[[quoteright:200:[[KryptoTheSuperdog http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/superboy-krypto_6467.jpg]]]]

->''"It doesn't matter in'' Film/{{Gladiator}} ''that Romans didn't use dogs on the battlefield, or that the dog disappears from the movie immediately afterward. It's a very simple equation: The good guys are whichever team the dog shows allegiance to, because the dog would never make that kind of mistake, especially if it's an'' adorable ''dog."''
-->--'''Cracked.com''', [[http://www.cracked.com/article_19183_6-tricks-movies-use-to-make-sure-you-root-right-guy.html "6 Tricks Movies Use to Make Sure You Root for the Right Guy"]]

A tool often used by media makers to help make sure you empathize with the party that they want you to empathize with.

The surest way to show that a hero is undeniably a hero and an awesome guy, is to show him hanging out and totally loving his dog. It's his dog. Who ever heard of an awesome dude that doesn't love his dog?

Think of this trope as being the physical manifestation of PetTheDog. If a character has a dog which is [[MoralityPet around him constantly and whom he is always nice, respectful, and loving to]], then that means a scene literally cannot go by in which he does not PetTheDog. So of course he must be noble and good at heart. Villains who are cruel enough to [[KickTheDog mess with the dog]], on the other hand, can expect full-on retribution from the hero in question.

The dog in question is frequently a CanineCompanion, sometimes also a PostApocalypticDog. See also EvilDetectingDog, for some of the logic behind this.

Contrast RightHandCat and RightHandAttackDog, compare KindheartedCatLover.
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[[noreallife]]

!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* One of the many early hints that DarkMagicalGirl Fate of ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' was a lot nicer than she first [[ColourCodedForYourConvenience appeared to be]] was [[PetTheDog how much she dotes on her]] CanineCompanion, Arf.
* ''Manga/ElfenLied'': Though more of a borderline VillainProtagonist, Lucy has a soft spot for dogs; it was the brutal killing of a puppy she had bonded with that triggered her StartOfDarkness.
* Played with in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' with Roy Mustang. He gives a [[CrowningMomentOfFunny famous speech]] about his love of dogs, but the reason he gives for this affection is that you can treat them like crap and they'll still be loyal to you.
** Played straighter with his [[TheLancer Lancer]], Riza Hawkeye. She's the owner of the puppy that inspired Mustang's speech about dogs.
* Keith Goodman/Sky High of ''Anime/TigerAndBunny'' likes to spend his spare time walking his dog, John.
* Played with in ''HayateXBlade'' with [[AloofAlly Mikado]] [[FriendlyEnemy Akira]]. [[spoiler:Immediately after she gives up her need for her father's approval, the root of her antagonistic actions, she is shown to have a dog.]]
* In ''SpiderManJ'', an anime adaptation of Spider-Man, gives Peter a pet dog named Par, along with cat named Leo and a bird named Don. Their names, when said together (as 'Leopardon') form a shoutout to an old Super Sentai show about Spidey.
* ''{{Franchise/Anpanman}}'' has Cheese, Anpanman's pet dog. He found Cheese as a stray when he was a little boy, and was the first creature he gave part of his head to to eat.
* ''Manga/NurseAngelRirikaSOS'' depicts dogs more positively than cats. After all, the heroine loves her pet dog Herb. Herb even helps her [[EvilDetectingDog detect evil]].
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'' - Heero Yuy presents himself as an emotionless killer, but even he turns into a softy around animals, especially dogs. One scene involves him playing fetch with a pair of dogs on the beach and encouraging Quatre to join in, commenting on their ability to [[EvilDetectingDog sense a person's true character.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:ComicBooks]]
* Inverted in ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'', where [[ByronicHero Rorschach]] clearly doesn't have a high opinion of dogs at all. [[spoiler: When he discovers that two dogs owned by a kidnapper were fed the child's body as means of disposing of the evidence, he promptly kills them.]] Though calling Rorschach a hero is [[NinetiesAntiHero a bit of a stretch]].
** Played straight with [[CoolOldGuy Nite Owl I]]'s dog Phantom, which marks him as the most mentally stable person in the entire cast.
* ComicBook/{{Superboy}}[=/=]Franchise/{{Superman}} and his dog companion [[KryptoTheSuperdog Krypto]].
** Which soon inspired BillFinger to add Ace the Bat-Hound to the [[Characters/BatmanAndBatFamily Batman Family]].
* {{Tintin}} and his CanineCompanion Snowy.
* {{Hawkeye}} got a dog in the first issue of his late 2012 ongoing after he saved him from being shot at by some thugs while he was unarmed (the dog took a liking to Barton because he gave him a slice of pizza) and ended up getting hit by a car because of it. The dog, while now severely banged up, is seen living with him by the second issue. For added points, the dog's called [[ContrivedCoincidence Arrow]], but he thinks of changing that name.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Film}}]]
* As pointed out in the Website/{{Cracked}} article above, at the beginning of ''Film/{{Gladiator}},'' the German peasants are the [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits Ragtag Bunch Of Misfit]] underdogs fighting against the all-powerful invading Romans in an attempt to protect their homeland. Problem is, the movie wants you to root for the Romans, because that's the side the protagonist, Maximus, and TheGoodKing, are on. Solution? Give them a dog. Even if it doesn't make any sense.
* Prince Eric from ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid''. This is, in fact, the entire reason why we know he's PrinceCharming in the beginning. The first thing we see him do is affectionately play with his dog, and hardly fifteen minutes later he nearly gets himself killed saving his dog's life.
* Film/MadMax is different from the other road warriors. Because he has a dog, and that makes him a good guy.
* Stanley and his dog Milo in ''Film/TheMask''.
* Robert Neville's last (living) companion in the 2007 film adaptation of ''Film/IAmLegend'' is his trusty German Shepherd, Sam.
* In ''Film/ShootEmUp'', the hero Smith refuses to kill the BigBad's dog, Duchess, claiming "I like dogs." He later adopts Duchess as his own.
* Carl ends up adopting Dug as he prepares to rescue Russell in ''WesternAnimation/{{Up}}''. Or at least accepting that Dug has adopted him as his "Master".
* Creator/ChuckNorris's ''Film/LoneWolfMcQuade''.
* ''Film/TronLegacy'': Sam Flynn has a lot of anger issues, [[RichIdiotWithNoDayJob no actual day job]], few social contacts, and no direction for his life. His stalwart companion is a "rescue" dog named Marv who gets rewarded with a cheeseburger [[spoiler: for helping him prank his dad's company]].
* Almost every Creator/MelGibson movie has his character either owning a dog or being on friendly terms with one.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Epic}}'' MK is clearly very fond of her dog; Ozzie.
* In ''Film/ManOfSteel'', the Kents have a pet dog named Shelby when Clark is a child, and another dog named Dusty when Clark is an adult. Away from the Kent farm, Clark is shown petting dogs... [[MissingTrailerScene in trailers]].
* Chuck and Herc Hansen in ''PacificRim'' bring their dog Max with them to the Hong Kong Shatterdome. Mako is also seen being affectionate with Max.
* In ''Literature/{{Dune}}'' (1984) Creator/PatrickStewart actually charges into action against the evil Harkonnen while clutching a pug dog to his chest. Mind you that's not the safest position for a dog to be in...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Literature}}]]
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles:'' Harry Dresden has a [[CanisMajor rather large dog]] named Mouse who happens to be an EvilDetectingDog and a descendent of a Chinese guardian spirit.
* Subverted in George Eliot's ''Literature/DanielDeronda''. Grandcourt supposedly adores dogs. In reality, he torments them (mentally, not physically), in ways that tell us something about how [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic he intends to treat his wife]].
* ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'': Beren and Lúthien win the loyalty of of Huan, the hound of Valinor, even though he is their enemy's dog.
* Invoked with an entire ''family'' of heroes in ''ASongOfIceAndFire''. In the first chapter, the five Stark children and their bastard brother find six orphaned direwolf pups, which will grow up into mighty wolves. There are four males and two females; one of the males an albino outcast. Naturally, the bastard adopts the albino, the three Stark boys take the other males, and the two Stark girls take the females. The wolves become their closest companions, reflecting each child's personality, fate, and [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent more]].
** Downplayed with Sandor Clegane, the Hound, who loves dogs far more than he likes people but who is by no means heroic.
* Played straight in {{Literature/Deerskin}}: The heroine's sighthound has been her [[NonhumanSidekick only real friend]] for most of her life. [[spoiler:(The evil king makes a point of [[KickTheDog kicking the poor beast]] right before [[ParentalIncest crossing]] the MoralEventHorizon.)]] And the WisePrince is more at home in the kennel than in the royal court.
* Gilbert Markham with his dog Sancho in ''Literature/TheTenantOfWildfellHall'' -- he even gives his girlfriend's young son one of his puppies. Creator/AnneBronte loved to make use of this trope, as also seen in ''Literature/AgnesGrey''.
* Haplo in ''Literature/TheDeathGateCycle''. An unusual example because [[spoiler:the dog is the literal manifestation of Haplo's soul]].
* ''ABoyAndHisDog'': It's just him and his dog AfterTheEnd. Oh, wait! There's a girl that also survived. Then again, this is Creator/HarlanEllison writing, so the boy is [[SubvertedTrope hardly a hero]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:LiveActionTV]]
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'': Angel, which is lampshaded by Angelus, who offers to send Angel "to that big puppy pound in the sky" as revenge for all those puppies he's saved. PlayedForLaughs when Gunn assures him that he'll get along fine with The Conduit — as long as he likes cats. Whoops.
* In ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' episode "The Hunt", a man is killed along with his dog while hunting and they wander the afterlife. Eventually they reach the gates of Heaven, but he is refused entry when the attending angel says he can't take this dog. He promptly refuses to go. [[spoiler:Turns out that the Devil was trying to trick him into going to Hell, but by refusing to abandon the pooch he gets to take it into the real Heaven.]]
* Shorty and his crew in ''Series/PitBoss'' do, too, unsurprisingly.
* In ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'', Captain Jonathan Archer absolutely adores his pet beagle Porthos. In "A Night in Sickbay", he's willing to throw away humanity's burgeoning relations with the Kreetassans when Porthos becomes infected with a virus after visiting their planet. Admittedly, it's not a very good episode but it does illustrate how much he loves his dog.
* In ''Series/{{Hannibal}}'' protagonist Will rescued and adopted 6 stray dogs at various points in his life. While he's anxious and unsociable around people, his interactions with the dogs bring out a kinder and more cheerful side to him.
* During the second season of ''PersonOfInterest,'' John and Finch pick up and start taking care of Bear, a Belgian military dog they stole from the terroristic "Aryan Nations," and regularly feature him in some of the more light-hearted semi-comedic moments of the show.
* K-9, the robotic dog from ''Series/DoctorWho''
* In ''Series/CasesOfTheFirstDepartment'', Maj. Vaclav Plisek says he likes animals, and he thinks that a victim's disappeared dog is an important lead in the case, which proves to be right. He later adopts the dog because the victim's mother couldn't take him (she had a flat full of cats). Brandy appears in several subsequent episodes, just being cute or biting his colleagues.
* Sam from ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' loves dogs. He's adopted at least two dogs over the course of his life and doesn't keep them mostly due to his dangerous and nomadic lifestyle. Averted with Dean who, due to his experiences with hellhounds, dislikes dogs.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:TabletopGames]]
* Lance Romenel, Power of Records, in ''TabletopGame/{{Nobilis}}'' has a Newfie dog named Fezzik of which he is very fond. He also serves as a {{Psychopomp}} for other people's dogs on a volunteer basis, despite his Estate having nothing to do with dogs.
* Zigzagged in Warhammer40K. On the heroic side, you have the SpaceWolves, where the hero is a seven-foot-tall Space Viking and his dog is a wolf the size of a rhino. On the villainous side, you have Flesh Hounds of Khorne, {{Hell Hound}}s that live to rip and slaughter, and Beasts of Nurgle, which is what happens when you take the personality of a BigFriendlyDog and put it in the body of a slug the size of a van that oozes acid.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:VideoGames]]
* Good old Lucas and Boney in ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}''.
* Galford, the All-American hero from ''SamuraiShodown'' has his loyal pet dog as a combat gimmick.
* ''TheBardsTale'' has an Anti-Hero Jerk Ass protagonist, a compulsive liar and cheat, who however not only does he pick up a dog companion early in the game, [[spoiler:but he sheds a genuine tear and vows revenge when the dog is killed by a monstrous minion of the apparent Big Bad.]]
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}}''. B. B. Hood has a puppy she takes with her everywhere, even to Hell. Considering her personality, it's probably another thing meant to lull her enemies into a false sense of security long enough so that she can stab them, gut them, riddle them with bullets, and sell their body parts on the black market.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' : [[TheWoobie Otacon]] loves dogs and Snake is known to keep a team of Huskies, as he dabbles as a musher. However, Snake is not above murdering dogs which get in his way, much to Otacon's horror. [[TheVamp The villain Sniper Wolf]] also keeps a pack of wolf-dogs, referring to them as her family. Otacon indicates that this is an example that she is, in fact, a nice person, though Snake is very doubtful of this.
* In ''VideoGame/FableII'', you're given a dog that follows you around and alerts you to the presence of buried treasure. You can praise it, give it treats, and play catch with it. Of course, the same as with your general morality, whether you treat the dog with such kindness is wholly up to you.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', one of your possible companions is a strong Mabari warhound, and if you choose Human Noble origin, he's been with you for years. On the other hand, [[spoiler:WellIntentionedExtremist Teyrn Loghain also used to have a dog that he loved dearly, as he will reveal if you choose to recruit him near the end, and have him in your party with the dog.]]
** Ferelden culture in general loves the Mabari for their strength, courage, and intelligence (which is implied to be on the same level as humans). The capital city of Denerim is even compared to the Mabari and the term "Dog Lords" is used as a slur for Fereldens by other cultures.
** The Hawke family can have their own mabari warhound in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' (if you get the Black Emporium DLC). Even your most moody party members can't help but like him, though Anders states that he's immune to his charms due to being a cat person.
* Shadow of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' and Rinoa of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' both have dogs that assist them in combat, though Shadow is an AntiHero and Rinoa is a heroine.
* Sora, of KingdomHearts, pals around with Pluto (yes, ''that'' Pluto) in the first few hours of the game. In VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII, his girlfriend Kairi spends an even longer time befriending the dog.
** In ''KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance'', Sora's starter [[{{Mon}} Dream Eater]], Meow Wow, is a cat-dog hybrid with an AmbiguousGender. And he gets along with it very well, [[spoiler: as the final cutscene shows]].
* We've got the crocadog in ''[[{{VideoGame/JakIIRenegade}} Jak II: Renegade]]'', who's only loyal to [[{{TheHero}} Jak]] [[spoiler: and his younger self]]. Of course, Jak is [[{{FriendToAllLivingThings}} good with animals]]...
* SepterraCore. Grubb builds his own robot dog, Runner, his best friend. [[spoiler: When Runner went missing, and was later found with Led, she and Grubb started bickering about which of them was his owner]].
* ''{{Persona 3}} Portable'' actually has a [[LevelUpAtIntimacy5 social link]] between the Female Protagonist and TeamPet Koromaru.
* Protagonist of VideoGame/InazumaEleven GO! Tenma has [[OldDog Sasuke]], a dog he rescued when it was still a puppy.
* The wannabe hero ''{{VideoGame/Nightshade}}'' is, fittingly, a huge dog fan ("What a pretty woofums!"). Cats don't agree with him, though.
* Abel from ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIV''. More than one of his post-fight quotes are about his wish to have a pet dog, him wondering if he can go buy a pup collar after the match, etc. [[spoiler: In Super ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIV'', he ''does'' adopt a cute little pup.]]
* It looks as if this trope will apply to the upcoming ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyGhosts''.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', dogs and cats naturally like Link, partially because he can turn into a wolf and communicate with them. To add extra awww they are the only living thing you can pick up without throwing.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebAnimation/BeeAndPuppycat'' has the title characters. Though it's debatable if Puppycat counts as his dog.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WesternAnimation]]
* This concept went into the planning of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'': The writers decided not to give Zuko [[WhatCouldHaveBeen a pet hawk]] as originally planned because anyone who has an animal companion can't be as damaged and [[AntiVillain evil...ish]] as Zuko.
** The sequel series, ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', applies though. Korra has a giant Polar Bear-Dog named Naga.
* In one episode of ''SushiPack'', one of the superheroes on the RealityTV show, [[ShowWithinAShow "The World's Mightiest Heroes"]] has a CanineCompanion, who ends up [[DarkHorseVictory winning the competition]]. Later, when that superhero gets married, the dog is his Best Man.
* Where would Mickey Mouse be without his beloved dog Pluto?
* The eponymous character of ''{{Jimmy Two-Shoes}}'', the only nice guy in [[CrapsackWorld Miseryville]], has a dog named Cerbee.
* The paladin Artix from ''VideoGame/AdventureQuest'', ''VideoGame/DragonFable'' and ''VideoGame/AdventureQuestWorlds'' has the same cute Pomeranian dog as his real-life counterpart. Daimyo can be obtained as a mascot for player characters, too.
* [[MoralOrel Orel Puppington]] had a dog he named Bartholomew who he ended up loving . . . [[SeriousBusiness more than JESUS.]] When the adults found out, [[spoiler:they put him down]]. Later Orel believes he hears Bartholomew [[spoiler:while flatlining]]. During the [[spoiler:DistantFinale, Orel and his family own a dog similar to Bartholomew]].
* ''{{WesternAnimation/Motorcity}}'': Although he doesn't own an actual dog, Mike's car (which is very important to him) is named Mutt [[AnimalMotifs and is very dog-like]], including his bobblehead dog on the dashboard.
* SpiderManAndHisAmazingFriends, Firestar/Angelica Jones has her adorable pet lap dog [[FormallyNamedPet Ms Lion]]
* From ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'', Superboy has [[ADogNamedDog Wolf]]. Kid Flash and Artemis also have a dog post-TimeSkip.
* It's never been seen in-show, but Noah from ''[[WesternAnimation/TotalDrama Total Drama Island]]'' has several times been mentioned to have a golden labrador.
* In ''GIJoe,'' Snake Eyes has Timber, a wolf whose life he saved and who then loyally followed him around afterward.
[[/folder]]

%% no real life, please

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