What Kind of Dog Is Scooby Doo? Discover the Surprising Breed Behind the Cartoon
For over 50 years, Scooby-Doo has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide, but one question often lingers in the minds of fans: “What kind of dog is Scooby Doo?” The answer is as intriguing as the mysteries he solves with his group of meddling kids.
What Breed Is Scooby Doo?
Scooby Doo Is a Great Dane. While the show itself never explicitly states his breed, this was the intention of the designer and the studio. And subtle hints in the show suggest that Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane. This is alluded to in an episode where a character needs to be awoken with a kiss from “a great Danish prince,” and Scooby, fittingly, does the honors.
This revelation might surprise some, considering his unique appearance compared to the typical Great Dane breed standards set by the American Kennel Club. However, Scooby’s design was a deliberate choice by character designer Iwao Takamoto, who sought to create a distinctive and endearing character.
A Twist in the Tale: From Sheepdog to Great Dane
The journey of Scooby-Doo’s creation is as fascinating as the mysteries he solves. Initially named “Too Much,” Scooby was meant to be a sheepdog in the early development stages of the show in late 1968. Co-creator Joe Ruby, concerned about potential legal issues with the comic strip Marmaduke, which also featured a Great Dane, made this switch. However, CBS daytime executive Fred Silverman’s intervention led to a pivotal change. After learning why Ruby opted for a sheepdog, producer Joseph Barbera encouraged a return to the original Great Dane concept, leading to the Scooby-Doo we know today.
Breaking the Mold: The Design of Scooby-Doo
Iwao Takamoto’s conversation with a Hanna-Barbera studio employee, who was a breeder of Great Danes, played a crucial role in Scooby’s design. Takamoto took the standard characteristics of an award-winning Great Dane – straight legs, a strong chin, a straight back, and a smooth coat – and creatively subverted them. This resulted in Scooby’s iconic look with bowed legs, a double chin, a sloped back, and spots – a feature not found in purebred Great Danes, though Harlequin Great Danes do have black mottled patches.
Scooby-Doo’s Rise to Stardom
Originally intended as a sidekick in the show, Scooby-Doo’s appeal quickly became apparent, leading to his elevation as the star of the franchise. This shift was a result of the initial rejection from the CBS board and the subsequent development process. Scooby-Doo’s charm and unique characteristics, combined with his love for Scooby Snacks and his cowardly yet lovable nature, made him an instant hit.
Frank Sinatra’s Influence on Scooby-Doo
Adding to the lore of Scooby-Doo’s creation is the influence of Frank Sinatra. Sinatra’s 1966 comeback hit “Strangers in the Night” played a role in naming the character. At the end of the song, Sinatra sings “dooby, dooby doo,” a phrase that reportedly inspired Fred Silverman to name the character Scooby-Doo. This connection highlights the serendipitous nature of creative inspiration and how popular culture can influence even the most iconic of characters.
Cultural Impact and Legacy
Scooby-Doo’s influence extends beyond the realm of dog breeds. The Scooby-Doo franchise, including characters like Scrappy-Doo, has become a cultural icon. The show’s formula of solving mysteries, often with a musical interlude and the unmasking of the villain, has been a staple of American television. The phrase “meddling kids,” often used by the villains upon their capture, has become synonymous with the series.
More Than Just a Breed
While Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane by breed, he represents much more. He’s a fictional character that has stood the test of time, delighting generations with his antics and adventures. From being voiced by Don Messick to being referred to as the “Apollo of dogs,” Scooby-Doo remains a beloved figure in popular culture. As the Scooby-Doo franchise continues to evolve, one thing remains constant – Scooby-Doo’s place in the hearts of fans worldwide.
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