TV’s Top Dogs

To most viewers, Lassie is, was, and always will be TV’s top dog, but numerous canine characters have stolen our hearts through the years—including the direwolves from Game of Thrones and even animated dogs like Scooby-Doo and The Jetson’s Astro. And lately, some fans of The Walking Dead are more invested in the safety of Daryl’s aptly named mutt, Dog, than they are about some of the drama’s human characters. Here are ten of our furry favorites.

 

  1. Lassie — The world’s most famous Collie started out in film and radio, long before Lassie (1954-1973, ABC). Lassie’s legacy continued well after the series ended, thanks to films, TV movies, cameos and the 2014 animated series, The New Adventures of Lassie.
  2. Rin Tin Tin —The real-life Rin Tin Tin’s rise to fame started long before TV was invented, when the heroic real-life German Shepherd was rescued from a World War I battlefield. His popularity in feature films led to the TV series, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin (1954-1959, ABC). A Canadian-produced series, Rin Tin Tin: K-9 Cop aired from 1988 to 1993.
  3. Eddie — Life with Frasier (1993-2004, NBC) would not have been the same without his father’s beloved Jack Russell Terrier, Eddie, testing Frasier’s wits and nerves by stealing every scene he was in.
  4. Freeway — Jonathan and Jennifer didn’t have kids on Hart to Hart (1979-1984, ABC), but they had one very hairy and devoted dog, Freeway – a Lowchen they were said to have found abandoned on a freeway.
  5. Backup — What better name for a teenage detective’s Pitbull than Backup? If little else, it made for a good pun whenever Veronica brought him along on stakeouts. Veronica Mars (2004-2007, UPN/The CW).
  6. Stan — As the star of Dog With a Blog (2012-2015, Disney Channel), Stan could talk. To kids anyway. But the real shocker? How few typos he made when writing his blog.
  7. Duke —He never really did much after moving to Beverly Hills, but who could resist the expressive hound dog eyes of the Clampett’s lazy Bloodhound, Duke, on The Beverly Hillbillies? (1962-1971, CBS.)
  8. Wishbone — Anyone who’s wondered what dogs dream of when their paws are twitching hasn’t watched Wishbone (1995-1998, PBS Kids). Whenever the Jack Russell Terrier fell asleep he dreamed he was a different character from classic literature.
  9. Max — Crime-solving prosecutor McCabe on Jake and the Fat Man (1987-1992, CBS) was seldom seen without his loyal Bulldog, Max. Not even when the show moved to Hawaii.
  10. Dog — Daryl Dixon wasn’t the first TV character to name a dog Dog. Columbo (1971-1978, NBC; 1989-2003, ABC) beat him to it when producers decided the disheveled detective needed a sidekick and gave him a Basset Hound.

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