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Action Pet

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Streaky gives evildoers claws for concern.

"In December 1941, the Japanese found that attacking a unit under the cover of night is only a good idea when the enemy doesn't happen to have a giant black hellhound guarding their camp. Gander noticed the impending sneak attack, decided to drop the silly puppy act and switched his Hound of the Baskervilles knob up to 11. And that's when things got fucking metal."

When a pet can be just as much of an action character as any person.

Even in Real Life, pets aren't always harmless. They can be dangerous (say if people take in attack dogs or rescue dogs with behavioural problems as pets), or helpful. But this takes that even further, where the pet is fed on a diet of Rule of Cool.

These pets don't stop at going for help when people are trapped behind a landslide. They push boulders out of the way, fetch dynamite to toss at those rocks, or even just will the rocks to move by staring them down.

And the kind of pet doesn't matter. A parakeet, to an alligator, could count, as long as it does stuff that even amazes people that know what the species can do.

A Sub-Trope of Action Hero and Amplified Animal Aptitude.

Can overlap with Badass Adorable, Killer Rabbit, Living a Double Life (if the owner is not aware of the pet's action nature), Heroic Pet Story, Heroic Dog, Mon, Team Pet and Animal Superheroes.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Altair: A Record of Battles: The entire Tughril clan became famous for training golden eagles to help them hunt and fight. The clan's two surviving members, Mahmut and Süleyman, are never seen without their eagles Iskender and Caterina.
  • Anpanman: Cheese is the bakery's pet dog. He's very helpful, and he even drives the Anpanman-Mobile whenever Uncle Jam has to make Anpanman's new head!
  • Pantherlily from Fairy Tail is this to Gajeel. While the other Dragon Slayers have talking, winged cats as pets, Gajeel has one that can turn into a gigantic humanoid panther who wields a BFS.
  • In Future Card Buddyfight, the main character's buddy monsters are always by his side.
  • Giant Gorg: Argos, the Waves' Great Dane who protects the main character Yuu.
  • Inuyasha features Kirara, an adorable nekomata (basically a feudal era demon cat) that can shift into a vicious combat mode that has increased size and flight. Is part of the main party, but is owned by Sango as a partner in the demon-slaying tribe.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Iggy in Stardust Crusaders is a dog with a Stand, the Fool, that has the ability to shape-shift sand into a variety of objects, such as a hang glider.
    • Also from Stardust Crusaders, there's an evil example in Pet Shop, one of DIO's trusted guardians. He's a vicious falcon whose Stand, Horus, can create ice at will, making him a fearsome opponent for Iggy.
    • Diamond is Unbreakable has Stray Cat, a strange creature that was originally a cat, but fused with a flower after dying. It starts off antagonistic towards Yoshikage Kira, but later becomes his companion, assisting him during the final battle.
  • Œufcoque of Mardock Scramble is an experimental multi-dimensional all-tool shaped like a mouse. He's also a complete gentleman.
  • One Piece: Karoo, Vivi's pet super spot-billed duck, serves as his owner's mount in battle. He also helps the Straw Hats out directly in the Little Garden arc by rescuing Luffy and helping take out the bad guys.
  • Pokémon: The Series: Most Pokémon are this by default, but Ash's Pikachu is probably the standout example.
  • The Ride-On King: By observing Purchinov all the time, one Pocchi called Bocchi went from a prideful transport to a karate bird who can beat up even demonic monsters. Bell's Pocchi similarly manages to learn some magic.

    Comic Books 
  • Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld has Taffy, Amy's pet dog. His first accomplishment upon entering Gemworld? Tearing out a wolf's throat.
  • Astro City: Kittyhawk, the stray cat adopted by Nightingale. She can walk through walls, sprout black wings for flight, and is smart enough to foil a kidnapping plot (almost) by herself.
  • In Batman comics, Ace the Batdog occasionally helps Batman and Robin solve crimes.
  • Green Lantern: On the villainous side, Dex-Starr was once an ordinary housecat on Earth, until his rage over the death of his beloved owner qualified him for the Red Lantern Corps.
  • Rex the Wonder Dog is a pet who will get up and leave the house and his master in the middle of the night if he thinks someone nearby needs saving.
  • In Superman comics:
    • Krypto the Superdog, Clark Kent/Kal-El's Kryptonian pet dog and loyal partner of adventures since Adventure Comics #210 (1955). Krypto has the full Kryptonian powerset, plus fangs and claws which he isn't afraid of using. In The Coming of Atlas, Krypto is the only member of the Superman Family capable of holding Atlas at bay after everyone else has been defeated.
    • Back in the 60's, Supergirl used to own a male tabby cat named Streaky -pictured above-, who accidentally gained Kryptonian powers after being exposed to a piece of chemically-altered Kryptonite in "Supergirls Super Pet". Streaky was Kara's sidekick for a while, and he still makes appearances in other media.
    • Krypto and Streaky's popularity led Superman editor Mort Weisinger to introduce more super-powered pets like Comet the Super-Horse in "The Super-Steed of Steel" and Beppo the Super-Monkey. Eventually, they formed the Legion of Super-Pets, which acted as support for the Legion of Super-Heroes.
    • Supergirl's Greatest Challenge introduces Streaky's distant descendant Whizzy, who lives in the Legion era and has telepathic powers.
  • Supreme: Supreme and Suprema have Radar the Hound Supreme. Radar is The Unfettered and so unbothered by human morality that he bites off the evil Shadow Supreme's hand and then goes on to father many litters of puppies afterwards.
  • Wonder Woman: Diana's kanga Jumpa has fought supervillains and in Wonder Woman (1942) her horse Serge saved a few children whose chosen location for sledding wasn't very safe.

    Fan Works 
  • A Growing Affection: Ni-ne, Hinata's pet cat a.k.a. happily sealed version of the Two-Tails. She later helps Hinata fight off Kabuto's giant two-headed snake summon and stands guard over Rei when Konan tries to kidnap her.
  • In the Final Fantasy VII fanfic, Cissnei's Path, Rufus Shinra's guard hound, Dark Nation, joins him in every battle and is the first line of defense should something try and harm him.
  • In The Fledgling Year, Aravis’ belligerent horse Inga takes out her fair share of bad guys.
  • In Imaginary Seas, Percy is able to call upon the mounts he used in life due to being summoned as a Rider. So far, he's only used Mrs. O'Leary's aid to Shadow Travel between islands. And while she's a hellhound the size of a tank who is more than capable of taking care of herself, Percy would much rather keep her hidden and safe because of the danger the Lostbelt Servants pose as well as how necessary she is to escape the wrath of Artemis and Zeus.
  • In Locked In Digital, Koda ends up getting a lot of Animal Companions that he uses for hero-stuff.
    • Kuro, the first and a hawk who joins Koda because the bird is interested in Izuku, can be used for scouting and tracking.
    • Two more hawks, Spar and Corras, end up joining Kuro.
    • A snake named Seras also agrees to help Koda in heroing.
  • Downplayed in Manehattan's Lone Guardian with Echo, Gray Ghost's pet Mane Coon cat. He backtracks a kidnapper's scent halfway across the city, then attacks a Magifly drone to provide a distraction and keep it from shooting Drama and Coffee. He stays clear of the scuffle that follows, however, realizing that there was nothing more he could contribute.
  • In Ruby and Nora, Zwei, Ruby and Yang's pet dog, beats the living daylights out of Mercury.
  • The Indokuros in The Smeet Series.
    • Fury, belonging to Blue, more than an animal companion, acts like Blue's best friend, attack dog, bloodhound and (sometimes) mount, as well as his confidant. Fury is very protective of Blue and will kill those who bring him harm in cold blood.
    • Played with in Cheesecake's case. He starts out as a lazy, disobedient and overweight puppy in a monster's body, but during the course of Indokani starts acting more like his own species, becoming aggressive and protective of Purple.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Cameraman, Buster's monkey jumps on a Tong thug that is about to jump Buster, saving Buster's life. Then the monkey starts cranking Buster's movie camera when Buster saves Sally, proving Harold's cowardice (he swam away and abandoned Sally) and Buster's heroism.
  • Goose the cat/flerken is arguably the most badass character in Captain Marvel (2019).

  • In The Dinosaur Lords, Karyl's pet dino Shiraa is infamous for her war toll, a capable predator and able to cross half the continent to get to her master. At some point, she even considers eating her pursuers, and doesn't only because she knows Karyl wouldn't approve. Oh, and she's a freakin' Allosaurus.
  • The Dresden Files: Harry acquires a very large dog named Mouse which is really a Foo Dog. Said dog is explicitly smarter than a human, VERY resistant to damage, has a bark that can instantly wake everyone in an apartment building during an emergency, and innately detects evil.
  • In Heralds of Valdemar there are various Uplifted Animals but as many of them aren't just amplified but outright people they probably don't count. Still, the Tayledras have bred birds of prey and corvids into larger, more intelligent Bond Creatures that help them in fights as well as ferrying messages and bringing them food. The Tayledras' cousins the Shin'a'in breed and train the coolest horses around, which can be trained to extraordinary feats and trusted to solve problems. Their battlesteeds in particular are barely horses anymore and can be tasked with finding water, protecting supplies or people, and can fight on their own. Battlesteeds still can't hold a candle to Companions, but Companions only look like horses - they're not uplifted, it's an Open Secret that they're the Reincarnations of humans.
  • The Legend of Drizzt: The hero, a dark elf named Drizzt Do'Urden, has a sidekick named Guenhwyvar, a black panther summoned with a magical figurine. He refers to her as his soulmate in the platonic sense several times, she has saved his life on several occasions. When he first met her she was bound to a far less noble dark elf master who abused her, she eventually willed herself free and instead joined Drizzt.
  • In River of Teeth, all the riding hippos of Houndstooth's gang are action pets, but his own Ruby — a particularly well-bred Cambridge Black — is absolutely deadly and practically invisible in the marshlands and always ready for a fight.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, the Stark children each adopt one of a litter of orphaned direwolf pups. So far they've saved their owners' lives on numerous occasions.
  • Tortall Universe
    • Starting with Faithful in Song of the Lioness, a divine entity in cat form who accompanies Alanna on her quest.
    • Kel's pets in Protector of the Small, largely due to the presence of Daine at the Palace. The animals Kel adopts — a flock of sparrows, an ornery horse, and a mutt named Jump — are intelligent enough to act as scouts and fellow combatants in battle. This is deconstructed in the last book of her quartet, however, when Kel is managing a refugee camp and Daine reluctantly imbues them all with human-like intellect. Several of them die in the battles that ensue because they overrode their own instincts to flee, and Kel finds herself agreeing that it's no favor to the animals.
    • Beka Cooper has Faithful again, this time under the name of Pounce, taking an active part in police work. Beka also gets a scent hound named Achoo in the second book. While she's not a fighting dog, she does go with Beka into some dangerous places and takes on a couple of thugs who try to do her in.

    Live-Action TV 

  • Wet Willie's dog in White Water, who accompanies him on all of his river rafting expeditions — over waterfalls, down whirlpools, and dodging boulders — with a big smile.

    Print Media 
  • Disney used to have a magazine where they had super-powered pets named the Jet Pets who attacked villains, while also being adorable pets.

    Video Games 
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura: Given that Arcanum had members who made the first Fallout game, it's not surprising that there's a Lightning Bruiser dog who can join you. Dog (Worhless Mutt) is basically Dogmeat, but cranked up into a near Gamebreaker as his teeth tear through anything. Creatures such as Ore Golems and whatnot that would easily blunt a sword, can take about 2 hits from Dog before dying.
  • Battle Princess Madelyn features Fritzy, the ghost of your beloved pet dog, who uses his newfound ghostly powers to fight enemies at your side.
  • Dark Souls: Great Grey Wolf Sif could be considered this, as he was the companion of Sir Artorias before his death. He also fought alongside his master and when you face him, he wields Artorias' Greatsword with his mouth.
  • Diablo 3: the Demon Hunter has some similarities to a Dungeons & Dragons ranger. Likewise they also can have animal companions such as giant spiders and wolves. With the right build, the Demon Hunter can have a small army of companions to overwhelm any foe.
  • The dog companions in the Fallout series (Dogmeat in Fallout and Fallout 2 (special event), K-9 and Robodog in Fallout 2, the other Dogmeat in Fallout 3, Rex in Fallout: New Vegas, and another Dogmeat in Fallout 4).
  • The Fangs for Hire in Far Cry 5 qualify as these. Boomer the Australian cattle dog teams up with the Deputy after the Project at Eden's Gate killed his owners, and basically considers the Deputy family. Peaches the mountain lion was raised by Wilhelmina Mable, a foul-tempered old lady, but is still pretty vicious, as the cultists you set her on can attest. Cheeseburger the bear is technically a zoo animal, not a pet, but he's partially domesticated — which you can't do with real-life bears.
  • In the Fate series of RPGs, the player has a pet that fights and levels up alongside you, and you can transform it from a cat to a werewolf, wyvern, or other such creature to improve its ability to fight your enemies.
  • Final Fantasy:
  • Hi-Fi RUSH has 808, a robotic kitty that aids the protagonist, Chai's, combat capabilities by enabling combo finishers and some special moves. She also saves Chai from Kale's mind control and briefly takes on the Big Bad herself.
  • In Juicy Realm from SpaceCan Games and X.D. Network, your characters can buy or find various pets that will either attack an enemy or stop incoming "bullets" depending on their type. If you're lucky enough you could have a small army of them by the time you go after the final boss (or else you could be so unlucky that you're all alone to the end).
  • In The Last Guardian, the main character needs the help of a griffin-like beast named Trico in not only traversing a gigantic complex of ruins, but also for protection.
  • Little Red Hood: The white dog Little Red Hood can find, which will attack enemies for her.
  • Lufia: the Legend Returns : Mousse is the Team Pet for Wain's party, but is just as capable of killing monsters as the rest of them, especially if it uses Double Mousse Punch or Tail Illusion.
  • Koromaru in Persona 3 is a dog who fought off a shadow with his bare teeth and joined SEES to continue the fight, now armed with a knife in his mouth and a super-powered incarnation of his inner psyche. He even saves the entire rest of the team from Shuji Ikutsuki.
    • Before Koromaru was Pascal from Shin Megami Tensei I. Pascal is the hero's pet husky who witnessed the murder of the hero's mother, and tags along with the party. He can fuse with a demon to become a Cerberus that is most likely thirty levels above the hero, and is one of very few demons to be controllable at a higher level than the hero. He even joins the party after the thirty year timeskip, no questions asked. Koromaru's Persona is also named Cerberus as a callback.
  • Pokémon is about making creatures into action pets through defeating wild ones.
  • Poppy, Galford's dog in Samurai Shodown, does many of his moves, including some of the super moves.
  • Repede from Tales of Vesperia is Yuri's pet wolf. And he's also a full-fledged member of the party, able to attack, cast spells, use items, and even has his own Mystic Arte. He even fights with a dagger in his mouth.
  • Torchlight had a few animal companions who could not only help you fight but they'd also help you sell off unwanted items. This was a useful feature when your character was deep underground and can't easily access a store.
  • World of Warcraft has several ways for players to summon various creatures to fight alongside them, but the most notable is the Hunter class, whose main gimmick is entirely built around taming wild animals for that exact purpose, and even moreso with the Beast Mastery specialization.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
    • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Appa, the flying bison has saved the heroes several times on his own, and that's before he gets plate armor.
    • The Legend of Korra Naga, Korra's polar bear dog often throws herself into the action. In one episode, she even saves Korra and Mako when they almost get captured by chi blockers.
  • Bolt, but only in the Show Within a Show. In "real life", he's just an ordinary dog.
  • In Centurions, Jake's pet dog named Shadow tends to accompany them on missions, as he is quite smart and also happens to wear a harness/rocket launcher that he definitely knows how to put to good use.
  • In some Classic Disney Shorts, Mickey Mouse's dog Pluto the Pup can get like this sometimes, if the situation arises.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog has faced numerous horrors that are enough to send a normal human running to the loony bin. But Courage goes through any lengths to save his owners Muriel and Eustace, though most times just Muriel.
  • Monkey in Dexter's Laboratory is secretly a superhero.
  • Albert of The Dreamstone who is usually more competent and knowledgeable in stopping the Urpneys than the Dream Maker or his assistants.
  • Gargoyles: In "The Hound of Ulster", Bronx made it clear that he's more than a match for the Banshee.
    Goliath: It's got Bronx.
    Elisa: More like Bronx has it.
  • Glitch Techs: Ally is this to Miko who treats her quite affectionately.
  • Brain of Inspector Gadget is the Hyper-Competent Sidekick of the bumbling detective, and arguably even Penny as well.
  • Kim Possible has Rufus, Ron's naked mole rat that accompanies him and Kim on missions, and has helped get the two out of jams numerous times.
  • Rainbow Dash Invoked this in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "May the Best Pet Win!" by insisting her pet had to be awesome. It turned out the pet she got, Tank the tortoise, was this, as he can lift large rocks with his head.
    • In "Owl's Well that Ends Well" Twilight Sparkle's new pet owl, Owlowiscius, helps save Spike from a full-grown dragon.
  • Phineas and Ferb have Perry the Platypus, who is a secret agent in an agency where virtually all of the field agents are action pets, and have a Fedora of Asskicking as their uniform.
  • PJ Masks: Gekko's pet Lionel becomes one after he gets superpowers of his own in the Season 5 premiere. From that moment on, he frequently assists Gekko in the battles against the nighttime villains. Catboy and Owlette also get superpowered animal sidekicks in Season 5, though these are technically not their pets.
  • The old WB show Road Rovers, about the pets of several world leaders who were secretly a superhero team.

    Real Life 
  • Though often omitted in portrayals as a young man, Ramesses II owned a pet lion named Slayer of His Foes who even fought alongside him at the Battle of Kadesh.