Bow-wow, bark! Woof, woof. Uh. Wag. I dunno.
Dogs – We love dogs for how loyal they are to us humans. So whether you’re the type of person who likes to boop a puppers snoot, or if you’re the type to have a faithful companion, then this Top 10 is for you. We’ll look at dogs in all manners of geek media, so without any further delay, here are our Top 10 Dogs:
10) Sam – Sam and Max
Holy jumping mother o’ God in a side-car with chocolate jimmies and a lobster bib!
Straight guy to Max’s funny guy, the suited and hatted dog acts as the counter to the loose cannon rabbit he takes as his companion and partner in crime-fighting. He’s not without jokes of his own of course, but he’s by far the more deadpan of the two, and despite being the more civilized half of the duo, there’s a reason he keeps Max around, and it’s not out of any sense of civic duty to protect the public from what Max might do.
He’s a lousy shot, not great at poker, takes a dim view to being told to pick things up, and bad self control when the matter of sugary foods and dog treats are on hand. His most definable and admirable trait may be his general unflappability in the face of the utterly preposterous, and still being able to crack-wise with some observational comedy.
9) Dug – Up
Dogs appear somewhat frequently in Disney Pixar’s line-up, but there are few who approach Dug in terms of raw energetic personality. Given the ability to talk via a specially engineered collar, Dug captures the essence of “dog” more perfectly than any talking animal before him.
“My name is Dug, I have just met you, but I love you.”
He, and the rest of Charles Muntz’s trusty pack are hunting a rare species of bird, and while the rest of the pack would readily savage the beast and drag the limp corpse back to their master, there’s a definite impression that Dug – like most retrievers – wouldn’t know exactly what to do once he’d caught the damn thing… as evidenced by the fact that he caught it, and didn’t know what to do with it.
8) Dogmeat – Fallout 4
Dogmeat, the wastelands most hardy survivor, making it all the way from Fallout 1 in 1997, all the way to Fallout 4 in 2015, making him a whopping 18 years old and still in excellent fighting and radroach mutilating condition…
What do you mean, “different dogs”?
Dogmeat may have an insensitive name but he may be one of the franchise’s most beloved and sought companions, having lost his previous owner to some new disaster. He can learn tricks like Fetch (ammunition), Kill, and Bunny-Hop, and is a very good boy. He’s a lone wolf, just like you are, but maybe you can be lone wolves together for a little while.
7) Parappa the Rapper
Kick, punch, it’s all in the mind! Yes folks, we figured the best rapping dog out there had to make it to the list, or we’d all be no better than the mentors he faces along the way into adulthood. Whether it’s beating up bullies, baking a cake or trying to get to a toilet whilst there’s a massive queue of colourful characters, Parappa the Rapper has taught us all a lot about life. We think.
The PlayStation classic title got a remastered version on the PlayStation 4, letting us all try to win the heart of Sunny Funny. N-no really, that’s the name of the character. Was just an easy way to get a rap rhyme in, I guess! But this dog didn’t just finish there; he’s appeared in PlayStation All-Stars riding a skateboard and all. Some day old dogs don’t learn new tricks, but don’t put it past this well-taught pooch!
The original Spot the Dog, perhaps better known by the Romanic name “Cerberus” but we appreciate the classics. The three headed mutt that guards the gates of hell is generally regarded to belong to one of the more intimidating breeds, but is all to easily placated by music or an offering of cake. Like most dogs, he’s all bark, not a lot of bite, but he’d be easily capable of both.
Kerberos/Cerberus appears across media of all kinds, a classic video game minion for the forces of hell, a guardian of important places and treasures, or appearing in name only for suspicious sounding organisations. It’s often forgotten that, alongside most of Typhon and Echidna’s children, Kerberos was also heavily decorated in snakes, seems like they might be hard to animate.
5) Sirius Black vs Fang (Hagrid’s Bloodhound) – Harry Potter
We couldn’t pick which was the best dog of the Harry Potter universe. One’s a dog. The other’s a
Sirius Black is Harry Potters godfather, but further to that he was once considered to be a murderer. What allows us to get Sirius Black on this list is his Animagus, which happens to be that of a black dog. Often thought of as an Omen, Sirius was ultimately the closest thing Harry got to a father figure. Sirius was a great guy, but he sneaks his way into the list like the Marauder he is, simply because of his Animagus form.
We’re already fairly certain this is the Harry Potter dog you’d like to see up here, but we have a great contender!
By contrast to Sirius, Fang is actually a real dog – And close friend of Hagrid. Fang may not have done anything truly of note, but each scene with Fang in was a mix of fun and playful. For such a big, soppy dog, it was always amusing seeing him run away. Amazingly however, Fang is a loyal and very protective dog of Hagrid. During the Second War, Fang actually took a hit from a Stunning Spell which, naturally, got Hagrid rather cross.
This pooch doesn’t get the love he truly deserves.
4) Santa’s Little Helper – The Simpsons
Televisions first cartoon family; meet the first family cartoon dog. The greyhound-ish bundle of nerves and chaos was rescued from near certain destruction after Bart begged doting father, Homer, to save him one fateful Christmas, the very first episode of the Simpsons back in 1989. The rest is a history of traumatized socks, disgruntled cats, puppy rescues, and background detail.
Sidenote, my favourite scene in the Simpsons centres wholly around SLH. When Bart brings him in for show-and-tell, the dog gets into the air ducts and causes very minor amounts of distraction, so naturally Groundskeeper Willie goes in after him, leading to a great deal more chaos and an alien reference that went completely over my head at the time. For me, the funniest part was:
“Lunchlady Dorris, have ya got any grease?”
“Yes, yes we do.”
“THEN GREASE ME UP WOMAN!”
3) K-9 – Doctor Who
Ah yes, we had to get a robot dog in here, didn’t we? I mean, it’s all well and good focusing on purely breathing dogs, but a robotic dog is still as much a good pet as the real thing. Plus, the mess it leaves behind pales in comparison to an organic dog. K-9 was a well loved character introduced in season 15 of Doctor Who and had its final hurrah in the main cast at the end of season 18.
K-9 as a whole was more than just one dog; it has been several models of the same being as it were. It’s served the fourth doctor all the way up to having been repaired by the tenth doctor. K-9 is adorable, was kept around for being marketable to kids and ended up being a lovable part of the franchise. How many dogs do you know get their own spin-offs?
Oh wait, who’s related to the next entry on this list..?
2) Scooby Doo
The Great-Dane might be the most internationally famous canine, loyal companion to Shaggy and unwilling aid to Mystery Inc. as they wander America’s spookiest locations in search of ghosts, ghouls, and nightmarish monsters to unmask. Frankly he’d rather be at home eating, or in the van eating, or maybe just in another room where nobody (living or dead) is going to disturb him while he eats.
One must wonder at the incredible strength in Shaggy’s wiry frame to be able to hold that dog up while running at full speed, Scooby is not a small dog, and must surely be staggeringly fat to boot. But all of that extra energy leads to some incredible feats of speed, able to cross a hallway at such speeds that they reappear at the other end, and a change of attire is less than a second away if the occasion calls for it. They may not be the most knowledgeable of Mystery Inc. but they are definitely the most able bodied.
1) Gromit – Wallace and Gromit
Cracking! Aardman Animations claymation canine had to make it onto this list somewhere… And where better for the best dog a man can ask for, than at the top spot? This classic dog took so long to get prepared for each episode, as there are so many models of him. This is because the art of claymation is arguably one of the most gruelling and intensive processes. If you’d like a Gromit of your own, you should totally make one yourself.
We had to put this at number one, even if originally we forgot all about this cracker of a pooch. So, whilst Wallace enjoys a bit of Gorgonzola, Gromic deals with regular baddies, such as pairs of malfunctioning trousers, Feathers McGraw and even Preston. Without Gromit, Wallace wouldn’t have gone to space, he wouldn’t be getting up in the mornings – Wallace wouldn’t be functioning.
We love Gromit – and from a website that started in Bristol, it felt even more fitting.
When they say they are man’s best friend, we truly meant it. Rarely are dogs portrayed as a bad guy; sometimes tragic, rarely bad. Well, here’s a case of tragic and a case of bad enough that you’d wanna shoot the damn thing!
Nina Tucker – Fullmetal Alchemist
I can’t. Nope.
Nina Tucker was a little girl in Fullmetal Alchemist, the daughter of the Sewing-Life Alchemist, Shou Tucker. Shou was a bit of a failure of a man; he had a breakthrough which earned him a State Alchemist license, but he wasn’t getting anywhere with a new breakthrough. If he didn’t make another breakthrough soon, then he was going to have his license revoked. He had to do something drastic.
Shou’s daughter, Nina, became good friends with Edward and Alphonse in the short time they were under the care of Shou. The next time they would see Nina, Shou would have done the unthinkable. He created a Chimera out of Nina and their pet dog, Alexander. Even though he had successfully created a Chimera, he had sacrificed his daughter and their dog in the process… And rightfully got the beatdown he deserved.
Dog – Duck Hunt
A video game classic deserves its place on the list, we’d have been fools to have left it off completely. With how far games have come, it’s a surprise that classics stay around – But this is one of this titles you’re bound to see in a hall of retro games. It was pretty cool back in the day, but it seems primitive now. Still, the dog from Duck Hunt might be one of the most famous dogs in all of gaming.
If you like this dog, there might be something wrong with you. This dog laughs, it snickers at you whenever you fail to get them ducks. Further to that, the only time it’s supportive is if you manage to get all them flying ducks. Pesky creatures by themselves, but ultimately this is the only time in video games that everyone has willingly tried to kill off the canine in the game. Now get out of the grass, pup.
This time, there were so many that we had to choose from that we felt we’d throw in a quick line about some of the other dogs we could have chosen to include. We felt these didn’t quite hit the mark, but hey, they all deserve a quick nod.
Pluto – Disney
What, not Goofy? Even though both are part of Disney’s “Sensational Six”, Pluto doesn’t need to be humanised; we love him because he’s an expressive dog.
Brian – Family Guy
Seth MacFarlane has been waving his geeky flag a little harder of late. Here’s a nod to him with one of his most successful talking animals.
Slinky – Toy Story
Slinky is the toy dog of Toy Story whose front moves and his back has to follow. Slinky is a great friend to just about all of the toys!
Hong Kong Phooey
Number 1 super guy and the height of hokey 70’s Kung Fu. Naturally no one suspected it was the mild mannered janitor who kept bursting from the filing cabinet to save the day.
Such meme, very cryptocurrency, much Shiba Inu. Wow!
This dog has come a long way but dates back to 1950, where he has been shown to be a faithful companion to Charlie Brown. Good grief.
Woof! We’re done being mad about our four-legged friends. It’s time for us to stop barking up the wrong tree, put down the dog food for these fine creatures and to just let them cuddle into us on the sofa. Or not, depending on your view of dogs on sofas. Now it’s up to you to help us decide what next week’s Top 10 is, so I’ll be a good boy and just sit and stay whilst you help us make up our minds.
Another week has now passed by and another round of watching the mailmen flood in when you vote, so now we go back to waiting to collecting more chewed up votes. What did you make of this week’s list? Did we forget any dogs that should have made it in? Did we get our order right? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below, or over on our Facebook or Twitter pages.