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What Kind of Dog Is Fang in Harry Potter? Famous Dogs Presented

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove


There are, of course, many fantastic beasts in the Harry Potter world, including a good selection of dogs and canine-like animals. But perhaps one of the best known and most recognized is that of Hagrid’s companion, Fang.

In the original books, Fang is actually described as an oversized boarhound, which is another name for a Great Dane. In the films, however, he is played by a Neapolitan Mastiff. Fang has been played by various Mastiffs, including one rescue dog that was abandoned by his original owner for being aggressive.

Read on for more information on Fang and the canine actors that played him.

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Hagrid’s Dog Fang

In the books, Fang journeys with his companion, Hagrid, who describes him as a “bloody coward”. Fang is described as being a boarhound, which is an old name for a Great Dane. But in the movies, Fang is a Neapolitan Mastiff. Fang has been played by a succession of different canine actors.

In the first two films, he was played by Hugo, Bully, Bella, and Vito. Another Neapolitan Mastiff, named Luigi, played the role in the second and sixth films, and a rescue dog called Monkey played the part in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Monkey was a rescue dog that had been surrendered by a previous owner for being too aggressive.

fangs - harry potter
Image Credit: Characters by  Warner Bros. Pictures.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.

Other Harry Potter Animals

The Harry Potter world is packed full of animals, some real and some fictional but strongly based on existing animals. Some of the most famous animals in the Harry Potter world are:

  • Scabbers – Scabbers is Ron Weasley’s familiar. Scabbers is known for being lazy and constantly napping. He has a battered ear and one missing finger. His coloring suggests that he is an Agouti Rat. This means that every hair has three different colors and is considered to be the standard wild rat coloring. Scabbers turns out to be Peter Pettigrew, played by Timothy Spall, and one of the main antagonists in the Harry Potter series.
  • Hedwig – Hedwig is arguably the best-known of the familiars in Harry Potter. She arrives on Harry’s 11th birthday and remains at his side throughout the movie series. Hedwig is a Snowy Owl and although this breed is relatively small in the owl world, a five-foot wingspan helps them prey silently on their quarry. Their white plumage helps disguise them against the snowy backdrop of the Arctic.
  • Crookshanks – Crookshanks is Hermione’s familiar. Based on the ginger coloring, facial features, and pansy face, it is likely that the cat is a Himalayan but could also be a Persian. Crookshanks helps identify Scabbers as Peter Pettigrew.

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Final Thoughts

Animals are common in the Harry Potter world and while Hedwig might be the most famous, Hagrid’s dog, Fang, is also popular. Although Fang is described as a boarhound in the books, he is portrayed as a Neapolitan Mastiff in the movies, with a series of different canine actors taking on the role in different movies.

Featured Image Credit: Characters by  Warner Bros. Pictures.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

Authored by

Nicole is a lover of animals of all sizes but is especially fascinated with the feline variety. She’s the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese, and works every day so he can relax in the sunshine or by the fire. She’s always had a cat in her home and has spent countless days with others, observing behaviors and softening up even the grouchiest of the lot. Nicole wants to share her kitty expertise with you so you and your cat ...Read more

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