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Big Friendly Dog
There's a lot of them to be loved by!

"I have just met you, and I love you!"
Dug the Dog, Up

The opposite of the Angry Guard Dog, this canine Gentle Giant is big, friendly and often somewhat dim-witted, will only "kill" you (if at all) by licking you to death, and is likely to knock you over because he's just so happy to see you. Slobber included free of charge. Truth in Television, of course.

Sometimes the "big" part can be taken to extremes (see the mention of Clifford, below) or have the dog be big enough to ride on. In Real Life, large dogs tend to have shorter life spans than their smaller counterparts, but this is mostly glossed over in fiction.

See also Canis Major, Mega Neko, Precious Puppies. Mister Muffykins is generally the polar opposite in both size and temperament. Also contrast Bully Bulldog, and Hellhound. Compare Gentle Giant. Even a Big Friendly Dog is still a descendant of the wolf, so don't discount the possibility of a canine version of Beware the Nice Ones if you threaten his pack.

Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Belle from Belle and Sebastian, based on a French book series from the 1960s. The anime's original Japanese title is "Meiken Jolie", with the dog called "Jolly". It retains the source's title and names in the Western world.
  • Tamaki's dog Antoinette in Ouran High School Host Club; she's pretty big, affectionate, and, when seen, usually pounces on Tamaki and licks him silly.
  • Mercury from Pumpkin Scissors qualifies, when he isn't biting people.
  • In Lucky Star, Minami has a pretty big white dog named Cherry (whom was featured quite a bit in the OVA). Hiyori is the only person she reacted negatively to.
  • Tadakichi-san from Azumanga Daioh is a Great Pyrenees, and Chiyo does actually ride him like a horse on occasion. How friendly is he? He's the first animal Sakaki can pet note . He gets a little too friendly in one episode, where he tries to imitate Maya the cat (who jumps into Sakaki's chest) and tackles Chiyo-chan into the air.
    "Tadakichi-SAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!" (AZUMANGA DAIOH!)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
    • Shou Tucker's dog Alexander, loved to show Edward his affection by jumping out of nowhere and crushing him underneath. The last thing Ed ever saw was a giant shadow descend from the sky. Sadly, he becomes the object of a Moral Event Horizon crossing moment when Tucker combines the dog and his daughter Nina into a chimera. Scar then kills it as a Mercy Kill.
    • Just as adorable is Den, Winry's pet dog, incredibly friendly and strong enough to knock down two late-teenage boys like bowling pins before giving them a generous coating of dog drool.
  • Hilariously subverted by the very large Sadaharu from Gintama, most of whose appearances result in body parts getting chomped on, and only Kagura is strong enough that she is unhurt and takes his behavior as being playful. It's later revealed that he's a dog god, originally owned by a pair of miko sisters.
  • Ana's dog Frusciante from Strawberry Marshmallow is generally very friendly, although he likes to chase Miu around. Then again, who can blame him?
  • Alisa's mansion in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has many of these, in contrast to her best friend Suzuka's, which is filled with kittens.
  • Kotarou's dog spirits in Mahou Sensei Negima! occasionally act this way, such as the time when they "attacked" Asuna by playfully licking her to submission.
  • Soichiro from Maison Ikkoku. Especially around the dog-phobic Mitaka.
  • Kiba's dog Akamaru on Naruto fills the part about being big enough to ride on after the time-skip, though he also fights alongside Kiba. This contrasts to earlier, when he could ride on Kiba's head and intentionally peed on Naruto at least once. Its shown that Akamaru spends his fun time defending stray cats around Konoha from stray dogs, with Kiba translating what he says.
  • In Wild Rose, Tranquilo is almost as tall as Camille is, and quite friendly as long as you're not threatening his boy.
  • Pluto from Black Butler. Subverted since he can turn into a naked guy when excited.
  • Terrycloth from Toriko. S/He (depending on the translation) is a Noble Wolf who takes on the toughest prey in the human and gourmet worlds. S/he also is as affectionate as any puppy and extremely gentle with people s/he likes.
  • Moss the English mastiff from Ginga Nagareboshi Gin may be a huge dog and one of the strongest in the series, but he also has a soft side for puppies and is shown taking good care of Chibi.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • Rob from the Left 4 Dead 2 fanfic Two Step, if you're human. To the Infected, he's not so friendly.
  • In Bringing Me To Life a The Matrix fanfic there's Hai, a black Wolf Hound. Hai is slightly smaller than a normal Wolf Hound, but still big. If you threaten his owners he'll start growling and if not stopped will attack the threat. Despite that, he's very friendly as he jumps on and licks one of the protagonists, an injured Max.

    Films — Animation 
  • As mentioned, Dug from Up provides the page quote and is a fairly sizable dog besides.
    • The other dogs owned by Charles certainly also counts. The entire scene where Charles tours Carl around his ship places great emphasis on just how loyal they are to Charles. They don't really warm up to Carl until the end of the film though.
  • Toby from The Great Mouse Detective. He's large partly because all of the other familiar characters are mice. He's also based on a dog Sherlock Holmes picked up in The Sign of Four.
  • Max in the Disney version of The Little Mermaid. He's Prince Eric's dog, and is fond of jumping around and licking Eric and Ariel's faces on various occasions.
  • Cú from Song Of The Sea.
  • Spike from Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.
  • A giant dog seen in the Over the Hedge movie appears to be a stereotypical non-talking menace, but he just really, really, really wants to play ("Play! Play! Play? Play!").
  • Two more Disney examples: The wolves from the movie of The Jungle Book and the two castle dogs from The Sword in the Stone.
  • Disney's Hercules has Pegasus (a big friendly flying horse) fill this role. As Zeus puts it, he has the heart of a horse and the brain of a bird. He still helps the main characters by flying them around and helping fight against Hades, and even licks Hercules and Phil's faces a few times.
  • Luis from Rio.
  • Puggsy from Tom and Jerry: The Movie.
  • Though a rapper from 1912, the dog from Titanic: The Legend Goes On is one of these. He saves a little mouse from being eaten by a cat.
  • In Brave, King Fergus' hounds would qualify though they are also hunting dogs.
  • The ironically named Great Dane, Einstein, from Disney's Oliver & Company.
  • Ozzie from Epic by Leafman standards. He's certainly very friendly and loves licking.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Beethoven the St. Bernard, of the Beethoven series of movies.
  • Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World
  • Must Love Dogs: Mother Theresa, a Newfoundland (translate — big shaggy black dog) who is afraid of water.
  • The Beast from The Sandlot turns out to be a big friendly dog by the name of Hercules.
  • Most of the canine cast from Eight Below, to varying degrees.
  • For a certain value of "dog", the robot Tony refers to as "Dummy." After calling it useless, threatening to donate it to a city college, and then having the device that's keeping him alive ripped out of his chest, who comes to the rescue with the original arc reactor, moving the same way a puppy would?
    Tony: Good boy.

    Literature 
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog is, of course, the logical extreme of this trope, standing approximately as tall as a two story house. He actually started off as a small puppy who grew huge thanks to his owner Emily Elizabeth's "love" — at least, that's the official story.
  • The Good Dog, Carl! series of children's books feature a Rottweiler caring for a baby through various wacky hijinks. The baby often rides him like a pony, and Carl always manages to get the mess cleaned up before Mom gets home.note  Carl does defy one aspect of the Big Friendly Dog stereotype — he's actually incredibly smart.
  • Mouse from Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files, although he's actually a very intelligent magical creature and as a puppy he was small enough that the protagonist carried him around in a jacket pocket for a whole book (Blood Rites). His owner suspects that he's actually intelligent enough to be deliberately invoking this trope. As Harry puts it, "Really big dogs that aren't acting overtly friendly tend to make people nervous." Heck, when Mouse wants to be intimidating, a lot of the time he doesn't even growl. He just stops acting friendly and looks at you. Though a warning to you, should you be evil or harm Dresden:
    "Restore them before I rip your ass off. Literally rip it off."
  • Kit's dog, Ponch, from the Young Wizards series loves to play with him and chase (but not catch) squrriels. When Ponch is eventually revealed to be roughly the equivalent of Jesus, this trope makes it all the more jarring.
  • Stephen King's Cujo, twisted cruelly when he turns rabid. A portion of the horror of the book is seeing Cujo's simple thoughts warp as the rabies drives him mad. Hilariously, the film version had a genuine problem with the Truth in Television: Try as they might, the filmmakers just couldn't make a real St. Bernard act convincingly aggressive, so they disguised a Rottweiler for the more aggressive scenes; and even then, they had to tape the dog's tail to his leg to that it wouldn't wag.
  • His novel Under the Dome, with its ensemble cast, contains a few. Audrey, a golden retriever, warns one family when their daughter has seizures. Clover, a German Shepard, also plays happily with the children before he shows the darker side of this trope when his master is pushed down stairs...
  • Kojak from The Stand, an Irish Setter in the novel and a mixed breed (mostly Labrador Retriever) in the film. "If all things serve the will of God, maybe that goes for big dumb dogs, too."
  • A sad version in IT, also by Stephen King. Mike's dog, Mr. Chips, is so friendly he eats the poisoned treats that Henry Bowers feeds him. He even wags his tail as he's dying.
  • The Disreputable Dog in Garth Nix's Old Kingdom series mostly falls under this, with the fact that she talks and is really the avatar of one of the most powerful beings in the universe.
  • Thcrapth— er, Scraps from Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel Carpe Jugulum. So aggressively friendly that Death allowed Scraps to return to life to keep him from fetching Death's scythe for eternity.
  • Runner Bean from the Children of the Red King series.
  • In Animorphs there's Jake's pet dog Homer, a golden retriever. Aside from being Jake's very first morph, Homer shows up infrequently in early books as a source of some comedy relief.
  • Fang, Hagrid's dog, in Harry Potter. Hagrid has odd naming sensibilities, since Fang isn't actually that fierce, while Fluffy actually has three heads and is very fierce. Fang is said to be a coward, but also fairly intelligent for the trope, at least going to get backup when he runs away.
  • Nana from Peter Pan, also in the Disney animated version. Not so "dumb", at least for a dog given that she quite capably lived up to her name/job description.
  • Stephanie Plum, or rather her on-again off-again boyfriend Joe Morelli, owns Bob, a vaguely Golden Retriever-shaped blob of fur. He has an appetite to match his size and enthusiasm, and isn't very picky. Joe once left him in his car, and when he came back, Bob had eaten the front seat.
  • Mrs. O'Leary from Percy Jackson and the Olympians, a hellhound who used to belong to Quintus Read: Daedalus and was turned over to Percy at the end of Battle of the Labyrinth.
  • Circle of Magic: Sandry, Daja, Briar, and Tris]] have Little Bear, a puppy they save early on in the series. He grows up very friendly and, appropriate to the name, very big.
  • Judge Benjamin, the title character in the Judge Benjamin: Superdog 5 book series.
  • Marley of Marley and Me. It's based on a true story.
  • The title dog of Kate DiCamillo's Because of Winn-Dixie. He's so called because the girl who adopted him first saw him running around inside a Winn-Dixie supermarket.
  • Song at Dawn: Nici is constantly referred to as 'the big dog' and so friendly he could be called Estela's first white knight.
  • The Dog Stars: Jasper is the main character's only real companion After the End. Although Higs has a human partner, a sociopathic killer who keeps them safe, he prefers the company of his gentle and loyal watchdog.
  • Hooligan, the mutt who lives in the White House in the First Kids mystery series by Martha Freeman.
  • The Man With The Terrible Eyes: The Man's dog, named Dog, is a very big and very friendly dog (or at least something that looks like a dog), as long as you're not a shadow monster or someone trying to hurt his master.
  • In the John Carter of Mars series, there's Woola, a big friendly dog-like beast who accompanies John Carter on his earlier adventures on Mars.
  • Ananda, the dog Meg finds in A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and her predecessor (a Lab and a Newfoundlander, respectively).

    Live-Action TV 
  • Pepper, the dog Dick gives to Mary as a gift in 3rd Rock from the Sun.
  • Carmine, Chris's dog on Human Target. He's supposed to be a guard dog. He'd prefer to sleep and eat.
  • Jade from Victorious mentions them in her "Stuff I Hate" video.
    Jade: I hate it when I go to someone's house, and their dog jumps all over me, and the owner says: "oh, it's okay, he's friendly". Guess what; I'm not. Get your dog off me!
  • Its Me Or The Dog: Victoria considers training a Big Friendly Dog to not jump up and slobber all over people is an important step in proper dog behavior, since a lot of people are dog-phobic and a sufficiently-sized pooch can cause harm just by being "friendly".
  • Diefenbaker the deaf half wolf/half dog from Due South. He's friendly and personable until you threaten his owner.
  • Keith Richards on Are You There Chelsea. So named because Chelsea found him in an alley with a bunch of heroin addicts.

    Music 
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers song "Death of a Martian" is about the death of guitarist Flea's dog, Martian, who was this type of dog.

    Puppet Shows 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Warhammer the Beasts of Nurgle have this sort of personality, desiring only to meet new people and make friends with them. Unfortunately, where most dogs have slobber, Beasts of Nurgle have acid. They jump up at you, knock you over, and crush and burn you as they crawl over with acidic slime. Of course, because their new friends stop playing with them so quickly, they have to find new ones.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • The adventure EX1 Dungeonland has a giant dog nearly as big as an elephant. It will attempt to play with the PCs, and will play "tug of war" and "fetch the stick" with any stick-like objects the party may have (staff, pole, etc.).
    • D&D also has Riding Dogs, which are Exactly What It Says on the Tin: dogs big enough to be ridden, at least by small characters.
    • Blink dogs, while not as big as some examples, are larger than average for real-world dogs, and were among the first Lawful Good monsters in the D&D game.

    Video Games 
  • People tend to think that Ōkami's Amaterasu is a big friendly dog: she's Big, she's friendly with muggles... She is NOT a dog.
  • The aptly-named Woof from Beyond Good & Evil. An Old English Sheepdog the size of a refrigerator. His tongue is always hanging out of his mouth, and he loves to cuddle, play, and chase insects. One of the end credits photos shows the aftermath of him bowling Jade over while chasing a ladybug.
  • Subverted by Half-Life 2. D0g is big and friendly to the protagonists, but he's a robot that's shaped more like a gorilla than a dog. (Though he can play fetch with an electric ball, and will valiantly defend his loved ones. And he is adorable.) Alyx has been adding modifications to him for years. It's possible that he originally did look like a dog.
  • Dragon Age
    • Dragon Age: Origins has a Mabari war hound named... Dog. Despite being a trained war hound and attack critter, in cutscenes and conversations this is exactly how he comes across. The only members of your party that Dog doesn't get along with are Oghren, who thinks Dog stole his pants (he didn't) and thinks Dog is perfectly-sized to pull a chariot bearing him into battle; Alistair, who keeps forgetting that Dog is sentient and can understand everything he is saying (and even then things end up well enough after some initial problems); and Shale, who used to be a living statue and whose sole interaction with Dog is to warn him not to mark his territory on her. Even Loghain gets along very well with him, if he's allowed to join. He isn't too crazy about Wynne since she insists on giving him baths and wants to tie a pretty pretty bow around his stubby tail.
    • Dragon Age II: The sequel's "Black Emporium" DLC gives Hawke a Mabari war hound that can be summoned into battle. Party members will visit Hawke's home throughout the game just to see the Mabari. Anders, being a cat person, is the only one who doesn't particularly like the dog — but the dog lavishes affection on him anyway.
  • Urz in Mass Effect 2, fits all the criteria... except that he's not a dog. He's a varren, a creature colloquially known as a "fishdog", and is just as Ugly Cute as that name implies. However, he still allows Shepard to pet him and, if fed some pyjack meat, will happily follow Shepard and company around Tuchanka, generally being adorable, in complete contrast to other examples of his breed, who all try to rip your head off. And you can get him to pitfight other varren for you. (Did we mention that he's actually a champion pitfighter?) If he loses, he has to go to the medical tent until you leave Tuchanka and come back. A short story posted on the third game's website reveals that Urz has had many adventures throughout the galaxy under many different names where he's either saved lives or changed them for the better.
    • In Mass Effect 3, the Citadel DLC reveals that Jack has rescued a biotic varren that she's named Eezo from an abused animal's centre. Shepard ends up playing a game of catch with him using a frying pan.
  • The Monster Rancher series gives us the Baku, a large, blond dog whose size and features remind one of a hippopotamus. Its attacks include deafening barks, messy licking, and falling asleep, among more traditional attacks like biting and ramming. As an additional fun point, in the 4th game they can actually be ridden inside dungeons to go trampling through barricading underbrush like a big, happy elephant. It is awesome.
  • The Elder Scrolls series has Barbas, the familiar of the pactmaking Daedra Prince Clavicus Vile. He also serves as his master's much-needed conscience, and usually attempts to talk people out of his deals, much to Vile's irritation. In Skyrim, he recklessly banishes Barbas to the mortal plane after getting fed up with him, but since Barbas contains a measure of Vile's power, this trapped himself as well. He joins the Dovahkiin as a temporary companion, right up until finding Vile's temple. There, the Dovahkiin can (temporarily, given how he's a daedra) kill him in return for one of Vile's axes (since while Barbas is reforming, Vile has full ownership of his powers).
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Poochie from Yoshi's Island, who serves as a Power-Up Mount for Yoshi that can walk across dangerous terrain.
    • The ghosts of Evershade Valley from Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon turn hostile when the Dark Moon gets shattered, with the exception of the Polterpup, whose troublesome meddling in Luigi's quest stems from a desire to play rather than a desire to hurt.
  • Brandt of Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light becomes a gray husky in his animal form, and since he's a friendly Nice Guy of a hero, that makes him this.

    Visual Novels 
  • To Heart 2 has Genjimaru, Konomi's Old English Sheepdog. Despite being very friendly, he scares Tamaki to death by chasing after her (mainly because she's afraid of dogs; after the chase he stops and sounds apologetic when she trips and hurts herself and starts crying), and in To Heart 2: Another Days he tackles Silfa on sight, causing her to talk in gibberish when he licks her face (of course, she hides in her box after that, only to get tackled again when she comes out). He also keeps Konomi company as she ponders on her relationship with Takaaki in her story path, seemingly talking to her as she is rambling.

    Web Comics 

    Web Video 
  • The Autobiography of Jane Eyre: Mr Rochester's dog Pilot is a Bernese Mountain Dog which is a breed of dogs that are generally extremely affectionate. Adele Rochester must be fond of Pilot as she drew a beautiful picture of him.

    Western Animation 
  • Dinky Dog from The All-New Popeye Hour.
  • Runt from the "Rita and Runt" segment of Animaniacs.
  • Classic Disney Shorts:
    • Pluto. He's based on a bloodhound; bloodhounds are almost always Big Friendly Dogs in real life.
    • One short, Donald's Ostrich, has a female ostrich named Hortense portray this role, except with kisses instead of licks, which she showered Donald with while eating everything in sight.
  • Dino from The Flintstones, although not technically a dog.
  • Dinah from the My Little Pony episode "Pony Puppy".
  • Two words: Scooby-Doo.
  • Bronx from Gargoyles is both this AND an Angry Guard Dog, depending on situation or who is around.
  • Rollo, a sheepdog Bold befriended in The Animals of Farthing Wood.
  • Odie from Garfield and Friends doesn't have a big body, but his tongue is huge and he likes using it.
  • The ghost dog in Danny Phantom. When it turns big, that means its aggressive. However, the pup always makes an exception for Danny whom reminds affectionate towards.
  • AQUAMAN's pet dolphin Fluke in Batman: The Brave and the Bold acts like this (much to Batman's irritation).
  • An old Looney Tunes short about dogs featured a doberman pinscher. He was actually a fairly calm chap... but it didn't take long for the guy named Doberman to sour on him.
    • Also, Mark Antony. Though he'd like you to think otherwise.
  • The Legend of Korra has Canis Major Polar Bear Dog Naga, Avatar Korra's Familiar. Naga's Establishing Character Moment is licking Korra's face over and over. Her friendliness extends to licking a police attendant's hair.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "It's About Time", Cerberus looks fierce, being a three-headed Hell Hound as big as a house, but the only reason he shows up in Ponyville is because he wants to play. Granted, since he's the size of a house, even his play can be dangerous to the average pony, but Fluttershy pacifies him with a tummy rub easily enough. Later Twilight leads Cerberus back to the Gates of Tartarus by playing fetch with him during the entire trip.
    • Similarly, in the episode "Trade Ya", Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy comes across a rather vicious Orthros that they need to trade for a limited edition Daring Do book. Once Fluttershy pacifies it, it acts like a playful puppy for the rest of the episode.
  • There isn't a lick of the description above that doesn't apply to Niblet from Pound Puppies (2010). He is easily the biggest, kindest, and least intelligent of the team.
  • On Peg + Cat, this is the resolution of "The Big Dog Problem" — the big dog that's standing in front of the mailbox that Peg and Cat keep running away from is just one of these and even helps them to reach the mailbox so that they can mail their really important letters once they make friends with it.

    Real Life 
  • Newfoundlands makes this Truth in Television — the original Nana from Peter Pan was a Newfoundland. They are incredibly gentle, especially with children, and make excellent babysitters. Despite their dopey, laid-back personalities they are also quite clever. Their sheer size makes them powerful and excellent swimmers. Newfies can be— and quite often are— trained as lifeguard rescue dogs.
  • The Leonberger, which is what a Newfoundland would look like if you dressed it up and taught it to act like a German Shepard. Also like the Newfs, 'bergers are exceptionally bright and well-behaved, as they were bred as farm dogs. Thus, they had to be good draft animals, watch-dogs, family pets... or all three.
  • The ultimate Real Life example (as of 2006) is a 282-pound Mastiff named Hercules. According to his owner, Hercules isn't very bright, and once a bird landed on his head without him noticing.
  • Utonagans are specifically bred to look like wolves but are some of nicest, friendliest dogs one could ever hope to meet. Utonagans were specifically bred from three breeds (Huskies, Malamutes, and German Shepherds) in order to create something that had a wolf's lean and threatening appearance but in all that Badassness something broke and they came out friendly. They are great family dogs but quite possibly the worst guard dogs in the world, because rather than chase burglars they're more likely to roll over and ask for a belly rub.
    • See also: Tamaskans.
  • Despite common misconception, a majority of medium and large breeds are very nice by nature. This may be because of their sheer size, people are more likely to train bigger dogs more carefully than small dogs. Imagine a small dog jumping to put its front paws on your leg — cu~~~te! Now imagine a big dog doing that. Instead of on your leg, the paws wind up on your shoulders, and you can bet that any owner who doesn't want to deal with that will teach their dog not to. That sort of training trickles down into general temperament. Especially the biggest ones, which tend to be very laid-back and friendly. Great Danes, for example, will lean against visitors or sit on laps to be petted. (They're also...not very bright.)
  • German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Dobermans are supposed to be like this, as long as they are properly bred and well-trained (which people tend to forget). German Shepherds are good at everything, Dobermans were bred to defend people and places, and Rottweilers were bred to pull carts, drive cattle, and serve as watch dogs. Nowadays, most of these breeds are pets, and generally described as "giant teddy bears".
    • The German Shepherd's smaller cousin, the Malinois, is also quite friendly, particularly with children. Though they are rather small compared to Shepherds, they're still large enough to knock you over with a badly-timed jump.
  • Golden Retrievers aren't quite as big as some of the others (although they're close) but make up for it by being some of the friendliest dogs out there. Sadly, this, combined with their beautiful coats, has led to over-breeding, which means you have to worry about proper breeding, much like the aforementioned dogs. Golden retrievers are also terrible guard dogs. Just give them a few scratches behind the ear and they'll try to give you their tennis ball!
  • Labradors are also not one of the biggest breeds (but can still be pretty impressive) but still one of the friendliest.
  • Similarly, the bigger spaniel breeds in particular are some of the most affectionate dogs you will ever meet.
  • Lady Gaga owns two Harlequin Great Danes: Lava and Rumpus. They appear in several videos. Unfortunately Rumpus died in October of 2009.
  • Alaskan Malamutes are larger than Siberian Huskies, trained to pull thousands of pounds on sleds, and generally just BIG dogs. But they are also generally BIG teddy bears, loveable, cuddly, and ranked as one of the worst guard dog breeds. However, it takes patience and dedication to make them this way—sled dogs are extremely intelligent, relentlessly energetic, quite headstrong and can become neurotic or challenge an owner who doesn't attend to their physical and psychological needs. They're bad guard dogs not because they're open and friendly, but because they just don't care about guarding because nothing is in it for them.
  • Most pet dogs will be bad guards by definition, even the German Shepherds and Dobermans, because they lack the specialized training needed for the job.
  • Pit bulls as a whole usually fall into this category; while they were originally bred for herding and companionship. During World War Two they were considered a "Nanny Dog" — a dog to watch the children. Their current reputation as vicious killers is actually a lot Newer Than They Think.
    • Shorty Rossi of Pit Boss has two service dogs, Hercules and Geisha, who definitely fit this role. However, take this in consideration: please train them well. A lot of the bad rep that the Pitbulls get is because stupid/malicious owners either abuse or specifically train them to be the angriest dogs ever — unsurprisingly, they're very popular among mobsters, gang members and/or drug dealers.
    • Ginger the pit bull, who got a bit out of control during an Adopt-A-Pet segment on a news channel. Ginger doesn't seem to understand that if you're more than half the size of the person whose face you're slobbering all over, you are not a lapdog.
    • Staffordshire Bull Terriers have a similarly bad reputation in the UK, though it's mostly undeserved. Though Staffies are inclined to dislike other dogs due to generations of breeding for pit-fights, only the most severe abuse twists them into anything other than big softies with humans. They are canine personifications of the No Sense of Personal Space trope, and when that combines with being totally unaware of their own strength, some formidable glomps occur. They're also a breed that doesn't get that they're just not meant to sit on your lap.
  • The Irish Wolfhound. Originally used to hunt wolves, they're now some of the world's biggest teddy bears.
  • Saint Bernards were bred as hunting, search and rescue, and watch dogs. In the meantime, it serves as a floor warmer and the perfect multiuse toy for small children.
  • Dalmatians are on the smaller end of the big dog scale, but they are plenty friendly.
  • Anatolian Shepherds are among the sweetest dogs you can find, and the biggest. Also, they make ADORABLE puppies. The breed also averts the Dogs Are Dumb trope by being very intelligent and independent. Bred in Turkey to protect sheep and goats, the dog stays with the flock and chases off predators, with Turkish shepherds going on record saying that three of these dogs can hold back a full pack of wolves and even hurt or kill two or three. The trouble is that this independence and intelligence means that it can be a little challenging to train for city life, as it can choose to just not obey. The breed is currently being used in Africa to protect the Cheetah from extinction.
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs, which can weigh upwards of 100 pounds (if male), are some of the friendliest, cuddliest dogs you could ever hope to meet. You would think that a Bernese would make a lousy guard dog, but these dogs form very strong bonds with their families - which includes protectiveness, especially towards children. Since they're still a Big Friendly Dog, they'll at first only try and make you back down with their loud (and notably scary) bark. Ignore that, and well...it's gonna suck to be you.
  • Any large dog raised from an early age with cats will often develop catlike mannerisms. This can be distressing when your 60-pound-plus dog forgets how big he is and decides he wants to sit in your lap or climb up on furniture and tables.
  • The Great Dane George, aka the Tallest Dog.
  • To summarize everything mentioned above, large dogs in general and in particular, any breed from the Working Class. Their purpose of directly serving humans (usually by guarding) makes them EXTREMELY devoted to their families. If you look at official standards, many breeds typically considered Angry Guard Dogs actually require a temperament that is affectionate, devoted, and fun-loving when they aren't working. Their sheer size and power also require a strong focus on temperament and training, so they tend to have a more stable temperament than smaller dogs. Without them, there simply isn't any way an owner can manage them since they tend to be STRONGER than a human. Larger dogs also tend to be more confident (and tougher!) than smaller dogs, so will trust and welcome humans more readily, as well as tolerating rough play from children.
  • This is the idea behind the K-9 Comfort Dogs, a group of golden retrievers who are dispatched to the sites of disasters and traumatic events to bring the sort of love and calm that only a big friendly dog can provide.
  • Murkin and his kittens. D'aaaaawww!
  • The Big Fluffy Dog Rescue.


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