Whilst it’s always great to see dogs on the telly, it can often turn into a bit of a bark-off here at HHDB. Sprocket and Indie defend this home’s honour with great volume against any such animal on the TV, be it a cheetah, woodpecker or animated black horse. We have yet to watch any Planet Earth as a result!
I’m pretty sure if a real cheetah wandered in you would find our dogs hiding in a cupboard, but whatever.
Over the years there have been some fantastic dogs on our screens, many of which Sprocket and Indie would quite simply not allow these days! So I present to you Happy Home Dog Boarding’s top 5 TV dogs.
5. Ghost – Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones is a massive, sprawling fantasy story and no, I haven’t read the books. I have no shame in that, because you don’t get to see dogs in books, unless they’re picture books and have pop-up dogs and then in that case, why bother reading anything else and where are these pop up dog books you keep going on about!?
I perhaps digress. As big as GoT is though, there is one stand-out character that has survived war, murder, slaughter and other such nonsense and to my mind should just grab the Iron Throne with his mouth – Ghost the dog.
Well. Ghost is actually a direwolf, an “an unusually large and intelligent species of wolf”, owned (inasmuch as one can own a super-intelligent wolf) by Jon Snow, one of the main characters of the show. Ghost is ultra-loyal, saving his master and friends on multiple occasions. What a good boy. I bet he chews through all his rubber duck toys in seconds though.
4. The Flash Ah-ah dog
You know, I wasn’t too sure about this dog to start with. I mean, why would a dog care if it’s dirty or not? It’s not like they keep a track of the levels of mud in the house (at least I hope not). But then a singing dog is pretty cool, and I suppose a dog who recognises cleanliness is not to be sniffed at (sniffed! Geddit? Never mind). Here’s the advert in question:
I admit to the irony that after watching an advert on Youtube about being clean, I feel dirty because I just watched an advert on YouTube. Life is surely too short for that nonsense, but there we have it. I’m a sucker for a singing dog, especially to a Queen song. #DontJudgeMe
3. Dogtanian and the Three Muskahounds
Who remembers Dogtanian and the Three Muskahounds? It was a Spanish-Japanese animation translated into English and first broadcast on children’s TV in the 1980s - although apparently it made a confusing and brief return to the BBC in 2016, during a report on President Obama. And it was epic.
At least, I think it was epic. I don’t want to watch it again for I fear it will be choppy animation, badly scripted and slow moving, but at the time it was exciting, exotic and full of action, and the action was entirely made up of dogs! I mean come on, what else does a young lad need?
Dogtanian was a adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ 1844 novel The Three Muskateers, casting the main characters as dogs, and Dogtanian had a teeny-totsy sword and there were dogs with hats on and…look, just watch this, and prepare to have an earworm for the rest of the day.
What’s not to like? And who doesn’t want to be able to slice an apple so delicately with a sword? I mean if that isn’t life goals right there in those 1 minute 48 seconds, I don’t know what is.
As to what breed Dogtanian is, I’m stumped - like an old fashioned Snoopy I guess! Any suggestions? Leave them in the comments below!
2. Sprocket, Fraggle Rock
Fraggle Rock’s Sprocket was the inspiration behind naming our own gorgeous pup, as he was just the perfect dog. Loyal, curious, friendly and funny, Sprocket kept the lighthouse keeper company on his lonely rock by the sea.
Now although the character and actor of the lighthouse keeper changed between countries, Sprocket remained consistent with his fluffy face and cheery smile and cuddly woof. Although he couldn’t speak, he didn’t need to, being able to explain all his emotions through the puppetry mastery of Jim Henson’s team. He is also afraid to see the vet when he is sick, a reaction which both our Sprockets seem to agree on.
In this clip, Fraggle Rock Sprocket displays a similar barkiness to little critters that HHDB Sprocket does when Fraggles are on the telly. It’s rather uncanny, actually…
1. Porthos, Star Trek Enterprise
And as this video shows, Porthos wasn't against Star Trek Enterprise, set a hundred years before Kirk took the helm, is generally regarded as the worst of all the Star Trek series’. In this Trekkie’s opinion, that’s a bit harsh, and was certainly cancelled just as it was hitting its stride, but it did give us one of the most wonderful relationships between man and dog…in space.
Porthos was a regular, non-talking Beagle, and was a fond companion of Captain Archer, played by Scott Bakula. Archer was often happiest when just with Porthos - something I’m sure we can all relate to, and even when he would head off on dangerous missions he would make sure someone would take care of his favourite pup.
Future history was also made when Porthos was the first dog to visit an alien planet to take a pee behind a tree. As noted in the show, he was the first to go “…where no dog has gone before”. And as this clip shows, Porthos wasn't against dealing with Ferengi invaders...
Porthos was such a star he was interviewed by the official Star Trek website, and is rather eloquent about it. I’m sure that it was published on April 1st was just a coincidence.
Over the series, Porthos was played by three dogs, Prada, Breezy and Windy. If you would like to visit Porthos, for one episode they made a prosthetic model of him which you can see at Star Trek conventions, but it’s, er, a bit weird. Here’s a photo I took of him in 2012 at the Star Trek convention in London. Poor Porthos, but don’t worry he made a full recovery!
Bonus Star Trek 'dog'!
So, er…we’ve come a long way in monster design since the Alfa 177 canine reared up on our screens in the Original Series' The Enemy Within. Thing is, nobody knows the name or breed of the dog playing the…er…dogicorn? Unidog? Something like that.
Suggestions in the comments please!