Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane. His breed is identifiable by his large size, rectangular head and erect ears. He is similar in appearance to Marmaduke, another famous cartoon Great Dane.
Scooby’s coloration differs from the standard Great Dane varieties. Most Great Danes are black, brownish or yellowish. A “harlequin” or spotted variety is also common; this is usually black spots on a white body, but black spots on a blue-gray body are common as well. Scooby’s dark spots on a brown body is an unusual and very recognizable design.
Scooby’s unique appearance was not an accident. Animator Iwao Takamoto drew inspiration from a friend who bred Great Danes, but he purposely designed Scooby to be the opposite of the breed standard: bow-legged, double-chinned, and spotty rather than smoothly brindled. This design makes Scooby look much goofier than the noble visage of a classic Great Dane, and it fits well with his cowardly personality.
Was Scooby-Doo Always a Great Dane?
Although he came to be the flagship character of the mystery cartoon that bears his name, Scooby Doo was originally designed as a sidekick.
Scooby Doo Theme Song (Video)
The cartoon was first pitched under the title Mysteries Five, and early treatments included a bongo-playing dog named “Too Much” whose breed alternated between Great Dane and sheepdog. The initial pitch was rejected, and the show went through multiple changes before being approved in the format we’re familiar with today.
Scooby Doo’s distinctive voice and speech impediment, which places “r” sounds at the beginning of most words, was developed by voice actor Don Messick. Messick played Scooby from 1969 to 1994. Scooby’s name and catch phrase (“Scooby-dooby-doo!” or “Rooby-rooby-roo!”) was based on this line in the Frank Sinatra song “Strangers in the Night.”
The Frank Sinatra song “Strangers In The Night” prevented Scooby-Doo from taking on the name “Too Much.” Right before production on the show began, one of the show’s creators was inspired by the “dooby-dooby-doo” phrase in the Sinatra song. (Bonus fact: Scooby’s pal Shaggy’s real name is Norville.)Source: Curiosity (curiosity.com)
Listen up to or jump to time position 2:23 in the below Frank Sinatra song to hear the line that brought about Scooby’s name.
What Kind of Dog is Scrappy-Doo?
Scrappy is Scooby’s nephew, and he is also a Great Dane. He differs in appearance because he is still a puppy. This is responsible for his large head and small body.
Unlike his uncle, Scrappy is solid brown or fawn-colored without any spots. he does have the same erect ears and boxy muzzle shape that help to define him as a Great Dane.
It is revealed through a number of Scooby-Doo spin-offs and films that Scooby has many other relatives. These include Scooby’s parents, Dada-Doo and Mumsy-doo, as well as his siblings Skippy-Doo, Yabba-Doo, Howdy-Doo and Ruby-Doo, Scooby’s only sister and the mother of Scrappy.
Scooby also has many aunts, uncles, and cousins like Scooby-Dum, Scooby-Dee and even the prehistoric Missing Link Doo. All of the dogs in the Doo family are Great Danes, but some of them have a much more human appearance while others look more like pets.