18 adorable dogs from classic television shows
Check out these adorable pooches from sitcoms and beyond.
The all-American family is not complete without a loyal dog. It's no wonder that so many early sitcoms featured an adorable shaggy pet by their side. Detectives and firefighters needed a trusty canine, too. Bearded collies and basset hounds were quite popular breeds for the small screen. But there were poodles, terriers and cute mutts around.
This list of TV dogs from the 1960s and 1970s is not comprehensive, but it does round up a lot of our favorite pooches. Some were regular fixtures on television shows, others made all-too-brief appearances in memorable episodes.
Lassie on Lassie
Where else to start? Lassie remains the ultimate story of a boy and his dog. Over 19 seasons, from 1954 to 1974, the drama went through six different collie stars.
Dog on Petticoat Junction
Does that adorable face look familiar? Posing here with the Petticoat women, Higgins was only honing his chops for greater success. While only known as "Dog" on the sitcom, he become a household name late in life as the titular hero of Benji. Yes, he's Benji! The mutt was close pals with Edgar Buchanan, who acted with him on Petticoat, Green Acres and Benji.
Duke on The Beverly Hillbillies
Is there a better breed for Jed Clampett than a bloodhound?
Tiger on The Brady Bunch
In September of 1969, The Brady Bunch kicked off with a house full of kids and pets. In the pilot, Carol and the girls have a cat named Fluffy. Alas, the kitty's time in the spotlight was fleeting, as the feline only appeared once. The Brady dog had a longer life — though not much longer. He also disappeared with no comment from the Brady clan. The cute bearded collie was named Tiger, both on screen and off, and popped up in 10 total episodes between episode one and 38. During the filming of "Ketchoo," the original Tiger was struck by a delivery vehicle on the studio lot. The trainer hurriedly searched for a replacement pooch. Unfortunately, Tiger II was not the actor his predecessor was. The dog proved to be too unruly and was quietly written off the show.
Tramp on My Three Sons
This long-running comedy (the second longest sitcom in history, actually) was inspired by The Shaggy Dog, so it's no wonder Fred MacMurray found himself sharing the screen with this fella.
Boot on Emergency!
What is a firehouse without a dog? Station 51 eschews the typical dalmation with a couple different buddies. Boot first appears in "Kids," which is coincidentally the screen debut of John Travolta. "Boot is a very sensitive dog," John Gage later says defensively.
Henry on Emergency!
Boot was not the only mascot on the rescue drama. Later, this basset hound became a regular fixture on the couch in the station house.
Dog on Columbo
Speaking of basset hounds, how could we forget this detective sidekick? Perhaps Columbo named him after the "dog" on Petticoat Junction. He made his appearance in "Etude in Black," the first episode of season two.
Flash on The Dukes of Hazzard
Rosco P. Coltrane's somnambulant basset furthered the popularity of the breed. "Velvet Ears" was the perfect sidekick for this country Sheriff.
Spunky on Happy Days
Fonzie's dog was perhaps the first on television to seek counseling. In "Spunkless Spunky" the poor guy is in a funk. Dr. Joyce Brothers pops in to help cure his mental woes.
Alfa 177 canine on Star Trek
All hail unicorn dog! This adorable alien appears in "The Enemy Within," and like Kirk is split into good and evil dopplegangers. We are still on our quest to figure out who this little guy was.
Opie's stray and his 10 friends on The Andy Griffith Show
In "Dogs, Dogs, Dogs," Opie comes in to the station with this perky little guy. Soon, his 10 friends show up for more of that delicious Barney sandwich. Fife then takes them all out to a field in a thunderstorm. But they end up back home in the end.
Djinn-Djinn on I Dream of Jeannie
This genie dog looks quite similar to the one on Andy Griffith, no? Perhaps this is the same actor.
"The Ugliest Dog in the World" on The Dick Van Dyke Show
Well that's just mean. This episode was nominated for an Emmy, however.
Scruffy on The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
This wire fox terrier lives in Maine with the Muirs and the spirit of a dead sea captain.
Simone on The Partridge Family
The Partridge Family had much in common with its predecessor, The Brady Bunch — right down to a shaggy family dog that lasted a mere season. He was part of the promotional campaign, as you can see from this pin-up from the Partridge comic book.
Coco on The Donna Reed Show
This big, fluffy poodle joined the Stone clan in 1961 and weighed in at 135 pounds.
Lord Nelson on The Doris Day Show
The sheepdog was billed in the opening credits in the first season, but gets bumped in later seasons. He could have used a better agent.