Since the beginning of TV, many canine stars have risen to levels of fame similar to (if not more than) their human co-stars. In this article we look at the top 10, from Lassie to Scooby Doo and Snoopy.
First seen in the 1940 novel Lassie Come Home by Eric Knight, Lassie is well-known even to those who have never seen the famous dog’s many films, television shows, and books. Over a dozen Lassie films have been made since 1943, and the dog has appeared in cameos and television series from 1954 to the present.
First appearing in Benji (1971), this little mixed-breed pooch starred in a number of TV movies in the 1980s, and briefly had his own series, Benji, Zax & the Alien Prince, in 1983. The first dog to play Benji on the screen was a shelter dog named Higgins.
3. Rin Tin Tin
Nearly as famous as Lassie in his day, the real Rin Tin Tin was a German Shepherd with a history as exciting as any movie. Rescued from a bombed-out dog kennel in Lorraine, Germany during World War I, the pup Rin Tin Tin went on to live in Los Angeles and become an unlikely film star. The “character” of Rin Tin Tin starred in his very own ABC television series from 1954 to 1959.
4. Eddie (Frasier)
Eddie was the rambunctious Jack Russell Terrier belonging to Martin Crane on the 1990s sitcom Frasier. Eddie was known for his intelligence and human-like responses to the other characters on the show. Eddie often had his own scenes during the closing credits of each episode.
One of the most well-known animated dogs on television, Scooby-Doo was developed in 1969 by Hanna-Barbera. A crime-solving mutt who’s crazy for Scooby Snacks, Scooby-Doo has starred in several different television series from the 1960s to the present, as well as several feature and direct-to-video films.
6. Spuds MacKenzie
Created for a Bud Light marketing campaign, Spuds MacKenzie will be instantly familiar to children of the 1980s. Appearing in TV commercials, merchandise, and spoofs, Spuds MacKenzie was Budweiser’s fun-loving mascot until 1992.
First appearing in 1951, Snoopy is Charlie Brown’s faithful pet dog, and one of the world’s most recognized cartoon animals. Snoopy appears yearly in the TV staples It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Rowlf is the exuberant, piano-playing dog performed and voiced by Jim Henson on the iconic Muppet Show. Although Kermit the Frog is considered the most recognizable Muppet, Rowlf the Dog was actually the first Muppet to appear on television as a character in The Jimmy Dean Show (1963). Aside from The Muppet Show, Rowlf has appeared in literally dozens of other television shows and movies throughout the decades.
9. Vincent (LOST)
Probably the most famous television dog of the last decade, Vincent was Walt’s Labrador Retriever on the CBS thriller LOST. Crashing with the rest of the hapless crew of Oceanic Flight 815, Vincent was a fixture on the show for six seasons, and appeared in the final scene of the series.
10. Brian Griffin
Though not as famous as Snoopy, the hard-drinking, wisecracking Brian Griffin has been appearing on Fox’s Family Guy animated series since 2001. Voiced by Seth MacFarlane, Brian walks on two feet, drives a Prius, and aspires to be an author.
Author: This article was compiled by Andy Graven who works for Invisible Fence, providers of invisible pet fences.