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It’s that time of year again – cheerful lights are twinkling, Christmas cookies are baking, and our favorite holiday movies are playing on repeat. At Ruffly Speaking, we wanted to dig a little deeper into classic holiday movies and get to know the dogs that steal every scene they’re in! 

This week, we will finally answer the age-old question, “What kind of dog is Snoopy?”

What Kind of Dog is Snoopy Anyway?

When Charles M. Schulz published his first drawing at 15 years old, he didn’t realize it would set him on a course to be a world-renowned cartoonist. That first drawing, a picture of his dog, would inspire his most famous work, the Peanuts gang – a cast of cartoon kids and their lovable dog Snoopy.

The Peanuts gang consists primarily of Snoopy, his owner Charlie Brown, Sally Brown, Marcie, Peppermint Patty, Schroeder, Lucy van Pelt, Linus van Pelt, and Woodstock (a whimsical yellow bird).

But what kind of dog is Snoopy? And why does everyone love him?

Snoopy is a beagle! But he’s no ordinary beagle. He has distinct human characteristics, like walking and dancing on two legs, playing football, and sporting a thought bubble above his head in the original comic strips.

He’s also known to slip into an alter ego from time to time. Find him on top of his doghouse writing the next great American novel on his typewriter. Or maybe you’ll see him fly across the sky as The Flying Ace pursuing The Red Baron. Or you may catch him as Joe Cool, the most relaxed beagle you’ll ever meet.

But despite his lovable appearance and many personalities, some people don’t believe Snoopy is a beagle. So what kind of dog is Snoopy, really?

Good Grief, Charlie Brown!

We don’t know what to tell the haters, other than, “Good grief!” 

Snoopy is a beagle, and there’s undeniable proof.

Beagles are known for being cheerful dogs that love to be around others. They’re smart, playful, and energetic. And they also appreciate a good nap. 

Also, beagles are scent hounds, and Snoopy never misses a meal. In fact, you often see him in comic strips with his food bowl in his mouth!

The Real-Life Inspiration Behind Snoopy

When Snoopy made his first appearance in the Peanuts comics, he walked around on four legs and wasn’t yet Charlie Brown’s beloved pet. But he quickly stole the hearts of millions thanks to his charming narcissism and human-like qualities.

Schulz is on record saying, “I don’t know how he got to walking, and I don’t know how he first began to think, but that was probably one of the best things that I ever did.” 

Schulz modeled the cartoon dog’s markings after his own childhood dog, Spike, which explains why Snoopy doesn’t look like a traditional beagle. (Well, that and he is a cartoon after all). But despite what the public might say, Snoopy is and always will be a beagle.

So what would you say if someone asked, “What kind of dog is Snoopy? You can share your own takeaways in our online pet parent community, Ruffly Speaking. Doors are open for the holidays, and we always love seeing new faces (and learning about your dog!). Learn more about Ruffly Speaking here.

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Robin Bennett, CPDT-KA

Robin Bennett is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, author, speaker, and expert on dogs. She founded one of the largest dog training companies in Virginia and for the last 30 years has been using her expertise in "reading dogs" to teach families how to train their pets as well as helping others in the pet care industry keep dogs safe.

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Susan Briggs is a Certified Professional Animal Care Operator, author, speaker, and pet care business expert. As co-founder of The Dog Gurus, she brings over 18 years of experience in the pet industry with 12 years as co-owner and operator of a successful dog daycare, lodging, grooming, and training business in Houston, Texas.

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