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Right-Hand Attack Dog

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"You've no doubt seen a dog lose its mind when a stranger comes near its home. That territorial instinct is multiplied as their territory expands. If a dog's home is several acres of farmland, it greets every visitor with primeval murderous instinct. Growing up, if we wanted to get home safely from the bus stop, we had to fill the weakest child with dog poison. An encounter between country dogs contains no comical ass sniffing — it's a snarling cartoon cloud of mortal combat."

In contrast to the generally sedentary Right-Hand Cat and the common stereotype of Heroes Love Dogs, this is what happens when the villains' pet plays an active role as a guard/weapon against the heroes. Expect Fluffy the Terrible in terms of naming and for the villain to be a confirmed Fluffy Tamer. Typically, villains will either show a Nightmare Fetishist streak and be oblivious to how savage their pets are, and will treat them kindly, or else, they will use the pets to (perhaps even literally) Kick the Dog, sometimes by feeding underlings and other poor unfortunates to them. Finally, as the title suggests, when the creature in question isn't a fantasy animal, it's (not necessarily but) very likely to be some kind of canine (usually a Vicious Angry Guard Dog).

Dogs are very faithful and loyal to humans, and given most villains are humans, they also tend to own and love dogs as their loyal companions. As so, the dogs tend to have strong Undying Loyalty to them, and will follow the Diabolical Mastermind's orders. In addition, dogs are pack animals who are also very prone to attack strangers and random visitors due to their lineage, making them the perfect attack animals for the villains while retaining loyalty to them. Cats on other hand are solitary animals who can be fickle and sometimes can betray the villains' loyalty, so some villains don't see them fit.

Heroes who dare to mess with these dogs, on other hand, may receive full-on retribution from them.

May or may not be a Post-Apocalyptic Dog.

Contrast with the various heroic Loyal Animal Companions, particularly Heroic Dog. See also Canine Companion for a non-villainous, more-generic versions.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Father's lair is guarded by monstrous animal chimera. In one scene, the amnesiac, villainous Greed is shown petting one of them.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler:
    • Although he is about as fearsome and "attack dog"-like as the kitten Nagi believes he is, Tama is a White Tiger. He has actually attacked Hayate on several occasions and shown to be quite capable of being a threat if he wants to be.
    • In the same theme, Shiranui is honestly a kitten, but shown to be quite evil at times.
  • One Piece: Skybreeder Ohm has a giant dog named Holy that he is usually seen riding on. Unlike most examples of this trope, Holy is capable of standing on his hind legs and fighting like a human martial artist.
  • In Ranma ½, Kodachi Kunō has Midorigame ("Mr. Green Turtle") as a pet... which, like its name doesn't suggest, is a huge crocodile.

    Comic Books 
  • Green Lantern: Atrocitus of the Red Lantern Corps is commonly accompanied by Dex-Starr, formerly an ordinary housecat from Brooklyn before getting recruited by the red ring, and refers to him as "my most trusted liutenant". As a full member, Dex-Starr is incredibly dangerous and often have his own missions, but Atrocitus seems to enjoy having him around as his Right-Hand Cat as well.
  • Sillage: Ehmte-Ciss-Ronn keeps two alien shark-equivalents as pets. Being naturally aquatic, he has no problem flooding his office in the event of intrusion, knocking his enemies down with the rushing water while bringing the Shark Pool into the room.
  • The Smurfs: Azraël could be at first glance thought off as a mere Right-Hand Cat to Gargamel. But since the Smurfs are so small, Azraël is a very physical threat and ends up chasing them quite often.
  • Spider-Man: The elderly crime boss Fortunado has a she-wolf named Angel as a companion who is trained to attack anyone who makes a rush for her master or pulls a gun on him.
  • Superman: In the storyline The Plague of the Antibiotic Man, Amalak is accompanied by an alien shape-shifting critter named jevik whom he uses to spread a plague and attack Superman and Supergirl.

    Fan Works 
  • Unlike in the games, Treble fights alongside Bass at times in Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race and has even helped him turn the tide of battle.
  • In Pom Pom's Eleven, Homeschool Winner has one in the form of a walrus by the name of Dijory Doo. Notably, he comes dangerously close to eating The Cheat, though fortunately he is saved by Trivia Time.

    Films — Animation 
  • Bambi. The unseen hunters own a pack of German Shepherds that attack Bambi near the end of his film, just right before the forest fire.
  • Mr. Freeze has two very obedient pet polar bears in Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero.
  • A Bug's Life: Thumper to Hopper. He is also almost dog-like.
  • Oddly combined with Right-Hand Cat in The Great Mouse Detective as the villain, Ratigan, has a pet cat larger than himself to which he feeds hapless mice.
  • The Little Mermaid. Ursula the Sea Witch's pet green moray eel minions Flotsam and Jetsam, who are equally creepy as their mistress, unlike other Disney villain sidekicks who usually fall under Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey.
  • In The Man Called Flintstone, the Green Goose and his pet sabertooth tiger, Ferocious.
  • In Oliver & Company, ruthless Loan Shark Bill Sykes has a pair of vicious Dobermans (pictured above), who go about intimidating both the main characters and their impoverished "master" Fagin, and follow Sykes' will with gusto.
  • Both Rescuers movies have villains with reptilian right-hand attack animals:
    • In The Rescuers, Madame Medusa has a pair of pet alligators called Brutus and Nero, who're quite intelligent and obedient, but as vicious as expected.
    • In The Rescuers Down Under, Percival McLeach has a pet Goanna lizard named Joanna, who has a massive appetite for eggs and behaves a lot like a dog.
  • Count Grisham in The Scarecrow has a right-hand attack bird which he uses to take Feathertop's feather, turning him back into a scarecrow.
  • Ferdinand in Tom and Jerry: The Movie, the spoiled and loyal dachshund belonging to Aunt Figg.
  • Top Cat and the Beverly Hills Cats: Evil Butler Snerdly has a right-hand hound named Ratsputin, who's just as eager to off Benny as his master.
  • Scud, the villain Sid's pet dog in Toy Story, who uses toys as... well, chew toys.
  • Charles Muntz, the villain of Up has a ton of dogs for henchmen who can all talk through voice collars.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Cruella, the Baroness is often accompanied by three Dalmatians which she has trained as attack dogs. She sics them on to Estella/Cruella at multiple points during the movie. And she uses them to murder Estella's adoptive mother Catherine.
  • The Chechen in The Dark Knight has a pack of attack dogs. The Joker uses them later in the film. Read between the lines, and it's implied the Joker fed them their former master...
  • The Blind Man in Don't Breathe has a Rottweiler who makes up for his master's lack of sight and speed in catching the film's protagonists who just broke into his house and robbed him of his money.
  • In Eternal, the Big Bad Elizabeth Kane is accompanied by supernaturally loyal Rottweiler who attacks on her command. The dog is actually her maid Irina.
  • In Hulk, David Banner has a mastiff, poodle, and pit bull that he mutates and uses to provoke Bruce into becoming the Hulk by sending them to kill Betty, the woman Bruce loves.
  • In Moonraker, Drax sets his vicious dogs on his assistant Corrine when he discovers that she's been helping James Bond.
  • Mommy and Daddy, the main villains in The People Under the Stairs have a pet Rottweiler, fed with human parts...
  • Commander Kruge in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock keeps a Klingon reptilian "pet" next to his command chair aboard the Bird of Prey. In contrast to its vicious appearance, it doesn't do much besides growl at people and gets killed in the battle with the Enterprise to give Kruge a Pet the Dog moment.
  • Jabba the Hutt's Rancor in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
  • Thor: Ragnarok: The Fenris Wolf, the wolf-looking savage creature loosely based on Fenrir/Fenrisulfr from Norse Mythology, appears as Hela's faithful canine companion. Hela unleashes her upon Asgardian refugees on the Bifröst during the Final Battle. Luckily for them, the Hulk steps in to fight the giant wolf.
  • In The Tripper, the killer has a pack of vicious attack dogs he has trained to attack hippies.

  • The Big Bad of the Andrakis series has a pet tiger that sat by his throne. A luckless messenger comes to report the defeat of their armies by the reincarnated hero; he looks up and the last thing he sees is the tiger's jaws closing on his face.
  • In the first Animorphs Megamorphs book, Visser Three has a creature called the Valeek, that was like an alien life form hunting dog. It was trained to find morph energy and then return to feed on energy made by the Visser's ship. The team eventually destroyed it by forcing it into the water.
  • The Mole from the Burke series has a pack of dogs that guard his junkyard.
  • Dragon Series: Snowgoose, the Big Bad’s familiar, is a very smart and very dangerous red-eyed white dog.
  • Harry Potter: First introduced in book four, Big Bad Voldemort's gigantic snake Nagini is one of these. She is the only living creature that Voldemort ever cared about besides himself, though that probably has more to do with her containing a fragment of his soul than anything else.
  • The mercenary regiment of Tartars in His Dark Materials, who play the role of Punch-Clock Villains working for the G.O.B., all have wolf-shaped daemons who fight alongside them.
  • Very close to a Trope Codifier — the titular Hound of The Hound of the Baskervilles. And before him, Holmes and Watson squared off against an equally vicious attack-dog in "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches".
  • Tabaqui the jackal is this to Shere Khan in The Jungle Book
  • Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars features Isis, Gary Seven's right-hand cat, capable of driving off a genetically augmented mercenary by herself. She can also shapeshift into human form and is still capable enough to take out a pair of mooks in hand to hand combat before they even register that they're under attack.
  • In the Sven Hassel novels, Chief Mechanic Wolf has a pair of wolfhounds as his personal guard dogs, and boasts of having people who annoy him fed to them.
  • Underworlds: Fenrir the wolf serves as this to Loki.
  • Young Sherlock Holmes: Duke Balthassar, the Big Bad in Red Leech, has a pair of semi-trained cougars named Sherman and Grant that he uses as enforcers.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Columbo: Dr. Mason, the murderer in "How to Dial a Murder", travels with a pair of dobermans named Laurel and Hardy. He uses them as Animal Assassins to murder the Victim of the Week.
  • Subverted in Cougar Town where Bobby thinks people broke into his boat and warns he has a vicious attack dog. He then plays a recording of Jingle Bells made entirely out of barking dogs.
  • Doctor Who: Although Helen A's pet Fifi in "The Happiness Patrol" initially appears to a Right-Hand Cat, she is actually a very efficient predator, as seen at the end of the serial when Helen A sends her down the pipes to wipe out the pipe people and other dissidents hiding there.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Ramsay Bolton is known for feeding people to his dogs. It's also how he meets his end, when Sansa sics the dogs, which Ramsay starved in preparation for feeding the Starks to them, on him and they tear him apart in a very, very Karmic Death.
    • Grey Wind is a rare heroic example. He only attacks people Robb tells him to and Robb is a good king.
    • Jon uses Ghost to threaten Rast in order to protect Sam.
  • LazyTown: In "LazyTown's New Superhero", Robbie builds a robot dog to attack Sportacus, exploiting his "Someone's in trouble" catchphrase.
  • Series/Snowpiercer: Wilford has one by the name of Jupiter who he orders to sic Javi after he's beaten up by his jackboots for helping Layton's Pirate train escape.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise. In the evil Mirror Universe, Captain Archer's adorable beagle Porthos is a snarling Rottweiler.
  • Mederan in the Tracker (2001) episode "Blind Faith". He was Zin's bodyguard trapped in a dog's body. He had a habit of transforming into a Hell Hound via his Vardian powers and tearing people apart for Zin until Cole took him out.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Bobby Heenan regarded Matilda the Wonder Dog (mascot of The British Bulldogs) as this when she (in Kayfabe) bit Heenan after the Bulldogs and Koko B. Ware vs. Heenan and The Islanders match at WrestleMania IV. Heenan had repeatedly tried (unsuccessfully) to get WWF President Jack Tunney to ban the dog, claiming she was a menace and would attack him or one of his wrestlers without provocation.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Call of Cthulhu campaign Masks of Nyarlathotep, Chapter 5 "Shanghai". Lin Tang-yu has two pet white gorillas named TunTun and Ping. They are always near him and obey his commands, such as attacking anyone he commands them to.
  • Dungeons & Dragons modules G1-G3 Against the Giants have several examples.
    • G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief. The chief's wife has a pet cave bear that acts as a guard in her personal chamber. The chief keeps his cave bear with him in the Great Hall.
    • G2 The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl. The yeti have two snow leopards they keep as hunting "dogs", pets and guards. The Jarl has two huge winter wolves that act as pets and guards.
    • G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King. King Snurre has two large hell hounds that guard him in his throne room. His wife Queen Frupy has a pair of giant weasels as pets and guards in her chamber.
    • In Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, the Shadow Sorcerer class gets the ability to summon a Hound of Ill Omen at sixth level— an attack dog made of living shadow. (Classes don’t have alignment requirements in 5e, so Shadow Sorcerers don’t have to be evil, but they are always quite creepy.)
  • The Warhammer campaign "The Tragedy of McDeath" has Lady McDeath's two-headed fire-breathing hellhound, Spot. Who can obey various commands, including "Attack!", "Fetch!" and "Out, out!"
  • Warhammer 40,000: The Space Wolves rarely go anywhere without their Fenrisian wolves, whose size tends to vary between that of a rhino (the African mammal) and Rhino (the Awesome Personnel Carrier that can carry a dozen Space Marines in full armor). One relubook mentions this makes them annoying among Guard higher-ups, because they bring the things inside and their heavy panting makes it hard to hear.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Attorney Investigations 2: Sirhan Dogen is a former assassin who is blind and was known for using his seeing-eye dog, Anubis, as a deadly weapon against his targets.
  • Volkov and his faithful dog Chitzkoi are a duo of Soviet heroes/commandos featured in a number of single-player missions of the Counterstrike and Aftermath expansions for Command & Conquer: Red Alert, as well as the Mental Omega mod for Red Alert 2.
  • The Mabari Hounds in the Dragon Age series are this trope: their intelligence is close to human-like and their devotion to their masters is unshakable, making both good and bad guys fond of them.
    • In Dragon Age: Origins, you could recruit one as a full-fledged party member (one of the Origins got him for free — the perks of aristocracy), and a lot of bad guys used them to tear your party apart when you got careless.
    • In Dragon Age II, Hawke's Mabari was a summonable creature in a DLC — but nevertheless deadly.
  • Fallout
    • Darion, the leader of a gang of Khan raiders holed up in Vault 15 in Fallout 2, will sic his Baddog on the player's party.
    • In Fallout: New Vegas Motor-Runner (de facto leader of the Fiends) has a pair of guard/attack dogs creatively known as BoneGnash and GnashBone. One of Motor Runner's three lieutenants, Violet, has a pack of dogs she's violently protective of (partially due to her Psycho addiction). Having the "Animal Friend" perk will keep the dogs on your side.
    • Dogmeat of the Fallout series qualifies for any player going for low karma. In Fallout 4 he leaps onto and eviscerates fallen foes, and can be upgraded to cripple foes that can still fight, turning his grandson into a Pay Evil unto Evil method no matter how idealistic you are.
      • Super Mutants have Mutant or FEV hounds, dogs dipped in the Forced Evolutionary Virus and turned into giant freaks with an attitude to match their masters.
  • Far Cry 4: A dust-based, unkillable, demon-slaughtering tiger. Press RB to "sic em".
  • While he's not a villain, and therefore doesn't attack the heroes, Interceptor, Shadow's loyal dog in Final Fantasy VI, is made out to be something like this. In battle, he'll occasionally block physical attacks directed at his master and then counterattack for massive damage. Outside of the actual gameplay, Shadow warns that he'll actually tear out your throat if you get too close. Relm seems to be able to play with him just fine though, and if Shadow is KO'd in battle, Interceptor will actually protect her instead. This is because Relm is Shadow's daughter, unbeknownst to her though.
  • Final Fantasy VII:
    • Comic relief bad guy Don Corneo has some sort of bizarre ape-like monster named Aps under his Trap Door. Later in a sidequest in Wutai, Corneo replaces with it a dragonish monster. Both can be quite difficult bosses.
    • Also, in your only battle against Rufus Shinra, you also fight his guard dog named Dark Nation.
  • In Hidden City, Violet often uses her dog, Alligator, to threaten others. In the "Playing to Live" case, she sends a fiery version of Alligator (among other deadly challenges) to attack Mr. Black and Rayden after she had them trapped inside a board game.
  • Hotline Miami: The first stage of the final boss fight has the Russian Mafia leader sic his two panthers on you.
  • Harley's two hyenas Budd and Lou appear with her in Injustice 2, and she can use them in a super-move.
  • Mega Man:
  • Thurston and Roque from Octopath Traveler II have Garnet. She seems to serve as their security dog, as Thurston sics her on Partitio for trespassing on company property, resulting in Partitio's second boss fight. In the post game, if you use any of the Path Actions that result in fighting NPCs on Roque, one of his "attacks" is to summon Garnet and have her fight that turn.
  • Pokémon:
    • Any villain's signature Pokémon tends to be treated as this in fanon.
    • Zig-zagged with Giovanni's Persian, which is a Right-Hand Cat in the anime and a combatant in the Yellow version game.
  • Samurai Shodown II final boss Mizuki is accompanied by a "dog", which is actually a powerful shapeshifting demon that she uses in a couple of attacks.
  • While otherwise a total sweetheart and great companion, in The Walking Dead: Season Four you can sic Rosie on Abel while you're interrogating him, where she proceeds to latch onto his leg and nearly rip it to pieces it as he screams for you to call her off.
  • An audio log in Watch Dogs: Legion has crime boss Mary Kelley professing her love for these, despite no dogs being in the game itself. Mary states that dogs are more loyal and reliable than any human, and that dogs are the only creatures on Earth she truly trusts.

    Western Animation 
  • Lady Bane in Adventures of the Gummi Bears has a race of sentient Jackal-like servants.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, King Bumi is introduced pretending to be a villain (he's actually a Trickster Mentor of sorts), and his pet "Flopsie" seems to be one of these.
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • The Joker and Harley have a pair of savage hyenas which Harley (who refers to them as "the Babies") would cuddle with.
    • Catwoman's cat Isis is usually more of a Right-Hand Cat, but she does take an active role in her debut episode, assisting a heist by slipping through a laser sensor grid — she can see the beams, and her small size and feline agility allow her to slip between them without tripping an alarm.
  • The Joker also had a pet hyena in The New Adventures of Batman although much more comedic in nature and incredibly cute, named Giggles.
  • King Max has two mean evil dogs as pets in The Biskitts, probably as a contrast to the cute magical puppies that the show has for heroes.
  • Glum, the guardian dog of Cladestino in The Bluffers, unlike most examples Glum is good and only his loyalty to his owner makes him act as an antagonist.
  • Data 7 is this to Von Reichter for all of one episode in Cyber Six, until he realizes he is the titular character's brother.
  • The Jonny Quest TOS episode "Dragons of Ashida". The title character has large lizards similar to Komodo dragons that he considers his pets. He uses them for hunting human beings and as security for his island.
  • The titular Mr. Pickles is Tommy Goodman's villainous border collie who kills animals and people For the Evulz. A rare case where the Right-Hand Attack Dog is a Villain Protagonist instead of his owner.
  • Big Bad of Mummies Alive! Scarab has Ammut. Technically a lion-crocodile-hippo hybrid but acts like a dog and even barks.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Ahuizotl, the main villain of the Daring Do series, has several great cats (and a small kitten) at his command to sic on meddling heroes in general (and Daring Do in particular).
  • Snag, Cyril Sneer's pet dog (albeit with an aardvark nose) in The Raccoons.
  • Slimer's enemy Dr. Dweeb in Slimer! (an Spin-Off of The Real Ghostbusters) is always accompanied by his pink poodle Elizabeth.
  • In The Simpsons, Mr. Burns has a pack of hounds which he likes to release on those who disturb him at home. There is an episode where Santa's Little Helper becomes one of his guard dogs, and in the end, he protects Bart against the rest of the pack.
Mr. Burns: Release the hounds.
  • Mumm-Ra in ThunderCats has a very similar looking pet bulldog. Makes sense considering that his enemies are cats.
  • In The Transformers, Soundwave has Ravage and Laserbeak (a big robot cat and bird, respectively), who he frequently ejects from a compartment in his chest to aid him in battle.
  • Dick Dastardly has Muttley on Wacky Races and its myriad spinoffs who can show villainous traits when called upon but at the same time he'll bite the hand that feeds him.
  • Wakfu: Season 1 Big Bad Nox has Igôle, a weird mix of wolf, hyena and lizard, that he sends chasing The Hero Yugo and his brother Adamaï, tasking it to bring them back "without damaging them too much". Note that Igôle was originally Nox's family pet 200 years ago, but exposure to the Eliacube and Xelor magic have turned it into a deadly powerful beast, and maybe as insane as its master. In the end it reverts to its past self and gives up the chase after meeting a little girl who reminds it of Nox's youngest daughter, and decides to stay with her.
  • Chase Young from Xiaolin Showdown has an army of jungle cats he uses when he fights with the Xiaolin Dragons. It later turns out they were defeated warriors he took the powers from before turning them into big cats.


Video Example(s):


MacArthur's dogs

MacArthur's dogs are all vicious Dobermans with intimidating names... and then there's Booger, who is a vicious chihuahua with a silly name.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / RightHandAttackDog

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