Famous Dogs in History

Dogs are certainly man’s best friend, and they have proven that throughout history. Some dogs are known for their heroism, while some are known for their antics, and others are famous for being just Presidential pooches.


Eddie the Jack Russell terrier is certainly the scene-stealer in the TV sitcom Frasier. Eddie was played by Moose, who was too energetic that his original owners saw him to the point of becoming unmanageable. But no one knew that he had a great potential in the acting department!

This Chihuahua’s tagline “Yo quiero, Taco Bell” definitely helped push the fast-food restaurant chain’s sales!

Hachiko’s touching story will prove once again of a dog’s unflinching devotion and loyalty. The Akita Inu dog would stand at Tokyo’s Shibuya train station and wait for his master, university professor Hidesaburo Ueno, to greet him as he would come home from work.

Hachiko would do this almost every day, until Ueno passed away in May 1925 from a fatal brain hemorrhage and never came home. Still, Hachiko would return to the station and wait for his master to return at the exact time the train was due to arrive. Hachiko soon started to gain attention from other train commuters, and became a national sensation.

Hachiko was found dead in the streets of Shibuya, in 1935. Now this legendary dog and his story are now revered in Japan.

As we all know, Laika was one of the first animals in space, which paved the way for human flights into space. She was a stray mutt who lived in the streets of Moscow when she was picked up by Soviet scientists in 1957. Along with two other stray dogs, Laika was chosen by Soviet scientists for a space program.

Laika was never intended to survive in the space as the technology for the return trip was yet to be fully developed. Soviet officials claimed she was euthanized prior to oxygen depletion on the sixth day of orbit. But the true cause of Laika’s death was finally revealed in 2002 — Laika actually died within hours after the launch due to overheating.

As a tribute for Laika’s heroic efforts, a monument for her was unveiled in 2008 near the military research facility where she was prepared for her first and last spaceflight.


No famous dogs lists would be complete without Lassie! This beautiful collie is just a fictional character but she (actually a “he” in real life in some occasions) is one of the most famous and lovable dogs whether she appears in the movies or TV. The first collie who first appeared as Lassie in 1943 was named Pal, and since then ten of his descendants took his revered place.

Another fictional pooch who became famous is Scooby-Doo, a cartoon dog of his own who appeared on his own self-titled TV series. Scooby-Doo and his gang experience lots of adventures (and misadventures) and manage to save the day despite Scooby being scared of just about anything. His goofy laugh also makes him adorable.

This famous wartime dog was found in the jungles of New Guinea by an American soldier in 1944. Then she was sold to Corporal William A. Wynne. For the next two years, she began to follow Wynne on his war missions in the Pacific. Smoky would sleep in Wynne’s tent, share his food rations, and face adverse and even dangerous situations like the soldiers during the war. She even survived air raids and typhoons.

This hardy Yorkshire Terrier became a celebrity of sorts, and she was named by Yank Down Under magazine as “Champion Mascot in the Southwest Pacific Area.” Smoky’s keen sense of smell and hearing enabled her to save Wynne’s life and the life of his fellow soldiers on many occasions by warning them of the approaching fire from the enemies. Smoky also became the world’s first therapy dog.

Appollo, a German Shepherd, was one of the over 350 dogs performing search-and-rescue operations on the dreadful September 11 attacks in New York City. Appollo was the first dog to arrive at the World Trade Center site only a few minutes after the attack.

Appollo and his fellow K-9 and human colleagues spent grueling hours, to find bodies and survivors for over a week.

His heroic efforts during and after the 9/11 attacks led him to receive several recognitions such as the Dickin Medal and the American Kennel Club ace.


Diptheria struck the Alaskan city of Nome in 1924 and threatened to decimate mostly the young people. The only doctor there was running out of medicine, and the nearest place they could possibly get the serum was Seattle, Washington.

After learning that area’s only aircraft which was meant to quickly deliver the serum was frozen and thus could not function, city officials eventually decided that a team of dog sleds will be the one to deliver the medicine.

From Seattle, the medicine was shipped to Anchorage, Alaska. It was then transported, by train, from Anchorage to another Alaskan city of Nenana. From Nenana the sled dogs, led by Balto, raced over 650 miles across Alaska for five and half days to get to Nome and deliver the medicine just in time.

Balto became a celebrity, and he and his fellow sled dogs received several recognitions for their heroic deeds.


This enormous, drool-loving and adorable Saint Bernard dog named Beethoven became the star of his eponymous 1992 comedy movie. His friendliness, charm as well as his trouble-making antics led Beethoven into a blockbuster hit. The success of the first Beethoven film led to countless sequels.

The first Saint Bernard who played Beethoven was named Chris in real life. Other Saint Bernard dogs and puppies were eventually cast in the next Beethoven films.


Benji is another famous fictional pooch who charmed audiences in when he appeared in his self-titled movie in 1974. The original Benji was played by Higgins, a mixed-breed mutt who had been brought up at a shelter as a puppy and was later adopted by Frank Inn, who trained him.

Higgins made Benji a box-office success, but his fame was about to be short-lived — he died in 1975, aged 14.

Luckily though, Higgin’s own daughter Benjean followed her dad’s footsteps, appearing in several other Benji movies as well as a TV series.

Brian Griffin is one funny fictional dog who thinks and acts like a human. He is actually a struggling writer who walks on hind legs and favors dry martinis and smoking.

Famous dogs   Checkers

This spotted black-and-white cocker spaniel named Checkers became one of the most famous “political dogs” in US history, without ever stepping into the White House.

At the time Checkers was adopted by future US president Richard Nixon when he was still a puppy, Nixon was then senator of California. He was under fire by critics, who accused him of reportedly misusing $18,000 in campaign contributions and accepting other private donations.

He made a televised speech in 1952 to defend himself from such accusations. As it turned out, one of those “private donations” was Checkers, who originally belonged to his daughter. Nixon said: “You know, the kids, like all kids, loved the dog, and I just want to say this, right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we are going to keep it.” The public began to show sympathy for Nixon after the speech, which came to be famously known as the “Checkers speech.”

Checkers died in 1964, just four years before Nixon was elected president of the United States.