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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.

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 Puppies 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.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Belle from Belle and Sebastian, based on a French book series from the 1960s, 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.
  • Tamaki's dog Antoinette in Ouran High School Host Club; she's pretty big, affectionate, and, when seen, usually pounces on Tamaki and licks him silly.
  • In 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 she reacted negatively to.
  • Tadakichi-san from Azumanga Daioh 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.
  • Bond in SPY × FAMILY is likely a Great Pyrenees as well (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.
  • In 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.
  • 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.
  • Hilariously subverted by the very large Sadaharu from Gintama, 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.
  • Ana's dog Frusciante from Strawberry Marshmallow is generally very friendly, although he likes to chase Miu around. Then again, who can blame him?
  • Kotarou's dog spirits in Negima! Magister Negi Magi occasionally act this way, such as the time when they "attacked" Asuna by playfully licking her to submission.
  • Kiba's dog Akamaru on Naruto 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.
  • In Wild Rose, Tranquilo is almost as tall as Camille is, and quite friendly as long as you're not threatening his boy.
  • Terrycloth from Toriko. 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.
  • Moss the English mastiff from Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin 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.
  • In 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.
  • Shiitake, Chika's pet dog, in Love Live! Sunshine!!. Naturally, the most frequent target of his overtly-friendly affections is Riko, who is hysterically afraid of dogs.
  • Victor's dog Makkachin from Yuri!!! on Ice, 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 
  • 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.
  • Hot Dog in Archie Comics has an inconsistent design however he's always large and always friendly. Unless you try to steal his food.

    Comic Strips 
  • 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 stopping by!
  • Odie doesn't have a big body, but his tongue is huge and he likes using it.
  • 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.

    Fan Works 
  • In Bringing Me To Life a The Matrix fanfic 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.
  • Since FUBAR from the Bucky And FUBAR comics is a trained service dog, he's a little less exuberant than many examples of this trope, but he's generally good-natured and very large.

    Films — Animation 
  • A giant dog called Nugent seen in the Over the Hedge movie appears to be a stereotypical non-talking menace, but he just really, really, really wants to play ("Play! Play! Play? Play!").
  • Nana, the protective Saint Bernard from Peter Pan.
  • Disney's 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.
  • Ozzie from Epic by Leafman standards. He's certainly very friendly and loves licking.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Beast from The Sandlot turns out to be a big friendly dog by the name of Hercules.
  • In 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.
  • The St. Bernard seen licking a mail carrier towards the climax of The Naked Gun.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In The Peanut Butter Falcon, Tyler hitchhikes with a man whose enormous dog spends the entire ride panting in Tyler's face.
  • In 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 titular character from Clifford the Big Red Dog 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.
  • The Good Dog, Carl! 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.
  • 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:
    "Restore them before I rip your ass off. Literally rip it off."note 
  • Kit's dog, Ponch, from the Young Wizards series 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.
  • A recurring trope in the works of Stephen King:
    • 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, also by Stephen King. 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.
  • The Disreputable Dog in Garth Nix's Old Kingdom series 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.
  • Thcrapth— er, Scraps from Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel Carpe Jugulum. So aggressively friendly that Death allowed Scraps to return to life to keep him from fetching Death's scythe for eternity.
  • In Animorphs there's 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.
  • Fang, Hagrid's dog, in Harry Potter. Hagrid has odd naming sensibilities, since Fang isn't actually that fierce, while Fluffy actually has three heads and is very fierce. Fang is said to be a coward, but also fairly intelligent for the trope, at least going to get backup when he runs away.
  • Stephanie Plum, or rather her on-again off-again boyfriend 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Pinocchio’s Sister has Sparkle Bob, a retriever. He seems rather big and powerful and he loves everybody, especially his owner Rosie Pelosi.
  • In the John Carter of Mars series, there's Woola, a big friendly dog-like beast who accompanies John Carter on his earlier adventures on Mars.
  • Huan, the Hound of Valinor, from The Silmarillion 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.
  • Mrs. O'Leary of the Percy Jackson series is a very large example. Oddly enough, for a larger-than-life Hellhound, she's very loving, playful, and loves her human/demigod friends.
  • In the Baker Street Irregulars series by Terrance Dicks, 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).
  • Much of the cast of Survivor Dogs, especially the ex-Leashed Dogs, are large and friendly dogs. Even Storm counts when she isn't riled up.
  • In 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.
  • Midshipman Babbington in the Aubrey-Maturin series is accompanied by a Newfoundland named Pollux.
  • The Chalet School series has 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Carmine, Chris's dog on Human Target. He's supposed to be a guard dog. He'd prefer to sleep and eat.
  • Jade from Victorious 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!
  • 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".
  • Diefenbaker the deaf half wolf/half dog from Due South. He's friendly and personable until you threaten his owner.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Neptune, a Newfoundland dog that accompanies the crew on The Terror. You're probably better off not knowing his fate.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sprocket from Fraggle Rock 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.
  • Barkley from Sesame Street 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 
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The aptly-named Woof from Beyond Good & Evil. 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.
  • Subverted by Half-Life 2. D0g is big and friendly to the protagonists, but he's 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Brandt of Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light becomes a gray husky in his animal form, and since he's a friendly Nice Guy of a hero, that makes him this.
  • Greater Dog of Undertale 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.
  • Zib, the pilot of Vlad in Rising Thunder, is what happens when you make one of these a mech pilot.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Stoutland is a plump (hence the name), 3'11" 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.
  • 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.

    Visual Novels 
  • 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.

  • Pippa the service dog from Sweet Dreams 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.
  • Murphy from Boy and Dog weighs 90 pounds and is very benevolent and friendly.
  • Gronk has Harli, a massive, lovable Newfoundland dog who's first interaction with Gronk is a massive, affectionate lick.

    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.

    Western Animation 
  • Animaniacs:
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dino from The Flintstones, although not technically a dog. He's very loving toward his owners.
  • Hanna Barbera's Dinky Dog (initially from The All-New Popeye Hour) is exactly the same case as Clifford the Big Red Dog, in that this big orange doggy grew from his owners' love.
  • Dinah from the My Little Pony 'n Friends 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.
  • Scooby-Doo, being a Great Dane, is naturally very large. He's also very friendly, and a Lovable Coward.
  • The ghost dog in Danny Phantom. When it turns big, that means its aggressive. However, the pup always makes an exception for Danny whom reminds affectionate towards.
  • An old Looney Tunes 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.
  • The Legend of Korra has Polar Bear Dog Naga, 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.
  • There isn't a lick of the description above that doesn't apply to Niblet from Pound Puppies (2010). He is easily the biggest, kindest, and least intelligent of the team.
  • On 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.
  • An episode of Archer involves an English Mastiff named Kazak that fits... unless anyone in his presence is waving around a firearm.
  • The Oh Yeah! Cartoons 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.
  • The British show, Barney, centers around a very friendly sheepdog who goes on adventures with his friends.
  • The Casagrandes has Lalo, a Bull Mastiff who is the size of a lion and is very friendly towards his owners.

    Real Life 
  • For reference, Wikipedia has the most intelligent dog breeds as Border Collie, Poodle, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Doberman Pinscher, Shetland Sheepdog, Labrador Retriever, Papillon, Rottweiler and Australian Cattle Dog
  • Newfoundlands makes this Truth in Television — the original Nana from Peter Pan was a Newfoundland. They are incredibly gentle, especially with children, and make excellent babysitters. Despite their dopey, laid-back personalities they are also quite clever. Their sheer size makes them powerful and excellent swimmers. Newfies can be— and quite often are— trained as lifeguard rescue dogs.
  • Similar to the Newfoundland, the Landseer, likely a related breed, is rather large, coming in at a minimum of 100 pounds, but is also extremely well-mannered and very good with children and other animals, even if they're strangers to the dog.
  • The Leonberger, which is what a Newfoundland would look like if you dressed it up and taught it to act like a German Shepard. Also like the Newfs, 'bergers are exceptionally bright and well-behaved, as they were bred as farm dogs. Thus, they had to be good draft animals, watch-dogs, family pets... or all three.
  • The ultimate Real Life example (as of 2006) is a 282-pound Mastiff named Hercules. According to his owner, Hercules isn't very bright, and once a bird landed on his head without him noticing.
  • Mastiffs are enormous and strong. They're the canine embodiment of Dumb Muscle in pretty much every way. They're strong but not very smart.
  • Standard poodles are large and fluffy dogs; and are known to get along extraordinarily well with young children and cats. They're also commonly used as service dogs.
  • Utonagans are specifically bred to look like wolves but are some of nicest, friendliest dogs one could ever hope to meet. Utonagans were specifically bred from three breeds (Huskies, Malamutes, and German Shepherds) in order to create something that had a wolf's lean and threatening appearance but in all that Badassness something broke and they came out friendly. They are great family dogs but quite possibly the worst guard dogs in the world, because rather than chase burglars they're more likely to roll over and ask for a belly rub.
  • German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Dobermans are supposed to be like this, as long as they are properly bred and well-trained (which people tend to forget). German Shepherds are good at everything, Dobermans were bred to defend people and places, and Rottweilers were bred to pull carts, drive cattle, and serve as watch dogs. Nowadays, most of these breeds are pets, and generally described as "giant teddy bears".
  • The German Shepherd's smaller cousin, the Malinois, is also quite friendly, particularly with children. Though they are rather small compared to Shepherds, they're still large enough to knock you over with a badly-timed jump.
  • Golden Retrievers aren't quite as big as some of the others (although they're close) but make up for it by being some of the friendliest dogs out there. Sadly, this, combined with their beautiful coats, has led to over-breeding, which means you have to worry about proper breeding, much like the aforementioned dogs. Golden retrievers are also terrible guard dogs. Just give them a few scratches behind the ear and they'll try to give you their tennis ball!
  • Labradors are also not one of the biggest breeds (but can still be pretty impressive) but still one of the friendliest.
  • The bigger spaniel breeds in particular are some of the most affectionate dogs you will ever meet.
  • Lady Gaga owns two Harlequin Great Danes: Lava and Rumpus. They appear in several videos. Unfortunately Rumpus died in October of 2009.
  • Alaskan Malamutes are larger than Siberian Huskies, trained to pull thousands of pounds on sleds, and generally just BIG dogs. But they are also generally BIG teddy bears, loveable, cuddly, and ranked as one of the worst guard dog breeds. However, it takes patience and dedication to make them this way—sled dogs are extremely intelligent, relentlessly energetic, quite headstrong and can become neurotic or challenge an owner who doesn't attend to their physical and psychological needs.
  • Most pet dogs will be bad guards by definition, even the German Shepherds and Dobermans, because they lack the specialized training needed for the job.
  • The Irish Wolfhound. Originally used to hunt wolves, they're now some of the world's biggest teddy bears.
  • Saint Bernards were bred as hunting, search and rescue, and watch dogs. In the meantime, it serves as a floor warmer and the perfect multiuse toy for small children. In a funny case of this, the film Cujo had problems with this, because the Saint Bernards were so friendly that they would often ruin takes by happily licking the actors or wagging their tails - which is a problem when your movie is about a Saint Bernard being turned into a savage killer.
  • Dalmatians are on the smaller end of the big dog scale, but they are plenty friendly - if not always very bright, being another breed that doesn't realise they are too big to be lapdogs.
  • Anatolian Shepherds are among the sweetest dogs you can find, and the biggest. Also, they make ADORABLE puppies. The breed also averts the Dogs Are Dumb trope by being very intelligent and independent. Bred in Turkey to protect sheep and goats, the dog stays with the flock and chases off predators, with Turkish shepherds going on record saying that three of these dogs can hold back a full pack of wolves and even hurt or kill two or three. The trouble is that this independence and intelligence means that it can be a little challenging to train for city life, as it can choose to just not obey. The breed is currently being used in Africa to protect the Cheetah from extinction.
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs, which can weigh upwards of 100 pounds (if male), are some of the friendliest, cuddliest dogs you could ever hope to meet. You would think that a Bernese would make a lousy guard dog, but these dogs form very strong bonds with their families - which includes protectiveness, especially towards children. Since they're still a Big, Friendly Dog, they'll at first only try and make you back down with their loud (and notably scary) bark. Ignore that, and well... it's gonna suck to be you.
  • Pyrenean mountain dogs, aka Great Pyrenees, are very similar to the Bernese Mountain dog in size; their temperament differs, however, as while they may be perfectly nice and friendly towards their chosen humans, they are notoriously aloof and stubborn. As anyone who has ever had a Great Pyrenees can tell you, they are often difficult to train because, to put it simply, if they like their idea better, they don't give two shits about your idea unless you can find a way (usually via food or toys) to convince them that there's something in it for them.
  • Subverted with the Akita, both Japanese and American. They are very large and beautiful fluffy dogs that look big and friendly, but are among the most stern and dutiful dogs. While gentle with their own family, human or otherwise, most Akitas are very independent. With a high prey drive and protective streak, combined with their enormous strength and speed, the breed is only gradually being developed for protection, guarding, and therapy. Still, they will often protect anything they like with their lives.
  • Completely averted with the Tosa Inu, a massive 200lb mastiff that was bred specifically to kill anything that isn't its owner, considered by many to be the most dangerous dog in the world. The Tosa is banned virtually worldwide and considered nearly impossible to socialize or intergrate into society.
  • Any large dog raised from an early age with cats will often develop catlike mannerisms. This can be distressing when your 60-pound-plus dog forgets how big he is and decides he wants to sit in your lap or climb up on furniture and tables.
  • The Great Dane George, aka the Tallest Dog.
  • To summarize everything mentioned above, large dogs in general and in particular, any breed from the Working Class. Their purpose of directly serving humans (usually by guarding) makes them EXTREMELY devoted to their families. If you look at official standards, many breeds typically considered Angry Guard Dogs actually require a temperament that is affectionate, devoted, and fun-loving when they aren't working. Their sheer size and power also require a strong focus on temperament and training, so they tend to have a more stable temperament than smaller dogs. Without them, there simply isn't any way an owner can manage them since they tend to be STRONGER than a human. Larger dogs also tend to be more confident (and tougher!) than smaller dogs, so will trust and welcome humans more readily, as well as tolerating rough play from children.
  • This is the idea behind the K-9 Comfort Dogs, a group of golden retrievers who are dispatched to the sites of disasters and traumatic events to bring the sort of love and calm that only a big friendly dog can provide.
  • Similar to the above, this trope is being invoked by Canines 4 Hope and other groups, who have been training dogs specifically to help veterans deal with PTSD. While they do seem to train some small dogs, most of the ones seen are at least too big to be lap dogs. There are multiple success stories on Youtube of these dogs calming their owners before they even realize they need help.
  • Three words: Old English sheepdogs. They're huge, cuddly teddy bears with ridiculously fluffy coats.
  • The Cane Corso, or Italian mastiff, might look imposing at first glance thanks to naturally scowly eyebrows, but personality-wise they're mostly just big, jowly doofs. Most of the time Cane Corsos are quiet, patient, and loving, but they're a rare example that also serves as good guard dogs due to being very loyal to and protective of their family.
  • Samoyeds aren't extremely large dogs (they're averaged-sized, though their incredibly fluffy coat makes them look larger,) but are known for being extremely friendly, to the point that their trademark happy expression is known as a "Sammie Smile."
  • Boxers are medium-large dogs that, as puppies, have a playful and affectionate personality that they retain even when they're fully grown.


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