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Heroes Love Dogs

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"It doesn't matter in Gladiator that Romans didn't use dogs on the battlefield, or that the dog disappears from the movie immediately afterward. It's a very simple equation: The good guys are whichever team the dog shows allegiance to, because the dog would never make that kind of mistake, especially if it's an adorable dog."

A tool often used by media makers to help make sure you empathize with the party that they want you to empathize with.

The surest way to show that a hero is undeniably a hero and an awesome guy is to show him hanging out with and totally loving his dog. It's his dog. Who ever heard of an awesome dude that doesn't love his dog?

Think of this trope as being the physical manifestation of Pet the Dog. If a character has a dog which is around him constantly and whom he is always nice, respectful, and loving to, then that means a scene literally cannot go by in which he does not Pet The Dog. So of course he must be noble and good at heart. Villains who are cruel enough to mess with the dog, on the other hand, can expect full-on retribution from the hero in question, although certain villains who also own and love dogs tend to consider the dog-owning hero a Worthy Opponent.

The dog in question is frequently a Canine Companion, sometimes also a Post-Apocalyptic Dog. See also Evil-Detecting Dog, for some of the logic behind this. See also Heroic Dog.

Contrast Right-Hand Cat and Right-Hand Attack Dog, compare Kindhearted Cat Lover and Introverted Cat Person. Inverse of Bad People Abuse Animals. Related to but not necessarily mutually inclusive with Friend to All Living Things.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Anpanman has Cheese, Anpanman's pet dog. He found Cheese as a stray when he was a little boy and was the first creature he gave part of his head to to eat.
  • One of the many early hints that Dark Magical Girl Fate of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha was a lot nicer than she first appeared to be was how much she dotes on her wolf familiar, Arf.
  • The Case Files of Jeweler Richard: Richard is a huge dog lover, dating back to when he was a child. According to Jeffrey, he cried his eyes out when his childhood dog died and he immediately takes to Seigi's adopted dog, saying he loves dogs very much and wants to cuddle him, which the dog is less than fond of. He also quickly sets to training it and agrees to adopt another dog with Seigi.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Majin Buu's Heel–Face Turn starts when he heals and befriends a small dog named Bee, who accompanies him throughout the rest of the arc.
  • Elfen Lied: Though more of a borderline Villain Protagonist, Lucy has a soft spot for dogs; it was the brutal killing of a puppy she had bonded with that triggered her Start of Darkness.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Played with when it comes to Roy Mustang. He gives a famous speech about his love of dogs, but the reason he gives for this affection is that you can treat them like crap and they'll still be loyal to you.
    • Played straighter with his Lancer, Riza Hawkeye. She's the owner of the puppy that inspired Mustang's speech about dogs.
  • Played with in Hayate X Blade with Mikado Akira. Immediately after she gives up her need for her father's approval, the root of her antagonistic actions, she is shown to have a dog.
  • Idol Densetsu Eriko: Eriko is a beloved idol and has a Pomeranian named Fortissimo and a Maltese named Pianissimo, and treats them like her children.
  • Mischievous Twins: The Tales of St. Clare's: Jerk with a Heart of Gold Pat loves playing with Blinky, the stray puppy adopted by the first formers of Saint Clare's.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing - Heero Yuy presents himself as an emotionless killer, but even he turns into a softy around animals, especially dogs. One scene involves him playing fetch with a pair of dogs on the beach and encouraging Quatre to join in, commenting on their ability to sense a person's true character.
  • Nurse Angel Ririka SOS depicts dogs more positively than cats. After all, the heroine loves her pet dog Herb. Herb even helps her detect evil.
  • Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon:
    • Ash Ketchum obtains a canine Rock-type Pokémon called Lycanroc. The two have been friends since it was a Rockruff and before it officially joined Ash's team. Of course, Ash is well-known as a friend to all Pokémon, canine or otherwise.
    • All of Gladion's Pokémon are in some way canine — Umbreon, Midnight Lycanroc, and even Silvally to a degree. Later on, he catches a Zoroark.
  • All the girls in School-Live! have a thing for Taromaru, though Taromaru doesn't like Miki much. In the manga, she never even met Taromaru as he is a minor Posthumous Character, though one chapter's cover does show Miki photographing a puppy who doesn't seem to like her.
  • In Manga/Spider-Man J, a manga adaptation of Spider-Man, gives Peter a pet dog named Par, along with cat named Leo and a bird named Don. Their names, when said together (as 'Leopardon') form a shoutout to an old Super Sentai show about Spidey.
  • Tiger & Bunny: Keith Goodman/Sky High likes to spend his spare time walking his dog, John.
  • ''Voltes V: Daijirou is one of the five pilots who forms the Combining Mecha, and regularly saves the world from Beast Knights. He has a soft spot for animals, and takes a liking to a stray puppy.

    Comic Books 
  • Asterix: Probably the second most iconic Canine Companion in Franco-Belgian Comicsnote  is Obelix's dog, Dogmatix. Attempting or threatening to harm him is one of his most serious Berserk Buttons.
  • Buck Danny: Averted hard with the relationship between Sonny and his admiral's pet bulldog, O'Connor. Note that Sonny is generally friendly to dogs and other animals, sometimes unwisely so. O'Connor, however, is a neverending source of accidents and misfortunes, made worse by the fact that if anything were ever to happen to him while Sonny was nearby, he knows the admiral will blame him for it.
  • Batman: Krypto inspired Bill Finger to add Ace the Bat-Hound to the Batman Family.
  • The Boys: Billy Butcher may be a general jerk and super killer, but he genuinely loves his inaptly named British Bulldog Terror, and he usually serves to show Billy's more human side. When Jack From Jupiter kills Terror, Billy completely loses it.
  • Uncle Sam, the collie Canine Companion to the protagonist of the World War I serial "Golden Eyes" and Her Hero "Bill". Even though they're in the middle of a war, both Golden Eyes and Bill dote on Uncle Sam constantly. In contrast, the German patrol that spots Uncle Sam shoots at him.
  • Hawkeye: In Hawkeye (2012) #1, Clint Barton makes sure to get a severely injured dog treated after he saves Clint from being shot at by some thugs while he is unarmed (the dog took a liking to Barton because he gave him a slice of pizza) and ends up getting hit by a car because of it. When one of the criminals responsible for wounding him arrives at the vet to attack Clint, he yells "Who throws a damn dog into traffic —" while punching them. The dog, while now severely banged up, is seen living with him by issue #2. For added points, the dog's called Arrow, but Clint changes it to Lucky to highlight the unlikely survival. Clint's successor Kate Bishop also qualifies, as along with his codename, she also takes Lucky under her guard.
  • The Flash: Impulse had a pet Jack Russell Terrier named Dox.
  • Ms. Marvel (2014): Kamala Khan doesn't have her own dog. But when Lockjaw, the big friendly Inhuman dog, gets sent to help her out for a bit she falls in love with him. It helps that not only is he adorable, but he is the size of a small car and can teleport, great assets in a fight.
  • Superman:
    • Superboy/Superman and his dog companion Krypto the Superdog.
    • Krypto also becomes Supergirl's pet when she arrives on Earth. In alternate universe story The Death of Superman (1961), in which Superman gets murdered by Lex Luthor, Supergirl becomes Krypto's sole owner when she takes over her cousin's job. In most continuities, though, Supergirl's pet is a cat named Streaky.
    • In The Supergirl from Krypton (2004), Kara tries to make friends with Krypto, but Krypto doesn't appear to like her. She is upset about it. Later they become friends.
    • In the Post-Flashpoint continuity, Krypto was the House of El's family dog. Kara is delighted when she learns that he also survived.
    • In Krypton No More, Superman, Supergirl, and Krypto fight and have fun together.
    • In The Superman Adventures story "Old Wounds", Superman has a lot of fun having Krypto around (thanks to one of Mxy's tricks) before the dog's superpowers emerge.
    • In Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Superman-Prime #1, Superboy-Prime hurts Krypto, resulting in the whole Superman Family ganging up on him.
  • Tintin: The titular character has his Canine Companion Snowy.
  • Thundercracker's Heel–Face Turn in The Transformers (IDW) is cemented when he adopts a dog named Buster. He spends the rest of the comic doting on Buster, ensuring she's looked after, getting his giant metal face licked and even taking her to space in an adorable little spacesuit. She even gets to save the day in two separate comics, once by teaming up with the other Team Pets (Bob the Insecticon and the drone D.O.C.) and once when she turns out to be able to detect Dire Wraith infiltrators.
  • Watchmen:
    • Inverted. Rorschach clearly doesn't have a high opinion of dogs at all. When he discovers that two dogs owned by a kidnapper were fed the child's body as means of disposing of the evidence, he promptly kills them. Though calling Rorschach a hero is a bit of a stretch.
    • Played straight with Nite Owl I's dog Phantom, which marks him as the most mentally stable person in the entire cast.

    Fan Works 
  • A Boy, a Girl and a Dog: The Leithian Script: Beren and Luthien's most loyal companion and friend is Huan, a huge and noble wolfhound.
  • In Holidays with Holmes, the son of one of Holmes' clients lends Watson his bulldog puppy to sleep with after he injures himself on a case, and Watson deeply enjoys its company. Holmes, on the other hand, doesn't like dogs thanks to a childhood incident but puts up with it because of Watson.
  • Kara of Rokyn: As Nasthalthia Luthor narrates the origin of the Superman/Lex Luthor feud, she remarks Superboy forgave Lex's attempts on his life until his ex-friend involved Krypto.
    Nasthalthia: Okay. So Lex and Superboy were enemies, now. Lex wasn't in trouble with the law yet, but that wouldn't take long. Lex tried to kill Blue Boy and his stupid dog with some living-Kryptonite thingies he'd created and got close as dammit to doing it. It took one of those Legion kids to save Supes's backside in that one.
    Starfire: Did he take Lex to jail after that?
    Nasthalia: No. Believe it or not, he was still willing to give Lex another chance. He just wrecked his equipment and gave him a warning. It was more like, 'Three strikes and you're out.' But Lex was never much into baseball. So he pulled another job, when that Robin kid was visiting from the future. That was the third strike. After that, Superboy up and took him to jail, pushed charges against him, and got him sentenced to reform school. I guess it was a bad idea for Lex to involve the dog in that Kryptonite caper. The kid liked that dog.
  • In My Huntsman Academia, Team MNVW adopts a puppy that Izuku found abandoned in a box. After naming her Lulu-Bell, Lord of Thunder, the team quickly finds themselves distracted from studying for their final exams by how much fun it is to play with her. Nora and Weiss also begin competing for Lulu's affection and are incensed after Pyrrha takes her out for a walk.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Izuku is a Naïve Animal Lover who loves both dogs and cats. The sight of the former in K.E.L.E.X.'s hologram is enough to steal his attention away from the fact that he just learned that he's virtually immortal.
  • In Numberjacks Advanced, the first time that the normally-stoic Special Agent Charlotte smiles is when petting Mitzy the dog.
  • In the second book of the Our Own League series, which has Character Focus on Superboy, Conner liberates a wolf-like animal that shoots electricity from his crystal horn from Brainiac's ship, names him Cobalt, and adopts him as the Titans' Team Pet. According to Word of God, Cobalt was created as a more "alien" equivalent to Krypto the Superdog.
  • Thousand Shinji: Asuka has an old bulldog pet following her around. He began to hang out with her because he noticed that she was a fighter just like him.
  • In Wonderful (Mazinja), Taylor makes masks -called Wonder Masks- that grant people super-powers. When she manages to make Wonder Masks for Rachel's dogs, everyone who has fought alongside Taylor wants to get a "Wonder Dog".

    Films — Animation 
  • Brave: Fergus owns at least two Scottish deerhounds.
  • Coco: Miguel is very close to a stray dog named Dante.
  • In Epic (2013), MK is clearly very fond of her goofy pug, Ozzy.
  • In Isle of Dogs, Atari is more of a dog person than his anti-dog uncle, Mayor Kobayashi, and Chief's pack (except Chief at first) take a liking to him right away. He also carries supplies like a first-aid kit for dogs, grooming supplies, and treats. He intended to use them for Spots, but he doesn't hesitate to use them for any dog he helps.
  • The Little Mermaid (1989): The first thing we see Prince Eric do is affectionately play with his dog. Hardly fifteen minutes later, he nearly gets himself killed saving his dog's life.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: Jack owns Zero, a cute ghost dog.
  • Carl ends up adopting Dug as he prepares to rescue Russell in Up. Or at least accepting that Dug has adopted him as his "Master".

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The A-Team: Part of Hannibal's Establishing Character Moment. When we first meet him, he's been captured by a drug cartel in Mexico, whose gunmen sic their two dogs on him after interrogating him. After a short offscreen scuffle, the dogs reappear alive and well, simply attached at the collar by the handcuffs he just broke out of. (The movie makes a point of showing he has a working pistol, too, he just didn't use it). In addition to showing that Hannibal just likes dogs, it foreshadows his dislike for Collateral Damage, as throughout the movie he makes a point of never harming anybody who doesn't deserve it.
  • Crimson Tide: Captain Ramsey loves his dog. His more reasonable XO Hunter also has a dog whom he's fond of.
  • In Defendor film Defendor has a small figurine of a dog in his truck with the word "Defendog" written under it, maybe implying an imaginary sidekick dog.
  • In Dune (1984), one character actually charges into action against the evil Harkonnen while clutching a pug dog to his chest. Mind you that's not the safest position for a dog to be in...
  • The Fly II: The main character, Martin, befriends a lab dog when he's a young boy, but ends up witnessing it being used as a guinea pig for a teleportation experiment that goes horribly wrong, turning the poor animal into a horrifically deformed mutant. A few years later, Martin, now a biological adult thanks to his insect DNA giving him Rapid Aging, discovers that the scientists kept the dog alive in a pit, feeding it slop. It acts aggressively towards everyone, but when it realizes Martin is the boy who befriended it years ago, it weakly wags its tail and allows Martin to pet it. Martin then performs a Mercy Kill on the dog with chloroform to put it out of its misery. Later, when Martin has completed his metamorphosis into a grotesque man-fly beast, it's shown he nonetheless retains his humanity when he pets the guard dog sent after him and leaves it unharmed (the humans that come after him... they're not so lucky).
  • As pointed out in the Cracked article above, at the beginning of Gladiator, the German peasants are the Ragtag Bunch Of Misfit underdogs fighting against the all-powerful invading Romans in an attempt to protect their homeland. Problem is, the movie wants you to root for the Romans, because that's the side the protagonist, Maximus, and The Good King, are on. Solution? Give them a dog. Even if it doesn't make any sense.
  • Robert Neville's last (living) companion in the 2007 film adaptation of I Am Legend is his trusty German Shepherd, Sam.
  • Not so much a hero as a protagonist, but the eponymous main character of John Wick, after the death of his wife, receives a gift from her from beyond the grave: a Beagle puppy, whom she ordered delivered to him before her death to keep him company and help him deal with his grief. John is shown to be very loving of the puppy... then the bad guys kill her. Bloodshed ensues. Once the bloodshed is over, he picks up another dog from the pound.
    • Sofia in Chapter 3 has two Belgian Malinois. She uses them as attack dogs but is just as devoted to them as John, even gunning down a High Table member after he tries to kill one.
    • Mr. Nobody in Chapter 4 plays with this. Although he has his own attack dog he adores, he's a bounty hunter going after John for the price on his head. But he's fairly amiable when off the clock and his hunt for John is nothing personal; he'll even attack other assassins gunning for John if he thinks he can drive the price up. When John saves his dog rather than killing him, Mr. Nobody decides to call off his hunt and instead goes after Chidi, the man who nearly killed his dog.
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service, Eggsy forms a tight bond with his canine companion, J.B.
  • Used and lampshaded in Knives Out. Benoit Blanc, the Great Detective character, is fond of dogs and remarks that in his experience they're excellent judges of character. The victim owns a pair of German Shepherds who occasionally pop up and interact with the characters. The sympathetic protagonist is accordingly seen showering them with affection though it backfires on her when one of them happily decides to play "fetch" with her... using an item the dog has unwittingly found that could reveal she's more involved in events than she wants Blanc to realise. Also, when the victim's spoiled Jerkass grandson shows up, the dogs react with aggressive snarling. Guess who turns out to be the mastermind behind events.
  • Lethal Weapon: Riggs owns a Shetland shepherd named Sam for all four movies, making him his most faithful companion in the franchise, as he had him even before meeting Murtaugh. The third movie is when this really comes into force, however, as Riggs breaks into a villain's warehouse, finds himself greeted by a snarling Rottweiler, and reacts by... getting down on the ground with him and making friends. A few scenes later, he brings the dog home with him, and by the next movie has adopted him too.
    Riggs: We can't shoot a dog. People, okay, but not dogs.
  • The Long Kiss Goodnight: During her attempt to rescue themselves being locked in a freezer with her, Charly asked Caitlin if they should get a dog, in which the latter agreed with that. They did get a dog in the end.
    Charly: Hey, should we get a dog?
  • Mad Max is different from the other road warriors. Because he has a dog, and that makes him a good guy. Said dog is absent in the sequels, however.
  • In Man of Steel, the Kents have a pet dog named Shelby when Clark is a child, and another dog named Dusty when Clark is an adult. Away from the Kent farm, Clark is shown petting dogs... in trailers.
  • In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Cliff Booth is shown doting on his pitbull Brandy. By way of contrast, Roman Polański, who's not the villain but not particularly sympathetic either, doesn't want to be bothered with his and Sharon's dog.
  • Chuck and Hercules Hansen in Pacific Rim bring their English bulldog Max with them to the Hong Kong Shatterdome — the first hint that Chuck is more than the Jerkass he appears to be is him being nice to his dog. Mako is also seen being affectionate with Max and he's the official decal for Striker Eureka's tech team, drive suits, and PR mascot.
  • Reap the Wild Wind: Despite his moments of jealousy and Honor Before Reason, Steve is a well-meaning man who wants to stop the wreckers and do right by honest sailors. He has a little dog that he's very attached to.
  • In Shoot 'Em Up, the hero Smith refuses to kill the Big Bad's dog, Duchess, claiming "I like dogs." He later adopts Duchess as his own.
  • Shooter's Bob Lee Swagger, main protagonist, has a dog at the start of the movie. The ones behind Government Conspiracy staged to frame Swagger kill it. Swagger says this when presented with an option to deal with them non-lethally:
    Swagger: I don't think you understand. These boys killed my dog.
  • TRON: Legacy: Sam Flynn has a lot of anger issues, no actual day job, few social contacts, and no direction in his life. His stalwart companion is a "rescue" dog named Marv who gets rewarded with a cheeseburger for helping him prank his dad's company.

  • In Travis J.I. Corcoran's Aristillus series, not only do the protagonists love dogs, many of them ARE (uplifted) dogs. One of the defining differences between each side of the central conflict is how they feel about the existence of the dog species with genius intellect living on the moon.
  • A Boy and His Dog: It's just him and his dog After the End. Oh, wait! There's a girl that also survived. Then again, this is Harlan Ellison writing, so the boy is hardly a hero.
  • Subverted in George Eliot's Daniel Deronda. Grandcourt supposedly adores dogs. In reality, he torments them (mentally, not physically), in ways that tell us something about how he intends to treat his wife.
  • Haplo in The Death Gate Cycle. An unusual example because the dog is the literal manifestation of Haplo's soul.
  • Played straight in Deerskin: The heroine's sighthound has been her only real friend for most of her life. (The evil king makes a point of kicking the poor beast right before crossing the Moral Event Horizon.) And the Wise Prince is more at home in the kennel than in the royal court.
  • Brandon Roberts from Dork Diaries. He loves the dogs at Fuzzy Friends and wants them all to find nice, caring homes. When Fuzzy Friends has no room for Holly and her puppies he is genuinely upset at the thought that she might get into a different shelter without a no-kill policy.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Harry Dresden has a rather large dog named Mouse who happens to be an Evil-Detecting Dog and a descendant of a Chinese guardian spirit.
    • In an interesting type of foil, the god Hades himself is shown as a dog lover, doting on his beast Cerberus, whose name, as he points out, means 'Spot'. This is one of the signs that he's not a bad guy despite his reputation, and ends up helping Dresden out.
  • In Earth's Children, Ayla more specifically has a wolf, who she adopts and raises from a cub in The Mammoth Hunters. She loves Wolf to the point she occasionally refers to him as a son and is protective of him, helping other people to see him as more than just a potential threat. She dedicates a lot of time and energy teaching Wolf tricks and obedience, and he helps her hunt and fend off threats once he's big enough.
  • Zig-zagged in Franny K. Stein. When Franny first got her dog Igor in the second book Attack of the 50-Ft. Cupid, she initially saw him as an unwanted pest but grew to like him after he saved her life and begins to trust him more with assisting her in her experiments and saving the day from experiments gone wrong.
  • In The Howling (1977), main protagonist Karyn has a pet miniature collie named Lady, who she adores. Lady attempts to protect her from her rapist but unfortunately, she being a rather small and timid dog, she gets kicked away quite easily and spends the rest of the scene cowering outside the room. Karyn is deeply concerned when Lady goes missing and she's distraught when she later discovers Lady's mutilated remains.
  • The Marvellous Land of Snergs: Co-protagonist Joe owns a pet dog, "Tiger", which follows him everywhere.
  • In The Well Of Ascension from Mistborn: The Original Trilogy, Vin takes advantage of this trope by having her kandra companion take the form of a dog.
  • In the Nero Wolfe novella "Die Like A Dog", Archie Goodwin notices a stray dog following him home one day and, to prank the notoriously misanthropic and schedule-fixated Wolfe, decides to pretend he's gotten the dog as a pet. Much to his surprise, however, the prank backfires when it turns out that Wolfe loves dogs and begins to treat the dog as his own.
  • At first subverted and later played straight in Percy Jackson and the Olympians with the hellhound Mrs. O'Leary. Her original owner was Quintus (aka Daedalus, creator of the Labyrinth), a son of Athena who betrayed a sacred oath. When he died, Percy took in the dog.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Invoked with an entire family of heroes. In the first chapter, the five Stark children and their bastard brother find six orphaned direwolf pups, which will grow up into mighty wolves. There are four males and two females; one of the males is an albino outcast. Naturally, the bastard adopts the albino, the three Stark boys take the other males, and the two Stark girls take the females. The wolves become their closest companions, reflecting each child's personality, fate, and more.
    • Downplayed with Sandor Clegane, the Hound, who loves dogs far more than he likes people but who is by no means heroic. In the case of the Cleganes, It Runs in the Family. The man who earned House Clegane the title was a Lannister dog-handler and the family crest is or, three dogs passant sable (or in plain English, three black running dogs on a yellow field).
  • The Sunne in Splendour: The future Richard III is given a wolfhound by his older brother, and he adores the dog. It's just one of the many ways the author gives him a Historical Hero Upgrade.
  • Gilbert Markham with his dog Sancho in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall — he even gives his girlfriend's young son one of his puppies. Anne Brontë loved to make use of this trope, as also seen in Agnes Grey.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • Beren and Lúthien: Although Huan is Celegorm's loyal wolfhound, he takes a liking to the heroes Lúthien and Beren. Although he helps Lúthien, Huan still wants to be loyal to Celegorm. When Celegorm and his brother Curufin attempt to murder Lúthien and nearly murder Beren, Huan abandons Celegorm for good: and it is said that no dog of any kind would love or obey Celegorm ever again.
    • In The Fall of Gondolin, Tuor is captured and enslaved by the Easterlings. When Tuor eventually runs away, his master Lorgan sends his soldiers and his hunting dogs after no avail because Tuor had befriended Lorgan's dogs, so they didn't bother him even if they found him.
  • In Wolf Hall, Thomas Cromwell likes small dogs that remind him of the one he had to abandon in his youth; as an adult, he acquires a number of them and calls them all Bella after that first pet. He genuinely sympathizes with Anne Boleyn when she's crying over the fatal (and suspicious) fall of her spaniel from a window and knows very well not to suggest she just get a new one.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Adventures of Superman episode "The Dog Who Knew Superman", Superman instantly bonds with Corky, a dog he rescued from a well.
  • Angel: Angel, which is lampshaded by Angelus, offers to send Angel "to that big puppy pound in the sky" as revenge for all those puppies he's saved. Played for Laughs when Gunn assures him that he'll get along fine with The Conduit — as long as he likes cats.
  • In Cases of the 1st Department, Maj. Vaclav Plisek says he likes animals, and he thinks that a victim's disappeared dog is an important lead in the case, which proves to be right. He later adopts the dog because the victim's mother couldn't take him (she had a flat full of cats). Brandy appears in several subsequent episodes, just being cute or biting his colleagues.
  • Daredevil (2015):
    • Discussed in "Rabbit in a Snowstorm". When Matt shows up to work sporting a bruise over his right eye from his fight with the Russians in the previous episode, Foggy and Karen suggest he get a seeing-eye dog.
      Foggy Nelson: You need a dog.
      Matt Murdock: [smiles] I'm not getting a dog.
      Foggy Nelson: What, you don't like dogs? Who doesn't like dogs?
      Karen Page: I—I love dogs.
      Foggy Nelson: Everybody loves dogs.
    • While he is a very violent Anti-Hero who kills criminals with extreme prejudice, Frank Castle adopted a dog the Kitchen Irish had been using for fights after he machine-gunned the previous owners. It's arguably one of the few things he is still emotionally attached to as Finn and the other Kitchen Irish get Frank to confess where he hid their money he had stolen by threatening to kill the dog. He does confess, knowing full well the money's been booby-trapped with a bomb.
  • In the second season of Fi, Deniz rescues his Göksel from a drughouse and shelters him in his home. Then he unquestioningly goes back and helps rescue his beloved dog Çomar, too.
  • Game of Thrones:
  • In Hannibal, protagonist Will rescued and adopted 6 stray dogs at various points in his life. While he's anxious and unsociable around people, his interactions with the dogs bring out a kinder and more cheerful side to him.
  • In Hawaii Five-0, Danny is more than willing to adopt the orphaned dog of a dead customs agent. He even forces Steve to ride in the backseat of the Camaro while the dog rides up front with him.
  • Adapting a case listed on the comic book folder, Hawkeye (2021) has Kate Bishop ensuring to save from incoming traffic a one-eyed dog who bit one of her adversaries. It's one of the things Yelena Belova, who in her debut showed an interest in dogs, compliments about her. And Lucky is so lovable that even a cynical, jaded hardass like Clint can't help but become fond of him.
  • In Longstreet, Mike has a seeing-eye dog named Pax. In the pilot, he was initially against having a dog, not out of hate; but because to him, it was a reminder of his blindness. However, he comes to love Pax and is devastated when Pax nearly dies of a fatal stab wound.
  • MacGyver (1985): Not the hero himself, but the Coltons, a family of bounty hunters that recur throughout the series, who have a bulldog named Frog. A case of Defrosting Ice King, as Frank Colton initially claims to hate dogs and is mildly allergic to them; however, by the end of Frog's introductory episode, he's mellowed out enough to adopt him when his owner has to be relocated by the witness protection program. (With a little guilt-tripping pressure from Mac and Pete). By the next time we see him, the entire family's adopted him.
  • Marie Antoinette: The queen's beloved pug Mops is ripped away from her arms when she arrives in France as she is not supposed to bring any possessions from Austria. She fights for her dog's return, and eventually Louis delivers Mops back to her. Truth in Television as this did happen, and Mops went on to live a life of luxury in Versailles and dying peacefully before The French Revolution.
  • During the second season of Person of Interest, John and Finch pick up and start taking care of Bear, a Belgian military dog they stole from an Aryan Nation cell, and regularly feature him in some of the more light-hearted semi-comedic moments of the show. Bear also serves to show the increasing loyalty of both Shaw, the sociopathic government assassin, and Root, the former antagonist and reformed killer for hire, since both are quite fond of him.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • In Chain Reaction, after bluffing his way into Senator Robert Kinsey's house, O'Neill wastes no time befriending Kinsey's dog, which turns out to be useful when a password is the dog's name.note  This also counts as an inversion, as Kinsey is the series' longest-running villain and generally treated as an utterly loathsome person. His fondness for his dog, in fact, is probably the only redeeming trait we see in him over the course of eight seasons.
    • There's also the earlier episode Singularity, which ends with Jack offering a Sheba Inu puppy to a child refugee that just settled into her new home on Earth. Judging by the way he phrases it, safe to say he's a dog person:
    Jack: We have a rule here on Earth. Every kid has got to have a dog. This is a dog, and he's yours.
  • Star Trek:
    • Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager has Molly, an Irish Setter. An early moment in the pilot episode has her convincing her fiancé to care for the pregnant Molly while she's gone (which turns out to be far longer than either of them had anticipated).
    • In Star Trek: Enterprise, Captain Jonathan Archer absolutely adores his pet beagle Porthos. In "A Night in Sickbay", he's willing to throw away humanity's burgeoning relations with the Kreetassans when Porthos becomes infected with a virus after visiting their planet. Admittedly, it's not a very good episode but it does illustrate how much he loves his dog.
    • Star Trek: Picard starts with Jean-Luc Picard at his family vineyard after he left Starfleet. He now has a dog named "Number One".
  • Sam from Supernatural loves dogs. He's adopted at least two dogs over the course of his life and doesn't keep them mostly due to his dangerous and nomadic lifestyle. Played With with Dean who, due to his experiences with hellhounds, dislikes dogs for a few seasons. However, later he spends an episode being able to communicate with all animals and befriends a German Shepherd, telling the dog that he wishes he could adopt him but, like Sam, believes his lifestyle is too dangerous. Then, in the final season, he does find a Post-Apocalyptic Dog and adopts him.
  • S.W.A.T. (2017): Chris is a former canine trainer for the canine platoon. She mentions in the pilot that she's waiting for a replacement. Also, Street points out she loves German Shepherds on her social media. She's shown to have loved her former canine partner (a German Shepherd). When he has to be euthanized as he's dying of cancer, Chris is devastated.
  • In The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "The Hunt", Hyder Simpson is killed along with his dog Rip while hunting and they wander the afterlife. Eventually they reach the gates of Heaven, but he is refused entry when the attending angel says he can't take this dog. He promptly refuses to go. It turns out that the Devil was trying to trick him into going to Hell, but by refusing to abandon the pooch he gets to take it into the real Heaven.
  • Victorious: It's mentioned a few times that Beck wants a dog. When Jade wants to win him back, she thinks of buying him a Rottweiler. Another episode has him dog-sitting for his neighbor.

    Myths & Religion 
  • While not the traditional sense of hero, chthonic (underworld-dwelling) gods and goddesses in Classical Mythology tending to be more good-tempered and responsible to humans, and were associated closely with dogs. Of note, Hades treated Cerberus more like a pet than a guard dog, and Hecate had a black she-dog as her constant traveling companion.
  • Diarmuid Ua Duibhne of Celtic Mythology loved his greyhound greatly, and its sudden death (along with his impromptu wife's disappearance) made him realize he was being an Ungrateful Bastard and started his quest to find her. Fortunately, the greyhound was brought Back from the Dead after he finished the quest.
  • The Gaels appeared to have so much respect for their dogs that the epithet "cú" (for example, Cú Chulainn), which came from their term for wolfhounds "Cú Faoil" ("hound" of "wolf"), was applied to warriors and kings which referred to an Inversion of this trope - the implication was that the individual was worthy of the respect and loyalty of a hound and so rather than a person liking dogs showing they're a good person, the epithet means a dog should like them which shows they're a good person.

  • Magnus of The Adventure Zone: Balance desperately wants a pet dog, but dogs just run right off the damn moon. He opens a dog training school after the campaign.
  • Dice Funk: Anne loves to cuddle Jayne in her Dire Wolf form.

  • Inverted in Old Harry's Game. None of the good guys are ever mentioned having pets or any relation with animals, but both of the main villains-Satan and Thomas Crimp-have dogs which they care for surprisingly well.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Lance Romenel, Power of Records, in Nobilis has a Newfie dog named Fezzik of which he is very fond. He also serves as a Psychopomp for other people's dogs on a volunteer basis, despite his Estate having nothing to do with dogs.
  • Zigzagged in Warhammer 40,000. On the heroic side, you have the Space Wolves, where the hero is a seven-foot-tall Space Viking and his dog is a wolf the size of a rhino. On the villainous side, you have Flesh Hounds of Khorne, Hell Hounds that live to rip and slaughter, and Beasts of Nurgle, which is what happens when you take the personality of a Big Friendly Dog and put it in the body of a slug the size of a van that oozes acid.

    Video Games 
  • One of the characters in Adiboo: Magical Playland is Adiboo's pet dog, Pup.
  • The paladin Artix from AdventureQuest, DragonFable and AdventureQuest Worlds has the same cute Pomeranian dog as his real-life counterpart. Daimyo can be obtained as a mascot for player characters, too.
  • The Bard's Tale has an Anti-Hero Jerkass protagonist, a compulsive liar and cheat, who however not only does he pick up a dog companion early in the game, but he sheds a genuine tear and vows revenge when the dog is killed by a monstrous minion of the apparent Big Bad.
  • Brick from the Borderlands series may be a gigantic, hugely-muscled, Blood Knight Sociopathic Hero, but he still loves dogs. In the first game, he wears the paw of his deceased dog on a necklace as a Tragic Keepsake. In the second game, a second paw is added since he had gotten another dog in between games that was killed by Nisha because she knew it was the only way to really hurt him. In Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, where Nisha is Promoted to Playable, it's revealed that when she was a child she had a dog that she loved very much and was forced to put it down when it went berserk after being bitten by a venomous creature. The incident scarred her and caused her to develop a hatred of cute animals, puppies in particular.
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts gives your heroes a loyal attack/scouting dog, which you control for a few sequences.
  • Darkest Dungeon:
    • The Houndmaster is clearly attached to his Irish Wolfhound and is by far the most heroic of the assorted adventurers you can choose from. His damage animation shows him shielding his hound from harm with his own body, and his battle quips mostly revolve around praising and reassuring his hound. The bond is mutual, many of the Houndmasters battle and camp skills highlight the hound's dedication, with abilities like "lick wounds" and "therapy dog" for healing and reducing stress. As a duo, they are the most stoic unit when facing certain death at the hands of the Heart of Darkness.
      "Steady, girl. If we're called, we answer."
    • A Selfish Houndmaster inverts this trope. Selfish characters place their own interests above everyone else, and are definitely not heroic; a Selfish Houndmaster places his hound above everyone else.
      "The hound comes first. Then me. Then you..."
  • Subverted in Darkstalkers. B. B. Hood has a puppy she takes with her everywhere, even to Hell. Considering her personality, it's probably another thing meant to lull her enemies into a false sense of security long enough so that she can stab them, gut them, riddle them with bullets, and sell their body parts on the black market.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, one of your possible companions is a strong Mabari warhound, and if you choose Human Noble origin, he's been with you for years. On the other hand, Well-Intentioned Extremist Teyrn Loghain also used to have a dog that he loved dearly, as he will reveal if you choose to recruit him near the end, and have him in your party with the dog.
    • The Mabari breed's origins are disputed, but one theory is that they were originally bred in the Tevinter Imperium when it was still subjugating most of the continent. When they were ordered to help subjugate the people in what would later become Ferelden, the dogs defected when they realized that the people they were ordered to attack were nobler than their masters.
    • Ferelden culture loves dogs in general and particularly the majestic Mabari Hound for their strength, courage, and intelligence (which is implied to be on the same level as humans). The capital city of Denerim is even compared to the Mabari, and the term "Dog Lords" is used as a slur for Fereldens by other cultures.
      • A bit of lore in the third game has a warning to a new ambassador to Ferelden that using the term could cause a major incident. Not because it's a slur, but because they might interpret it as their dogs being insulted. Directly insulting their dogs would likely start a war. In the first game, a note the Empress of Orlais wrote the ambassador to Ferelden also cautioned that insulting their dogs would likely start a war.
      • Towards the end of the first game the player character might be captured, leading to a (very funny) mission where two of your companions come to rescue you. Said rescuing involves getting past three checkpoints, You can pair anyone with the dog, let the dog do the "talking" and clear all three checkpoints. Apparently, the Fereldens would never expect a Mabari to be up to something nefarious. You can actually have the dog straight up bite a guard, and his companion will immediately assume its the guard's fault (since the guard is keeping Dog from his human, this is Metaphorically True).
    • The Hawke family can have their own mabari warhound in Dragon Age II (if you get the Black Emporium DLC). Even your most moody party members can't help but like him, though Anders states that he's immune to his charms due to being a cat person. This is par for the course; the Hawkes are Fereldans.
    • Cullen in the Trespasser DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition adopts a Mabari (or, as is typical, the Mabari adopts him). And again... Cullen is a Fereldan.
    • According to a Fereldan folksong, the savior Andraste had a loyal Mabari that got cut out of the canon version of her story. Andraste was, of course, Fereldan. In-universe historians apparently don't believe it was likely that Andraste ever had a Mabari, but that doesn't stop the song from being wildly popular in Ferelden anyway. One pamphlet for a choir in the third game notes that even though the song received many votes, it was left out of the repetoire because it tends to "leave most of the choir members a sobbing mess".
  • In Fable II, you're given a dog that follows you around and alerts you to the presence of buried treasure. You can praise it, give it treats, and play catch with it. Of course, the same as with your general morality, whether you treat the dog with such kindness is wholly up to you.
  • The protagonist of every main-series Fallout game can have a Canine Companion; The Vault Dweller, Lone Wanderer and Sole Survivor even have dogs from the same bloodline! Considering the canonical events are almost invariably the Good and/or Lawful options, this trope is in full effect.
  • Shadow of Final Fantasy VI and Rinoa of Final Fantasy VIII both have dogs that assist them in combat, though Shadow is an Anti-Hero and Rinoa is a heroine.
  • Guilty Gear: Giovanna is very affectionate towards Rei, her canine spirit. She spends time petting and snuggling with Rei between battles.
  • Zagreus in Hades is extremely fond of Cerberus, and Cerberus reciprocates. There's a big ol' Pet Cerberus option when they interact in the House of the Dead. When it looks like Cerberus is a boss, Zagreus instead starts running around the Temple of Styx looking for a sack of meat to bribe him with, because he'd rather risk an admittedly temporary death at the hands of angry satyrs than harm Cerberus.
  • Tenma, protagonist of Inazuma Eleven GO!, has Sasuke, a dog he rescued when it was still a puppy.
  • We've got the crocadog in Jak II: Renegade, who's only loyal to Jak and his younger self. Of course, Jak is good with animals...
  • Sora, of Kingdom Hearts, pals around with King Mickey's dog Pluto in the first few hours of the game. In Kingdom Hearts II, his girlfriend Kairi spends an even longer time befriending the dog.
  • Ellie from The Last of Us seems to be fond of them, as she reacts with gleeful excitement when she sees a couple of them playing in the distance while her and Joel travel through an abandoned suburb. Joel is implied to like them too when he can pet a dog that lives in the Jackson settlement. Word of God says that the team thought about letting Joel and Ellie adopt a stray puppy during their journey, but it was ultimately cut. The sequel downplays this a bit in Ellie's case, showing that she's perfectly fine with killing them in self-defense. She's still friendly to the ones who aren't a threat to them though.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, dogs and cats naturally like Link, partially because he can turn into a wolf and communicate with them. To add extra awww, they are the only living thing you can pick up without throwing.
  • Luigi adopts a Polterpup (basically a ghost dog) at the end of Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. He still has him in the sequel, and the two are quite affectionate towards each other.
  • Marvel's Avengers added Hawkeye to the playable roster in the "Future Imperfect" expansion. Following a prologue, the first mission features Clint heading to his apartment to retrieve some A.I.M. intel that he had hidden in his dog’s collar, and when it’s discovered that an A.I.M. raiding party was ahead of them, chasing them down to retrieve both Lucky and the intel - and Clint is far more concerned with retrieving his dog. Following completion of the mission, Lucky can be found in the control room of the Avengers' Helicarrier, and can affectionately petted by all of the playable Avengers.
  • Metal Gear:
  • Every Mother protagonist:
  • The wannabe hero Nightshade (1992) is, fittingly, a huge dog fan ("What a pretty woofums!"). Cats don't agree with him, though.
  • Orisa in Overwatch. She's one of the more straightforwardly heroic characters, with her main purpose being protecting the civilian population of Numbani. One of her emotes is to take out a puppy and play with it.
  • Persona:
    • In Persona 3, one member of S.E.E.S. is Koromaru, an albino Shiba Inu who is taken in and cared for after he is discovered to have a Persona of his own and becomes the Team Pet. Shinjiro bonds quickly with Koromaru and cooks fancy meals for him. A female Player Character in the game's PSP port can forge a Social Link with him. Furthermore, in Persona 4: Arena Ultimax, Koromaru fights alongside Ken Amada.
    • In Persona 4, Chie explains to the Player Character in her Social Link that she and her best friend, Yukiko, met as children over a dog that Yukiko's parents wouldn't let her keep, so Chie took care of the dog instead. In the anime adaptation, Chie even has a picture of the dog, who has grown into a big ol' upper.
  • Putt-Putt: The titular vehicle has a pet dog.
  • In Rule of Rose, the heroine (and only remotely sane character) is symbolized by dogs - most obviously, her pet puppy. She often cuddles this puppy and gives him treats; in fact the dog's murder is partly what motivates her to fight the Big Bad. The other, less moral, characters are symbolized by different animals and the Big Bad extolls at great length her specific hatred of dogs. Like, there are multiple diary entries where she does nothing other than talk about how filthy and inferior to her they are.
  • Galford, the All-American hero from Samurai Shodown has his loyal pet dog as a combat gimmick.
  • Septerra Core. Grubb builds his own Robot Dog, Runner, his best friend. When Runner went missing and was later found with Led, she and Grubb started bickering about which of them was his owner.
  • Abel from Street Fighter IV. More than one of his post-fight quotes are about his wish to have a pet dog, him wondering if he can go buy a pup collar after the match, etc. In Super Street Fighter IV, he does adopt a cute little pup.
  • Inverted in Super Mario Odyssey. The Shiba Inu that shows up in some of the kingdoms will follow Mario around after it unearths a treasure.
  • Tales Series:
    • Collete in Tales of Symphonia. Her personal side quest to name every single stray dog in the game further shows how much of a dog lover she is.
    • In Tales of Vesperia, we have Estelle...who unfortunately cannot ever get Yuri's dog Repede to like her even though she's the purest girl of the group. Even during their many victory quotes, Repede remains dismissive of her many attempts to get close to him, much to her chagrin. In contrast, Yuri's bond with Repede couldn't be any tighter than it is.
  • Played straight, then subverted, then played straight again in The Walking Dead (Telltale). In season two, Clementine can be kind to a stray dog, Sam, she finds in an abandoned campsite. After she doesn't want to share some canned beans she found, the dog attacks her, mauling her arm and forcing Clem to kill him in self-defence. From now on, due to that event, Clem is afraid of dogs. She can overcome it in season four, if the player chooses to seek out interactions with Rosie, and Clem can end up as Rosie's new master after Marlon's death.

    Web Animation 

    Web Original 
  • Bee and Puppycat has the title characters. Though it's debatable if Puppycat counts as a dog.
  • In The Glass Scientists, Jekyll is a dog person front and centre and he loves all dogs whether they're alive, Church Grims, or werewolves.
  • RWBY has Zwei, Ruby and Yang's pet corgi puppy, being sent to stay with the heroines for a while midway through Volume 2. Subverted humorously by Blake, who takes an instant dislike to him. Weiss, however, loves him to bits.

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):



Rescued as an orphaned wolf cub, DD is Venom Snake's canine companion, joining the legendary merc on his sorties.

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Main / CanineCompanion

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