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Werewolves Are Dogs

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Werewolves are one of the most recognizable stock creatures in media, so is no surprise that many creators would add it to their stories. Yet, many times, these werewolves tend to be too domesticated.

Mostly a comedy trope, when these creatures appear, instead of acting like wild wolves, they act like dogs. They will beg for food, play fetch, whimper, bark, and be stopped by scratching their ears, so basically they are just an extremely large pet. This plays with the idea of seeing a werewolf, one of the most common stock monsters, turned into something a lot less scary.

This might be due to Small Reference Pools, not many writers (probably) would have interacted much with wolves in their lives, but a good number probably had dogs as pets, yet this makes as much sense as saying that a gorilla can take accounting because they are related to humans.note 

While related to All Animals Are Dogs, werewolves are given canine behavior in part because they are fictional monsters humanity has no reference towards, and most humans are also unfamiliar with wolves. They therefore go to the next best thing, a dog.

Compare Furry Reminder, Stock Animal Behavior, Catlike Dragons for another trope about a mythical creature resembling and behaving like a domesticated animal, and Our Werewolves Are Different for the different ways werewolves appear in media in general. May overlap with Wonderful Werewolf if the werewolf is seen as a Big Friendly Dog, or Dogs Are Dumb if the werewolf is impulsive and easily distracted by things like squirrels, cats, and doorbells. If the werewolf is still presented as threatening despite its dog-like mannerisms, it might be a case of Beware of Vicious Dog. Sub-trope of Canine Confusion.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Played for Laughs in Dragon Ball. A reverse-werewolf called Man-Wolf has a grudge against Master Roshi for destroying the moon and preventing him from returning to human form. This leads Man-Wolf to challenge Roshi in the World Martial Arts Tournament. Roshi proceeds to repeatedly humiliate him by invoking his dog instincts: Man-Wolf is forced to shake hands, beg, and even chase after a thrown bone straight into out-of-bounds. After humiliating him, Roshi helps Man-Wolf regain his human form, which is what he wanted.
  • Love Rush: The werewolf Taiga harbors some strong resentments against cupid Kokoro; when they were little, they played together all the time, and Taiga never saw anything wrong with the way they "played", never realizing that she was basically being treated like a puppy. Now, she can't stop her body from acting that way, jumping to fetch, shaking when prompted, and becoming completely paralyzed the moment someone says "Stay!".

    Comic Books 
  • In The Goon, Roscoe the pre-teen werewolf often does things like scratch himself with his foot and chase after sticks.
  • Monica's Gang: Lobi from the Bug-a-Boo stories — which parody many classical cinema monsters — is a werewolf who, Depending on the Writer, often has the behavior of a stereotypical friendly dog, such as going after bones, barking, and running away from baths.

    Fan Works 
Examples by source material: Examples by title:
  • Ask the Undead Husbands gives Alfred F. Jones a few doglike traits, such as wagging his tail when happy, and there's also mention of him liking to volunteer at animal shelters and as a dog walker.
  • Downplayed in Being Human. While Shinji is referred to affectionately as a "little pup" by the werewolf who turned him and Asuka derisively describes werewolves as "dog-faced", Shinji doesn't really exhibit much doglike traits.
  • Hatzgang Requests!: In chapter 17, the werewolf the Hatzgang encounter behaves more akin to a big, angry dog, and is calmed when Robert clamps its mouth shut and scratches it behind the ears. It's due to this that the three don't even realize it wasn't a dog until the next full moon, where Roy transforms because he got bit by it; Roy himself acts like a frightened dog off a leash, and even barks in an attempt to communicate with Ross and Robert. After wrangling Roy, Robert compares him and the original werewolf — who turns out to actually be named "Wolf" — to actual dog breeds, with Roy being a Labradoodle and Wolf being a Samoyed.
  • Lumity Lycanthropy: Werewolf Luz acts like a huge, ill-tempered dog, attacking people she doesn't recognize from her human form. She also tries to sniff Amity, licks her hand, and likes being petted.

    Films — Animation 
  • Played with in Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman: after getting bitten by a werewolf, Theodore likewise turns into a werewolf at night, and is initially as playful and curious as a young puppy. As time goes on, he begins getting a lot more ferocious both during the day and at night, and the worried Alvin and Simon scramble to find a cure before the curse becomes unbreakable.
  • Hotel Transylvania: Wayne the werewolf and his family have a lot of traits in common with domestic dogs. The kids run around, biting and chewing everything and everyone they find, while Wayne and his wife Wanda take advantage of time away from their offspring in the third film by playing fetch with each other.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Big Fish, Edward Bloom learns the circus ringmaster turns into a werewolf. One night he accidentally lets him out of his trailer, and a clown prepares to kill the monster with a silver bullet before it can wreak harm, but Edward defuses the situation by playing fetch with the wolf.
  • The Boy Who Cried Werewolf: Played with. When cynical nerd Jordan Sands becomes infected with werewolf blood, during the day she becomes playful and excitable, has a keen sense of smell, plays with other dogs, and enjoys being outside (where her allergies stopped her from enjoying it before). But when fully transformed at night, she is much more vicious and wolflike. In addition, natural-born werewolves like her brother and great-uncle are later revealed to be much more in control of their minds in both forms, averting the trope.
  • Goosebumps (2015): The werewolf, while more villainous than its book counterpart, still shows some dog-like behaviour, such as barking while chasing the protagonists.
  • What We Do in the Shadows: When the vampires cross paths with the werewolf pack, the rival groups trade insults and belittle each other. As an act of mockery, Deacon mimes throwing a stick... and one of the werewolves runs off to go look for it, much to their pack leader's annoyance.
    Angus: No, don't, don't go for it! It's not real!

  • In Iberic and Brazilian Folklore, the werewolf (called Lobisomem in Portuguese) often assumes the form of a large black dog instead of a wolf (as well as other animals, like pigs), though its behavior is still aggressive and violent, as with other portrayals of the monster.

  • The Rivers family of werewolves in Family Bites are described as looking and acting like particularly friendly sheepdogs when in wolf form.
  • Discussed at length in The Fifth Elephant, which features a werewolf clan as its primary antagonists. Sam Vimes, as well as several other characters, all muse that since dogs are what humans made from wolves, it is impossible for a creature that is half-wolf and half-human not to have a little dog in it somewhere. This is played for laughs when various werewolves are seen to visibly cringe at the mention of a B-A-T-H, or the first syllable of the ruler of Ankh-Morpork's name (Lord Vetinari). Comes to a head in the climax when Vimes dispatches Wolfgang Von Ubervald, who has been stuck in a sort of mid-transformation and is acting on instinct, by firing a Flare Gun just over Wolfgang's head, causing the monstrous creature to jump up and catch it in his teeth.
  • One of the early Goosebumps books has a werewolf who turns out to be good and ends with the main character playing fetch with him.
  • Harry Potter: Downplayed. Remus Lupin, under the effects of the Wolfsbane potion, reportedly just curls up in his office like a sleepy dog on the full moon. Without it, he is a vicious beast.
  • Mercy Thompson:
    • The werewolves in the series have a tendency to act like dogs when surrounded by those unfamiliar with werewolves. It's stated that have a Weirdness Censor that influences people to see them as dogs unless they are already aware of werewolves.
    • Mercy has done this quite a few times when in her coyote form in public. Sometimes she will wear a dog collar with Adam’s name on it just in case she is seen around a neighborhood. Blood Bound has a funny scene of Mercy playing fetch with some young boys until her "owner" comes to pick her up.
  • In Shop Till You Drop... Dead!, the vampire night guard of the department store uses a werewolf as his guard dog.
  • Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms: The werewolf demonstrates his safety by acting like a dog instead of a murderous being.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Are You Afraid of the Dark? episode "The Tale of the Full Moon", a boy suspects that his mom's new boyfriend is a werewolf. He ends up being wrong. The man is not a werewolf, but his identical twin brother is! The boyfriend ends up coming clean about the whole situation to the boy's mother and hopes she can accept it. She does and the two end up getting married. As for the boy, he ends loving the fact that his new step-uncle is a werewolf because in a weird way, he got the dog he always wanted.
  • Big Time Rush: In "Big Time Halloween", Kendall is a werewolf trying to keep his non-monster girlfriend, Jo, from learning about his werewolf status. When she tells him she knew the entire time, she points out how he does things like mark his territory, chase mailmen, and likes to play frisbee with her.
  • In the Supernatural episode "All Dogs Go to Heaven", shapeshifters are posing as dogs so they can then bite their owners and make them shifters as well. One shifter who wants no part of it has been hiding for an extended time as the dog of a mother and child.
  • In What We Do in the Shadows (2019), the werewolves pee on their territory, sniff each others' crotches, and are easily distracted by anything being thrown like a game of fetch. They also mention taking medication for heartworm, which tends to afflict dogs more than wolves.
  • In the Wizards of Waverly Place episode "Meet the Werewolves", Alex meets the parents of her boyfriend, Mason, who is a werewolf. They engage in activities like "finding the squeaky toy" and call themselves good boy/girl with a pat on the head when doing something good.

    Video Games 
  • Balacera Brothers has a werewolf boss guarding the entrance of the Demon Lord Nugnur's crypt, acting like a guard dog.
  • In Blood Knights, vampire countess Blood Fox has a cadre of mindless werewolves serving as her attack dogs.
  • The werewolf enemies in Daemon Summoner are mindless, slavering beasts whose only purpose is serving as guard-dogs for the Vampires. The first werewolf is introduced guarding your cell in the asylum and chases you like a feral dog when you escape.
  • Werewolves in Monster Hunter (PC) have behaviours more akin to dogs, making dog-like barking noises while they attack, occasionally stopping to pant while pursuing the player, and their spawners being a kennel with a sign that says "Fido".
  • The Sims:
    • In The Sims 2, one of the horror movies your sims can watch is about a werewolf. The heroine distracts it from mauling her by playing fetch with it.
    • In The Sims 3, it's possible to give belly rubs and play fetch with werewolf sims.
  • World of Warcraft: Played for Laughs by a lot of the silly emotes for the game's werewolf equivalent, the worgen. These include them going nuts because they can smell bacon, professing a love for Darnassus because there's trees everywhere, or sheepishly apologizing and saying that they don't really know a person until they've sniffed their crotch.

  • Vampire Husband: Charles and Cheryl's neighbor, Bob, is a werewolf but acts exactly like a big dog, including wagging is tag when he's happy. Cheryl actually mistook him for a domesticated dog at first, before Charles corrected her.
  • Theo of Zom Com is a werewolf, but acts more akin to an overgrown (and not very bright) puppy. Including such dog stereotypes as chasing the mailman, hating cats (and cat people), jumping in laps and so on.

    Western Animation 
  • The Backyardigans: In "Scared of You", Uniqua the werewolf whimpers like a puppy when Austin and Tyrone accidentally startle her.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: In "Operation: H.O.U.N.D." and its continuation "Operation: D.O.G.H.O.U.S.E.", the antagonists are Valerie, a werepoodle who eats Numbuh 5's homework to disqualify her as an honor roll student, and Mrs. Thompson, Numbuh 5's homeroom teacher, who leads Valerie and the other weredogs as their queen. A literal example of A Dog Ate My Homework, the weredogs eat the homework of other students as food, with bad homework being poison to all of them except the queen.
  • Defied in Fangface, whose werewolf title character gets greatly offended if someone confuses him for a dog. He is, however, essentially the Team Pet and can be calmed down with a foot-rub.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: In "Tween Wolf", Irwin turns into a werewolf; Billy ends up adopting him (naming him "Sprinkles") and enters him into a dog show.
  • Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures: In "The Shadow of the Were-Pac", anyone who's bitten by a flea becomes a Were-Pac. At one point, Sir Cumference finds that the Were-Pac (who was previously Cylindria) peed on the floor and comments that it's not housebroken.
  • Pocoyo: Invoked by Pocoyo. In "Halloween Tales", he tells Nina a story where he turns into a werewolf and plays fetch with Pato.
  • Tom and Jerry Tales: In "Monster Con", Jerry befriends a werewolf that acts like a playful dog. The werewolf plays fetch, digs in a yard, lives in a doghouse, and gives Jerry a friendly lick.