Analysis: Dog Stereotype

Dog Breed Gender Stereotypes

Fluffy, little, or lithe, sleek-looking dogs are more readily assumed to be female and large, beefy, muscular, or athletic-looking dogs are more readily assumed to be male. Some breeds of dog are more readily assumed to be female than others, particularly if they're delicately-built, have long, flowing, feathery hair, or are elaborately groomed.

Sometimes, dog breed gender stereotypes are based on famous movie or television dogs that share the breed.

Sometimes, dogs belonging to a given breed who are the opposite gender of the gender their breed is usually stereotyped as. These should be listed as aversions or, if they they portray the breed stereotypes otherwise, as subversions.

Breed Gender Stereotype Examples:

Stereotyped as Female

Poodles (whether standard, miniature, or toy)
  • Subverted with poodle Fifi from Open Season 2 as even though he portrays poodle stereotypes, he is male.
  • Heavily subverted In Angela Anaconda; Nanette's purebred poodle who likes to roll around in mud and garbage, Ooh-La-La, is male.



Bichon Frises


Shih Tzus

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
  • Trope Codifier: Charlotte’s dog, Elizabeth Taylor from Sex and the City: Because of Elizabeth Taylor, Cavalier Kings Charles Spaniels are stereotyped as female.

Stereotyped as Male

Saint Bernards
  • Trope Codifier: Beethoven: Saint Bernards are usually stereotyped as male anyway, but Beethoven has reinforced this Saint Bernard stereotype.
  • Averted with Nana from Disney's Peter Pan as she is female and doesn't really play to her breed's stereotypes apart form being friendly.

Mixed Breed Dogs or Mutts




Dog Coat Color Stereotypes

Unlike cat appearance stereotypes, dog appearance stereotypes focus on breed rather than coat color or pattern. However, there are a few dog coat color, pattern, and texture stereotypes.

Black, Dark Brown, or Black and Tan Fur

Often portrayed as an Angry Guard Dog or a Hell Hound. Dobermans and Rottweilers, which are often portrayed as Angry Guard Dogs, are normally black and tan.

  • Alpha the Dobermann and Beta the Rottweiler from Up are antagonistic.
  • Cerberus, the three-headed Hell Hound is portrayed as black in Hercules
  • Fluffy the three-headed dog in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (inspired by Cerberus) is very dark brown. The Black Dog is considered a portent of bad luck and evil, but the one that shows up is not evil at all. Fang the Boarhound (played by a Neapolitan Mastiff) from the same movie is a subversion, as he is large and scary-looking, but he's actually a Big Friendly Dog.
  • Black and tan Angry Guard Dogs are the origin of the well known Discworld saying "Never trust a dog with orange eyebrows".
  • The Doberman Pinschers in Oliver & Company, Rosco and Desoto, are Sykes' Right Hand Attack Dogs.
  • Subverted with Nugent the Rottweiler in Over the Hedge as he is just enthusiastically playful.
  • Subverted with Gaspard, the black dog in Gaspard And Lisa as he is a good natured protagonist. The other black dogs in his family are also generally good natured.

Yellow, Brown, or Light Brown Fur

Often portrayed as an average Joe, a mutt, on the side of good, or protagonist dog. More often male.

Mostly or Completely White Fur

All-White or Mostly White, Non-Powderpuff-Looking Fur

Often portrayed as an intelligent, on the side of good, or protagonist dog. Most often Male. If mostly white, the dog usually has black ears or less commonly a black patch on its back as well, but is otherwise all-white.

  • Mr. Peabody, protagonist of the Mr. Peabody and Sherman segments of Rocky and Bullwinkle is a very smart, all-white dog.
  • Brian Griffin of Family Guy is a smart, snarky, all-white Labrador retriever.
  • Krypto The Super Dog is a heroic all-white Labrador retriver from the planet Krypton.
  • The titular dog of Bolt is a naive, but heroic white German Shepard.
  • Hemlock Holmes the white bulldog, one of the five main characters in The Dick Tracy Show, is heroic and an aversion of Bully Bulldog.
  • Lisa the white dog in Gaspard And Lisa is a good natured protagonist and her family is also pretty nice and kindly.
  • Snoopy the smart beagle in Peanuts is white with black ears and a black patch on his back. He is often a protagonist in the Peanuts franchise.
  • Dudley Puppy of T.U.F.F. Puppy is white with black ears. He isn't that smart, but he is on the side of good and fights evil.
  • Ahnuld the dog from Tiny Toon Adventures was arrogant and egotistical, but technically good as his job was "security guard".

All-White, Powderpuff-Looking Fur

Often portrayed as a showy, cute, or feminine-looking Poodle, Bichon Frise, or other dog of similar appearance. Often Female, but can be male. Can be on the side of good like the aforementioned white dog stereotype.

  • Snowy from Tintin is the titular character's pet dog and sidekick.
  • Big Fido from Men at Arms is a subversion/parody: he's a small white poodle with Killer Rabbit tendencies.