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What Kind of Dog is Scrappy-Doo? The Surprising Answer!

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

male great dane dog on grass

Is there a more well-known and iconic cartoon doggy duo than Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo? We don’t think so!

If you’ve ever given a lot of thought to these two pups, you might wonder what breed of dog they are. They certainly don’t seem to be modeled off of any real dogs, what with their prehensile tails, ability to speak, walk on hind legs, morph into monsters, and float into the sky after eating a tasty snack. But where did the creators of the show get the inspiration for these characters?

Keep reading to find the answers to everything you’ve ever wanted to know about this dynamic doggy duo.
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Who is Scrappy-Doo?

Scrappy-Doo is the nephew of Scooby, having been born to Scooby’s sister Ruby-Doo. Scrappy was the opposite of his uncle in many ways. Where Scooby would hide from ghosts and ghouls, Scrappy would be ready to take on any monster. His favorite catch phrases were “Scrappy dappy doo,” “Puppy power!” and “Lemme at ‘em!”, which was a testament to his boldness.

Scrappy appeared in several Scooby-Doo cartoon series, including Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo (1979–1980) and Scooby’s Mysterious Funhouse (1985–1986). He also appeared in many Scooby-Doo films, even making an appearance as the antagonist in the live-action Scooby-Doo film that was released in 2002.

What Kind of Dog is Scrappy-Doo?

Since Scrappy is a relative of Scooby, it is safe to assume that the two share some genetics. It has been said that Scooby is a Great Dane, though he seems to ironically have all the opposing characteristics of a real Great Dane, and his appearance doesn’t exactly fit the bill, either.

Great Danes are known for their elegance, balance, and courageous spirit. They’re known as the “Apollo of dogs” because of their grace and poise.

Scooby, on the other hand, is, well, the exact opposite. Scooby is clumsy and isn’t afraid to hide in a closet eating submarine sandwiches with his pal Shaggy while the rest of the gang boldly faces whatever “monster” is tormenting them.

Scrappy, on the other hand, we can imagine a bit better as a Great Dane. Scrappy is headstrong and courageous. He is strong as evidenced throughout the cartoon when he runs while holding cowering Shaggy and Scooby. That said, Scrappy is feisty and arrogant, two traits that most Great Danes do not carry. He may not have the poise and elegance of a Great Dane, but he certainly fits the bill better than his cowardly uncle.

The Creation of Scrappy-Doo

Scooby-Doo’s ratings began to sink in the late 1970s so the creators of the once wildly popular TV show had to think of something to freshen things up. ABC was on the verge of canceling the program altogether so they needed something new and exciting to bring to the table.

Scrappy debuted in 1978, and though he may be small, his presence was part of the reason the TV show was saved. He was so well-accepted, in fact, that the show was restructured around him in the 1980s. He played an integral part in the franchise on TV and in licensed products and merchandise throughout the 1990s.

Later, however, it was determined that Scrappy actually had a negative impact on the Scooby franchise of the 1980s. One of the writers, Mark Evanier, surmised that Scrappy didn’t mesh with the franchise well because Scooby didn’t have the vocabulary of his nephew.
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Final Thoughts

We hope that our blog has taught you a little more about the rise and fall of Scrappy-Doo. While he might not fit the description of a Great Dane to a tee, the writers of the show themselves said that they modeled both dogs off of this breed, so we’ll just have to take their word for it.


Featured Image Credit: belu gheorghe, Shutterstock

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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