You've no doubt seen a dog lose its mind when a stranger comes near its home. That territorial instinct is multiplied as their territory expands. If a dog's home is several acres of farmland, it greets every visitor with primeval murderous instinct. Growing up, if we wanted to get home safely from the bus stop, we had to fill the weakest child with dog poison. An encounter between country dogs contains no comical ass sniffing — it's a snarling cartoon cloud of mortal combat.
In contrast to the generally sedentary Right-Hand Cat
, this is what happens when the villains' pet plays an active role as a guard/weapon against the heroes. Expect Fluffy the Terrible
in terms of naming and for the villain to be a confirmed Fluffy Tamer
. Typically, villains will either show a Nightmare Fetishist
streak and be oblivious to how savage their pets are, and will treat them kindly, or else, they will use the pets to (perhaps even literally) Kick the Dog
, sometimes by feeding underlings and other poor unfortunates to them
. Finally, as the title suggests, when the creature in question isn't a fantasy animal, it's very likely to be some kind of canine.
It is, obviously, very prone to The Dog Bites Back
. Contrast with the various heroic Loyal Animal Companions
, particularly Canine Companion
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Anime & Manga
- In Fullmetal Alchemist, Father's lair is guarded by monstrous animal chimera. In one scene, the amnesiac, villainous Greed is shown petting one of them.
- In Ranma ½, Kodachi Kunō has Midorigame ("Mr. Green Turtle") as a pet... which, like its name doesn't indicate, is a huge crocodile.
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Although he is about as fearsome and "attack dog"-like as the kitten Nagi believes he is, Tama is a White Tiger. He has actually attacked Hayate on several occasions and shown to be quite capable of being a threat if he wants to be.
- In the same theme, Shiranui is honestly a kitten, but shown to be quite evil at times.
- Azraël, from The Smurfs, could be at first glance thought off as a mere Right-Hand Cat to Gargamel. But since the Smurfs are so small, Azraël is a very physical threat and ends up chasing them quite often, putting him right into this trope.
- Ehmte-Ciss-Ronn in Sillage keeps two alien shark-equivalents as pets. Being naturally aquatic, he has no problem flooding his office in the event of intrusion, knocking his enemies down with the rushing water while bringing the Shark Pool into the room.
Films — Animation
- Oddly combined with Right-Hand Cat in The Great Mouse Detective as the villain, Ratigan, has a pet cat larger than himself to which he feeds hapless mice.
- In Oliver & Company, ruthless loan-shark Sikes has a pair of vicious Dobermanns (pictured above), who go about intimidating both the main characters and their impoverished "master" Fagin, and follow Sikes' will with gusto.
- The villain of Up has dogs for henchmen.
- Bambi. The German Shepherds that attack Bambi near the end of his film, just right before the forest fire.
- Scud, the villain Sid's pet dog in Toy Story.
- The Little Mermaid. Ursula the Sea Witch's pet green moray eel minions Flotsam and Jetsam.
Films — Live-Action
- The Chechen in The Dark Knight has a pack of attack dogs. The Joker uses them later in the film. Read between the lines, and it's implied the Joker fed them their former master...
- Jabba the Hutt's Rancor in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
- Commander Kruge in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock keeps a Klingon reptilian "pet" next to his command chair aboard the Bird of Prey. In contrast to its vicious appearance, it doesn't do much besides growl at people, and gets killed in the battle with the Enterprise to give Krudge a Pet the Dog moment.
- In Moonraker, Drax sets his vicious dogs on his assistant Corrine when he discovers that she's been helping James Bond.
- Voldemort's gigantic pet snake, Nagini in the Harry Potter books is one of these. She also has a non-combat function as her venom helped to keep him alive prior to getting his full power back. She's pretty much the only other creature toward whom he shows any evidence of caring. Which probably has more to do with her being one of his Horcruxes than anything else.
- The Big Bad of the Andrakis series has a pet tiger that sat by his throne. A luckless messenger comes to report the defeat of their armies by the reincarnated hero; he looks up and the last thing he sees are the tiger's jaws closing on his face.
- In the first Animorphs Megamorphs book, Visser Three had a creature called the Valeek, that was like an alien life form hunting dog. It was trained to find morph energy and then return to feed on energy made by the Visser's ship. The team eventually destroyed it by forcing it into the water.
- The Mole from the Burke series has a pack of dogs that guard his junkyard.
- In the Sven Hassel novels, Chief Mechanic Wolf has a pair of wolfhounds as his personal guard dogs, and boasts of having people who annoy him fed to them.
- Mederan in the Tracker episode "Blind Faith". He was Zin's bodyguard trapped in a dog's body. He had a habit of transforming into a Hell Hound via his Vardian powers and tearing people apart for Zin until Cole took him out.
- Star Trek: Enterprise. In the evil Mirror Universe, Captain Archer's adorable beagle Porthos is a snarling Rottweiler.
- Call of Cthulhu campaign Masks of Nyarlathotep, Chapter 5 "Shanghai". Lin Tang-yu has two pet white gorillas named TunTun and Ping. They are always near him and obey his commands, such as attacking anyone he commands them to.
- Dungeons & Dragons modules G1-G3 Against the Giants have several examples.
- G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief. The chief's wife has a pet cave bear that acts as a guard in her personal chamber. The chief keeps his cave bear with him in the Great Hall.
- G2 The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl. The yeti have two snow leopards they keep as hunting "dogs", pets and guards. The Jarl has two huge winter wolves that act as pets and guards.
- G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King. King Snurre has two large hell hounds that guard him in his throne room. His wife Queen Frupy has a pair of giant weasels as pets and guards in her chamber.
- While he's not a villain, and therefore doesn't attack the heroes, Interceptor, Shadow's loyal dog in Final Fantasy VI, is made out to be something like this. In battle, he'll occasionally block physical attacks directed at his master and then counterattack For Massive Damage. Outside of the actual gameplay, Shadow warns that he'll actually tear out your throat if you get too close. Relm seems to be able to play with him just fine though, and if Shadow is KO'd in battle, Interceptor will actually protect her instead. This is because Relm is Shadow's daughter, unbeknownst to her though.
- Final Fantasy VII
- Comic relief bad guy Don Corneo has some sort of bizarre ape-like monster named Aps under his Trap Door. Later in a sidequest in Wutai, Corneo replaces with it a dragonish monster. Both can be quite difficult bosses.
- Also, in your only battle against Rufus Shinra, you also fight his guard dog named Dark Nation.
- Mega Man
- Samurai Shodown II final boss Mizuki is accompanied by a "dog", which is actually a powerful shapeshifting demon that she uses in a couple of attacks.
- The Mabari Hounds in the Dragon Age series are this trope: their intelligence is close to human-like and their devotion to their masters is unshakable, making both good and bad guys fond of them.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, you could recruit one as a full-fledged party member (one of the Origins got him for free — the perks of aristocracy), and a lot of bad guys used them to tear your party apart when you got careless.
- In Dragon Age II, Hawke's Mabari was a summonable creature in a DLC — but nevertheless deadly.
- Any villain's signature Pokémon tends to be treated as this in fanon, though most of them aren't actually canines.
- Zig-zagged with Giovanni's Persian, which is a Right-Hand Cat in the anime and a combatant in the Yellow version game.
- In Batman: The Animated Series, Joker and Harley have a pair of savage hyenas which Harley (who refers to them as "the Babies") would cuddle with.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, King Bumi is introduced pretending to be a villain (he's actually a Trickster Mentor of sorts), and his pet "Flopsie" seems to be one of these.
- In The Simpsons, Mr. Burns has a pack of hounds which he likes to release on those who disturb him at home. There is an episode where Santa's Little Helper becomes one of his guard dogs, and in the end, he protects Bart against the rest of the pack.
- The Jonny Quest TOS episode "Dragons of Ashida". The title character has large lizards similar to Komodo dragons that he considers his pets. He uses them for hunting human beings and as security for his island.
- In The Man Called Flintstone, the Green Goose and his pet sabretooth tiger, Ferocious.
- Wakfu: Season 1 Big Bad Nox has Igôle, a weird mix of wolf, hyena and lizard, that he sends chasing The Hero Yugo and his brother Adamaď, tasking it to bring them back "without damaging them too much". Note that Igôle was originally Nox's family pet 200 years ago, but exposure to the Eliacube and Xelor magic have turned it into a deadly powerful beast, and maybe as insane as its master. In the end it reverts to its past self and gives up the chase after meeting a little girl who reminds it of Nox's youngest daughter, and decides to stay with her.