Written by Bernice

Modified & Updated: 30 Dec 2023

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

snoopy holding placard

Have you ever wondered what kind of dog is Snoopy? There are a lot of famous characters out there like Max from the Grinch, Kelley the Dog, and even Benji. Their breed is a popular topic for these characters. An example for this is, what kind of dog was Hooch? He was a Dogue de Bordeaux, by the way.

While the example we’ve given you is more than obnoxious, what happens when it’s in cartoon form? Dogs often become caricatured or even look nothing like the dog breed they are supposed to be. What kind of dog is Lady from Lady and the Tramp, anyway? Or what breed is Scooby-Doo? Is Goofy supposed to be a dog? Lastly, we all want to know what kind of dog Bolt is.

While we currently may not have the answers to these dog breed questions, we luckily do have the answer for Snoopy, Peanuts’ famous mascot. Included here is Snoopy’s breed, the origin of his breed, and the history of his presence in every Peanuts characters’ life.

Table of Contents

An Inspiration From the Creator’s Pet Beagle

So what kind of dog is Snoopy, really? Well, he’s actually a spotted white beagle. The answer may have surprised you, but Snoopy is indeed a beagle. The famous Peanuts dog is known for his happy dance. Ironically, although Snoopy’s attitude seems to be independent and selfish, he is aware of his reliance on Charlie Brown, his owner, and Peanuts’ main character. His creator, Charles M. Schulz, based Snoopy on an actual pet dog he had when he was thirteen.

Schulz’s pet dog was named Spike and was also a black and white beagle. Spike was more friendly and often waited for Schulz’s dad to come home. Spike enjoyed car rides and often put his paw on Schulz’s dad when it was time to get the newspaper. Schulz’s first-ever published drawing was of Spike on Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

puppy beagle and adult beagle
Image from Adobe Stock

Origin of Beagles

Beagles result from mixing several breeds, such as the Talbot Hound, Southern Hound, Harrier, and the Northern Hound. Developed in the 1830s, they were popular as “Scent Hounds” that hunted rodents and rabbits. The earlier beagles that were sent to America physically looked more similar to a straight-legged Basset Hound, or a tall version of Dachshunds. 

Nowadays, beagles are a popular breed because of their playful and active nature. Their “Scent Hound” origins can still be traced, since most beagles have the tendency to trail away once they smell something. 

Snoopy vs. Actual Beagles

Another question that people ask with what kind of dog is Snoopy is, is if he has any actual similarities to beagles? Snoopy has indeed traits that reflect the nature of real-life beagles. Snoopy is a very energetic dog, which can be reminiscent of when he plays baseball with Charlie and his friends. Beagles are also extremely active and love to play around. You can often find Snoopy being lethargic or lazing about, which is also a trait of beagles.

Another similarity is Snoopy’s intelligence. Beagles are popular for their intelligence, and Snoopy’s imaginative nature and success as a writer also reflect that. Finally, Snoopy plays the piano, and beagles do sound musical when they howl.

History of Snoopy

Snoopy’s first appearance was on the 4th of October, 1950. In the earlier stages of Snoopy’s development, he appeared and acted like an ordinary pet. He was originally silent before his first thought bubble on the 27th of May, 1952. Even Snoopy drawings had changed. Schulz originally drew Snoopy sleeping in his doghouse. He then changed it when he drew Snoopy sleepy and turned bipedal by sleeping on top of the doghouse.

His bipedal posture was also addressed. Initially, you can see Snoopy playing in Charlie’s baseball team with the running gag being that the team was so terrible, Snoopy even had to be a part of it. Charlie eventually helped Snoopy learn to walk on his hind legs after he tried to dabble with the idea on his own. Eventually, Snoopy becomes more human-like, even forgetting that he is an animal.

Snoopy on Peanuts

What kind of dog is Snoopy that has overshadowed the main character of the Peanuts comic strip? Personality-wise, Snoopy is a character that is incredibly imaginative. He was first seen doing an impression of a bird, followed by Violet, a pelican, Lucy, Beethoven, and finally, Mickey Mouse. He also had many impressions of animals. While he couldn’t converse with the other characters, you could still see Snoopy thinking about his responses to the children. 

Charlie Brown, Peanuts
Image from Pixabay

Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace

In 1965, Snoopy imagined himself as the World War I Flying Ace. Imagine Snoopy on top of the doghouse with a scarf and a pilot’s helmet. That was what he looked like as he pretended to fly an airplane into the sky. Snoopy believed he was flying a Sopwith Camel and on his way to battle the Red Baron. 

In a fashion befitting of Snoopy, the U.S. military even wrote to Schulz for permission in using Snoopy as a mascot in the Vietnam war. There was even a song written about Snoopy’s famous battles with the Red Baron called “Snoopy VS the Red Baron.”

Snoopy as Joe Cool

Plenty of published images focusing on Snoopy was a thing back in the day. Joe Cool is one of his more popular images. Joe Cool first appeared on the 27th of May 1971. All Snoopy needs to do to become his alter ego is to put on a pair of sunglasses, and a sweatshirt with the words Joe Cool written on it. He then leans against the wall and believes he is very cool.

Joe Cool is a college student who relates to James Dean and Fonzie from Happy Days. One comic strip shows that Lucy, another character from Peanuts, has kicked out her brother Linus. Joe Cool welcomes Linus into his dorm room, which is actually the famous Snoopy doghouse.

Snoopy as Joe Cool
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Snoopy as a World Famous Author

In 1965, Snoopy began writing on top of his doghouse. He often starts his story with the words “it was a dark and stormy night” which Linus and Lucy often give constructive criticism against. At one point, Snoopy achieved considerable success. Charlie also told Snoopy to write to his mother, and just like the world-famous author, he wrote: “Dear Mother, I remember when I was born it was a dark and stormy night.” 

His success is cut short when he receives a series of rejections. His work was once again published in 1995, but received little success. He was last seen on the 3rd of January and February 13, 2000, on top of his typewriter. This is also the last of the Peanuts comic strips.

Snoopy in Space

Snoopy had his own animated series about his travels in space. In the series, Snoopy is in charge of the International Space Station and is accompanied by other Peanuts characters. Both Canadians and Americans created and released it in 2019. The series is inspired by Snoopy’s relationship with NASA

Schulz once drew Snoopy pretending to land on the moon. During the Apollo 10 mission, the crew named their command module, Charlie Brown, and their lunar module, Snoopy. They named Apollo 10’s lunar module as Snoopy because it was going to “snoop” around the future landing site of the famous Apollo 11. Ever since then, the Silver Snoopy Award is now given to NASA employees for their human safety.

Fun Facts About Snoopy

  1. Snoopy was born on a stormy night and has siblings such as Belle, Spike, Olaf, Andy, Marbles, Molly, and Rover.
  2. Snoopy earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame after Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts.
  3. The Snoopy dog house image is one of the most famous Snoopy pictures alive. Schulz explains that nothing normal can ever be associated with Snoopy, and so dreaming on top of a doghouse fits him nicely.
  4. Snoopy reads one word a day from the book “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy.
  5. Peanuts characters have visited Snoopy’s doghouse. Violet, Shermy, and Schroeder once entered it and found a recreation room.
  6. Snoopy’s original owner was Lila.
Snoopy bus
Image source: Pixabay


Ever since the creation of Snoopy, dogs have been named after him, and his imagination has led him to actual associations with fighter planes and space. Many merchandise such as a Snoopy snow cone machine, and Snoopy plush toys have been sold worldwide. There also have been Snoopy-themed birthdays since 1960. Even up to this day, people use Snoopy quotes as an inside joke. There is also a popular Snoopy dance GIF referring to his happy dance. No one can question his relevance because his popularity as a character is here to stay. And thankfully, we now all have an answer to “what kind of dog is Snoopy?” and the inspiration behind him.

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