t seem to be enough proof to some fans of the show.

Other Possible Scooby-Doo Dog Breeds

After answering “What kind of dog is Scooby-Doo?” we must delve into the mystery behind the Great Dane’s appearance. Experts from the American Kennel Club consider them as the largest dog breed in terms of height. This fact can easily be seen from the cartoon since Scooby appears taller than Shaggy and Fred when he stands on his two hind legs. When it comes to its origins, the Great Dane was the result of a crossbreed between English mastiffs and Irish wolfhounds. English mastiffs hail as the heaviest dogs among all large dog breeds. Because of their height and weight, these mastiffs received training for blood sports like assisting in the hunting of bears. Meanwhile, people trained Irish wolfhounds to chase and attack wolves. As one of the oldest dog breeds, Irish wolfhounds became war hounds and served to guard soldiers.

It may be hard to imagine how the Great Dane became the result of crossbreeding English mastiffs and Irish wolfhounds. However, we urge you to look at the similar details found in all three dog breeds. Great Danes got their shiny coats and size from English mastiffs. Meanwhile, the facial features and length of Irish wolfhounds depict a few similarities with Great Danes. The combination of the two breeds resulted in the fixed features of the Great Dane that we know of today.

Reimagining Scooby-Doo in Real Life

As mentioned, “Great Dane” answers the age-old question, “What kind of dog is Scooby-Doo?” However, some fans point out the differences between the canines instead of looking at the similarities. We can understand the sentiment because others can’t accept the original animator’s simple answer. You may choose the complicated side that focuses on Scooby’s mystical origins. Or, you can join us as we delve into the different qualities that also showcase Scooby’s relation with real Great Danes.

Scooby-Doo’s posture and facial features appear similar to that of the Great Danes. His coat features spotted brown fur that extends to his long tail. The rounded edge of Scooby’s tail often sparked a debate about the cartoon dog’s real-life breed. However, the remaining features provide stronger evidence. Scooby-Doo is an animated Great Dane. There’s nothing left to say about that.

Great Dane, Scooby-Doo
Photo from Unsplash

Great Dane… or Something More Sinister?

In “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated,” fans of the cartoon flocked to social media after learning the origin of Scooby-Doo’s kind. The terms “Scooby-Doo ancestors” and “Scooby-Doo and Cthulhu” spread on different social media platforms. Only those who watched the episode knew how the trending terms ended up like that. However, those who didn’t immediately speculated the famous dog’s possible relation with the sinister entity. In truth, most of the answers we got from questions about Scooby-Doo came from several episodes of “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated.” All two seasons aimed to honor the iconic figures and stories of the horror genre.

In the second season of the highly acclaimed series installment, the 20th episode briefly delved into Scooby-Doo’s origin. The episode titled “Stand and Deliver” features Scooby-Doo and the gang capture and solve the mystery revolving around the Dandy Highwayman. While helping the gang, Scooby-Doo suffers from nightmares about the accident of his dog friend and love interest, Nova. In the dream, Nova warns him about the threat of the Anunnaki. In the season’s final episode, a creature that appeared to be similar to Cthulhu faced off against Scooby-Doo and Mystery Incorporated. The became the possible cause of the confusion about Scooby-Doo’s fictional backstory.

To clear up any misunderstanding, we suggest you watch the two seasons of “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated.” With this, you can see why Scooby-Doo’s connection with the Anunnaki makes more sense. This race of creatures inhabits the bodies of animals to communicate and live with humans and animals. With that said, the cartoon’s final episode implies that Scooby-Doo is a descendant of the mythical race. His qualities of behaving more like a human than a dog strongly show his link with the said race.

Scared Scooby-Doo and Shaggy, Scooby-Doo, Shaggy
Image from YouTube

When Did Scooby-Doo Come Out?

Scooby-Doo officially graced our TV screens in 1969. Before then, one of Hanna-Barbera’s Saturday morning cartoons featured a glimpse of the soon-to-be Scooby in “Mysteries Five.” In the episode, the animators designed a dog who loved to play the bongo and named him “Too Much.” However, the animated canine’s breed confused audiences due to their frequent changes. In some scenes, he looked like a Great Dane while in others he depicted a sheepdog. Eventually, Hanna Barbara released “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” which took the world by storm. It spawned several sequels and continues to deliver mysteries to old and young fans.

Initially, Hanna-Barbera came up with Scooby-Doo’s story in hopes of alleviating protests of several parent groups. Back then, adults expressed their outrage over the alleged violent influence of superhero-themed shows that aired during the weekends. After several changes, Hanna-Barbera’s team eventually came up with the premise we know and love. Despite those revisions, the creators never veered off from their concept of producing a cartoon about supernatural mysteries solved by a group of teenagers and their dogs. The first installment also featured the famous Scooby-Doo catchphrase “And I’d have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for those meddling kids!”

The Fame of the Scooby-Doo Cartoon Characters

During most of our childhoods, we enjoyed watching Scooby-Doo and the gang’s antics while they solve mysteries. In truth, we mostly watched the cartoon for the characters, not the mysteries they tried to crack. A lot of us relate to the teens’ struggles as they try to prove themselves to the adults who doubt their skills. We hated it when adults and officials called Mystery Incorporated as “those meddling kids” after they solved a case. It reflects the struggles of the youth that get their opinions brushed off due to their age. 

Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Shaggy face different criticisms in almost every case they delve into. When we witnessed the gang being judged by adults, we can’t help but wish we had a dog like Scooby-Doo. The food-loving dog never fails to stand up for the gang when adults question their skills. He supports them by growling at the judgemental adults and comforting the gang with a few dog kisses. Because of these reasons, the mystery-comedy cartoon continues to grab the attention of old and new fans.

Scooby Gang, Mystery Incorporated
Image from YouTube

Meaning Behind the “Scooby-doo-be-doo-be-doo” Catchphrase

Fred Silverman served as one of the main producers who made the release of the Scooby-Doo franchise. Thanks to his efforts, Hanna-Barbera found a way to release the mystery-solving antics of Scooby-Doo and the gang. Aside from that, Silverman pitched the “Scooby-doo-be-doo-be-doo” catchphrase we know and love. He got the idea from Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night.” However, when you listen to the song, you might notice the difference between Sinatra’s tune to Scooby’s high-pitched “doo-bee-doo-bee-doo. In truth, Silverman suggested the catchphrase but he didn’t say anything about the tone. Plus, it doesn’t depict any true meaning aside from being a catchy line for Scooby-Doo. You may think of it as an adlib that caught the attention of fans and eventually became a catchphrase. Most signature lines from iconic shows start that way.

Is Shaggy’s Family Richer Than Daphne’s Family?

If you watched Scooby-Doo during your childhood, you probably know about Daphne Blake’s extravagant background. Throughout the series, Daphne showcases her love for money and the useful connections she got thanks to the Blake family’s wealth. On some occasions, she flaunts her expensive taste for clothes, food, and style. Because of this, most of us believed that she hails as the richest member of Mystery Incorporated. Unbeknownst to many, the wealth of Shaggy Rogers’ family may outshine the riches of the Blakes. 

Scooby-Doo, Scared a Lot in Camelot
Image from YouTube

After knowing what kind of dog is Scooby-Doo, you might believe that Shaggy comes from a rich family. Owning a purebred Great Dane costs about $1,000 to $3,000. We don’t know for sure if Scooby-Doo comes from a family of Great Danes but his relation with Scrappy-Doo may hint at this fact. In the episode “Scared a Lot in Camelot” from “The Scooby Doo Show,” we met one of Shaggy’s rich relatives. The hour-long episode describes Shagworthy, Shaggy’s uncle, as a zillionaire. That title means his wealth exceeds billions and trillions. He can afford to quench his love for collecting English castles. Instead of just buying the vast properties, Shagworthy bought King Arthur’s castle and transported the old building to his home in the USA. In “The New Scooby and Scrappy Doo Show,” the episode titled “Wedding Bell Boos!” showed more proof of Shaggy’s wealth. It may be hard to imagine because Shaggy dresses simply. However, you must not let his laid-back look deceive you. Don’t underestimate Shaggy Rogers’ love for food and laziness. He also contributes to solving mysteries as much as any member from Mystery Incorporated.

What is Velma’s Sexuality?

In the storyline of “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated,” we were all shocked to find out about Shaggy and Velma’s romantic relationship. However, their budding romance didn’t last as long as Fred and Daphne’s long-term relationship. You probably cringed when Scooby-Doo caught them sneaking a makeout session in the garden. In truth, the writers of the show intended for the couple to depict something cringe-worthy than sweet and romantic. We all sighed in relief when Shaggy and Velma finally broke up and remained friends in the show’s 10th episode. Because of this display, we all assumed that Velma identifies as a heterosexual. However, the true intentions of the show’s writers revealed that they had something else in mind.

Scooby-Doo, Velma, Shaggy
Image from YouTube

Aside from the sudden romance between Shaggy and Velma, “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated” showcased Velma’s rivalry with Marcie, a fellow science genius. Some fans felt the romantic tension between the two characters despite seeing Velma’s relationship with Shaggy. In truth, some of us hoped that a budding romance blossomed between Velma and Marcie instead. Unbeknownst to many, the show’s producers initially leaned to depicting Velma as a lesbian. Producer Tony Cervone claimed that they intended the romantic tension between Velma and Marcie while the two characters bump heads. The producers eventually agreed to identify Velma as bisexual in hopes of clearing out any misunderstandings between the character’s romance with Shaggy.

What Kind of Dog is Scooby-Doo? Mystery Solved or Unsolved?

What Kind of Dog is Scooby-Doo, Figurine, Toy
Photo from Unsplash

After delving into the remaining mysteries of the cartoon, we consider “What kind of dog is Scooby-Doo?” as Mystery Solved. During our search, we included some of the unanswered questions from the beloved cartoon. The ongoing arguments and unsolved predicaments contribute to the classic cartoon’s undying fame. We can’t help but read about Scooby-Doo questions that we never thought of asking on social media. It just goes to know that the Scooby-Doo franchise continuously entertains all ages with its intriguing content. Who doesn’t love a mystery cartoon that keeps on giving?

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