20 Cartoon Dogs Who Stole Our Hearts Forever

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Whether you have watched their remarkable stories as a child, or with a child, these fictional dogs have taught us some of the most important lessons in life and love, changing our world for the better and stealing our hearts forever.

Here’s a list of the 20 most influential, memorable, and loveable dogs in the history of cartoons.

1. Snoopy

One of the most popular and best loved cartoon dogs ever, Snoopy is a childishly happy beagle who either indulges in his own fantasies or dances around in perfect joy. Wildly imaginative, Snoopy doesn’t need to know how to talk in order to pretend to be someone or something else. He withdraws to his fanciful world, and though he can never be what he imagined, the overly-confident beagle never stops trying.

Created by Charles M. Schulz, the super famous dog is Charlie Brown’s pet dog in the comic strip Peanuts, the most popular and influential comic strip of all time. Due to its unprecedented fame, Snoopy has received all sorts of honors: a United States Air Force B-58 Hustler bomb, a special NASA honor, an Apollo lunar module, three airships, a remotely operated underwater vehicle and a 280-degree tributary loop in Vietnam’s Mekong River were all named after him. Impressive, right?

Balto

2. Balto

The animated movie Balto is loosely based on a true story about the heroic dog of the same name and his quest to help transport the serum that prevented the outbreak of the potentially deadly diphtheria epidemic in Nome, Alaska. Though the longest and most dangerous distance was actually covered by another dog named Togo, Balto was the one who led his team on the final leg of the serum run and therefore gained the most attention.

The movie is not completely historically accurate (Balto was a Siberian husky in real life, whereas the fictional pooch is a grey wolfdog, to name one inaccuracy), but audiences have fallen in love with Balto’s adventures which illustrate his intelligence, courageousness and perseverance.

Rejected by the world, the loveable character stole the hearts of adults and children alike and captivated the attention of movie-fans around the world. Most importantly, the movie immortalized the real dog who inspired the story and made sure that Balto would never be forgotten.

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3. Charlie B. Barkin

Charlie B. Barkin, the protagonist of the tear-jerker All Dogs Go To Heaven, is a mischievous German shepherd mixed breed who doesn’t have a good reputation at the beginning of the movie, but is in no way a mean and uncompassionate dog.

After bad guy (or should we say dog) Carface kills him, Charlie ends up in heaven because dogs are inherently good and loyal. However, he manages to escape and return to earth in order to avenge his death only to realize that there are more important things in life such as love, honesty and faithfulness.

Though he was banished from heaven forever, together with his friends, Itchy and Anne-Marie (an orphaned girl who teaches him what really matters in this world), Charlie unknowingly proves that he definitely deserves to go back to heaven by sacrificing his life for Anne-Marie’s.

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4. Nana

Though many people mistake her for a Saint Bernard, Nana is in fact a caring Newfoundland who does everything in her power to ensure Wendy, John and Michael are safe (she is in charge of their health and gives them medication every night before tucking them to bed) and would do anything to protect them.

Despite the fact that she’s wonderful at her job, George Darling is somewhat embarrassed to have a dog work for him, but the children simply adore Nana and would not trade her for the world. In fact, she treats them as they were her own puppies.

When George puts her in a dog house, he claims the children must grow up and understand that they are not her pups and that she is only a dog. Luckily, all’s well that ends well: when the Darlings return from their Never Land adventure, Nana is once again allowed in the house and George realizes he was too harsh on the loyal nursemaid.

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5. Blue

Blue, the adorable dog from the popular children’s show Blue’s Clues, became worldwide famous among young audiences around the globe through her captivating, interactive and innovative show which has been described as “one of the most successful, critically acclaimed, and ground-breaking preschool television series of all time.”

The show revolves around Blue, a blue puppy with dark blue spots, a dark blue nose and big, floppy ears, as she plays a game with the host and the audience. Always excited to help her viewers learn new things, Blue leaves paw prints on three objects that are supposed to help them unlock the puzzle. After a series of mini-games connected to the main puzzle, the host talks about Blue’s clues and tries to come up with the answer. All in all, Blue has had a huge impact on preschoolers, and continues to be one of the most beloved cartoon dogs ever.

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6. Lady and the Tramp

There probably isn’t a cartoon-loving person in the world who has not been touched by the coyly love story between Disney’s most favorite dogs, Lady and the Tramp. It’s a rather typical tale of a pampered, upper-class family pet and a street-smart stray whose feelings for each other bring them together and change their worlds.

The heroine of the animated movie is the beloved female American cocker spaniel named Lady, and her beau is the charming stray mutt known as Tramp. After Tramp heroically saves Lady from a pack of vicious dogs, the two embark on many romantic adventures only to end up living happily ever after.

Apart from receiving a red collar with a diamond shaped license from Jim Dear and Darling (Lady already had a blue collar and a license) and becoming an important member of a loving family, Tramp also welcomes four pups with his sweetheart.

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7. 101 Dalmatians

Based on Dodie Smith’s novel of the same name, 101 Dalmatians is another Disney smash hit that touched the hearts of millions of canine lovers around the world. The action-packed adventure focuses on Pongo and Perdita, two proud Dalmatian parents and their relentless search for their 15 overly-adorable puppies, who have been kidnapped by the despicable Cruella De Vil and her henchmen.

De Vil’s plan is to skin the poor puppies for her lavish new fur coat, but the courageous parents (with the help of other animals) succeed in ruining her villainous scheme. Pongo and Perdita are shocked to discover that, apart from their 15 little ones, De Vil abducted 84 additional stray Dalmatian pups – a total of 99 youngsters. Understandably, the two adopt them all and head back home where their humans decide to buy a huge house in the country and keep all 101 Dalmatians.

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8. Copper

Based on the Daniel P. Mannix novel of the same name, Disney’s The Fox and the Hound tells the heart-warming story of an unlikely friendship between a fox and a dog specifically bred to hunt other animals, foxes included.

The red fox named Tod and the coonhound/bloodhound mix called Copper struggle to remain friends during their childhood despite their newly formed instincts and the overwhelming social pressure demanding them to become bitter enemies.

When the two meet, they are completely unaware that they are supposed to be natural adversaries. In fact, Copper’s excellent sense of smell led him to befriending Tod.

As time passes, Copper becomes a proper hunting dog and breaks off his friendship with Tod. He eventually spares the fox’s life, but his friend continues the pursuit and ends up badly injured. Copper focuses on revenge, but ultimately rekindles his friendship with Tod after the brave fox saved him and his master from a bear attack.

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9. Odie

Even though he is depicted as ‘slightly’ unintelligent, Garfield’s best friend (and somewhat victim), Odie is a kind yellow-furred, brown-eared dog who cannot speak and who simply adores to lick the lazy orange cat with his long, sloppy tongue.

He is the only animal in Jim Davis’ Garfield series without a recurring voice bubble due to the fact that he is supposed to represent a normal pet dog (though he did have the opportunity to express his thoughts on several occasions). Some have argued that he doesn’t speak because he is actually stupid, and even Garfield often tells him that he is a moron (Odie was completely shocked when the most famous cat in the world didn’t offend him one day)!

Even though a running joke throughout the comic is Odie’s stupidity, it has been shown that he actually hides his intelligence (for example, he has been seen reading War and Peace and watching a TV special about Mozart).

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10. Pluto

Mickey Mouse’s pet dog and best friend Pluto is one of the most cheerful and most optimistic members among the classis Disney animated characters. He’s also one of a kind in Mickey’s famous world in that he is not anthropomorphic; apart from his numerous facial expressions, Pluto is depicted as a normal dog. Moreover, he’s the only one in the Sensational Six, the biggest Disney non-human stars including Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald and Daisy Duck and Goofy, who doesn’t speak or wear clothes.

The mustard color pooch, officially a mixed-breed dog, made his glorious debut as a bloodhound in the Mickey Mouse cartoon The Chain Gang and appeared in 23 Mickey Mouse movies before receiving his very own series way back in the 1930’s. Several movies in which he starred were nominated for an Academy Award, and Pluto is recognized as a pioneering figure in character animation due to the fact that his movies rely on physical humor, his personality rather than words.

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11. Goofy

Another member of the Sensational Six, Goofy is one of Disney’s most popular characters. During the 1930’s, the famous anthropomorphic dog achieved stardom as part of a comedy trio with Mickey and Donald, but was quickly given his own series of shorts (two Goofy shorts were nominated for an Academy Award).

In case you live on another planet, Goofy is a tall dog who usually wears a turtle neck and vest, with pants, shoes, white gloves, and a tall hat. He is most often portrayed as extremely clumsy, eccentric and not-so-bright, but is also occasionally depicted as rather smart and intuitive.

There has been some confusion as to why Pluto (a normal dog) is treated as a pet dog while the anthropomorphic Goofy is regarded as a human – despite both of them being canines. The explanation on Disney’s websites states that “Goofy was originally created as Dippy Dawg” and “was created as a human character, as opposed to Pluto who was a pet, so [Goofy] walked upright and had a speaking voice”.

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12. Brian Griffin

Brian Griffin may look like a dog, but he’s actually more rational than all the other members of the famed Griffin family. His parents were normal dogs, though his human characteristics have been present since puppyhood.

Family Guy’s most loved character is a white-furred anthropomorphic dog who can talk, walk on his hind legs, drives a Toyota Prius, struggles to become a writer, smokes occasionally and enjoys drinking dry martinis (by the way, he is often told or forced to stop drinking).

On top of it all, after shortly working as a drug sniffling dog, he developed a serious cocaine addiction, but went to rehab and managed to quit.

The fact that he rarely acts like a dog makes him all the more loveable, and when he was killed off in the season 12 episode Life of Brian, both fans and the press were extremely angered and disappointed. Stewie subsequently traveled back in time to save him and Brian was back in the series.

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13. Scooby Doo

The eponymous character and protagonist of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon Scooby Doo, Scoobert ‘Scooby’ Doo is a wacky Great Dane who helps his four friends solve mysteries that involve supernatural creatures and elements. Lifelong companion of amateur detective Shaggy Rogers, Scooby has won the hearts of millions of children through his many antics and irrational fear of ghosts.

In all versions of the series, Scooby and Shaggy share several characteristics, including being ticklish, afraid of everything and perpetually hungry. Though they don’t want to chase after villains, their friends (Fred, Velma and Daphne) encourage them to be heroic, and they usually end up saving the day.

Oh, and he talks. His sentences may be short, but Scooby can speak in broken English, usually placing the letter ‘R’ in front of words.

Fun fact. Scooby was voiced by Don Messick (until he quit smoking and his voice changed), the same man who gave his voice to Astro, the Jetsons’ dog.

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14. Astro Jetson

More advanced than dogs today, futuristic pooch Astro Jetson became the Jetson’s family dog after displaying enormous… cowardice during a robbery. After the family found him and decided that an apartment is no place for a dog, the Jetsons purchased a state-of-the-art electronic dog named Electronimo, a furless, non-eating, non-pooping family pet who was supposed to protect their home.

When a cat burglar tried to rob them, it was Asto who hid in fear, proving that he was unfit to keep them safe. However, it was also Astro who was desperately trying to run from the burglar that ultimately caught the perpetrator by accidentally bumping into him. The Jetsons gave Electronimo to the police and kept Astro as part of their family.

In case you noticed a similarity between his voice and the way Scooby Doo speaks, they were both voiced by the same man, Don Messick (who apparently really likes the letter ‘R’).

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15. Peabody

Mr. Peabody, a genius talking beagle and the smartest creature ever to exist, has done many impressive things in his lifetime, including being a successful business magnate, inventor (invented a time machine as a birthday present for Sherman), scientist, winning two Olympic medals, and even the Nobel Prize.

However, no one ever said it was easy being the most intelligent being in the world! Lonely and depressed, Mr. Peabody decides to adopt his own human baby, a son to be precise. After saving Sherman, a red-haired, bespectacled boy from a group of bullies, Mr. Peabody finds out that he has no parents and decides to keep him. He talks to both the President and the government, and persuades them to allow him to become Sherman’s legal guardian.

Although Mr. Peabody’s name is never mentioned in the cartoons, he tells Sherman in an animated promo that it’s Hector (He also told Sherman not to call him ‘Daddy’, but to address him as ‘Mr. Peabody’, or ‘Peabody’).

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16. Santa’s Little Helper

When Homer took his son Bart to a greyhound race, the legendary character of the iconic animated series The Simpsons believed Christmas was ruined. In a last effort to get some money for Christmas presents, the two decide to bet on a last-minute entry named Santa’s little helper.

The symbolically-named Greyhound finishes last, resulting in his owner abandoning him in the parking lot. Although reluctant, Homer eventually agrees to take Santa’s Little Helper home, and the holiday ends up being the best Christmas ever.

Ever since his first appearance in the series, Santa’s Little Helper has been a recurring character on The Simpsons, and many episodes focus on him and his adventures. Portrayed as a real life dog, the greyhound was in the center of attention when he fathered puppies, went to obedience school, became a police dog, as well as the official mascot for Duff Beer, and had surgery for bloat.

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17. Courage the Cowardly Dog

The first animated dog on our list to star in a horror comedy television series, Courage the Cowardly Dog follows the life of an easily frightened anthropomorphic dog who lives with his owners Muriel and Eustace Bagge on a farm in a fictional town of Nowhere. Muriel found him abandoned in an alleyway and adopted him, whereas her grumpy (some would call him evil) husband was never happy with his presence.

The three often encounter all sorts of monsters and supernatural creatures, and Courage is the one who has to save them all from impending doom. To make things worse, the elderly couple is totally unaware of the dangers and the cowardly dog has to face all his fears alone. On the other hand, not all paranormal beings are scary; some of them are actually nice and only need Courage’s help.

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18. Dug

Dug is an overweight golden retriever who belongs to Up’s renowned explorer Charles Muntz and speaks English via a unique dog collar that translates thoughts into spoken words, courtesy of his master.

He behaves more like a puppy than an adult dog, and likes almost everyone he meets. That, however, does not mean that he cannot differentiate between good and bad.

When Dug runs into the incredible trio, Carl Fredericksen, Russell, and Kevin (a large bird Muntz has been trying to capture his entire life), the friendly dog immediately knows that they are the good guys and decides to help them. Moreover, he becomes so attached to Carl (who doesn’t immediately accept the pooch) that he sees him as his master.

During the end credits of the critically acclaimed movie, we find out that Dug found the love of his live, a female golden retriever similar to him, and they had more than 20 little ones.

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19. Dogmatix

A small white terrier who belongs to Gaulish warrior Obelix in the well-known French comic Asterix, Dogmatix is the only non-human main character in the series. Interestingly, his first appearance was also supposed to be his last, but the fearless doggy was so effective that the authors agreed to bring him back permanently.

Regardless of the fact that he usually has a small role in the stories, he serves an important purpose: Asterix and Obelix frequently argue as to whether he should follow them on their adventures. Besides, the protective pooch is usually seen in the background, doing something of great significance to the plot.

According to writer René Goscinny and illustrator Albert Uderzo, Dogmatix is super famous in Asterix’s world as the only known ‘canine ecologist’ who loves trees and suffers deeply whenever one is damaged or cut down. We also know that he has tasted the magic potion on several occasions, but prefers chewing bones.

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20. Buster

At the end of Toy Story, Andy receives a dachshund puppy who is not shown, but can only be heard barking. Grown-up Buster makes his first full appearance in Toy Story 2, where we discover that the brown miniature dachshund has the ability to understand toys (and is also friends with Sheriff Woody).

Buster also appears in Toy Story 3, albeit 10 years older, mixed brown and gray, obese, tired, and incapable of helping Woody and his pals, even though he remains friends with the toys. The elderly dog is last seen saying goodbye to 17-year-old Andy, who is ready to leave for college.

Another Toy Story dog worth mentioning is Slinky, a plastic toy dachshund whose middle part is made of a stretchable metal slinky (thus his name). He really loves Woody, frequently acts like his pet and would do anything in the world to help his toy friends.

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