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Big Friendly Dog

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

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

Sometimes the "big" part can be taken to extremes (see the mention of Clifford, below) or have the dog be big enough (or the kid small enough) to ride on. In other hand, due to their likeable appearance, a Big Friendly Dog can often invoke Cuteness Proximity. In Real Life, large dogs tend to have shorter life spans than their smaller counterparts, but this is mostly glossed over in fiction.

See also Canis Major, Mega Neko, Precious Puppy and Cute Kitten. Mister Muffykins is generally the polar opposite in both size and temperament. Also contrast Bully Bulldog, Psycho Poodle and Hellhound. Compare Gentle Giant. Very often a Heroic Dog if they get the chance. Even a Big, Friendly Dog is still a descendant of the wolf, so don't discount the possibility of a canine version of Beware the Nice Ones if you threaten his pack. No relation to BFG.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Aria the Scarlet Ammo: Haimaki (the wolf Reki manages to tame) starts as a plain wolf, but when Reki becomes more prominent in later volumes, he starts to act as an adorable furball outside of combat. This contributes to make him a character of his own.
  • Azumanga Daioh: Tadakichi-san is a Great Pyrenees, and Chiyo does actually ride him like a horse on occasion. How friendly is he? He's the first animal Sakaki can pet note . He gets a little too friendly in one episode, where he tries to imitate Maya the cat (who jumps into Sakaki's chest) and tackles Chiyo-chan into the air.
  • Belle and Sebastian: Belle is a Great Pyrenees large enough for Sebastian to ride her. The anime's original Japanese title is "Meiken Jolie", with the dog called "Jolly". It retains the source's title and names in the Western world. Belle is a very friendly dog unless someone she cares about is threatened, but she was falsely accused of attacking people without reason, so they're fugitives from the law together.
  • Black Butler: Pluto. Subverted since he can turn into a naked guy when excited.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Shou Tucker's dog Alexander, loved to show Edward his affection by jumping out of nowhere and crushing him underneath. The last thing Ed ever saw was a giant shadow descend from the sky. Sadly, he becomes the object of a Moral Event Horizon crossing moment when Tucker combines the dog and his daughter Nina into a chimera. Scar then kills it as a Mercy Kill.
    • Just as adorable is Den, Winry's pet dog, incredibly friendly and strong enough to knock down two late-teenage boys like bowling pins before giving them a generous coating of dog drool. Made more awesome by how she has an automail leg. She's a Cyborg Big Friendly Dog.
  • Futari wa Pretty Cure: Chuutaro, Honoka's Golden Retriever.
  • Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin: Moss the English mastiff may be a huge dog and one of the strongest in the series, but he also has a soft side for puppies and is shown taking good care of Chibi.
  • Gintama: Hilariously subverted by the very large Sadaharu, most of whose appearances result in body parts getting chomped on, and only Kagura is strong enough that she is unhurt and takes his behavior as being playful. It's later revealed that he's a dog god, originally owned by a pair of miko sisters.
  • Hello Sandybelle: Sandybelle has a Scottish sheepdog/collie mix named Oliver, who's protective of her and also functions as a Horse of a Different Colour.
  • Love Live! Sunshine!!: Shiitake, Chika's pet dog. Naturally, the most frequent target of his overtly-friendly affections is Riko, who is hysterically afraid of dogs.
  • Love Live! Superstar!! features Ren's big white dog, Chibi, who is shown to be just as friendly as Shiitake was, often happily licking Kanon and other characters.
  • Lucky Star: Minami has a pretty big white dog named Cherry (whom was featured quite a bit in the OVA). Hiyori is the only person Cherry reacts negatively to.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: Alisa's mansion has many of these, in contrast to her best friend Suzuka's, which is filled with kittens.
  • Maison Ikkoku: Soichiro, especially around the dog-phobic Mitaka.
  • Naruto: Kiba's dog Akamaru fills the part about being big enough to ride on after the time-skip, though he also fights alongside Kiba. This contrasts to earlier, when he could ride on Kiba's head and intentionally peed on Naruto at least once. Its shown that Akamaru spends his fun time defending stray cats around Konoha from stray dogs, with Kiba translating what he says. He's also occasionally shown his affections to other ninjas, having licked Kiba, Hinata, and Ino.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi: Kotarou's dog spirits occasionally act this way, such as the time when they "attacked" Asuna by playfully licking her to submission.
  • Remy: Nobody's Girl: While not ridiculously huge like other typical examples, Capi is bigger than Dolce and Zerbino, and is very friendly.
  • Ouran High School Host Club: Tamaki's dog Antoinette. She's pretty big, affectionate, and, when seen, usually pounces on Tamaki and licks him silly.
  • Persona 4: The Animation, Chie and Yukiko met as children when the latter was sad her family couldn't adopt a puppy. Chie took the puppy in, instead, and when she shows a picture of it to Yu, it's shown to have grown mighty large.
  • Pokémon:
    • In Houndoom's Special Delivery, Togepi is separated from the others during a Team Rocket attack and gets picked up by a Houndoom. Although a bit standoffish at first, the large dog-like Pokemon comforts and protects the frightened Togepi as they travel to its owner's farm, where Togepi is reunited with the group.
    • An Alola episode had Ash temporarily partnered up with a very friendly Stoutland during Mallow's trial. Another Stoutland served as a father figure for Ash's Litten before dying of old age.
  • Pumpkin Scissors: Mercury qualifies, when he isn't biting people.
  • SPY×FAMILY: Bond is likely a Great Pyrenees (or whatever that world's equivalent breed is). He's also an Uplifted Animal with precognition, the result of a government experiment. His first appearance is him using his precognition to rescue Anya from the terrorists she had just wandered into (and who were planning to use him as an animal bomb), with her riding on his back. Hilariously, while Bond appears to be big and bulky, it later turns out that it's actually all just the fluff from his fur, and drenching it reveals that he's surprisingly skinny under all of the poofiness. This ends up being so funny that Twilight of all characters started to lose his composure over it while trying to bathe him.
  • Strawberry Marshmallow: Ana's dog Frusciante is generally very friendly, although he likes to chase Miu around. Then again, who can blame him?
  • Toriko: Terrycloth. S/He (depending on the translation) is a Noble Wolf who takes on the toughest prey in the human and gourmet worlds. S/he also is as affectionate as any puppy and extremely gentle with people s/he likes.
  • Wild Rose: Tranquilo is almost as tall as Camille is, and quite friendly as long as you're not threatening his boy.
  • Yohane the Parhelion -SUNSHINE in the MIRROR-: Lailaps, a major character in both story position and sheer size.
  • Yuri!!! on Ice: Victor's dog Makkachin, who is a standard poodle. The first thing Makkachin does when meeting Yuri for the first time is to pounce on him enthusiastically and lick his face.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics: Hot Dog has an inconsistent design however he's always large and always friendly. Unless you try to steal his food.
  • The Entity of Love, the Predator, despite its fearsome appearance, acts very much like a Big, Friendly Dog after being set free in Brightest Day. Carol Ferris even keeps him on a leash.
  • The Inhumans: Lockjaw, the Inhuman royal family's teleporting dog, actually resembles a bulldog, normally a small dog breed, albeit larger and with antennae on his head. Many Marvel heroes have been on the receiving end of his friendly tongue. And Puppy, his offspring, who was briefly owned by Franklin Richards, before disappearing into Comic-Book Limbo. He eventually ends up in the care of one Kamala Khan, for her sake more than his.

    Comic Strips 
  • Ruff from Dennis the Menace (US) is Dennis' pet dog, and in some media such as the comic books and the 1986 cartoon, he was depicted as being much bigger than Dennis. Ruff eagerly follows Dennis around whether Dennis is running or riding his bicycle or skateboard. One of the strip's running gags is that even though Ruff chases cats, he is actually afraid of them.
  • Garfield: Odie, Jon's dog, doesn't have a big body, but his tongue is huge and he likes using it.
  • In George Gately's Heathcliff, the titular cat gets repeatedly soaked in a flood of slobber from being licked when "Great-Big-Lovable Chauncey", the English sheepdog, stops by. In one strip, Heathcliff puts on Iggy's rain gear upon hearing that Chauncey was about to visit!
  • Marmaduke is one of the classic examples, also fitting the "dumb" description. A very large Great Dane who means well despite the mischief.Also in film version. He's obviously a CG-produced dog, and voiced by Owen Wilson.
  • Woofie in Mutts was explicitly described as such the week we met him. He's most often seen jumping on and kissing Mooch.

    Fan Works 
Bucky And FUBAR

The Matrix

  • In Bringing Me To Life there's Hai, a black Wolf Hound. Hai is slightly smaller than a normal Wolf Hound, but still big. If you threaten his owners he'll start growling and if not stopped will attack the threat. Despite that, he's very friendly as he jumps on and licks one of the protagonists, an injured Max.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

  • Discord's New Business (Big Friendly Dog): Rarity starts acting this way as a Diamond Dog, sniffing around, covering her sister's (and Spike's) face with doggie kisses and generally being goofy.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: Xolo, Tizoc's pet timberwolf. Her first reaction on scenting Xvital is to tackle her and start licking her silly.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Brave, King Fergus' hounds would qualify though they are also hunting dogs. They mainly show their affections to him, though being hunting dogs, they also do get aggressive towards bears, such as the transformed Queen Elinor.
  • Ozzie from Epic (2013) by Leafman standards. He's certainly very friendly and loves licking.
  • The Fox and the Hound: Hunting dog Copper becomes this after he grows up due to him being playful and easygoing and in his mentor Chief's eyes, not taking the business of tracking game seriously (at first). Chief briefly scolds him about this being his "trouble on the hunt" at one point.
  • Toby from The Great Mouse Detective. He's large partly because all of the other familiar characters are mice. He's also based on a dog Sherlock Holmes picked up in The Sign of Four.
  • Hercules has Pegasus (a big friendly flying horse) fill this role. As Zeus puts it, he has the heart of a horse and the brain of a bird. He still helps the main characters by flying them around and helping fight against Hades, and even licks Hercules and Phil's faces a few times.
  • The Little Mermaid has Prince Eric's English sheepdog, Max. He is fond of jumping around and licking Eric and Ariel's faces on various occasions. He also serves an Evil-Detecting Dog as he's able to see through Ursula's disguise.
  • Oliver & Company: The ironically named Great Dane, Einstein is shown to be one of the various dogs raised by Fagin, and just as affectionate as all the other dogs towards him.
  • Over the Hedge: A large rottweiler called Nugent appears to be a stereotypical non-talking menace, but he just really, really, really wants to play ("Play! Play! Play? Play!").
  • Peter Pan: Nana, the protective Saint Bernard of Wendy.
  • Luis from Rio is a Tracey Morgan-voiced bulldog, thus only seeming big by comparison to the birds he towers over, and who excessively salivates. He initially chases Blu and Jewel, before showing he is actually a gentle dog who agrees to help remove their chains.
  • Duke from The Secret Life of Pets. He's at first reckless but he does have a sympathetic backstory. Under normal circumstances he's a gentle big dog.
  • Spike from Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas is a friendly mastiff owned by Sinbad himself. He shows his friendly side by heading over to lick Marina's face after Sinbad tosses her in a room.
  • Strange World: Legend, the Clade family's sheepdog in is big, friendly, and always up for adventures.
  • The Sword in the Stone: Tiger and Talbot, the two castle dogs, immediately tackle young Wart (the future King Arthur) to lick him together, both so persistent they are grabbed off of him by Ector.
  • Though a rapper from 1912, the dog from Titanic: The Legend Goes On is one of these. He saves a little mouse from being eaten by a cat.
  • Toy Story 2: While he's a small regular-sized mutt on a normal human scale, Buster falls into this at least through the point of view of the toys. Buster is rather crazy but unlike Scud from Toy Story he's actually playful and friendly. Heck, he even helped Woody rescue Wheezy. Jessie was able to understand Buster in one scene due to her fondness for animals.
  • Up: As mentioned, Dug provides the page quote and is a fairly sizable dog besides. He was one of many dogs working for Charles Muntz, the film's Big Bad, and like the other dogs, he has a collar that can translate his thoughts, allowing him to communicate with humans. He is both the nicest and stupidest of the dogs, taking an immediate liking to both Carl and Russel. By the end of the film, he turns against Muntz and joins Carl.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Against a Crooked Sky, Russian's large, scruffy dog Bar Killer loves Sam and keeps following him around the small cave where they're staying.
  • Alice in Wonderland:
    • Alice in Wonderland (2010): The bandersnatch - a character mentioned in Lewis Carroll's famous nonsense poem Jabberwocky - at first comes off as a heatless attack dog(-leopard-hyena-thing) used by the red queen Iracabeth. Gradually, however, it’s revealed that he suffers very poor treatment at her hands and in truth is surprisingly sweet and gentle. After Alice shows him kindness, he heals a wound he himself inflicted using his tongue, rescues her from the queen’s soldiers, and becomes her mount in the final battle.
    • In the sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass, this role is made even more explicit, as he affectionately greets Alice as soon as she arrives, and continues to provide transport during her journeys.
  • The Call of the Wild (2020): Buck, a Saint Bernard/Scotch Shepard who was stolen from his home in California and ends up being shipped all the way to Alaska during the gold rush, on his adventures he meets and helps several people on his journey, his friendliness is played up compared to his novel counterpart.
  • Doctor at Large: A large friendly dog keeps barking at Dr. Sparrow, Tony, and Joy, hoping they will feed it.
  • Dog Days (2018): Charlie is a big, shaggy, and very needy dog. He sandwiches himself between Ruth's legs at her baby shower, to her annoyance. Later, when Dax is hoping to get laid, Charlie jumps between him and his girlfriend because he can't stand the thought of anyone other than himself getting attention, causing the girlfriend to leave.
  • Ghost Town: Gwen owns an enormous Great Dane. Pincus quips, "I like your horse!" In one scene, Gwen is yanked off her feet while talking him out for a walk.
  • Must Love Dogs: Mother Teresa, a Newfoundland who is afraid of water (very unusual for the breed).
  • The Naked Gun: The St. Bernard seen licking a mail carrier towards the climax.
  • Kate Hampton-King, one of the three protagonists of The Other Woman (2014), owns a Great Dane named Thunder who often assists the women with their pranks against Mark.
  • The Parent Trap (1998): Hallie’s golden retriever Sammy is able to detect immediately that Hallie has switched places with her twin sister Annie, resulting in some standoffish behavior. When the real Hallie later makes a reappearance, Sammy quickly bounds into her arms for a hug.
  • The Peanut Butter Falcon: Tyler hitchhikes with a man whose enormous dog spends the entire ride panting in Tyler's face.
  • Rags: Kadee's dog Trumpet is large, shaggy, energetic, and affectionate. He topples Kadee over to kiss her, and eagerly runs up to meet Charlie while on a walk, causing Kadee to fall over and scatter her papers everywhere. He's also very sweet, and even takes on a heroic role, being the one to alert Kadee's friends to Charlie being locked in a closet.
  • The Sandlot: The "Beast" turns out to be a big friendly dog by the name of Hercules.
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming: Features a friendly dog running up to Peter Parker as he dashes through the suburbs. As a subversion of the Angry Guard Dog trope, the dog runs up barking furiously, but immediately begins trying to play with Peter before he runs off.
  • Stella Maris: Stella's dog companion nearly goes up to her waist (Mary Pickford was 1.54 meters, or 5'0). He's however a very friendly and protective dog. Stella received a small Pomeranian-looking dog as a present, however it ended up running off due to it not being as well-trained as Teddy. The unnamed dog comes back in The Stinger.

  • Animorphs: Jake's pet dog Homer, a golden retriever. Aside from being Jake's very first morph, Homer shows up infrequently in early books as a source of some comedy relief.
  • In Terrance Dicks Baker Street Irregulars series, a Snooping Little Kid is caught by some criminals who threaten to let their Angry Guard Dog eat him. Unimpressed, the kid just orders the dog to "Sit!" and it does — he points out that guard dogs are trained to guard, not eat people. The dog later gets adopted as a Team Pet (and in a later novel, another criminal discovers that it can be an Angry Guard Dog if provoked enough).
  • Bat: Ezra has a mastiff named Pumpkin who weighs 120 pounds and is still growing. Every time there's a visitor, he rushes to the door to slobber on them.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien's Beren and Lúthien: Huan, the Hound of Valinor, is an intelligent, immortal wolfhound the size of a horse. He also helps Luthien escape from his former master Celegorm, who captured her when he found out she was on a quest to find a Silmaril, and afterward helps to slay Carcharoth, the werewolf who ate the Silmaril (along with Beren's hand). However, it was prophesied that Huan would only be killed by the greatest werewolf ever to live, and so even though he killed Carcharoth he died in the process.
  • Chalet School: Rufus, a Saint Bernard puppy who Joey Bettany rescues from drowning while the school is in Tyrol, and who later becomes a skilled tracker and guard dog. After Rufus dies, the school give Joey another Saint Bernard puppy as a present, who she names Bruno. Bruno is more rambunctious than Rufus and tends to jump on people, but is a lot more gentle around Joey's frail daughter Phil.
  • Circle of Magic: Sandry, Daja, Briar, and Tris have Little Bear, a puppy they save early on in the series. He grows up very friendly and, appropriate to the name, very big.
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog: The titular character is, of course, the logical extreme of this trope, standing approximately as tall as a two story house. He actually started off as a small puppy who grew huge thanks to his owner Emily Elizabeth's "love" — at least, that's the official story.
  • Discworld: Thcrapth— er, Scraps from Carpe Jugulum. So aggressively friendly that Death allowed Scraps to return to life to keep him from fetching Death's scythe for eternity.
  • The Dog Stars: Jasper is the main character's only real companion After the End. Although Higs has a human partner, a sociopathic killer who keeps them safe, he prefers the company of his gentle and loyal watchdog.
  • The Dresden Files: Mouse is actually a very intelligent magical creature, a hybrid of a normal dog (implied to be a Tibetan mastiff) and a magical foo dog bred to guard Chinese temples.note  As a puppy he was small enough that the protagonist carried him around in a jacket pocket for a whole book (Blood Rites), but when he's grown to full size he's enormous (Harry named him without knowing how big he would get). Harry suspects that he's actually intelligent enough to be deliberately invoking this trope, and based on what we've seen since he's almost certainly right. As he puts it, "Really big dogs that aren't acting overtly friendly tend to make people nervous". Heck, when Mouse wants to be intimidating, a lot of the time he doesn't even growl. He just stops acting friendly and looks at you, which anyone familiar with dogs knows can often be just as bad. Not only is he very physically intimidating, but the responses he's received from various other magical indicates he's got a lot of power on that axis as well. A Fallen Angel is freaked out just by being in his presence, and even Queen Mab is quite polite to him. In short, if you're evil or trying to harm Dresden, he is straight up bad news. Then in Changes Harry's Fairy Godmother turns him into a dog and he's able to understand Mouse:
    Mouse: "Restore them before I rip your ass off. Literally rip it off".
  • Family Skeleton Mysteries: Byron the Akita isn't that big compared to some examples, but he is friendly.
  • Fudge has Turtle, Peter Hatcher's pet dog given to him at the end of the first book, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. After his younger brother Farley (better known as Fudge) swallows his previous pet, a turtle named Dribble, Peter names the dog Turtle to honor Dribble's memory. Turtle slobbers a lot and will chase Shiela Tubman if Peter jokingly orders it, but does form a strong bond with Peter's baby sister Tamara Roxanne (better known as Tootsie). Although the books don't specify a specific breed for Turtle other than he's large, he's a Saint Bernard in the live-action television adaptation.
  • Good Dog, Carl!: This series of children's books feature a Rottweiler caring for a baby through various wacky hijinks. The baby often rides him like a pony, and Carl always manages to get the mess cleaned up before Mom gets home.note  Carl does defy one aspect of the Big, Friendly Dog stereotype — he's actually incredibly smart.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Fang, Hagrid’s enormous black boarhound, is highly affectionate. Whenever Harry and friends visit, Fang barks, tries to lick them, and has a tendency to drool. Said to be a coward, but also fairly intelligent for the trope, at least going to get backup when he runs away.
    • Subverted in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone when Hagrid acquires Fluffy - a literal Cerberus - to guard the titular stone (while Fang’s name belies his affectionate tendencies, Fluffy’s name masks his literal killer instinct).
    • Though not literally a dog, Sirius Black’s animagus form is a black canine the size of a bear, and he often plays up the friendly, protective side of such an animal while in form.
  • I Wish You All the Best: The first time Ben visits Nathan's house, his golden retriever Ryder knocks Ben to the ground and starts licking their face.
  • John Carter of Mars: Woola is a big friendly dog-like beast who accompanies John Carter on his earlier adventures on Mars.
  • The Man with the Terrible Eyes: The Man's dog, named Dog, is a very big and very friendly dog (or at least something that looks like a dog), as long as you're not a shadow monster or someone trying to hurt his master.
  • Mercy Thompson: It's noted in the first novel that werewolves in wolf form and aren't doing anything aggressive have a sort of glamour that causes people who aren't used to werewolves to mistake them for large, friendly dogs. Mercy is able to pass Adam off as her pet Saint Bernard due to this.
  • "My Newf Friend": Screech, the titular Newfoundland dog is intelligent and friendly. She's also gentle and obedient, unless there's a very good reason not to be.
  • Nancy Drew: One book from the Nancy Drew Files features a suspect named Tony, who has two pet German Shepherds named Fred and Max. The two dogs are absolutely tame and eager to make new friends. The only way he can get them to act ferocious for the climax (to intimidate the bad guys into surrendering) is by pretending that he's about to give them a bath.
  • North To Benjamin: The titular character, who's a big, elderly dog.
  • Nory Ryans Song: A black-and-white sheepdog is left behind when her owners are deported in the beginning, and Nory names her Maeve after the queen from Irish myth. True to form, she's sweet-natured and takes to her new owner very well. Anna ends up adopting her, as Nory's family cannot afford to feed another animal.
  • Old Kingdom: The Disreputable Dog mostly falls under this, with the fact that she talks and is really the avatar of one of the most powerful beings in the universe.
  • Orconomics: When the heroes find themselves in an orc village (assuming they've been taken prisoner), they pass by a kennel full of massive, slavering wargs. The orcs laugh and say that the wargs can "have their fun" once the chief is done with them. After the misunderstanding is cleared up and the heroes realize they're not prisoners, they come back the same way and are assaulted by the wargs, which refuse to leave them alone until they get belly scratches.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Mrs. O'Leary, a hellhound who used to belong to Quintus Read: Daedalus and was turned over to Percy at the end of Battle of the Labyrinth. Oddly enough, for a larger-than-life Hellhound, she's very loving, playful, and loves her human/demigod friends.
  • Peter Pan: Nana is not so "dumb", at least for a dog given that she quite capably lived up to her name/job description.
  • Pinocchio’s Sister: Sparkle Bob, a retriever. He seems rather big and powerful and he loves everybody, especially his owner Rosie Pelosi.
  • Stephanie Plum: Joe Morelli owns Bob, a vaguely Golden Retriever-shaped blob of fur. He has an appetite to match his size and enthusiasm, and isn't very picky. Joe once left him in his car, and when he came back, Bob had eaten the front seat.
  • Stephen King: A recurring trope in his works
    • Cujo, twisted cruelly when he turns rabid. A portion of the horror of the book is seeing Cujo's simple thoughts warp as the rabies drives him mad. Hilariously, the film version had a genuine problem with the Truth in Television: Try as they might, the filmmakers just couldn't make a real St. Bernard act convincingly aggressive, so they disguised a Rottweiler for the more aggressive scenes; and even then, they had to tape the dog's tail to his leg so that it wouldn't wag.
    • His novel Under the Dome, with its ensemble cast, contains a few. Audrey, a golden retriever, warns one family when their daughter has seizures. Clover, a German Shepard, also plays happily with the children before he shows the darker side of this trope when his master is pushed down stairs...
    • Kojak from The Stand, an Irish Setter in the novel and a mixed breed (mostly Labrador Retriever) in the film. "If all things serve the will of God, maybe that goes for big dumb dogs, too".
    • A sad version in IT. Mike's dog, Mr. Chips, is so friendly he eats the poisoned treats that Henry Bowers feeds him. He even wags his tail as he's dying.
  • Survivor Dogs: Much of the cast, especially the ex-Leashed Dogs, are large and friendly dogs. Even Storm counts when she isn't riled up.
  • They Are Smol: The Dorarizin are lupine aliens larger than polar bears. While humans find them pants-crappingly terrifying, the Dorarizin think we're freaking adorable since we smell like their pups. The danger of a Dorarizin killing a human with kindness is very real, and humans working on Dorarizin vessels have to bunk with an adult male to mask the odor so the females don't go Mama Bear in an attempt to protect the "baby" human.
  • Universal Monsters: In book 2, Gayle Braddock (whose boyfriend has become Larry Talbot's Wolf Man) has a big friendly Siberian husky named Snow — a present from said boyfriend. In her first scene, Snow comes to Gayle's side to comfort her when she's upset.
  • Vigilauntie Justice: Cookie, Peggy and Carole's dog, is big enough to deter people at night and incredibly friendly to almost everyone.
  • You Have a Match: Savvy's Labrador Rufus introduces himself to Abby by knocking her over and aggressively licking her face.
  • Young Wizards: Kit's dog, Ponch, loves to play with him and chase (but not catch) squirrels. When Ponch is eventually revealed to be roughly the equivalent of Jesus, this trope makes it all the more jarring.

    Live-Action TV 
  • All Creatures Great & Small (2020) has Jess, Siegfried Farnon's loyal pet golden retriever. She is usually seen cuddling on the couch (or in bed) with the residents of Skeldale House.
  • Diefenbaker the deaf half wolf/half dog from Due South. He's friendly and personable until you threaten his owner.
  • Comet from Full House is the Tanner Family's pet golden retriever, introduced in the series' third season. He is bigger than the younger children (Michelle, which becomes a plot point in "Comet's Excellent Adventure" when she is tasked with walking him, as well as Nicky and Alex) and is very friendly to his owners.
  • Ghost, Jon Snow's pet direwolf on Game of Thrones, turns into a Big Friendly Dog with people he trusts, especially Jon, Sam and Gilly. Otherwise...
  • Human Target: Carmine, Chris's dog is supposed to be a guard dog. He'd prefer to sleep and eat.
  • It's Me or the Dog: Victoria considers training a Big Friendly Dog to not jump up and slobber all over people is an important step in proper dog behavior, since a lot of people are dog-phobic and a sufficiently-sized pooch can cause harm just by being "friendly".
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Huan and Luthien, have their Memorial Statues carved together by the Elves of Lindon.
  • In a season four episode of Matlock, the murder victim has a Caucasian Shepard named Otis that would jump up on and lick the face of everyone he met.
  • In one Midnight Caller episode, Billy brings his St. Bernard, Mighty, to work with him. She slobbers all over the equipment, causing the On The Air light to go out.
  • Search: Leo, Dong-jin's German Shepherd, is very friendly. So is Mac, Leo's replacement. The flashback to Dong-jin playing tug-of-war with Leo is one of the most heart-warming scenes in the series.
  • Victorious: Jade mentions them in her "Stuff I Hate" video.
    Jade: I hate it when I go to someone's house, and their dog jumps all over me, and the owner says: "oh, it's okay, he's friendly". Guess what; I'm not. Get your dog off me!

    Puppet Shows 
  • Fraggle Rock: Sprocket is a big, friendly — if cowardly — sheepdog who is Doc's pet. Sprocket is initially suspicious of the Fraggles, but eventually warms up to and befriends Gobo, on some rare occasions even entering Fraggle Rock itself and going on adventures with the Fraggles.
  • Sesame Street: Barkley is a giant and playful dog who is Linda's pet and understands American sign language. Whenever he runs while somebody is walking him, that somebody often gets pulled along.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The adventure EX1 Dungeonland has a giant dog nearly as big as an elephant. It will attempt to play with the PCs, and will play "tug of war" and "fetch the stick" with any stick-like objects the party may have (staff, pole, etc.).
    • D&D also has Riding Dogs, which are Exactly What It Says on the Tin: dogs big enough to be ridden, at least by small characters.
    • Blink dogs, while not as big as some examples, are larger than average for real-world dogs, and were among the first Lawful Good monsters in the D&D game.
  • Pathfinder has the Cayhounds, a race of Chaotic Good teleporting sapient mastiffs. While not at Clifford-level, they are big for domestic dogs, and since they're always good-aligned, they're descended from mastiffs, and their divine patron, Cayden Cailean, is a pretty jolly guy, it's safe to assume they're friendly. They also have a neotenous form, the caypup, available as an improved familiar.
  • In Warhammer the Beasts of Nurgle have this sort of personality, desiring only to meet new people and make friends with them. Unfortunately, where most dogs have slobber, Beasts of Nurgle have acid. They jump up at you, knock you over, and crush and burn you as they crawl over with acidic slime. Of course, because their new friends stop playing with them so quickly, they have to find new ones.

    Video Games 
  • Beyond Good & Evil: The aptly-named Woof is an Old English Sheepdog the size of a refrigerator. His tongue is always hanging out of his mouth, and he loves to cuddle, play, and chase insects. One of the end credits photos shows the aftermath of him bowling Jade over while chasing a ladybug.
  • In Crusader Kings II, you can get a hunting hound from a friend as part of the Hunting focus. If you then switch to the Family focus, there's a potential event where your dog starts befriending children in your court (for a bump in Relationship Values).
  • Hank's dog Sumo from Detroit: Become Human. It's a giant St. Bernard whose only response to Connor smashing a window to get into Hank's house is to walk up and sniff him. Even when Hank tells it to get violent as Connor takes him to the bathroom to sober up, it doesn't.
    Hank: [drunkenly] Sumo, attack!
    Sumo: [from the other room] Woof!
    Hank: [happily] Good dog. Attack!
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragon Age: Origins has a Mabari war hound named... Dog. Despite being a trained war hound and attack critter, in cutscenes and conversations this is exactly how he comes across. The only members of your party that Dog doesn't get along with are the dwarf Oghren, who thinks Dog stole his pants (he didn't) and thinks Dog is perfectly-sized to pull a chariot bearing him into battle; Alistair, who keeps forgetting that Dog is sentient and can understand everything he is saying (and even then things end up well enough after some initial problems); and Shale, who used to be a living statue and whose sole interaction with Dog is to warn him not to mark his territory on her. Even Loghain gets along very well with him, if he's allowed to join. He isn't too crazy about Wynne since she insists on giving him baths and wants to tie a pretty pretty bow around his stubby tail.
    • Dragon Age II: The sequel's "Black Emporium" DLC gives Hawke a Mabari war hound that can be summoned into battle. Party members will visit Hawke's home throughout the game just to see the Mabari. Anders, being a cat person, is the only one who doesn't particularly like the dog — but the dog lavishes affection on him anyway.
  • King from EarthBound (1994). While he may be cowardly he isn't affected by the evil power of Giygas. The novel adaptation refers to his breed as an English Sheep Dog.
  • The Elder Scrolls series has Barbas, the external conscience of Clavicus Vile, the Daedric Prince of Bargains and Wishes. Barbas normally takes the form of Vile's Canine Companion, and usually attempts to talk people out of Vile's deals, much to Vile's irritation. Following the events of Vile's quest in Oblivion, Vile gains the means to split himself away from Barbas and banishes Barbas to the mortal plane. However, since Barbas contains a measure of Vile's power, this left Vile weakened and trapped in a single shrine high in the remote mountains of Skyrim. Vile's Skyrim quest is kicked off when the Dragonborn meets Barbas, who is attempting to reunite with Vile. He joins the Dragonborn as a temporary companion in order to get to Vile's shrine. There, Vile gives a quest to the Dragonborn and Barbas to retrieve the Rueful Axe, which Vile previously gave as a granted wish to a wizard looking to cure his daughter of lycanthropy. After retrieving the axe, the Dragonborn has a choice: do what Vile asks and use it to "kill" Barbas, who will then need to spend a few centuries reforming in Oblivion giving Vile a break, or reunite the two, after which Barbas convinces Vile to give his Masque in exchange for the axe.
  • Fallout has Dogmeat, a series of Wasteland dogs who can befriend the protagonists. They're all very big dogs (the one in 3 is a Blue Heeler, and the one in 4 is a German Shepherd), they have Undying Loyalty to the player (4s Dogmeat is the only companion to not have an affinity meter, because he loves you no matter what), they'll fetch items, and they can tear out the throats of anyone who dares try and harm you and your party- and the creator of 4's Dogmeat comments that Dogmeat's fighting style is mostly based around holds because his goal isn't to hurt people, it's to protect you.
  • Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light: Brandt becomes a gray husky in his animal form, and since he's a friendly Nice Guy of a hero, that makes him this.
  • Final Fantasy XVI: The main character's pet and most consistent party member is a magic wolf named Torgal. He's huge, but absolutely harmless except to people who are threatening his humans. You can find him playing with children in the game's Hub City at several points during the game. He even has healing powers, which are otherwise extremely rare in the setting.
  • Hades: Cerberus is still the giant three-headed Hellhound of myth... but because you're playing as Zagreus, son of Hades, he's nothing but tail wags and licks to you. There's an option to pet Cerberus every time you're in the House of Hades, and when you encounter him in the Stygian Temple, Zagreus utterly refuses to harm him, instead seeking a way to bribe him into moving aside. There's even a purchasable wall scroll showing infant versions of Zagreus, Thanatos, and Megaera playing with Cerberus, who's more than willing to let them.
  • Half-Life 2: Subverted by D0g. Who is big and friendly to the protagonists, but is also a robot that's shaped more like a gorilla than a dog. (Though he can play fetch with an electric ball, and will valiantly defend his loved ones. And he is adorable.) Alyx has been adding modifications to him for years. It's possible that he originally did look like a dog.
  • The default dog in Harvest Moon is a small Beagle, however various games such as Harvest Moon: Animal Parade let you adopt larger but just as friendly dogs.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Urz in Mass Effect 2, fits all the criteria... except that he's not a dog. He's a varren, a creature colloquially known as a "fishdog", and is just as Ugly Cute as that name implies. However, he still allows Shepard to pet him and, if fed some pyjack meat, will happily follow Shepard and company around Tuchanka, generally being adorable, in complete contrast to other examples of his breed, who all try to rip your head off. And you can get him to pitfight other varren for you. (Did we mention that he's actually a champion pitfighter?) If he loses, he has to go to the medical tent until you leave Tuchanka and come back. A short story posted on the third game's website reveals that Urz has had many adventures throughout the galaxy under many different names where he's either saved lives or changed them for the better.
    • In Mass Effect 3, the Citadel DLC reveals that Jack has rescued a biotic varren that she's named Eezo from an abused animal's centre. Shepard ends up playing a game of catch with him using a frying pan (originally grabbed for self-defense).
  • The Palamutes from Monster Hunter: Rise are big enough to ride on, but when not out on a hunt behave like big ol' puppy dogs who love nothing more than treats, belly rubs, and licking their owner's face. They're not so friendly if you happen to be a monster, though.
  • The Monster Rancher series gives us the Baku, a large, blond dog whose size and features remind one of a hippopotamus. Its attacks include deafening barks, messy licking, and falling asleep, among more traditional attacks like biting and ramming. As an additional fun point, in the 4th game they can actually be ridden inside dungeons to go trampling through barricading underbrush like a big, happy elephant. It is awesome.
  • People tend to think that Ōkami's Amaterasu is a big friendly dog: she's Big, she's friendly with muggles... She is NOT a dog.
  • While small on a human scale, Pikmin 4 introduces a friendly dog-like creature called Oatchi that can be used to cart around the main character and some of their Pikmin across water, carry objects with the strength of multiple Pikmin, and sniff out castaways, treasures, and other objectives. He can even be controlled independently like a second captain when he's separated from the player character.
  • Pokémon: Stoutland is a plump (hence the name), 3'11" tall Scottish Terrier-like Pokémon that makes a great guard dog and is known to rescue people trapped in the mountains. In the Gen VII games, the player can ride around on one. It's actually pretty fast in spite of its chubbiness and can detect hidden items.
  • Zib, the pilot of Vlad in Rising Thunder, is what happens when you make one of these a mech pilot.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Poochy from Yoshi's Island, who serves as a Power Up Mount for Yoshi that can walk across dangerous terrain.
    • The ghosts of Evershade Valley from Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon turn hostile when the Dark Moon gets shattered, with the exception of the Polterpup, whose troublesome meddling in Luigi's quest stems from a desire to play rather than a desire to hurt.
  • Dogs don't appear directly in Small Saga, but a painting in the palace shows a squirrel riding on the head of a happy yellow Labrador, with a caption referring to the squirrel as a Titan-tamer.
  • The Inadvisably Big Dog in Sunless Skies embodies this trope: he is one very large puppy oozing with affection and happiness, whose eagerness coupled with his gargantuan size tends to bring some property destruction around. It does help that his portrait is the cutest and happiest thing you've ever seen in a Failbetter Games game. As the game puts it, there are very few things in the High Wilderness that are so innocently happy.
It stares at you, drooling with love. When you meet its gaze, its vast tail wags, dusting your wash things from the sink onto the floor.
  • Undertale: Greater Dog is a big white dog in heavy plate armor carrying a spear... it's a miniboss, but all it wants is to be petted and played with. If you ignore it a few times, it will even scootch closer to the screen just to give you Puppy-Dog Eyes and beg to be petted. The canine Amalgamate, Endogeny, is basically a Big Friendly Goo Dog, housing the combined essences of at least five canine monsters. It's all but outright stated to have a relative of Greater Dog somewhere in there, and thus it behaves similarly. In spite of its horrific appearance, it too just wants to be petted, even if its actions sound a bit erratic and creepy.

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

  • Boy and Dog: Murphy weighs 90 pounds and is very benevolent and friendly.
  • Freefall: Florence is an uplifted wolf rather than a dog but she still acts like a large dog from time to time. This strip is a good example.
  • Gronk: Harli is a massive, lovable Newfoundland dog who's first interaction with Gronk is a massive, affectionate lick.
  • Homestuck: Becquerel the Reality Warper god-dog and Halley the completely normal dog, from whom Bec was partially cloned. Later, when Becquerel prototypes himself and Jack Noir gains his powers, Bec's Big, Friendly Dog loyalty is also carried over and Jack is forced to feel overwhelming love for Jade to the point where he is reduced to behaving like a lost, timid puppy around her. That's right, Jack Noir.
  • Lola and Mr. Wrinkles: Hugo, the St. Bernard next door, can readily be called upon to administer rescue hugs to a freezing person. The problem is that gentleness isn't his forte.
  • Pixie and Brutus: He may not look it, but Brutus can be surprisingly gentle when he needs to be, especially when his little buddy Pixie is involved. Of course, this doesn't hinder his ability to tear you to shreds.
  • Questionable Content: Jeph Jacques owns a Great Pyrenees named Shelby, and in the comic she's not depicted as being too bright, and among other things thinks her name is actually Shebly.
  • Rhapsodies: Mitzi thinks she's a lapdog. She is not.
  • Sparklecare: Nurse Kills, who resembles a dog, is the most genuinely benevolent character so far.
  • Sweet Dreams: Pippa the service dog is a large, fluffy Saint Bernard who transforms alongside her owner and is able to carry her around on her back while in her magical, transformed state.

    Web Videos 
  • The Autobiography of Jane Eyre: Mr Rochester's dog Pilot is a Bernese Mountain Dog which is a breed of dogs that are generally extremely affectionate. Adele Rochester must be fond of Pilot as she drew a beautiful picture of him.
  • In the aftershows of Critical Role, Brian Foster's cattle dog mix Henry is often snuggled by the rest of the cast without a hint of complaint (with Laura commenting he was extremely good around her and Travis's son Ronin). The only time he's barked was when Marisha was trying to sneak around the set, saying hello to her and wanting to be pet.

    Western Animation 
  • Animaniacs (1993):
    • Runt is a stray dog who is bigger than his cat friend, Rita. He isn't very bright, hates cats, and thinks that Rita is a dog (which is why she is the only cat he doesn't hate), but he does care a lot about Rita, coming to her rescue if she's in trouble.
    • Buttons is bigger than his child owner, Mindy, and is very protective of her, saving her from (and often taking beatings from) dangers she is otherwise oblivious to. Though he usually gets chewed out by Mindy's parents for breaking some minor house rule as a result of keeping Mindy safe, most of his shorts end with Mindy giving him a hug.
  • Archer: One episode involves an English Mastiff named Kazak that fits... unless anyone in his presence is waving around a firearm.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender / The Legend of Korra: While there are no actual “dogs” in either series (most animals are chimeras- i.e. hybrids of two or more real-world animals), plenty of creatures exhibit the same or similar behaviors.
    • Appa, Avatar Aang’s flying bison and his team’s primary mode of transport. While normally conscious of his 10-ton size, Appa definitely shows his affection by pouncing and/or licking.
    • Flopsy, a goat-gorilla belonging to Bumi, the king of Omashu. Despite his imposing size and formidable horns, Flopsy is highly affectionate and even wiggles his stumpy tail when happy.
    • The Polar Bear Dog Naga is Avatar Korra's animal companion. Naga's Establishing Character Moment is licking Korra's face over and over. Her friendliness extends to licking a police attendant's hair. She's also so big that multiple characters can ride on her back at once.
  • Barney: This British show centers around a very friendly sheepdog who goes on adventures with his friends.
  • The Casagrandes: Lalo, a Bull Mastiff who is the size of a lion and is very friendly towards his owners.
  • Classic Disney Shorts: Pluto. He's based on a Bloodhound; Bloodhounds are almost always Big Friendly Dogs in real life. He's very nice to Mickey's friends.
  • Danny Phantom: The ghost dog. When it turns big, that means it's aggressive. However, the pup always makes an exception for Danny whom remains affectionate towards.
  • Dinky Dog: A Hanna Barbera creation (initially from The All-New Popeye Hour) and in exactly the same mold as Clifford the Big Red Dog, in that this big orange doggy grew from his owners' love.
  • Family Guy: Road to the Multiverse: In one of the many parallel dimensions visited by Stewie and Brian, anthropomorphic dogs are in charge of society, while humans are considered pets. Whenever the doorbell rings, dog-Peter gets extremely excited and bounds to affectionately greet whoever is outside.
  • The Flintstones: Dino, although not technically a dog. He's very loving toward his owners.
  • Chief from HouseBroken is a big, dim-witted, fun loving Saint Bernard whose personality contrasts to that of the down-to-earth poodle Honey.
  • The Jetsons: Even more so than his spiritual cousin, Scooby-Doo, Astro has a tendency to affectionately pounce on and aggressively lick the ones he loves.
  • Looney Tunes: An old short about dogs featured a doberman pinscher. He was actually a fairly calm chap... but it didn't take long for the guy named Doberman to sour on him.
  • My Little Pony
    • My Little Pony 'n Friends: Dinah from the episode "Pony Puppy". She's so massive her dog house is as big as a small house, but she's is introduced rescuing a baby pony from drowning and never stops being affectionate, even if she's so huge she causes damage without meaning to. She's also a baby and there are more of her kind that pick her up at the end of the episode. The ponies loved having her around so much they near instantly miss her.
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
      • In the episode "It's About Time", Cerberus looks fierce, being a three-headed Hell Hound as big as a house, but the only reason he shows up in Ponyville is because he wants to play. Granted, since he's the size of a house, even his play can be dangerous to the average pony, but Fluttershy pacifies him with a tummy rub easily enough. Later Twilight leads Cerberus back to the Gates of Tartarus by playing fetch with him during the entire trip.
      • In the episode "Trade Ya", Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy comes across a rather vicious Orthros that they need to trade for a limited edition Daring Do book. Once Fluttershy pacifies it, it acts like a playful puppy for the rest of the episode.
  • Nature Cat: From the main cast, Hal is bigger than his friends, who are a cat, a bunny, and a mouse. He is very friendly with anyone he meets and is also very happy-go-lucky. A ditz he may be most of the time, he gives out useful solutions to some of the problems, but is clueless about it when complimented.
  • Oh Yeah! Cartoons: the short Ollie and Frank had a Child Prodigy named Ollie create a gigantic Frankenstein monster dog named Frank, who was very loyal and friendly to his master.
  • Peg + Cat: this is the resolution of "The Big Dog Problem" — the big dog that's standing in front of the mailbox that Peg and Cat keep running away from is just one of these and even helps them to reach the mailbox so that they can mail their really important letters once they make friends with it.
  • Pound Puppies (2010): There isn't a lick of the description above that doesn't apply to Niblet. He is easily the biggest, kindest, and least intelligent of the team.
  • Scooby-Doo: Being a Great Dane, Scooby is naturally very large. He's also very friendly, and a Lovable Coward.
  • Skull Island (2023): Annie's beast companion Dog, one of the creatures native to the titular island, could be charitably described as a ten-foot-tall mutant bulldog.


Video Example(s):



Buck is a Saint Bernard/Scotch Shepard from the "Call of the Wild" a 2020 motion picture adaption of the classic Jack London novel of the same name.

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Main / BigFriendlyDog

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