Scooby-Doo is one of the most famous fictional canine cartoon characters ever created, and people of all ages are able to instantly recognize him.

However, a surprising number of people don’t know much about him other than the fact that he is a crime-solving scaredy-cat…err, dog.

In fact, most people don’t even know what breed he is, and commonly ask the question:

What Kind Of Dog Is Scooby-Doo?

Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane. That’s it, end of that mystery. Scooby-Doo, despite being entirely fictional and cartoonishly animated, displays all of the standards used by the American Kennel Club to define this beloved giant dog breed.

Great Danes are “regal in appearance, has strength and elegance with great size and a powerful, well-formed, smoothly muscled body.”

More About Great Danes

Great Dane is a breed of dog known for their massive physical size. The breed originated in Germany and is descended from hunting dogs of the Middle Ages. Great Danes are one of the largest breeds in the world and are a close relative of the Irish Wolfhound.

They are friendly dogs that generally love kids and make wonderful family pets. A fully grown Great Dane can weigh up to 90kg. While their size does make them unique in the dog world, it also means they are a bit clumsy.

And while they probably won’t solve any mysteries for you, they are full of personality and adventure which is probably why the breed was chosen for our star character.

Woman with a large great dane

More About Scooby

But Scooby-Doo is not just a Great Dane, he also talks (sort of) and goes on exciting and mysterious adventures with his gang of human friends.

Scooby-Dooby-Doo is also the star of a highly popular multi-media franchise that has been going strong since its creation over 50 years ago.

So, let’s celebrate Scoobert “Scooby” Doo, and delve a bit into his incredible history and origin.

A Pup Named Scooby-Doo

The very first animated television series featuring Scooby-Doo was released in 1969. Interestingly enough, neither the production company, world-renowned Hanna-Barbera, nor the network, CBS, were very keen to greenlight the pitch presented by animators/screenwriters Joe Ruby and Ken Spears.

Thankfully, the powers that be caved, and ordered a season of “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?. The cartoon premiered on Saturday, September 13th, 1969, at 10:30 am. It was an unprecedented hit.

The success of this initial iteration resulted in a multitude of copycat cartoons looking to cash in on Scooby’s charm.

As a result, in 1976 Scooby-Doo moved to ABC where the franchise would go on to mutate and present itself through different formats throughout the years until this very day.

Scooby-Doo And The Gang

The vast majority of Scooby-Doo stories, be they tv series or feature films, all follow a very similar structure that has remained engaging and entertaining after all these years thanks in part to the colorful cast of characters that accompany this Great Dane on his mysterious, monster-ridden adventures.

Scooby-Doo is always accompanied by a group of colorful teenagers who drive around in a Flower Power-style van called the Mystery Machine

Always, their journeys are interrupted by a monster, ghost, or other seemingly paranormal events that haunt, terrify, or at least inconvenience the locals.

This gang always consisted of beautiful redhead Daphne, highly intelligent Velma, courageous Fred, and lanky Shaggy. Occasionally they would be joined by relatives of Scooby, such as his cousin Scooby-Dum and nephew Scrappy-Doo.

Scooby-Doo Movies And Series

In total, since the original was released in 1969, there have been many television series inspired by the Scooby-Doo franchise. These are:

  • Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
  • The New Scooby-Doo Movies
  • The Scooby-Doo Show
  • Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo
  • The New Scooby-Doo and Scrappy Show
  • The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo
  • A Pup Named Scooby-Doo
  • What’s New, Scooby-Doo?
  • Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!
  • Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated
  • Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!
  • Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?
  • Velma (spin-off)
  • Scooby-Doo! and the Mystery Pups (premiering in 2024)

There have also been 4 animated television films, 37 animated direct-to-video Scooby films, 1 animated theatrical feature film, 5 live-action film adaptations, as well as countless shorts, crossover episodes, webisodes, and television specials.

As if that weren’t enough, the franchise has also spread to comics, video games, and even plays!

In short, the Great Dane Scooby-Doo is a multi-generation icon. An ingenious character that has been able to consistently reinvent and renew himself over for more than 50 years, and who continues to be a source of delight and entertainment among children and adults alike.