Cartoons are a childhood memory staple, whether they're from books, TV shows or films. Over time they become so familiar that we get to a point when we realise we actually have no idea what breed they are. We’ve done some digging and found out what lies behind the genetics of 12 iconic canine cartoons – you might be surprised!
- Lady & the Tramp
This 1955 classic is the love story we all dream of: an upper class gal falling for a bad boy over a plate of spaghetti. While it's clear that Tramp is a mongrel, you might not know that Lady is an American Cocker Spaniel. Super fancy.
- Brian Griffin
Since he acts like a human 99% of the time, it can be easy to forget that Brian is a dog. Although beagle and great pyrenees breeds have been speculated, Family Guy officially states that Brian is a white labrador. Who knew?
Along with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald and Daisy Duck, Pluto is one of the ‘Sensational Six‘ in the Disneysphere, i.e. Disney’s most famous characters. Officially, Pluto is a bloodhound, but he was first sketched as a mix-breed dog.
There's more to everyone's favourite dynamic animation duo than just Plasticine. While Wallace is famous for his love of cheese and knitted sweaters, only true fans know that Gromit is a highly intelligent beagle that holds a double first degree in Engineering from Dogwarts.
- Santa's Little Helper
Over 2,000 characters have appeared in The Simpsons during its 29-season run since 1989, but one of the most memorable cast members is Santa's Little Helper, a greyhound that Bart adopts after his owner abandons him for losing a race.
Source: Heroes Wikipedia
- Clifford the Big Red Dog
He's big, bold and beautiful: Clifford's clumsy yet loveable nature has warmed the hearts of children since 1963, but have you ever stopped to consider what kind of dog he actually is? According to the TV series, he’s an oversized red labrador retriever-vizsla cross.
A show about four teenagers and a dog solving mysteries made up many an after-school TV binge. But rather than, "Scooby-Doo, where are you?" we're asking "what are you?" The answer: he's a great dane, albeit a cowardly one.
Since his debut in 1950, Snoopy has become one of the most iconic and widely recognised cartoon characters of all time. Created by Charles M. Schultz, Snoopy was based on the illustrator's own childhood dog, a beagle named Spike.
If you've ever been confused by the difference between Pluto and Goofy, you're not alone. While Pluto exhibits behaviour like a dog, Goofy looks like one but acts like a human, even having a wife and son who look nothing like dogs. Goofy's official species is an anthropomorphic dog, i.e. even Disney doesn't know his breed.
Source: Family Disney
Based on the true story of the sled dog who led the 1925 serum run to Nome through a 31°C blizzard, Balto was celebrated as an Alaskan hero in a 1995 Universal Pictures animation film. Although the movie depicts Balto as a wolf-dog hybrid, he was actually a Siberian Husky.
Source: Animated Heroes
Is there anything cuter than a yellow puppy with a brown spot on each side? Along with his friends Tom, Steve, Helen, and Clare – as well as his mum Sally – Spot is a playful beagle that gets into mischief, his stories primarily aimed at children under five.
In 2008, John Travolta surprised us all when he brilliantly voiced the deluded yet adorable Disney protagonist, Bolt. Having spent his life as the star of a TV series, Bolt is convinced he has super powers, when in reality he is just a white shepherd puppy with big dreams.