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What Kind of Dog Is Scooby Doo Anyway?

Scooby Doo is one of the most famous dogs of all time but, despite his popularity, very few people actually know what breed of dog Scooby is.

What kind of dog is Scooby Doo? The mystery of Scooby-Doo’s dog breed has deepened after SCOOB!, a Scooby Doo reboot series, gives Scooby an origin story and reunites the gang. The trailer tells the story of how Shaggy Rogers, Scooby-Doo’s owner, and Scooby meet — Scooby is escaping from some dog catchers, runs into Shaggy on the beach, and Shaggy pretends to be his owner. (Unfortunately, Matthew Lillard won’t be reprising the role of Shaggy.)

The trailer also promises to expand on how the original Scooby Doo characters, featuring Velma, Fred, and Daphne, came to be best friends, and a brand new adventure where Scooby Doo and Shaggy Rogers get abducted by a spaceship and the gang has to, somehow, get them out of this hijinx. But the elusive answer to the question of what type of dog is Scooby Doo seems to be out of reach. He’s like if Scrappy Doo, Scooby’s nephew, and Scooby Doo had a baby. He’s absolutely massive, and somehow still capable of being held at all times like a baby. Simply but, Scooby Doo’s breed is another mystery that needs to be solved by Mystery Incorporated. 

Scooby Doo is undoubtedly one of the most famous dogs of all time. Since Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! debuted 50 years ago, the titular dog (what kind of dog?) has remained a staple of kid’s entertainment, winning over each new generation of viewers with his adorable voice and tendency to consume comically-large sandwiches and…err..whatever Shaggy eats. But despite this amateur sleuth solving countless crimes over the last few decades, the anthropomorphic mascot of the Mystery Gang has been able to solve the greatest mystery of all: What kind of dog is Scooby Doo anyway? Is there even an answer? Yes, there is. And it’s not some old man wearing a dog suit being a creep and trying to foil some amateur sleuth’s plans.

Scooby Doo’s dog breed is a Great Dane, which probably is what most dog-lovers already suspected, given his appearance. Like a typical Great Dane, Scooby has lanky, skinny legs and a long, stocky torso.

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However, Scooby has a less refined frame and body type than most Great Danes. According to Iwao Takamoto, one of the creators of the original series, Scooby’s rough features were no accident. Takamoto revealed that to design the character, he spoke with a Great Dane breeder who shared the ideal features of a prize Great Dane. Then, to make the character more of an endearing every dog, Takamoto decided to give Scooby all of the opposite features.

“I decided to go the opposite [way] and gave him a hump back, bowed legs, small chin and such. Even his color is wrong,” Takamoto explained.

The rest, as they say, is history and despite the average lifespan of a Great Dane being around 8-10 years, we have no doubt that Scooby Doo will continue to defy all conventional wisdom and outlive all of us. Because as long as kids love watching a goofy Great Dane solving mysteries with his groovy friends, Scooby Doo will remain a cultural touchstone.