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Canine Companion

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I Am Legend, and this is my dog.

A dog who travels with a character wherever they go, and traditionally known as "man's best friend". This may be anything from a Mister Muffykins or a Right-Hand Attack Dog to a Precious Puppy or a Non-Human Sidekick. If you're lucky, your Post-Apocalyptic Dog will be one of these, and not a Super-Persistent Predator dog hunting you down.

Unlike Heroes Love Dogs, the dog owners in this trope don't necessarily need to be good guys; when they are the villains, they are always subjected to literal Pet the Dog moments, and the villainous dogs will still always have Undying Loyalty to them.

A sufficiently cute dog, however, will make the mood even better, be it a cute big dog or a cuddly small dog, because Cuteness Equals Goodness.

Often called upon for Urine Trouble or other Toilet Humor jokes.

It's not limited to dogs; a Noble Wolf or a Fantastic Fox can count as one if they accompany their owner. Of course, more-menacing bad guys will also happen to have more evil canine companions, such as a pack of Savage Wolves, or a gigantic Hellhound.


A Sub-Trope of Precious Puppy, Heroes Love Dogs. See also A Boy and His X and Right-Hand Attack Dog.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Doraemon: Nobita and the Haunts of Evil have Nobita having his wishes of owning a pet fulfilled when he adopts a stray dog that he names Pekko, which his mother Tamako (who usually dislikes animals and forbids Nobita from owning a pet but decides to make an exception when Pekko retrieves her lost purse for her) allows him to keep in the house. But it turns out Pekko is actually the Prince of a tribe of dog-people living in the heart of Africa, who was cast out of his country by an evil usurper before escaping all the way to Japan, and the entire adventure revolves around the efforts of Nobita, Doraemon and their friends to help Pekko reclaim his throne.
  • Helen ESP has Victor, Helen's seeing-eye dog with whom she has a psychic connection.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
    • Germany has three dogs: Blackie (German Shepherd), Berlitz (Dobermann), and Aster (Golden Retriever).
    • Japan has one too, and his name is Pochi. He's likely to be either a Japanese Spitz, or maybe a really small Shiba Inu.
    • Sweden and Finland have Hanatamago. We don't know her exact breed, but she's speculated to be a Samoyed since she's white and fluffy.
  • Ena in Laid-Back Camp is frequently with her dog when she isn't at school and will send cute pictures of him to Rin while she's out camping.
  • Lyrical Nanoha: Fate and Arf in the first two seasons. Not so much in later seasons, which has Arf both spending less time in her wolf form and spending less time together with Fate.
  • Mazinger Z: Saijyo -a secondary character who appeared in episode 26- and his female dog, Norako. He was an orphan and homeless, and she was her only friend. He was fiercely protective of her.
  • Naruto:
    • The entire Inuzuka clan (the name means "dog soldiers") work with large, wolf-like dogs, at least one of whom can talk. Akamaru, who in Part I is small enough to be carried in Kiba's hood, is as big as a pony by Part II, and carries Kiba on his back.
    • Kakashi and his eight Ninken, who he mostly summons for tracking rather than battle.
  • Neo Human Casshern: Casshern travels with his dog partner Friender. Friender was originally the family dog — brave and fierce, who got killed but was revived as a trusted companion. Friender can become a tank, car, jet, or a submarine, and can breathe fire. He is the inspiration of Rush.
  • One Piece has a villainous example with Ohm and his very large dog, Holy.
  • Wolf's Rain: Quent Yaiden and Blue.
  • Yuri!!! on Ice: Victor Nikiforov has his pet poodle Makkachin, who he takes with him to Japan when he decides to become Yuri's coach.
  • Pokemon Sun & Moon: Five (Six considering that Rockruff lived with Professor Kukui before Ash caught it) major characters own canine-like Pokemon; Ash and his Dusk Lycanroc (originally obtained as a Rockruff), Lillie and her Alolan Vulpix (nicknamed Snowy), Gladion and his Midnight Lycanroc, and Olivia and her Midday Lycanroc. The fifth is James, who had a Growlithe as a boy before running away from home. When the cast visits the mansion where James grew up, it's revealed that Growlithe is still there, waiting for him to return

    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 
  • Tintin: Tintin has Snowy, who's bright enough to help his master on the many (many, many) occasions he gets himself captured.
  • Asterix: Obelix has Dogmatix. He's a cute little white dog, and very intelligent. Obelix might insist from time to time to give him some important tasks.
  • Jommeke: Filiberke has a dog, Pekkie, and the Duchess of Stiepelteen and her husband have two dogs, Tobias and Fifi.
  • Tom Poes: Somewhat subverted with Olivier B. Bommel. His butler is an anthropomorphic dog named Joost.
  • Suske en Wiske: In some stories, Wiske has a dog named Tobias.
  • Urbanus: Urbanus has a dog, Nabuko Donosor.
  • Boule et Bill: Boule has a cocker spaniel named Bill.
  • Cubitus: Cubitus is the canine companion of Sémaphore.
  • Mickey Mouse Comic Universe: Mickey Mouse has Pluto.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: Donald Duck has Bolivar, a Saint Bernard.
  • The Sandman (1989): Delirium has Barnabas, who she picked up from her brother Destruction.
    Delirium: I can't look after a doggie.
    Barnabas: You misheard him. I get to look after you.
  • Superman and Supergirl have Krypto, their super-powered pet dog. In the Silver and Bronze Ages Krypto always followed Clark around when he was Superboy, and he always came when Clark/Kal or Linda/Kara needed him. In Krypton No More he helped them fight an alien invasion off.
  • Batman has Ace The Bat-Hound, originally a Silver Age character that belonged to a man named John Wilker, who helped Batman save his master after he was kidnapped by a group of counterfeiters. Wilkers never discovered that his pet had become Batman's unlikely ally (thanks to the mask Batman put on him), and eventually became Bruce Wayne's pet, both Pre and Post-Crisis.
  • Groo the Wanderer:
    • Groo has Rufferto. Writer Mark Evanier once pointed out that Groo couldn't have a human sidekick unless that sidekick was stupider than Groo, but a dog that would always see him as smart and heroic would be ideal.
  • Played with in Mortadelo y Filemón.
    • The pair often gets a trained detective dog to help them with their missions, but always turns out that the dog is either too stupid or too smart to be of any use. Mortadelo and Filemón always end up getting rid of the dog in an often abusive way.
    • Also, Mortadelo or Filemón sometimes bring to the TIA offices a dog they claim to be their own pet, but it is only used in that particular chapter and is never heard of again.
    • Filemón is known to have at least two different little female dogs, called "Menda" and "Secretaria". Both are used in different albums as a one-time joke to mock Ofelia, and have never appeared or mentioned again.
      • And yet another one, a big, aggressive guardian dog called "Butcher". Like the others, used for a one-time joke, never to be seen again.
  • "Golden Eyes" and Her Hero "Bill": Uncle Sam the collie. Bill sends Uncle Sam to keep Golden Eyes safe while he's away at war. Golden Eyes ends up following Bill into the fray when she enlists as an ambulance driver, and Uncle Sam follows Golden Eyes as her constant companion and protector.
  • Archie Comics: Jughead has Hot Dog, who shares his Big Eater tendencies. Comics dealing with Archie's childhood give him a puppy named Spotty (no word on exactly what happened to him). More recently Archie's gotten himself a dog called Vegas.
  • Richie Rich has Dollar the Dollarmatian. Which is like a Dalmatian, but with dollar signs instead of spots.
  • Wendigo Wood: Hank Williamson brought a dog with him into the forest on his hunt for his daughter.
  • Lucky Luke: Rantanplan, who isn't actually Luke's dog, but rather a guard dog for a prison somewhere in the American Southwest (where the Dalton Brothers are usually imprisoned), but still follows Luke on many of his adventures. In the animated adaptation by Hanna-Barbera, he was adapted into stories he wasn't part of in the original comics.
  • MediEvil: Fate's Arrow: Sir Dan is revealed to have once owned a dog named Lupo.
  • Yorick And Bones: Yorick has Bones, the dog who dug him up after his revival, and sticks by his side in his search for friends.

    Fan Works 
  • Monsignor Ryan is rarely seen without his beloved dog Snowball in Angel of the Bat.
  • The Racket-Rotter Chronicles: Annette has Sagebear in the first few chapters of Arc 3. Later on, Sagebear becomes Shark's companion.
  • In Wonderful (Mazinja), Rachel really loves her dogs. When she and a lot of her dogs were trapped in a building, badly hurt, and the main characters found them, she did not resist arrest in exchange for treatment for her dogs (and herself, but she insisted that they healed her dogs first).
  • Thousand Shinji: Asuka had Spartacus, an old fighting bulldog who followed her around loyally.
  • In the Discworld fics of A.A. Pessimal, Assassin Johanna Smith-Rhodes has experience of keeping companion pets. Her first animal companion was vetoed by Lord Downey, who politely requested her to consider the best place for a fully grown lion (raised from a rejected cub) might be the Zoo and not the Assassins' Guild. She then got two Rhodesian Ridgebacks, nominally big fierce attack dogs, but which became beloved House animals to the girls of Raven House. Marrying and moving out, Kaffee and Creme went with her and became family pets. In the inevitable fullness of time, they were relaced by two even bigger Rimwards Howondalandian dogs: two Boerboels called Rooibuis and Klipdrift. Like the previous dogs, the two huge mastiffs are friendly, affectionate, ideal housepets to a growing family, who loved being taken on walkies by Raven House girls, and gentle with the children - until anything threatens their mistresses.
  • Two-Step has Rob, a big dog that sticks with Nick until Nick's kidnapped by Kyle, who tosses Rob out onto the snow.
  • The Bolt Chronicles: Ordinarily played straight with Bolt regarding Penny, most notably in “The Marching Song,” “The Walk,” and “The Car.” The dog is clearly very devoted to his master. Inverted in “The Murder Mystery” when the dog tries to vaporize Penny with his laser eye beams (turns out it's All Just a Dream).
  • In the Skyhold Academy Yearbook series, later installments see Cole as the proud owner of a mabari called Snow. Since mabari in Dragon Age are highly intelligent creatures who select their own masters, this is a big deal for the boy.

    Films — Animation 
  • Coco: Miguel Rivera and Dante, a stray xolo dog who follows him into the Land of the Dead.
  • Moses in A Tale of Egypt has one. The dog was his companion in Egypt, and after Moses flees, he is followed by the dog.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls turns Spike the dragon into a dog when he follows Twilight Sparkle through the mirror portal into the human world. Human!Pinkie Pie notes when she meets them that they look just like another girl and her dog living in the city; we meet them in The Stinger of the second film, and Spike the dog is featured in the subsequent films in place of Spike the dragon.
  • Oliver & Company turns Fagin's underling orphans into his dogs, with Oliver becoming a Cute Kitten to stand out more. Villain Sykes has two large guard dogs named Roscoe and DeSoto.
  • Charles Muntz, the Big Bad of Up, has a ton of dogs as his loyal Right Hand Attack Dogs who can all talk through voice collars. One of them he named Alpha has the strongest loyalty to him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The prehistoric set film Alpha (2018) deals with a young hunter named Keda that forms a bond with a wolf and teams up with it in order to survive. The film itself is billed as telling the story of how the friendship between humans and canines began tens of thousands of years ago.
  • Carlos De Vil and Dude from Descendants.
  • Eyes of an Angel: A mobster's daughter adopts a Dobermann that was used in a dogfighting ring. Because of the kindness the girl showed it, it follows her everywhere, no matter how many times the father tries to get rid of it. It culminates in the dog following them all the way cross-country when they have to go into hiding.
  • In The Grizzlies, newcomer Russ to the Canadian artic town of Kugluktuk takes in a black dog and brings her on his runs and lacrosse training.
    Russ: You should come join us [for dinner].
    Kyle: Y-you mean you and your inside dog?
    Russ: Yeah, Maggie's the only girl who'll put up with me.
  • Heavily elaborated upon in Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey when Shadow and Chance discuss the nature of dogs' relationships with humans.
    Chance: But we didn't ask for this job.
    Shadow: We didn't have to. It's built-in. Has been ever since the dawn of time, when a few wild dogs took it upon themselves to watch over man. To bark when he's in danger, to run and play with him when he's happy, to nuzzle him when he's lonely. That's why they call us "man's best friend."
  • I Am Legend: The protagonist Robert Neville has a pet dog named Sam. Since a viral outbreak nearly eradicated humanity, Sam is Neville's only company and pretty much the only thing keeping the crushing desolation from driving him insane. True to form, when he has to Mercy Kill her upon infection, he goes over the deep end from despair.
  • An Enforced Trope by the Agency in Kingsman: The Secret Service. Each of the recruits is instructed to adopt a puppy, train it and take it with them everywhere, in order to learn about teamwork. Subverted when the final test comes. And then Double Subverted when it turned out they were shooting blanks.
  • There's an old 70s horror movie called Dracula's Dog, or, in some editions, Zoltan, the Hound of Dracula. Sure enough, what you get is a movie about a Doberman that Dracula turns into his own undead pet.
  • In Please Stand By, the group home's dog, Pete, follows Wendy for several blocks after she runs away. She puts Pete in her bag and carries him most of the way to Los Angeles.
  • The Brazilian film Super Xuxa Contra Baixo Astral stars Xuxo, a puppet dog who accompanies the titular heroine on her journey to bring joy to Rio. He is kidnapped by the main villain as a result and Xuxa has to rescue him.
  • In Mr. Ricco, the titular lawyer's dog Hank follows him everywhere, even to work. He's even trained to retrieve balls on the golf course for Hank.
  • Winterskin: Agnes has King, who lives in her cabin with her. Unfortunately, Billy lets him out of the cabin one night, and he doesn't come back. Agnes finds him the next morning dead and skinless.


  • Carson Crosses Canada: Carson is the dog of Annie Magruder, who is accompanying her on her cross-country trip from British Columbia to Newfoundland to meet her sister.
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles has the eponymous Hound owned by Jack Stapleton, who is one of the nastiest and the most reviled villains in the Sherlock Holmes stories.
  • Land of Oz: Toto accompanies Dorothy on her adventures to and around Oz.
  • Maya's Notebook: Fákin, a friendly stray dog with a lame leg, becomes this to Maya and even barks to warn her when the Big Bad comes for her.
  • The chaps of Three Men in a Boat have the canine delinquent Montmorency.
  • I Am Legend: The Dog in the original short story is a subversion. The survivor tries to tame a feral dog into his companion. He appears to succeed in getting the dog to take food from him, and then you find out the dog died two weeks later due to illnesses.
  • The Dresden Files: Harry's dog Mouse goes all sorts of places dogs don't usually go.
  • Harry Potter: When James Potter, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew found out that Remus Lupin was a werewolf, they secretly trained themselves to become Animagi (wizards who can transform into an animal form) so they could keep him company during his monthly transformations. Sirius's form is that of a large black dog.
  • Old Kingdom: Lirael has the Disreputable Dog. Kinda.
  • Haplo, Anti-Hero of The Death Gate Cycle, has a dog that goes everywhere with him, even when this defies all logic or common sense. It turns out that the dog, unknown to everyone, is actually a magical manifestation of Haplo's soul.
  • In Pocket in the Sea, Vicky, Lulu's dog, visits him in prison (and it was apparently a regular visitor), is brought on board a deployed military submarine, and even goes to prison with the crew later on in the book. Despite her adventures, Vicky is very distinctly a dog.
  • In The Silmarillion story of Beren and Lúthien, the title characters are accompanied on their adventures by the wolfhound Huan.
  • Oleg Divov's The Dog Master features an entire paramilitary organization where specially-equipped soldiers hunt zombie-like creatures with their dogs. They are led by the titular Dog Master. Neither the dogs nor their masters survive the final battle with the zombies.
  • In John C. Wright's The Golden Transcendence, Phaethon populates the bridge with mannequins of famous explorers. Including the dog of one such explorer, because it was just not right to have that man without his dog.
  • The titular Castaways of the Flying Dutchman are a boy and a black lab, cursed to wander the earth without aging, but at least they have each other.
  • In the Daniel P. Mannix's novel The Fox and the Hound, Copper, an aging bloodhound mix, serves as the hunter's loyal dog companion and acts as his Right-Hand Attack Dog.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has the Stark kids and their direwolves
  • In the Walt Longmire series of mysteries by Craig Johnson, from book two onward the old sheriff is accompanied everywhere by an oversized St. Bernard/Shepherd/miscellaneous mix called Dog. (The dog adopted him, and Walt never got around to giving him a name.) Walt not only implicitly trusts Dog's instincts but wryly muses about what Dog has figured out about the latest case and his various other social complications.
  • In Ted Wood's mystery/action series about Reid Bennett, a Canadian small-town policeman, Bennett's Alsatian police dog Sam is important enough to make them an outright Buddy Cop Show duo.
  • In Dana Stabenow's mystery series about Alaskan investigator Kate Shugak, Shugak is usually accompanied, and at times rescued, by her faithful husky/wolf cross Mutt.
  • Played With in Beetle in the Anthill: Lev Abalkin explored the dying planet of Hope with his longtime partner Schyokn-Itrch, a golovan—that is, member of a sentient species evolved from dogs native to another planet recovering from a nuclear war. The golovans are extremely intelligent, fearless, and possess superhuman senses, so in many ways, Abalkin is Schyokn's humanoid companion rather than vice versa.
  • In The Odyssey, the only one to recognize Odysseus when he returns home in disguise is his aged, faithful dog Argos — who had never abandoned hope, and who died happy after seeing his master one last time.
  • In Angelmaker, Edie's is a small, old pug with pale pink glass eyeballs.
  • Gry trains a guide dog named Coaly for Orrec in Gifts when he gets blindfolded due to being unable to control his Deadly Gaze. He keeps her even after he takes the blindfold off.
  • Rosemary Sutcliff gave many of her protagonists a canine partner – notably Cub the tame wolf in The Eagle of the Ninth, King Arthur's Cabal in Sword at Sunset, Whitethroat in Warrior Scarlet, A Dog Named "Dog" in Dawn Wind, Hugin in Sword Song, and Argos in Brother Dusty-Feet. The Silver Branch, bizarrely, features Cullen the Hound, a human sidekick who thinks he's a dog.
  • Jen from Sea of the Patchwork Cats has the brain and spliced DNA of a dog. She still looks human enough. Wink Wink.
  • Chap from the The Saga of the Noble Dead series is a loyal companion to Leesil and Magiere, even after the immortal guide stops pretending to just be a normal dog.
  • Journey to Chaos: Kae Ninea the mercenary never goes anywhere without her black lap partner, Jet.
  • Ijori's dog, Oochoo, from Fairest is this. One is never without the other for long.
  • Chiara's sheep dog, Scintillio, in The Ghost in Gold. As a puppy, he is one of the last gifts from her father before he passes away, and a more prominent comfort during her situation than the family of mice typical to the source material. When Chiara becomes a maid at the palace, Prince Lorenzo invents a job for Scintillio in the stables so the girl and dog won't be separated.
  • Toby in Rivers of London, a moderately intelligent terrier who Peter often takes with him on investigations, as he's sensitive enough to magic that Peter actually measures vestigia in "yaps". When not on a case, he hangs around the Folly trying to convince people to give him sausages.
  • Gaspode the Wonder Dog in Discworld sometimes finds himself in this role; most notably to Victor in Moving Pictures and to Carrot in The Fifth Elephant. As with all canine stereotypes, he hates it but feels compelled to go along with it anyway.
  • In the Franny K. Stein books, Franny has a pet dog named Igor. True to his name, he assists Franny with her experiments and is completely loyal to her.
  • In The Great Balloon Race, the Professor and Charles are accompanied on the race by the Professor's dog Plato, whom Charles has to keep taking out to find a tree.
  • A Night in the Lonesome October revolves around Jack and his canine companion Snuff.
  • The titular character of the Mulle Meck books (better known internationally as Gary Gadget) is never seen away from his companion dog Buffa, who gladly tags along with him as he builds himself and test drives his new vehicles - whether car, boat, or airplane.
  • The Darkest Dark: Kid Chris' pug, Albert, stays with him through the bulk of the story.
  • In the ‘’44 Scotland Street’’ series by Alexander McCall Smith, the dog Cyril is an associate member of the Scottish Arts Club so he can accompany Angus. He also goes to pubs with Angus and drinks beer, to the consternation of some
  • The children's book The First Dog by Jan Brett is similar to the story in Alpha (2018), telling the story of how Kip the Cave Boy tames a friendly wolf.
  • Lucía Maraz from In the Midst of Winter has Marcelo, a Chihuahua. Richard, her landlord, allows him to stay even though the lease does not allow for pets. When they end up embarking on a Road Trip Plot, she insists on bringing him because Marcelo suffers from separation anxiety.
  • In Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, Torak's constant companion and "pack-brother" since the first book is Wolf, a wolf cub he saved from starvation after its family died in a flood. He can communicate with Wolf since he was temporarily Raised by Wolves when he was a baby.
  • Takashi Yanase's Anpanman picture books and numerous animated adaptations would frequently feature the titular character getting help from Cheese the Dog.
  • Journey to the West features Erlang Shen, the warrior god who defeats Sun Wukong. He has a faithful dog called Xiaotianquan/Shoutenken ("Howling Celestial Dog"). In Erlang's fight with Wukong, Xiaotianquan bites Wukong's leg at a critical moment. When they fight a giant multi-headed insect demon, Xiaotianquan bites off its head.
  • Nettle And Bone: Bonedog is a friendly, upbeat, and loyal companion to Marra throughout the book, only slightly complicated by the fact that he's a skeletal construct and can't actually lick her. She eventually buys him a canine Glamour so she can travel with him around other people without causing a panic.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "The Hunt". Hyder Simpson is accompanied everywhere by his dog Rip...even in the afterlife.
  • Inspector Rex, or Kommissar Rex in its native language. The tale of a crime-solving police dog and its owner.
  • Ned of Pushing Daisies has Digby, though Digby seems to like Chuck and Olive just as much.
  • Top Gear had Dog, a female Labradoodle who accompanied Richard Hammond on his adventures for Season 8 and part of Season 9.
  • Wishbone is a dog that belongs to Joe Talbot.
  • Veronica Mars is always careful to bring Backup whenever she goes on stakeouts.
  • Person of Interest has Bear the military-trained Belgian Malinois, who responds to commands in Dutch.
  • Once Upon a Time has Archie Hopper and his faithful Dalmatian Pongo.
  • Later seasons of The Dukes of Hazzard gave Sheriff Rosco Coltrane his beloved basset hound Flash.
  • Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: Sully is rarely seen without his faithful dog Wolf, an Alaskan Malamute.
  • Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye: Sue Thomas is a deaf FBI agent. Levi is Sue's hearing ear dog.
  • Toto from Emerald City, who in this universe is a K9 police dog who happened to be in the car when it was sucked into the tornado, follows Dorothy everywhere. Though he seems to prefer Sylvie.
  • MythBusters (2017): Brian's dog Bo accompanied him through the entire MythBusters: the Search competition. Now that he's one of the reboot series' Mythbusters, Bo not only appears regularly onscreen but is officially credited as "MythDog" in the show's opening credits.
  • The Mad TV ad campaign for Smith Comma John, Human Being for President has him pose with Nilly, a (hostile) labrador.
    Smith Comma John: As my wife, Nilly will be the best First Lady this country has ever seen.
  • Vincent from Lost, a yellow Labrador owned by Walt Lloyd, who survived the plane crash that stranded everyone on the island. He's the second character introduced after Jack and in the final scene of the series lies down next to Jack as he's dying so he won't be alone.
  • Punky Brewster had her beloved golden retriever Brandon, who was abandoned along with Punky by Punky's mother until Henry Warnimont took them in.
  • In The Westerner, The Drifter Dave Blassingame is accompanied everywhere by his faithful dog Brown, a lop-eared yellow Mastador (Mastiff/Labrador Retriever mix). Brown was played by Spike, the same dog who starred in Old Yeller.
  • Season 9 of The Walking Dead introduces Dog, who is Daryl's Belgian Malinois and his only companion for the better part of six years.
  • Dog has... well, Dog, German shepherd who is companion to former police detective Maxim Maximov. Max, in turn, found him wounded at his mentor and former father-in-law's body.

    Mythology and Religion 

    Newspaper Comics 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Arkham Horror has an Ally card for a dog named Duke. He's good for your sanity.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolves ride Fenrisian Wolves, ginormous wolves that can grow to bigger than a rhinoceros, and are tamed by finding the pack leader and defeating it in single combat (or being raised by them, as has happened twice already). And they really do follow the hero everywhere: strategic briefings involving multiple Chapters involve either telling the nine-foot-tall space Viking in Power Armor and a giant axe to go wait outside, or tolerate the panting, scratching, and roughhousing of half a dozen wolves bigger than the briefing room table.
    • A comedic fluff article states that the Astra Militarum recently got more classical examples of this trope. Judging by the article's entirely basic instructions to canine (er, canid) care, having dogs as pets was no longer commonplace.
  • In the new Mutant Chronicles: Warzone Resurrection, Mitch Hunter can form a combat team with his dog Pride.
  • In Mutant: Year Zero's Core Book, there is a class role solely dedicated to training and fighting with dogs.
  • The One Ring: Woodmen of Wilderland can acquire a Hound of Mirkwood, which is faithful enough to Take the Bullet for them and can be trained to help out in other roles.
  • The ubiquity of this trope is why the Coalition States created the Psi-Hounds, a.k.a. "dogboys". Humans and canines have worked together for so long that Coalition soldiers have no issue working alongside them, and dogboys are (with a few exceptions) fanatically loyal to humanity.

    Video Games 
  • Dog/Worthless Mutt from Arcanum. He can join your party without taking up a companion slot and train himself to be a melee master.
  • Candies 'n Curses features a ghost puppy named Goober who will aid the player in slaying ghosts if they have the Pup Charm equipped.
  • Conquest of the Crystal Palace: Farron and his dog Zap are the only ones brave enough to rise against the conquest.
  • In Dark Souls there's the Great Grey Wolf, Sif. Sif was the wolf companion of Sir Artorias, the Abysswalker (a giant himself) even after his death. Sif guarded Artorias's grave until death and wielded the great sword Artorias once used.
  • The Dark Tales installment The Gold Bug provides Dupin and the player with the assistance of Arthur, a sweet-tempered and highly intelligent Newfoundland, who sniffs out various clues for them.
  • Darkest Dungeon's hero lineup includes the Houndmaster, who's never seen without his faithful canine. She assists in several of his attacks and abilities, and his combat animations include hugging her and shielding her from harm with his body.
  • The Dead to Rights games has Shadow, an insanely vicious husky capable of killing Mooks just as easily as his Cowboy Cop partner Jack Slate, as well as being able to solve puzzles or get various objects needed for Jack to progress.
  • Deadly Premonition has Forrest Kaysen's dalmatian Willie, who is exceptionally good at tracking down missing people. According to Word of God, it also relays orders to Kaysen from the Red World.
  • Dragon Age loves its dogs. The mabari are a cultural symbol of the kingdom of Ferelden, and it's a well-known fact that they are "smart enough to talk, wise enough not to." If a character in the franchise has a mabari, they are invariably Fereldan.
    • In Dragon Age: Origins, five of the six potential origins have an opportunity to have a mabari hound imprint on them. The Human Noble, on the other hand, has had a mabari since they were very young and the dog is with them from almost the very beginning of the game.
    • In Dragon Age II, the Black Emporium DLC provides a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for the original Mabari. This time, the dog is treated much like a ranger's summoned animals were in the original, so he no longer takes up a party member slot and can be with Hawke at all times.
    • The player does not get a dog in Dragon Age: Inquisition, as they are native to the Free Marches; however, in the Trespasser DLC epilogue, Cullen - the Inquisitor's Ferelden-born military advisor - finds an abandoned mabari at the Winter Palace and they adopt each other. Most of the potential ending slides for Cullen show him with the dog at his side.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Clavicus Vile, the Daedric Prince of Bargains and Wishes, is often accompanied by Barbas, Vile's external conscience. While Barbas might appear closer to a Hell Hound in statues, he is much closer to a Big Friendly Dog in personality and when he takes form in the mortal world.
    • Oblivion and Skyrim both have optional dog companions. Oblivion's in the form of a skinned hound reward for a quest, and in Skyrim a pet dog can be obtained in one of three ways. Firstly, stray dogs may appear in random encounters in the wilderness; secondly, a dog named Vigilance may be purchased; and thirdly, a dog named Meeko can be found lingering around a shack in the wilderness. Meeko's previous master died and Meeko is unwilling to leave him unless he is adopted by the player. Additionally, one quest has the aforementioned Barbas join you for a time. The Dawnguard DLC adds extra dog companions which can be obtained by joining either of the added factions; they are not permanently the player's pets but can be taken along on quests as followers.
  • A blond Labrador can be found by the player in Endless Ocean: Blue World. Rescuing it leads L&L Diving Service to adopt it on Nineball Island, naming it "Snorkel", and it becomes involved in a sidequest.
  • Fallout:
    • Dogmeat, a dog that the player can have join their party, also makes a cameo (and acted as a non-canon bonus character) in Fallout 2 (along with two normally recruitable cybernetic dog companions: K-9 and Robodog, and a "special encounter" jinxed dog called Pariah) and appears (in 3D for the first time) in Fallout 3. He's found next to a dead body named Max, a homage to Mad Max 2 and his dog, Dog. Fallout: New Vegas also gives you Rex, a new cyberdog companion, and in the DLC "Old World Blues" you can get Roxie, a female cyberdog (which can actually "mate" with Rex in several endings if certain conditions are attained).
    • Many players have been known to Save Scum should their dog companions die in Fallout. Human companions, meanwhile, are generally considered expendable. This is now sufficiently accepted that after Fallout 4 was announced, the game's director publicly stated that this time "... the dog can't die, because you're just going to re-load."
  • In Fable II, the protagonist gets a dog to help fight off enemies and find buried treasure. You get a dog in Fable III as well.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VI: The ninja Shadow has Interceptor, who helps him in battle. Because Interceptor was coded as a hidden status effect, it's possible to accidentally lose him.
    • Final Fantasy VIII: Most of Rinoa's Limit Break attacks involve her dog, Angelo.
    • Final Fantasy X: The Aeon Yojimbo has a dog named Daigoro that helps him in battle.
  • Missile the Pomeranian from Ghost Trick is possibly the greatest example ever, as neither dying multiple times or waiting ten years all by himself will get in the way of his loyalty.
  • Dog from Half-Life 2: although his body moves more like a gorilla, the way he acts and his function in the game are both clearly dog-like.
  • This is the central mechanic in Haunting Ground, which has Fiona rely on Hewie as both her primary means of defense and to recover items in areas that are inaccessible to her. Together, they must puzzle their way past the castle's dangers in order to escape.
  • In Ian's Eyes, North is Ian's seeing-eye dog. He's also the Player Character.
  • Charles-Ingvar suddenly, yet without comment, gains one called Ingo in Jönssonligan: Jakten på Mjölner after not having had any pets in the original film series. While Ingo can't be controlled on his own and there is no way to interact with him, he will always follow Charles around and is useful for a few puzzles.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you can unlock Wolf Link as a hunting partner for the player by using the appropriate Amiibo.
  • In Love & Pies, Joe gives Amelia a new dog on Yuka's behalf so she'll have a partner like Miguel and canine sidekick Carmen in "The Mysteries of Miguel".
  • Polterpup, starting with the end of Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, where Luigi adopts him. By the time of 3, Polterpup has become the Team Pet of the Mario Crew, going on a holiday trip with them. After Luigi escapes getting trapped, Polterpup ends up being a near-constant companion and guide for Luigi, pointing him towards things that are important, like finding and leading Luigi to the Poltergust G-00.
  • Mega Man has Rush, who can be used like a hoverboard and has a spring on his back that allows Mega Man to reach high platforms. There's also the more wolf-like Treble, who can combine with his master Bass to access his Super Mode.
  • Metal Gear:
  • Minecraft lets you tame wolves so they'll follow you around and help you fight, whether that means defending you from hostile mobs or hunting down passive mobs that you have targeted. The Xbox 360 Avatar system honored this by letting you have a pet Minecraft wolf as an accessory, which shows the Avatar playing with it.
  • The player character in most installments of the Mystery Trackers series has Elf, a miniature pinscher, who accompanies her on missions. Elf can be used to retrieve items from places too small for the player to go and performs other various helpful functions. One of the games even has an adorable bonus activity in which the player acquires various items for Elf, his mate, and their litter of puppies.
  • Quite a few Pokémon are based on dogs; examples include the Growlithe, Eevee, Snubbull, Houndour, Poochyena, Zigzagoon, Riolu, Lillipup, Rockruff, and Yamper families, along with Furfrou. If you include foxes, then the Vulpix, Zorua, Fennekin, and Nickit families also count.
  • Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi: Aunt Sophie's dog Buster will follow you around and fight off monsters once you free him.
  • Rule of Rose has an example of this in the form of Brown, the protagonist's best friend and companion throughout the game. In addition, his sense of smell is used as a core gameplay mechanic in locating items.
  • Samurai Shodown: Galford is accompanied in battle by his dog Poppy, who also assists him with some attacks.
  • Secret of Evermore's hero has a dog that helps him in battle and to sniff out alchemy ingredients in the area. The effects of Evermore also change the dog's shape to reflect the sort of region the boy is exploring.
  • Shadow Hearts: Covenant has Blanca, a large white wolf who accompanies Yuri and the party on their journey. A series of "Wolf Bouts", a sidequest exclusive to him, also demonstrates that he's an Intellectual Animal, conversing quite articulately with his opponent.
  • The Shinobi sequel Shadow Dancer had Yamato, who you could sick on enemies to prevent them from attacking.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire introduces a purchasable Akk Dog as a combat companion (which can somehow heal the player). Although this is playing a little bit loose with the definition of "canine" — akk dogs look and act roughly like — wolves actually — but biologically they're more like giant, angry, blaster-resistant reptiles with More Teeth than the Osmond Family.
  • Suikoden II: Kinnison and his dog, Shiro, live in the forest surrounding Ryubei Village. If Player Character Riou puts the baby bird back in its nest and returns a short while later, Kinnison will ask if he was the one who saved it. Answer "yes" and they'll join Riou's army.
  • Tales of Vesperia has Repede, a damned big dog loyal to Yuri, the main protagonist. Oh, and he's a playable party member as well.
  • Pom from Them's Fightin' Herds is accompanied by a small litter of puppies named Woof, Ruff, Tuft, and Puff, as well as their giant mother and father (not counting all of the puppies that show up in Pom's Level 2 Super attack) who accompany her on her adventure, as well as play a role in her moveset.
  • The Devil In Me: Connie, a dog the crew encounters and can befriend (or kill) during their ordeal on the island. A secret ending is unlocked if the player manages to kill everyone but the dog.
  • Until Dawn: During his exploration of the asylum, Mike encounters a Noble Wolf owned by the mysterious Stranger. If the player chooses to be kind to the animal, Mike will have a loyal companion that helps him during his trip through the monster-infested ruins.
  • Warframe lets you get your own kubrow, an Orokin-engineered oviparous dog-like creature that assists you in missions and is an adorable furball in your orbiter. Just remember to regularly treat them with DNA stabilizers and pet them so that they remain at peak functionality.
  • Yuuyami Doori Tankentai has Meros, Nao's dog, who frequently follows him and his friends around town.

    Web Comics 
  • Bob and George: Mega Man assumes he has this
  • The Fox Sister: Soot Bull to Yun Hee.
  • A Redtail's Dream: Hannu's trusty dog Ville is often in the shape of other animals while on their dreamquest, but always has his own doggy nature.
  • In Homestuck: Jade has Becquerel, and even when Jack Noir gets prototyped with him, he still can't bear himself to kill her.
  • Phantomarine: Katja is an integral and important member of the Mantaluna crew.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Reynir's fylgja, which sometimes guides him in the mage-exclusive dreamspace, is an Icelandic sheepdog.
  • Sweet Dreams: Lorelei's service dog Pippa is included in her magical girl transformations, allowing her to become strong enough to carry Lorelei around on her back. The two are never seen more than a few inches away from each other.
  • Unsounded: Emil's loyal canine Pantoffel follows him and protects him through long journeys and battles.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


The Hero Wakes Up

After the opening CGI cutscene, the protagonist is awoken by their butler Jasper to start their day; along with their faithful dog companion who was sleeping next to them.

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Example of:

Main / GoodMorningCrono

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