They are loveable and huggable and they even come in animated forms! Dogs are the ulti-mutt best friend, so it's no surprise that we love them in real life and on our televisions. For those hoping to reminisce over the top dogs of the big and small screens, we take a look back at the coolest and quirkiest cartoon dogs from the 90s!
Balto — 1995 Movie
He was the sled dog who delivered life-saving supplies to the town of Nome, Alaska. Balto was not just a cartoon dog from the 90s — he was also a hero in real life! This extraordinary story of an outsider who put his life on the line for the betterment of others was an inspiration to kids and adults alike.
Courage the Cowardly Dog — TV Series Premiered in 1999
The little pink dog with the oxymoron of a name — Courage the Cowardly Dog was a timid little guy who was adopted by an elderly couple and lived on a farm in the middle of nowhere.
While this show had its comical moments, it was technically classified as a horror show, likely unbeknownst to our moms and dads. Courage spends 52 episodes fighting off spirits and monsters to protect his parents, proving that love can help you conquer anything.
Max Goof — 1995 Movie
We are all familiar with Walt Disney's hopelessly clumsy, and aptly named, Goofy, but one of the best cartoon dogs from the 90s is Max Goof.
The son of this Disney icon goes on a family vacation with his dad and he perfectly captures every child's embarrassment over their dorky parents. It was a ridiculously relatable film that kids like myself couldn't help but watch over and over again!
Porkchop — Doug TV Series Premiered in 1991
Nickelodeon's Doug was another fan favorite amongst 90s kids. His pup, named Porkchop, was his best friend, and while he couldn't talk, he did have a handful of human emotions, and qualities, like the ability to walk on two legs, dance, and even skateboard.
Catdog — TV Series Premiered in 1998
For the kids who couldn't pick a side on the battle of cats versus dogs, Nickelodeon made sure that you had the best of both worlds! Catdog is a golden brother duo, comprised of different species.
In each episode, the conjoined "twins" went through an array of ridiculous scenarios and always left us wanting more. More than anything, though, I think we all wondered how this weird and whimsical duo went to the bathroom!
Tom Kenny, the voice of the dog-half of Catdog, is also the voice of Spongebob Squarepants!
Blue — Blue's Clues TV Series Premiered in 1996
Nickelodeon was the king of kid shows in the 90s. This makes it no surprise that it was the home to another classic dog cartoon of the 90's, Blues Clues! Catering to a younger audience, Blue was an adorable little puppy who left pawprints to help viewers and her dog dad, Steve, figure out what she was up to for the day.
While her breed was never noted in the show, if we follow the clues, she is likely a basset hound! I mean, look at those fantastically floppy ears and great big snout! Another clue — Blue was quite talkative, in her own dog-like way, and so are these droopy-eyed dogs!
That's our conclusion after a day's hunt. What are your thoughts?
Brian — Family Guy TV Series Premiered in 1999
Completely switching gears, another one of the ulti-mutt cartoon dogs of from the 90s is Brian Griffin from the adult cartoon, Family Guy. This anthropomorphic dog has opposable thumbs, stands on two legs, and has a sarcastic wit that is hard to fur-get!
And how could you!? The Seth MacFarlane original has spanned 22 seasons and seems to be here to stay. Brian is likely a white labrador retriever, which is fitting since he serves as the voice of reason on the show, and labradors are said to be one of the smartest dog breeds out there.
Santa's Little Helper — The Simpsons 1989-Present
As Homer Simpson describes him, Santa's Little Helper is a bag of bones. In the very first series episode, the greyhound gets let go from the racetrack after not even finishing his race. Despite causing Homer and Bart to lose their bet, they decide to take him home as their pet.
This cartoon dog from the 90s was just like a real dog — loveable, curious, and somewhat destructive. If only Homer had heard of positive reinforcement!
Nonetheless, his character is clearly well-liked, because he is the only pet on The Simpsons that has been a mainstay for the whole series! Throughout that time, he manages to teach us that we can overcome our flaws, serving as a guide dog to a blind man, and enrolling as a police dog in various episodes. Perhaps he should put in for one of the world's oldest dogs?
Spunky — Rocko's Modern Life TV Series Premiered in 1993
Spunky is the sweet, but dimwitted, miniature bull terrier on Rocko's Modern Life. While he can't talk, he is immensely loyal to his owner Rocko, the Australian wallaby. This Nickelodeon show of the 90s was filled with songs, silliness, and even explosions.
However, looking back, this show was another one that our parents probably let us watch because it was a cartoon, not realizing that much of the content was for more mature audiences. Nonetheless, Spunky was just that—a spirited little spotted dog that we couldn't resist watching!
Odie — Garfield and Friends TV Series 1988-1994
Who can forget the yellow-furred beagle, Odie, from Garfield and Friends?! Unlike his cat counterpart and best friend, Odie doesn't speak and acts like a typical dog, but he still plays a big part in the antics of the show.
This animated series gave off a very Tom and Jerry vibe, but thankfully, it featured a puppy partner instead of a rodent! This fan-favorite was another reason why every 90s kid wanted a puppy!
Clifford the Big Red Dog — Books Published 1963-Now
Can you imagine having a dog as big as Clifford as your best friend? Emily Elizabeth was SO lucky! At least, that's what we all thought when we read about him as kids! Clifford was another quintessential cartoon dog of the 90s who taught us so many spectacular things!
While he didn't become a television cartoon until 2000, his face and fun antics graced our bookshelves quite regularly. In fact, 35 Clifford books came out between 1990 and 1999.
In these stories, author Norman Bridwell "personified the values that we as parents and educators hope to communicate to our children—kindness, compassion, helpfulness, gratitude," and what a wonderful thing that was to grow up with!
Wylie Burp — Fievel Goes West 1994 Movie
For those who missed out on seeing An American Tail: Fievel Goes West in the early 90s, you should seriously go back and watch it! Fievel is an adorable little mouse who is tricked into moving out west with his family by a bunch of cats. This little cowboy is immensely excited for this journey, because it meant that he was going to meet his idol, the great (dane) Wylie Burp!
Wylie was law man who was known for defeating the Cactus Cat Gang, but had since gotten lazy in his old age. That is, until he met Fievel.
In the film (which is actually a sequel that stands alone), he shows us that we can look past someone's appearance and do what is right for the greater good, no matter what our age. This was one of my favorite 90s films and a movie I have already introduced to my three-year-old!
Related: Famous TV & Movie Dogs From All Eras
Ren — Ren & Stimpy Premiered in 1991
Finally, for the older kiddos in the 90s, Ren from Ren & Stimpy was the chihuahua who warped our minds and had us constantly going, "he really did that?!" This definitely wasn't a show for little ones, and even us bigger kids had to sneak to watch it when the parents weren't within earshot.
If you missed out on this "psychopathic" pup and his "dimwitted" friend, definitely check it out, but you may want to leave the littles out for this screening.
Cartoon Dogs From the 90s and Today Always Seem to Make Us Smile
Every day after school or work, these cartoon dogs from the 90s made us smile and forget our troubles, at least for a little while. They also made us dream of having a dog of our own. Seriously though, who wouldn't want a talking dog?!
These can be great shows, movies, and books to revisit today, so check your streaming services and bookstores to enjoy these blasts from the past!
And for those looking to find present-day cartoon dogs to teach their kids more wonderful life lessons and bring a bit of furry fun into their lives, Bluey is a great show about a heeler and her family, so consider giving it a try!