Follow TV Tropes


All Animals Are Dogs

Go To

"It's not an animated movie without a thing that's not a dog acting like a dog."

A boy is walking through the woods. Suddenly, he stumbles upon a baby bear! Thinking quickly, the youngster pulls a cookie out of his knapsack and feeds it to the bitty critter. In moments, the bear cub is licking the boy's face, wagging its tail, and fetching sticks.

Of course, in real life, the only animals that act like domesticated dogs are... domesticated dogs, though other canids, particularly if they're Raised by Humans, may exhibit many similar behaviors. The thing about dogs that makes them prime targets for this trope is the same reason dogs and humans get along so well. We share a lot of body language. Dogs are easy to read because they give nonverbal cues we can easily recognize. Other species require you to know how they emote, and you can't expect an audience to be well-versed in, say, how black bears show happiness. Thus, when a fictional animal needs to emote, especially nonverbally, it behaves like a dog — wagging its tail when happy, flattening its ears and slinking away when scolded, etc. The human audience will understand the emotions being expressed and the animal will still have behaved like an animal. Okay, not the right animal, but still better than out-and-out aping human mannerisms, right? Or in the cases of creatures like elephants and dinosaurs, it may simply be the Rule of Funny.

Non-avian dinosaurs are among most common animals to fall to this, as a) nobody really knows their actual mannerisms, and 2) works featuring them tend to be in prehistoric times, before the domestication of the dog, making it possible to pass them off as the setting's equivalent of a dog. Alien animals are also prone to this trope, for much the same reason.

Canines, particularly wolves (of which dogs are a subspecies), have a number of traits that made them amenable to domestication:

  • They are social and live in a nuclear family unit. (Note that there is no alpha or beta wolf nor a pack hierarchy. These theories were quickly debunked by the scientists who proposed them, but the myth persists. Probably due to humans themselves tending towards hierarchical social structure and therefore projecting their behaviors onto animals.)
  • They eat almost anything, especially the stuff humans eat.
  • They are used to hunting and working in teams.
  • They can travel long distances at a slow trot. (Lots of animals can sprint, but very few can keep going for more than a few minutes. Wolves are among the best distance runners on the planet. So are least, we were until we started sitting in front of computer monitors all day.)
  • They breed easily but only in intervals.
  • They've been around people from the dawn of humanity, scrounging food from human camps, and thus they were the first species to be domesticated.

Modern dogs have tens of thousands of generations of selective breeding for puppy-like behavior, friendliness, and obedience to humans. Most other animals do not have all these things and thus, in Real Life, they have no reason to think or act like dogs.

This trope may be understandable when applied other canids, as domestic and exotic pet foxes (most commonly Fennec and red note  ones) and many other exotic pet canids in real life can seem pretty doglike, but with regards to other animals, including common pet ones, not so much. The cat and the rat can be as friendly and loyal as the dog, but they behave very differently.

This trope may be why many cartoon animals, especially those in the Inkblot Cartoon Style, are drawn with roughly doglike noses, even if the species doesn't have this trait in real life. This is justified in bears (pandas noses are triangular though), raccoons, badgers, and red pandas as those animals have a similar nose shape and color (black) to canids in real life. This is most egregious in rabbits/hares, reindeer (largely due to White-Tailed Reindeer), monkeys, and apes, whose noses don't remotely have this shape.

Related to the idea that all birds and other flying animals (such as pterosaurs, but barring bats and flying insects), whatever their species, will act like domestic species such as chickens or budgies. Other variations of this phenomenon include all pet rodents, including most egregiously guinea pigs, being like hamsters or mice, all snakes acting like rattlesnakes or cobras, penguins acting like ducks, all (at least all truly wild) equids acting like domestic horses, and reindeer looking and acting like white-tailed deer. As far as mythical animals go, dragons are often portrayed as acting like cats. Also related to werewolves being like dogs, though different because werewolves are fictional half-human, half-wolf hybrids and not animals, as well as behaving like dogs for different reasons (because writers have more experience with dogs than wolves).

Subtrope of All Animals Are Domesticated, which is about the feasibility of wild animals being kept as pets at all. Often overlaps with Fantastic Fauna Counterpart, if the animal showing dog-like behaviour is actually the setting's counterpart to dogs. Domesticated Dinosaurs is often a subtrope, though not necessarily. Compare Canine Confusion.

If the animal character in question literally has dog-like parts in addition to their dog-like behavior, then it belongs to Mix-and-Match Critters, not this trope.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • This swimsuit ad portrays a man having a great white shark play fetch with an inflatable ball.
  • A CareConnect health insurance ad shows a Porcupine playing fetch and otherwise acting like a dog when a woman "...And Porcupines make good pets".
  • Parodied in a commercial for the 2021 Chevy Silverado. A man has taught his cat to perform various dog tricks (fetching a stick, catching a tennis ball, and even herding his cows), only to find out that his friend is more impressed by the Silverado he's driving.
  • The Amazon Prime Video ad "An Unlikely Friendship" has a spotted hyena who can live happily indoors, eats dog food, wags its tail when happy, and snarls while baring its teeth when angry.
  • In a Volkswagon commercial with a "Break from the herd" tagline, a sheep stows away in some vacationers' vehicle. The pair adopt it, and it's shown living like a dog: going for leashed walks, being bathed, drinking out of the toilet, etc.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Daikyouryu no Jidai, the Triceratops hatchlings make squealing and cooing sounds like what puppies would make.
  • Guilmon (a fire-breathing, four foot dinosaur/dragon) in Digimon Tamers acts just as friendly and curious as a young puppy, so much so that Takato's parents believed that he'd snuck home a real pet rather than a digital pet brought to life.
  • Doraemon: Nobita and the Birth of Japan have Nobita creating three domesticated mythological creatures - a pegasus, a gryphon and an oriental dragon - which acts more like dogs. The gryphon in particular enjoys playing fetch with it's master.
  • In Lucy-May of the Southern Rainbow, with the way Aussie dingos are portrayed, you'd think they're cute little puppies. While Lucy May meets her fair share of scary ones, she manages to domesticate one as a pet.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • Ash’s Muk and Charizard have elements of this. Muk (a Pokemon that is a giant pile of sludge) is prone to physically smothering people with affection (much to the chagrin of Prof. Oak), and following his retirement to the Charicific Valley, Charizard (a dragon Pokemon) briefly scratched his ear with his foot at one point, but often greets Ash in similarly to a friendly dog during their occasional reunions (mainly by roasting his face, though in one episode he does lick Ash as well).
    • Bayleef (a sauropod dinosaur-like Pokemon) initially showed dog-like traits after evolving due to Ash not properly setting boundaries for her unfettered affections when she was still Chikorita, her affectionate uses of Tackle accidentally sending him flying. She got better, though, by exchanging Tackle for Body Slam, which instead pins Ash down.
    • One of the movies, Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, has a family owning a Buizel even though the cast is still in Hoenn. The Buizel shows a particular liking to Max, and licks his face near the beginning. Interestingly, no other Buizel seen in the show ever acts like this.
    • In the Kalos arc, the Rhyhorn that Serena's family use in races also act like big, affectionate puppies. This mainly takes the form of a Cuteness Proximity towards Serena in particular in two instances where these Pokemon, which resemble rhinoceros, swarm around her to lick her.

  • The lion statues in Trafalgar Square in London only have the heads of lions. The sculptor had never seen a lion before and only knew what they looked like from books, so he modeled the bodies on his dog. The statues even have their tongues hanging out like dogs. Although some people can spot the anatomy problems with a closer look (particularly, the paws are too small and it's anatomically impossible for lions to sit the way the statues are), the average person won't notice or will even believe lions and dogs have similar bodies.
  • A lot of old Chinese buildings (temples, palaces, and government offices, as well as the homes of the wealthy) had guardian statues referred to in Chinese as shi, which translates as "lion". An older Western term for them is "foo dogs" or "fu dogs" and the Japanese, who were introduced to them through Korea, called them "Korean dogs". (They are also commonly associated with Okinawa.) To the extent they resemble any real creature it's about as fair to describe them as "dogs with perms/weird heads" as it is to describe them as lions. Examples here, from Robert Allerton Park in central Illinois. (Allerton was a huge fu dog fan and built this garden to display his collection.) See Asian Lion Dogs for more info.

    Comic Books 
  • Princeless: Sparky the dragon generally behaves like a somewhat-intelligent, flying, fire-breathing dog (for example, licking as a greeting).
  • In Runaways, Old Lace, a genetically engineered Deinonychus from the future, acts quite domesticated, being loyal and often licking the faces of her owner Gert and the other Runaways. It fits, however, as dromaeosaurs like Deinonychus often are believed to be social pack hunters.
  • Daniel from The Sandman (1989) encountered Goldie the Gargoyle in Sandman #67, at which he exclaimed "doggie!" Daniel was probably not even two years old then, and may thus have had a very small vocabulary (i.e., all animals are "doggie").
  • The Transformers (IDW): Sunstreaker ends up adopting and taming an Insecticon he names Bob, who thereafter acts like a pet dog.
  • The tokage (lizards) are the dog-equivalent species in the "funny animal comic" Usagi Yojimbo, which is kind of odd since there's at least one actual dog (who's owned by a panda).

    Comic Strips 

    Eastern Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: The dinosaur Happy S. raises in Season 6 episode 11 sits up on its hind legs and gleefully catches sticks that Happy S. throws for it, much like a dog.
  • The rhino from the Qumi-Qumi episode "The Robot" snarls, licks, and even urinates like a dog would.

    Fan Works 
  • Randall behaves like this in Angela's Pet Monster, but this is justified by the fact that almost every human believes him to be a "Lizog", and he has to play along.
  • Played With in Divided Rainbow. Twilight Sparkle experiments with swapping magic on some lab animals: a cat, a dog, a chicken, a mouse, a parakeet, and a beetle, and every one of them gets a chance to play the dog, when Twilight keeps swapping them into each other's roles.
  • When Aikuro meets Senketsu during one of the Kill la Kill AU fanfics, he opts to call him a dog because, while he's a something, he acts somewhat like a dog, a "weird as hell looking dog".
  • Mischief (MHA): The Nomu behaves a lot like a monstruous super-powered dog after becoming Izuku's pet.
  • This trope is both turned exaggerated (even humans are dogs) and justified in a Sherlock fic The Least of All Possible Mistakes (NSFW) when a female DI Lestrade applies tips from a dog training book to deal with difficult people like Sherlock and the old-fashioned higher-ups at the Met. Though it may sound a little crazy in summary, when she actually spells it out as "be clear, be consistent, use positive reinforcement... feed him interesting unsolved cold cases when he's reasonably polite; ignore his texts when he's a twat," it sounds very reasonable.
  • In the RWBY story Pawprints, humans born with animorphism powers are called "Panthers". Groups of Panthers are called "packs", however the term "pack" is associated with canines in real life. There's no term for a group of panthers because they're a solitary animal. If they really needed a word for a group of large cats, "pride" would be more appropriate.
  • The Pokémon fanfic Pokemon Watchers features a Salamence (a dragon-like Pokemon) that has the mentality of a puppy. Examples of behavior include chewing on sticks and always wanting to play. Not particularly unreasonable, considering it's Pokemon.
    • There's also a fan site that has a Gyarados that acts like this, even licking its trainer's face on more than one occasion. As long as it's not Haunter...note 
  • Kyra's pet fox Rusty in the Kingdom Hearts fic Reconnected tends to act like a dog and, at times, a cat, often wagging his tail and barking.
  • Invoked in Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness Act VI: After his phoenix summon unleashes a massive wave of fire that just barely misses Arial, Complica, and Sun, and doesn't miss Dark, Fang Fang actually scolds it as if it were a puppy ("Bad phoenix! Bad, bad phoenix!").
  • Played for Laughs in The Royal Sketchbook when Twilight (a pony) enjoys having her belly rubbed like a dog.
  • In one chapter of Their Bond, Zelda finds an orphaned half-wolfos, half-dog pup. When she takes him to her vet, it's mentioned that some pure wolfos act like sheepdogs. The pup is already tame enough as it is, so he'll likely grow up into a rather dog-like wolfos. With that, Zelda adopts him.
  • In the Untainted Souls trilogy of The Lion King fics, young hyenas are called "pups". They're actually "cubs". Their leaders is also called an "alpha", instead of the more correct "matriarch."
  • White Sheep (RWBY): All Grimm act like dogs around people they're not allowed to kill, wanting nothing more than snuggles and belly rubs. Ruby uses this to her advantage when dealing with Kevin, the massive Grimm dragon that could destroy all of Vale. When he snatches up Weiss (he was trying to kill Adam, who was using her as a Human Shield), Ruby yells at him like she would her dog and orders him to spit immediately.
    Ruby: Bad Kevin! Bad dragon!
  • Parodied in this X-Men fancomic.
  • Your Heart a Haven of Thorns (Naruto): Sakura references this while privately musing that Kikyō's protectiveness towards her and her teammates makes it feel at times as though she's got a giant dog for a summons instead of a tiger. She wisely opts not to remark as much out loud, suspecting Kikyō would cuff her for the sentiment.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Arthur Christmas, there is a Reindeer who acts like a dog. He even sticks his head out of the sleigh and wears a cone collar.
  • Astro Kid: Flash, the alien creature Willy befriends, behaves in many ways like a domesticated dog, like wagging his tails, panting, and showing affection by licking.
  • Barbie movies:
    • Wolfie from Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper is a cat who acts like a dog. He barks and has a dog-like sense of smell.
    • Barbie: Star Light Adventure plays with this. Barbie speculates on whether Pupcorn will transform into a dog once he "pops", and teaches him to fetch, but he looks and acts more like a cat. Pupcorn eventually turns into a cat.
  • Chuy from The Book of Life acts more like a dog than a pig, especially with the way he tears through shoes.
  • Despicable Me 3 introduces Lucky, a one horned baby goat that Agnes adopts after mistaking it for a unicorn, who frequently licks her face in a more dog-like way.
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • In Aladdin, Princess Jasmine has a pet tiger who behaves similarly to a dog when the princess escapes. He whimpers and puts his head in his paws, like a sad dog might. The direct-to-video sequel, TV series, and live action remake also have scenes where he sometimes licks Aladdin and Jasmine affectionately, which while a behavior seen in cats, is more commonly observed in dogs.
    • Atlantis: Milo's Return featured a lava whale that acted like a puppy.
    • Although all the dinosaurs in Dinosaur (the herbivores and cute ones, anyway) are Talking Animals, there is an ankylosaur who can only bark, pant, and wag its tail. The Alternative Character Interpretation for some fans is that Url is mentally challenged.
    • In The Emperor's New Groove, Yzma returns from pulling the wrong lever with a crocodile attached to her posterior. It runs away whining like a dog when she slaps it.
    • Hercules trained Pegasus to "sit" in the Disney animated movie, and due to being described as having the brain of a bird, has the overall personality of a Big Friendly Dog.
    • Frozen has Kristoff's pet Sven, who pants like a dog, and even sits when told to (and he's a reindeer). Early in the film when Sven is a child, he briefly licks a young Kristoff and a troll as well.
    • In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Phoebus has taught his horse Achilles to sit. And heel. Horses can be trained to sit as depicted in the film, although it's extremely tricky, requires a good trainer and usually doesn't involve a verbal command.
    • Despite research with real animals and attempts to avoid it in The Lion King (1994), it happens when Scar brings out a zebra leg for the hyenas. They promptly sat up and begged with their tongues hanging out like dogs. There's a bit of Fridge Brilliance when you realize it's to show he's domesticated them. Hyenas are technically distant cousins of dogs, but so distant they're even closer to being cats.
    • Moana now gives us Pua, a pig who acts like a small, playful puppy.
    • In The Rescuers, Madam Medusa's two pet alligators track and retrieve Penny, and in a later scene they track the mice by scent.
    • Maximus the horse in Tangled takes this trope to its logical extreme. He tracks Flynn by following his trail through scent. And there's the scene where Rapunzel wins Maximus over. The animators take it to such an extreme that they're obviously playing the whole thing for the funny. In early development, Maximus was a bloodhound, but they changed the species and kept the dog-like body language.
  • How to Train Your Dragon:
    • The titular dragon has behaviors borrowed from cats, dogs, horses, and even wombats. Each dragon species has a mix of different animal behaviors. Terrible Terrors purr like cats and vocalize like chihuahuas. Nadders have mostly parrot-like traits, though Stormfly enjoys a good game of fetch. Whether the scratching neck = fall asleep behavior is modeled on dogs or cats is up for debate. Toothless does have some more obvious dog-like traits, though — in the short Gift of the Night Fury, his technique for convincing Hiccup to come for a flight is very similar to a dog telling its master it wants to go for a walk. Toothless also wiggles his butt before leaping, plays with lights shining on the ground, and plays with Hiccup by batting at him, like cats do. His penchant for rolling around in the grass is both dog and cat-like: dogs do so because they like the feel of the grass, and cats tend to do this when high on catnip. Toothless dropping a dead fish in front of Hiccup is classic cat behavior (although it's usually a mouse or another small rodent). It's actually the way cats teach their young to recognize the look and scent of their prey. Why do cats bring dead animals to humans? Because they see us not hunting, so they assume we don't know how and try to teach us. The second and third films, and the Cartoon Network and Netflix series, do make him lick Hiccup in some scenes, a more obviously dog-like behavior.
    • According to commentary from the filmmakers in one of the bonus features for the third film, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, in terms of pure physical design, the titular dragon Toothless is a cross between a salamander and black panther, while his flight borrows traits from sparrows and bats.
    • In The Art of How To Train Your Dragon: the Hidden World, animation supervisor Dane Stogner states that he tries to sneak in bunny traits for Toothless whenever he can.
    • Meanwhile, while Toothless is a mix of a number of different animals, the unnamed Light Fury in The Hidden World is pure cat, down to every last detail.
  • The Iron Giant's hand (when separated from his body) acts a lot like a dog.
  • In Jonny Quest vs. the Cyber Insects, when the Assassinoid finishes developing and busts free of its tank, the first thing Zin does is pet it ("There, there, now, doesn't that feel good?").
  • Khumba has at least one instance of a African wild dog howling. African wild dogs, despite their name, are a different species than the domestic dog or wolf and do not howl. They don't even sound close to domestic dogs or wolves, instead they make rather bizarre noises.
  • In The Land Before Time, Spike, the stegosaurus, seems to fit this tropes. He wags his tail when he's happy and shows affection to his friends by licking them. However, Spike isn't intended to be the equivalent of a dog — we're shown that he's just as intelligent as the other dinosaur characters, but simply doesn't prefer to speak. This is proven by the fact that when we see other stegosauruses in the sequels, they're perfectly articulate (one is even a Motor Mouth).
  • In The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, Emmet gives one of Rex's raptors a tummy rub, which makes it behave like a dog.
  • Inverted in the 2006 animated adaption of Peter and the Wolf, which has the wolf bat Peter across the face in a very cat-like way.
  • Pixar examples:
    • In A Bug's Life, the queen ant has a pet aphid who acts just like a small dog. (This is a reference to the fact that some real life ants have domesticated aphids, but as this is to "milk" them for nectar, the aphid should probably be acting like a cow.) There's also Thumper the attack grasshopper who acts like an angry guard dog, though given all the other grasshoppers act like people Thumper may just be insane.
    • Cars has farm and construction equipment acting like cattle, miniature VW Beetles like insects, miniature aircraft and drones as birds, toy cars as dogs/cats/rodents, and model trains as snakes. This one is justified though, as actual animals don't exist in the setting.
    • In The Good Dinosaur the alternate-reality human child behaves rather like a puppy, while a family of cavemen behaves like a pack of wolves.
    • Onward has Blazey, the Lightfoots' pet dragon. She essentially acts like a dog, barking, panting, wagging her tail, and licking Ian's face.
    • In Toy Story 2, Bullseye the horse acts much more like a dog, wagging his tail, licking people, coming when called, and whimpering like a dog in the third movie. Which is strange, because the character that is actually a dog, Slinky, does NOT act like this, and Buster, who is a non-toy dog, does. So aside from not being able to tell who is what from appearance alone they play this trope straight, toys are either humans or dogs.
      • The Halloween Special Toy Story of Terror has Mr. Jones, an iguana that behaves like a dog. He wags his tail, pants, fetches, licks Jessie's face at one point, and eats out of a dog bowl with his name on it like a dog.
    • Played straight and to the extreme in WALL•E, where a cockroach behaves like a dog... and somehow manages to be cute, too.
  • Donkey from Shrek is animated with a style of movement that combines traits from that of a dog and that of a donkey thanks to Rule of Funny.
  • Mostly avoided in Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, but there are a few instances of horses drinking by lapping up water with their tongues as a dog would. A horse's tongue is too thick to scoop up water like the thinner tongues of dogs and cats; they normally drink by simply dipping their muzzles into the water, unless the water source is so shallow that licking is the only way to get it into their mouths.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Ant-Man the enlarged ant is mistaken for a weird-looking dog by one of the cops, and Cassie is later shown feeding it table scraps.
  • Tara tries to pass of FT as a dog in Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! as a cover for her pet tomato. Oddly no one's fooled. In the animated series the excuse that FT is Chad's dog is bought because Adults Are Useless.
  • When Birds of Prey got around to adapting Harley Quinn's two hyenas into the DC Extended Universe, they were combined into one hyena named Bruce, but despite the attempts to downplay the dog-like traits in favor of more hyena-like ones (eating the man who sold him to Harley, even eating his bones), a dog was used as the CGI reference, and it therefore licks her like one in some scenes, also considering that it still has a collar.
  • In Black Panther, W'Kabi has a pet rhino that obeys his commands and even licks Okoye on the face. Rhinos don't lick and are known for being very stubborn and aggressive.
  • Buddha's Palm does this to a Kirin, of all things. Long Jian-fei's companion pet looks like the classical Kirin, but behaves like an oversized dog.
  • In The Chronicles of Narnia, the wolves bark, something real wolves rarely do.
  • Averted in College Road Trip with Albert, the family's pet pig, except for when he whines like a dog when trying to convince James to bring him to the hotel.
  • Kira's pet, Fizzgig, from The Dark Crystal, is a strange critter who's a ball of fur with tiny feet, cat-like eyes and nose, and a Volumetric Mouth, yet he barks, pants, and growls like a dog.
  • As documented in the film Grizzly Man, a fox allowed Timothy Treadwell to pet and feed it, and would frequently come to Treadwell's tent to play with him (it also stole his hat). Dog-like behavior in a fox actually makes some sense, as it's a member of the dog family. The bears in the movie, meanwhile, are definitively not an example of this trope, and for all his... eccentricities, Treadwell seemed to at least be aware of this.
  • The kids befriend an ant that's rather doglike in disposition in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
  • John Carter, the eponymous hero befriends a toad-like alien that acts exactly like a dog. As noted below in the Literature section, in the original source material calots are described as having been domesticated by the Martians in a parallel to the way dogs were domesticated by humans, and they play a similar role to Earthly "working dogs" (guard animals and companion hunters).
  • Jurassic Park:
    • Subverted in the first film. Nedry, trying to pull his jeep out of the mud, encounters a Dilophosaurus, which he regards as nonthreatening and rather cute but stupid. He tries to throw a stick and play 'fetch' with her, but the dinosaur does what any reptile or bird would do: she simply watches the stick fly away with mild interest, then turns back to Nedry. Turns out she's not stupid — she's hungry. And she's a carnivore. Nedry was incorrect when he told the dinosaur that he had no food.
    • Played straight in Jurassic World, though. Owen's raptor pack behaves like a pack of canines — with Owen as the alpha, and Blue as the beta. They respond to Owen's verbal and visual training cues just like canines would. They even beg for food and eat it just like dogs do — as well as wag their tails. Of course, Deinonychus (what the movie raptors are actually called) are speculated to have been pack hunters like wolves.
  • In The Neverending Story, Falkor the Luckdragon has a doglike head and likes being scratched behind the ear. In the book, he was described as having more of a lion-like appearance.
  • Night at the Museum features a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton that chases after a bone (one of its own ribs!) and wags its tail. Being a comedy for young audiences, the film includes a healthy dose of Rule of Funny. The third film, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, also has a Triceratops skeleton that behaves in a similar way, though since the animal is quadrupedal by default, the dog-like body language is more recognizable.
  • The dinosaurs in Prehysteria are playful and friendly just like dogs.
  • In Riddick, Riddick befriends one of the first aliens that attacks him. It's essentially a giant dog. Possibly descended from actual dogs, given appearance and behavior, and the fact that humans have clearly been to the planet before.
  • Justified and taken to the comic extreme in the new version of The Shaggy Dog — several genetically engineered lab animals behave like domesticated dogs. Even a snake wags a tail and licks faces.
  • Shanghai Noon featured a horse who knew "sit" and probably a few other commands. Played for laughs, as it's a partial parody of the Improbably Well-Trained Horse common to a lot of Westerns.
  • Yoshi acts like a guard dog in the Super Mario Bros. (1993) Movie, albeit one with a very long tongue.
  • In The Wizard of Oz, Bert Lahr's Cowardly Lion says "woof" a couple of times.

  • Edgar Rice Burroughs:
    • In Pellucidar, David Innes is attacked by hyaenodons, only to turn around and rescue one that pursues him over a seaside cliff. Not only is the creature so grateful as to save Innes from enemies, but it meekly submits to handling when wounded, and convinces its mate to behave like an overgrown, obedient guard dog.
    • In A Princess of Mars, John Carter explicitly treats the guard animal set on him like a hound, to win it over. In this case the Martian "calot" is at least domesticated and seems to fulfill a similar social function to a dog, even to the extent that Martians call someone a "son of a calot" in place of "son of a bitch."
  • The titular boa constrictor of Crictor behaves much the same way a dog would — he even enjoys going on walks, during which his owner Madame Bodot leads him around on a leash.
    She bought palm trees so Crictor would really feel at home. As dogs do when they are happy, he wagged his tail.
  • Parodied/referenced in Terry Pratchett's Discworld with werewolves, who act an awful lot like dogs. The reasoning is that a dog is what you get when you take a wolf's mind and mix in some human. The werewolves tend to hate baths, react badly to the word vet, and less aggressive ones get the urge to slink out of the room when scolded. It's actually a plot point in The Fifth Elephant, in which a werewolf catches a lit signal flare rocket in his (human form) teeth because it was tossed at him like a stick.
    • Firmly subverted with Gavin the wolf, who very slowly and deliberately bites a stick in half when Carrot tosses it to him. Badass wolves do not kiss up to humans by playing fetch with them, thank you.
    • Exaggerated/parodied in Guards! Guards! when Lady Ramkin tells a 70-foot-long, fire-breathing, man-eating dragon to sit... it does... she calls it a good boy and offers it a charcoal biscuit... and it listens to her, right up until she breaks eye contact to look in her pockets for the biscuit.
  • In Robert Newcomb's The Fifth Sorceress, the main character has a horse... which he taught to play fetch.
  • In Fungus the Bogeyman, skunks act exactly like dogs.
  • Used in the Give Yourself Goosebumps book Beware of the Purple Peanut Butter. One of the good endings involved a lizard eating grow-cake, happily retrieving sticks and lashing its long, scaly tail, even when it got to the size of a house. You can bring it home as your bodyguard and "pet dinosaur."
  • Though Saphira in Inheritance Cycle is very much dragon, she nevertheless demonstrates dog and cat-like behaviors that author Christopher Paolini admitted were based on animals he grew up around.
  • The highly venomous snake Zith in The Malloreon is a variation in that she acts like a cat rather than a dog. She readily befriends humans who stroke or feed her, purrs when happy, and shivers in cold weather. She also gives birth to live young, which though it sounds surprising, isn't as inaccurate as the rest. Quite a few snakes (many of them venomous; vipers got their name because of it) actually do give birth to live young.
    • It's at least established the Nyissans have been trying to domesticate snakes for somewhere over six thousand years, that snakes basically filled the agriculture-pest control niche cats normally would have, and that their god ensured the presence of unusually intelligent "natural" stock to work with. Zith is an expensive and rare pedigree; some catlike behaviour isn't implausible.
  • Played straight with Gleep, the baby dragon from Myth Adventures; justified because Gleep is actually a sentient being operating via Obfuscating Stupidity, and deliberately acts so dog-like because it assists his charade and his relationship with Skeeve. Lampshaded in the short story "Mything in Dreamland", in which Gleep is transformed into a large shaggy dog by ambient magic, and Skeeve remarks that it's a shape that really suits him.
  • In Barry Andrew Chambers's western Rattler the main character's horse acts exactly like a dog. This is somewhat handwaved by saying Pandora was in the circus... but then the main character also feeds her pancakes, a blueberry pie, beef jerky, and chocolate indicating he's not even very familiar with dogs, let alone horses. Chocolate is toxic to both species. Even if it would take a fair amount to actually kill something the size of a horse, Pandora should have still been violently ill afterward. Most people wouldn't risk feeding any amount to either animal.
  • Survivors stars a group of stray and pet dogs who are forced to live on their own after the humans evacuate the area. One of the main characters of the first arc is Alpha, a wolf-dog raised amongst wolves. Alpha and other wolves are treated as more wild and aggressive dogs, rather than wolves.
  • Older Than Feudalism: In Apollonius of Rhodes's The Voyage of the Argo (3rd century B.C.E.) after Jason and the Argonauts make a sacrifice to the god(dess) of the mountain, "beasts left their lairs and thickets and came to them with wagging tails."
  • Averted in Gordon R. Dickson's novel Wolf and Iron. In the foreword, the author relates that the original short story had the titular wolf acting like a dog. A reviewer gave him grief about it, so when he expanded it to a novel he made the wolf more, uh, wolflike. Wolf and Iron was originally a 1974 short story, "In Iron Years". There, the creature really was a dog.
  • Young Wizards, in Wizards of Mars, has giant alien scorpion creatures that behave like pet dogs in every way their physiology allows. Justified in that they're alien creatures and probably have a similar shared history with their dominant species as dogs do with humans.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Addams Family have a pet lion that acts like a cat.
  • Bones often fails at animal behavior in ways similar to this, including Dr. Brennan picking up a (presumably wild) mother rat from the corpse of a victim without being savagely attacked by it, and the "feral" cats eating a victim's corpse not only not scattering the moment a human arrives on the scene, but allowing themselves to be picked up. While it fails slightly less with the opossum eating a victim's corpse in another episode, there's still the fact that the opossum would remain in the "playing dead" state for a fairly long time (sometimes hours) before coming out of it. It wouldn't simply wake up and trundle off as in the show.
  • The Doctor Who episode "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" has a triceratops that sniffs people curiously, licks someone's face, plays fetch with golf balls (supposedly because they smell like plant matter), and even sits just like a trained dog after only a few minutes of contact with humans.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Subverted by the dragons, who are cute, obedient pets at first but become fiercer and harder to control as they grow.
    • The Stark direwolves behave just like very large dogs, regardless of Qhorin's claims that a wild thing that can never truly be known. A little magic may be involved.
  • The eponymous protagonist of House points out the danger of this kind of thinking when a young patient at the hospital insists on calling her teddy bear a teddy dog, which leads to the famous House silent eureka moment.
  • Fatal Attractions subverts this trope hard. It demonstrates several times that wild animals like chimpanzees and tigers make dangerous pets and cannot be treated like cats and dogs, with many owners being horrifically injured or killed by their exotic pets.
  • Spot in The Munsters is a dragon, but is treated like a dog for all practical purposes. Inverted with Kitty, their cat; looks like a normal cat but acts like a lion.
  • Deconstructed in My Cat from Hell. The cat behaviorist, Jackson Galaxy, has repeatedly had to deal with people attempting to treat their cats like they would a dog, both in play and in their attempts to discipline them. Since cats behave very differently from dogs, this only exacerbates problems and doesn't help anything.
  • In the BBC Speculative Documentary My Pet Dinosaur, they had cat-sized bipedal sauropods as the equivalent of dogs. The sauropod was even named Dino.
  • Odd Squad:
    • Justified in the case of Olaf, who frequently howls to communicate. The Season 2 premiere, "First Day", would reveal that he is actually a werewolf, and he remains in his werewolf form for the rest of the series.
    • In "Dawn of the Read", Otto is revealed to have been howling for the entirety of the mission. Since Olaf fills his role in the story he tells, it doesn't seem too out of place up until the end of the episode, when Olive points it out.
    • Molly, a Junior Girl Trooper from the Season 2 episode "Show Me the Money", acts like a bloodhound, and has a very keen sense of smell that helps out both her troop leader, Jean, and Olympia and Otis on separate occasions.
    • "O is for Opposite" has a variant — Opposite Ms. O curls her fingers as though they were claws and hisses at Olympia and Otis when they threaten her with juice boxes, much like a cat would do when threatened.
    • Another variant occurs in "Friends of Odd Squad" with Logan the Ogre, who hisses like a cat when evil photocopiers enter the bullpen of Precinct 13579 and begin to attack him, Mr. Fonts, Party Pam and Hopkins.
    • "Who is Agent Otis?" has this trope Played for Drama, inverted, and invoked. It's revealed that while Otis was still biologically a human being, he primarily acted like a duck since he was raised by a group of them from a young age. Eventually he grew old enough to understand how villainous his duck family was, and when he and Odd Squad foiled their Evil Plan, Ms. O took him in and trained him how to act like a human being. Over the course of Season 2, he acts completely human, and for good reason.
  • Peacemaker (2022): Peacemaker's bald eagle Eagly sticks his head out of the car window like a dog. Zigzagged later on when Peacemaker is asked if Eagly is housetrained, and he scoffs at the idea of housetraining a bird of prey.
  • Primeval:
    • Averted/lampshaded in episode 1.4, with two characters trying to find a lizard.
      Connor: He knows the sound of my voice. I'm thinking he might come running.
      Abby: He's a lizard, not a golden retriever!
    • Averted in episode 4.6. Some hyaenodons come through an anomaly. They exhibit some extremely dog-like behavior, yet they are still extremely aggressive. They turn out not to act very much like pet dogs.
    • Also tragically averted in another episode, where a woman is keeping a sabertooth cat in her home that she raised from a kitten after it wandered through an anomaly. She tries to treat it as one would a big cat, but smilodons were extremely feral, so no wonder it mauls her boyfriend to death when he gets too close and then does the same to her at the end.
  • Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, of course!! Both the original version and the nineties rip off are based on this trope. It's the Australian Lassie. What's that Skip? (Kangaroo nose twitch) Timmy fell down a well? (nose twitch) "No, you accidentally disemboweled him?" Also, giving kangaroos propensity to become roadkill, maybe they'd have been better off gluing a pouch and some metal springs on to an actual dog, and calling it a kangaroo.
  • In The Suite Life on Deck Bailey has a pet pig that acts more like a dog; it even wins an intelligence/obedience contest against London's dog in one episode.
  • In Van-Pires, Greaspot is a neon plastic tricycle that is the Team Pet of the Motor-Vators, who acts like a dog. Yes, even transforming mecha is a dog.

  • The cover art for the song "Hippo" by OMFG shows the toast character feeding Kurt, his pet hippo dog food.

  • In BIONICLE, Pewku the Ussal Crab had a tendency to pounce on Takua and lick his face.

  • Cool Kids Table:
    • In the Harry Potter-themed game Hogwarts: The New Class, Jake asks for a pet pygmy gryphon, which he describes as basically a dog. He names it Jomps.
    • In Homeward Bound 4, Jake plays this up in order to get sympathy from the human tourists. Jake is also a Deinonychus.

    Video Games 
  • Inverted in a quest for Bush Whacker 2 's "Dog Days of Summer" event where Nate states that since cats like empty cardboard boxes, dogs should as well.
  • Donkey Kong Country:
  • There are the aptly-named Houndeyes from Half-Life, which look like the back half of a dog with a zillion eyes planted in the torso stump. Despite only having three legs, they run like an eager puppy, and their call sounds a little like barking simulated by a really cheap synthesizer. In fact, a Houndeye was originally supposed to be an animal companion for the player, following you around for most of the game. This was scrapped when play testers kept shooting the thing anyway, probably because of how alien and hideous the thing is.
  • In I Was a Teenage Exocolonist, Vriki, which are spider-octopus aliens, can be tamed and trained just like Earth dogs. Cal suggests training it with a clicker if it's your pet.
  • Hamous, a character from Jagged Alliance 2, calls out "Dog!" when he spots one of the cougar-like bloodcats.
  • Kingdom Hearts III brings in Maximus, whose body language in the original film was already similar to dogs, and adds one more dog-like trait when he licks Sora's face.
  • The Last Guardian features Trico, whose behavior resembles that of an abused dog that slowly overcomes its trauma as the story progresses. Trico is an enormous gryphon.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, a lady named Madam MeowMeow had three tame "dog-like" creatures that highly resembled Chain Chomps from the Mario series (the Japanese version just straight-up refers to them as such note ). While they appeared to be steel balls with eyes and teeth, they would bark and yip, could smell buried treasure with acute senses, and Madam MeowMeow even commented on the fine quality of their "fur". You could even take one of them, Bow Wow for a walk on its chain leash. Ironically, actual canines called "mutts" existed, one being seen wandering about right next to Bow Wow. Considering that Chain Chomps in the Mario games were based off of an aggressive dog that frightened Miyamoto as a child, however, it does kind of make sense.
  • The dragon in Little Dragons Café has some traits in common with a dog, such as the chew toys seen around their bed.
  • In Manor Memoirs Scarlett's cat happily chases and fetches a ball, as well as obeying commands like "Come."
  • Varren from Mass Effect are large, four-legged creatures that look half-dog, half-fish. They bark, bite, and can be tamed. They are generally used as guard/attack dogs, and their resemblance to dogs is brought up with the in-universe nickname of "Fishdogs".
  • The Maw acts like a dog while his tongue is constantly hanging out of his mouth.
  • Played for laughs in Megaman Sprite Game, where Uncle Proton refers to an assortment of sea creatures as his "canine friends".
  • Slogs and sloglings from the Oddworld series behave much like dogs and puppies (vicious, mean ones) for the Slig mooks. They will chase after meat and bones if you throw them and will chase down and maul anyone if given a command from one of their masters (often the trick to get past them involves possessing a Slig, having him call to the nearby Slogs and then gun them down as they blindly run at the possessed mook).
  • Ōkami: You can make your character, the wolf god Amaterasu, bark like a dog on command. Real wolves rarely bark, and their barks are not the same as a dog bark, being different in both sound and function.
  • Pajama Sam 2 has a vacuum cleaner that acts like a dog. No, really.
  • Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time: The Tyrannosaurus rex from Jurassic Marsh acts like a dog, sitting on all fours, sticking its tongue out and panting, and wagging its tail repeatedly. In the Jurassic Marsh Part 2 Trailer, it even "fetches" a missile launched by the world's boss.
  • In the remakes of Pokémon Gold and Silver, the first 'mon in the party follows the player around and can be interacted with on the field screen. Much of the behavior described when Monster and Dragon group 'mons are spoken to is very dog-like, such as sniffing at the ground and barking.
  • Portal Runner: After Vikki bandages his wounds, Leo the lion thanks her by licking her face repeatedly. He does this again after saving her from a dinosaur attack, and two later times after reuniting with her.
  • In Putt-Putt and Pep's Dog on a Stick, one of the enemies is a tiger. If you come in contact with it, he grabs Pep and starts licking his face endlessly, until he gets rescued by Putt-Putt. You can actually make it go on even longer if you wait on the title screen long enough. If you're experienced with Scumm VM's debugger, you can make the tiger lick him on the title screen forever.
  • In Red Dead Redemption you can find wolves out in the wilderness — even if you haven't spotted them you can detect them from their constant barking. Sources vary, but as a rule wolves either never bark or only bark a few times when they've been surprised.
  • Roots Of Pacha: In one of Touk's cutscenes, he tries training his new pet wild boar piglet, Beast, by giving him commands like a dog.
  • The Sims:
    • The Sims 2: Pets has several examples worth mentioning:
      • The wolves are pretty much just large dogs, some of which can turn your sim into a werewolf. Their aggression stats are maxed, they're more destructive and their friendly/unfriendly score is low, traits that tend to carry through to their descendants.
    • Cats also act remarkably dog-like in that Sims can use the same training methods. Another use of generic animals is in the bird cage object; you can stock it with a falcon that will still act exactly like a parrot.
    • The Sims 4 does this with foxes and raccoons, which are simply considered breeds of dogs and cats, respectfully.
  • Spyro the Dragon:
    • Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! features a mission in which you must help feed a snow leopard fish, after which it will follow you back to its owner. If you stop moving at this point, the leopard will sit down like a dog and begin to purr.
    • In Year of the Dragon, there is a similar quest in which you retrieve someone's pet wolf pup, which doesn't follow you around; instead, you have to throw its ball to get it where you want it to go. To be fair, the wolf is fairly young.
  • Prince Tricky, in Star Fox Adventures will stay, come to you, dig on cue, and play with a ball. All while wagging his tail.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, there's a background conversation about the zoo animals breaking out of their cages during the ongoing civil war. The father was scared, the daughter loved it because she got to pet all the animals, including the 3-meter long carnivorous feline Nexu.
  • As mentioned, Chain-Chomps in the Super Mario Bros. series bark and behave like dogs, one even thanking Mario by giving him a Star if you let him off his leash. It's rumored that Miyamoto got the idea to make Chain-Chomps when he was almost mauled by a dog as a little boy, and was only saved when the canine's leash turned out to be just too short to reach him.
  • Inverted in Tokyo Jungle. All carnivores, dogs included, can use their claws during a fight, like a cat.

    Web Animation 
  • StarCrafts uses this depiction for some of the Zerg. Zerglings are portrayed as energetic puppies, including dragging home enemies to bury them and even being leashed in one episode. Ultralisks meanwhile are large, clumsy dogs that run around with their tongue hanging out.

  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, Judy gets a kitten with very uncatlike behavior. Apparently because the writer only knows how dogs act.
  • Blue the Triceratops from Dawn of Time is shown barking, as in the page image, but it also licks Dawn's face in early chapters.
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse: Or cats, in this case. It's revealed in the novelization that the Vargas enjoy being scratched and will start purring.
  • Freefall features Florence Ambrose, a "Bowman's Wolf" (an anthropomorphic wolf). Bowman's Wolves are genetically engineered canines with a bit of human mixed in (figure of speech, don't get your panties in a twist), so they have a number of extremely dog-like reactions (in one strip, Florence's first reaction when she tries to put her weight on an injured leg is to yelp loudly, like a dog. She criticizes herself, focuses, and then tries again, muttering "ow ooh ooh ow aargh ow" under her breath). She also has a nearly insuppressible ball-chasing reflex. Rule of Funny clearly applies, and the fact that she spent her first few years essentially as a family dog before she mastered speech and bipedal posture probably factors in, too. And when any robot sees her, it shouts "Doggie!" (this is because the robots' greeting protocol for Bowman's Wolves was established by Helix, who isn't very bright)
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, Molly's pet alien "tentacle bunny" Snookums acts like a fairly intelligent dog, for the most part (although he hops like a bunny).
  • Played with in this Keychain of Creation comic. Apparently, not even the Chosen of Luna are wholly immune. It's hardly common knowledge, but domesticated foxes are actually pretty avid ball-chasers. Foxes don't get domesticated often, though, because they. Um. Smell.
  • Inverted in this issue of Overcompensating, where Weedmaster P thinks every animal is just a different type of cat.
  • Toribio, the restaurant pet from Restaurante Macoatl, it’s a small bull who acts like a dog.
  • In Runners, a thoroughly bored Bocce meets some strange alien wolves and they immediately start playing fetch. Later on, he uses them as sleigh dogs for the purpose of Big Damn Heroes.
  • Schlock Mercenary: Tagon's team finds a group of sapient raptors who were rescued from Earth millions of years ago. They have many non-sapient dinosaurs with them, including the Tyrannosaurus rex. Except instead of being the terrifying "tyrant king of the lizards," the T. rex acts like a big puppy.
    Raptor: We domesticated them. In our language their name means "beast which allows children to enjoy hunting."
    Tagon: Is Sorlie hunting something?
    Raptor: No. Fluffy-Winkle just wanted to go for a run.
  • The creator of Slightly Damned made this parody of artists' tendency to make every animal look like a dog. (Otherwise unrelated to her comic.)
  • In Wapsi Square, Bud's pet giant sea monster thing named Stinky, likes to play fetch with an anchor.

    Web Original 
  • Averted with the Canitheres from Serina. Being tribbetheres, a clade of terrestrial, three-legged fish, they evolved many traits highly convergent with mammals, such as erect limbs, a coat of hair modified from ancestral fish scales, and mobile ear pinnae derived from their gill covers. The canithere lineage, in particular, has evolved to become very dog-like in appearance, but notably not in behavior. Due to having simpler, more primitive brains, they are less playful as pups (most sibling interaction being competitive, like baby birds), they have less capacity for learning, most of their behaviors being instinctive, and their pack hunting is disorganized and mostly just a piranha-like Zerg Rush. The author compares their intellectual capacity with more primitive mammals, such as opossums.

    Web Videos 
  • Analyst Bronies React: AnY points out an inversion in Equestria Girls: Friendship Games. Dog Spike shows agility that should fit cats, not dogs.
  • Nana, Toto and Dodo from Kittisaurus can all shake like dogs. Nana can also high five and ring bells while Toto happily plays fetch with the red ball.
  • Parodied with this video, where the pet skink is treated as if it's a dog — grooming, fetching, etc. A skink is a type of lizard.

    Real Life 
  • There has been a case where a wolf (verified by a veterinarian) was very dog-like. This probably happened under very special circumstances.
    • These wolves, from a park where they regularly interact with humans, seem to act a lot like large and affectionate dogs. Except for the growling and snarling at one another
  • The domestication of the fox. The result was a strain of fox with very dog-like behavior, and foxes are closely related to domesticated dogs. It required a forty-year breeding program using systematic behavioral selection to reach that pointnote  — like wolves, the wild red fox is human-shy, requires a large range, loves digging through both dirt and furniture (which is partially dog-like, though it is far harder to train out than a terrier would be), and while it is less likely to attack an unguarded human child or infant, chickens and small pets are considered fair game. They also have a very strong odor and are difficult (read: next to impossible) to house-train, and these "tame foxes" are also very inbred, being bred from too small a stock. Hence why you don't see them in pet stores yet.
    • Essentially, this was the process used to create domesticated dogs and cats; selectively breeding for puppy behavior and/or desirable traits over many generations. Given a few hundred years, that program might have produces a true domesticated fox that acted a lot like a domesticated dog from the get go.
    • Speaking of domesticated non-wolf canines, the Fuegian dog. Even though the ancestor species is fox like, the (now extinct, sadly) domesticated variety resembles far more your average terrier. Sadly, their extinction came from the invading people killing them all.
    • The selection criteria were basically: does the fox flee from or attack humans trying to handle them, tolerate humans handling them, or act in a friendly manner towards humans who were handling them. The last group was the one chosen for breeding. After a few generations, they realized they needed to add an "elite" category for foxes that actively sought out human attention. By the 20th generation nearly a third of the kits born were in the "elite" group, and after 40 years the figure is closer to 80%. Despite the criteria being purely behavioral, there were some interesting physiological results as well, including spotting or mottling of the pelt; a lot of domestic animals have this, but relatively few wild animals do, and this had previously been believed to be a result of humans breeding the animals for a unique appearance; the fact that it occurred without being specifically selected for was a big surprise.
    • The other reason they're not in American pet stores yet is because there isn't yet a rabies vaccine for foxes. This means that any fox is a potential carrier and may be put down if it shows aggressive behavior. You'd also be hard-pressed to find a vet specializing in foxes.
  • Hilariously, dogs assume this of cats (or at least seem to). The meaning of many dog signals is (almost) completely reversed in cat body language. This is often why the two species can have trouble getting along: the dog sees tail wagging, batting the air with a paw, and running off as playful signals and goes for a friendly game of chase. The cat, on the other hand, is actually saying, "You scare me and I'm going to maul you if you catch up to me!" Poor doggy doesn't understand what he's in for... Although if your cat is friendly enough with your dog, it may adopt some of the dog's behaviors. Even more so the other way around: a puppy raised in a household with cats will usually learn cat body language as well as human. This can be unfortunate if it's a large breed who fails to realize he's a big dog and wants to sit in your lap like a cat... to say nothing of when he starts the mounting behavior, which can be uncomfortable and painful for his much-smaller feline friends.
    • The fun one is the bow. Cats "bow" to say hello; dogs do it to signal playtime. So the dog sees the cat bow and assumes it's time to play, whereupon the cat's startled because all it was trying to do was offer a greeting.
      • Almost all felines, from the largest tiger to the smallest kitten, kill their prey very quickly by way of a spine-snapping bite to the back of the neck. When a cat bows it is exposing the back of its neck and telling you (or another cat) that it's not hostile, doesn't think you (or another cat) are a threat, and is not looking for a fight. It's very similar to how most friendly human greetings revolve around baring our necks, one of our most vulnerable spots.
  • It isn't hard to partly domesticate a raccoon provided you raise them from birth and they get their own independence after a couple of years. Raccoons act quite doglike if you give them food and shelter. You can pet them, play fetch with them, go fishing with them, and they will lick you. If you're really good you can tell them to 'sit' as well, but this isn't too effective unless you're promising them food if they do. A raccoon can spend days or weeks in the wild and return to your house for shelter when it feels like it.
  • Notably, according to anecdotal evidence, the now extinct thylacine (commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger, though it had no relation whatsoever with tigers) had behaviors that roughly matched a near perfect mixture of cat and dog like behavior (combined with ridiculously easy tameness), despite the fact that it was a marsupial, and not related to carnivoran placentals in the slightest.
  • A number of horses can be described as "in your pocket" generally meaning they act like you would expect a domestic dog to, with behavior that indicates that they're tamed and domesticated. They will follow you around like a puppy, push their head into you trying to get petted, curiously wander into places that many horses would spook out of, toss around and chase rubber balls, chase barn cats, etc. Also, in some situations, a flicking or lifted tail can indicate a horse who is very playful and excited, though this is not always the case. In many cases this has been intentionally bred into them, especially with large draft horses like Percherons, since you don't want something that big and strong to be mean, stubborn or startle easily unless you want bad things to happen. People also tend to think that horses are ignoring them when it is submissive behavior since the horse knows to not act unless given permission.
  • Dog deer.
  • A coyote plays this trope very, very straight.
    • Incidentally, research has shown that the line between domestic dogs, wolves, dingos, golden jackals, and coyotes is far more fluid than it is usually assumed. In normal circumstances they won't breed with each other, but if one species (usually the wolf) has decreased to near extinction in one region because of hunting or other causes the survivors will be a lot less squeamish than usual and mate with the closest thing available. The crosses are fertile.
      • The domestic dog and the dingo are, in fact, subspecies of the grey wolf. The Sulimov dog (used for bomb sniffing by Aeroflot) is 1/4 golden jackal. With the red wolf and eastern wolf, things are less clear. They are either two subspecies of grey wolf (with a fair amount of coyote genes), distinct species in their own right, or grey wolf/coyote hybrids.
  • This sea lion, who decided to jump on a kayak and go for a ride, even nuzzling the guy paddling.
  • People who keep and love fancy rats often cite their more dog-like traits as why. Rats, like dogs, are very social, learn quickly, and share some of the same body language that dogs use when interacting with humans ... although their interactions with each other sometimes seem "backwards" (e.g. licking another rat to groom it shows dominance, not submission).
  • Sheep do wag their tails when they are happy. Or at least when they eat something tasty... But really, nothing says bliss like a really good meal, right?
  • Pigs, especially mini-pigs, are becoming popular as pets in many countries. One of the most famous is the Vietnamese dwarf pig that does not grow too much. Pigs' behavior in general is very similar to that of dogs (even the farm pig), if they are treated with care (which does not happen often), but is particularly prevalent in mini-pigs. Notice though that similar does not mean identical and special precautions should be taken as their behavior can be aggressive depending on certain circumstances.
  • Witness a pet Asian small-clawed otter laying on its human's foot and gently wagging its tail like a content dog.
  • This trope gets applied to terminology sometimes. Many people will recognize "mongrel" or "mutt" to refer to mixed breed dogs, but the cat equivalent "moggy"/"moggie" is much more obscure.
  • There are quite a few works that make this mistake in regard to horses, including one particularly cringe-worthy fanfic that had a horse wagging its tail happily. For those not in the know, if you see a horse wag his tail, he's either swatting flies, about to drop a few Road Apples, or if it's violently lashing its tail may be annoyed or angry, more like a cat than a dog.
  • Almost a case of the opposite, from Moggycat's Cat Pages, where a man confuses mammalian pets with birds:
    A pigeon fancier had found a litter of kittens under his hedge and wanted us to take them in, more out of concern for his birds than for any real concern for the kittens.
    "Are they ready to leave their mother?" I inquired gently, jotting down his name and address and the words 'trap needed?' in the phone log.
    "I should think so," said the chap, sounding a little confused, "They've got all their fur." Evidently he was more used to birds than furred creatures.


Lyle licks Hector

Lyle affectionately licks Hector while on top of him when the man returns.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / AllAnimalsAreDogs

Media sources: