"The dogge must lerne it, whan he is a whelpe, or els it will not be."Exactly What It Says on the Tin — an old dog, typically seen more often in a rural setting. It is frequently male, often will be some sort of hound, and usually splits its time between sleeping and barking. Sometimes known for having been a good tracker or hunter in the past. In talking-animal fiction, the Old Dog may be portrayed as a grandfatherly character, or just as a crabby old guy. On a more cynical note, old dogs are legendarily unable to learn new tricks. However, plenty of owners will dispute that and call it a wives' tale. The dog's death (apparent or real) can be a Tear Jerker.
— John Fitzherbert, The Boke of Husbandry
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Anime and Manga
Films — Animated
- Trusty and Jock in Disney's Lady and the Tramp.
- Chief in Disney's The Fox and the Hound fits the "crabby old guy" category.
- Wylie Burp in An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, the old canine sheriff and a caricature of Wyatt Earp.
- Bruno in The Triplets of Belleville. Madam Souza bought him for her grandson as a puppy, but now he's a fat, lazy dog who only comes alive to bark at the train that passes by next to the house.
- In Toy Story 3, Woody tries to call Buster over to hitch a ride on him. But because of the 15-year gap between this and the previous film, the formerly frisky puppy is now fat, sluggish, and very tired.
Films — Live-Action
- Shadow in Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is a character of the grandfatherly sort.
- In Air Buddies, the local police dog is a bloodhound called Deputy Sniffer.
- The first dog to expire in Eight Below is an aging male who is too weak, and/or too loyal, to break loose from their tie-down chains.
- Older Than Feudalism: Odysseus' dog Argos (20+ years old) is the first one to recognize his master (even in disguise) when Odysseus returns home at the end of The Odyssey. The ancient animal then finally slips its lease on life in front of him.
- Parodied by Discworld, where Rincewind's ancestor Lavaeolus' dog does the same. It was the holding the slippers in its mouth for twenty years that did him in.
- Candy's dog in Of Mice and Men is one-half to three-quarters dead from old age.
- In The Savannah Reid Mysteries, Savannah's grandmother has Colonel Beauregard. Though he spends most of his time sleeping, he did manage to take a bite out of the perpetrator of Peaches and Screams.
- In the Warrior Cats graphic novel The Rise of Scourge, a dog named Samwise is sleeping in an alley. He loses a tooth... and that tooth helps Tiny become Scourge.
- In stark contrast to the Disney example, Copper is the Old Dog in Daniel P. Mannix's The Fox and the Hound.
- Bodger the bull terrier from The Incredible Journey.
- In Guards! Guards!, Vetinari has an old greyish terrier named Wuffles, who spends most of his time sleeping.
- Easton Corbin's "I'm a Little More Country Than That".
Picture a small town / with an old hound / Laying out front / of the court house...
- The song "Old Dogs" by Bill Staines.
Old dogs have a song to sing, old dogs like most everything, fear not what the weather brings, except when it is thunder.When their time on Earth is through, old dogs are forever true; around the bend they wait for you, come some tomorrow morning.
- Walter Brennan's "Life Gets Tedious, Don't It?":
"Hound dog's howling so forlorn""Laziest dawg that ever was born""He's howlin' 'cause he's settin' on a thorn""Just too tired to move over"
- The Mythbusters busted the "old dogs can't learn new tricks" myth. They can, you just have to be more patient with them.
- A staple on the comedy-variety show Hee Haw was an old hound dog that mostly slept on a front porch (played by four dogs through the course of the series).
- The dog playing Buck on Married... with Children performed until he started having problems getting around. He was retired/"reincarnated" in a younger dog.
- Mr Dean's dog Bob in All Creatures Great and Small.
- King of the Hill:
- Subverted in an episode where Peggy gets a job working for the Alamo Beer Company and becomes privy to many of the company secrets. One of those secrets is that the supposedly old dog that appears in the Alamo Beer commercials is actually the third or fourth replacement and that the original dog died several years ago.
- Hank's dog, Ladybird, is a straight example. She's a few months older than Bobby, which makes her over 65 in dog years.
- In Family Guy, there's Herbert's dog, whose hind legs don't work.
- In the very first episode of American Dad!, Stan gives in to Steve's requests for a pet dog and adopts Thor, who clocks in at a positively ancient 19. Stan meant well; he thought Thor was better for having lived through the Reagan years, but as you can imagine the poor thing died very quickly. Though to be fair, it might have lived a little longer if Stan hadn't shot it in the head.
- Once Upon a Dog is a Soviet animated short based on Ukranian folk tale about a dog getting too old.
- Disney's Goofy was originally portrayed as an old dog with small glasses, some stubble, and a beard who went by the name of Dippy Dawg.
- On the Looney Tunes short "Porky's Pooch", Porky Pig tries to teach tricks to his ancient, arthritic dog Rover. A young pup comes along to show Rover up and make fun of how old he is.
- The Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary has become popular online because the dogs are especially cute because they're old.