Top ten television dogs

From the Littlest Hobo to Ethel's little Willy - we celebrate the canine stars of the small screen


It’s a dog’s life this week; while BBC4 investigates the dark side of British dog breeding in Pedigree Dogs Exposed (Monday, 9pm), Horizon explores changing theories of canine behaviour in Woof! A Horizon Guide to Dogs (Thursday, 8pm, BBC4).


It seems we can’t get enough of our four-legged friends and many’s the pooch to have captured our hearts on the small screen. You may think you’re immune to the charms of a silky coat and a little wet nose, but peruse our pick of the ten most delightful dogs on telly, and we bet you’ll find one you’d like to take for a walk.

The Littlest Hobo

The Canadian series followed the adventures of a stray German Shepherd who rescued kidnap victims, was instrumental in solving crimes and helped people struggling to come to terms with various issues in their lives. It also has one of the best children’s TV theme tunes ever…


The collie of the tear-jerking American television series was played by Pal (star of seven Lassie films) in the first two pilots and five of his descendants for the epic 19-year run from 1954-1973.


The very first Blue Peter dog was immortalised in a bronze bust, which was placed in the Blue Peter Garden at White City. A grumpy mongrel on set, her many young fans doted on her.


Cuddly St Bernard with a talent for variety, he was one half of the comedy duo Bernie Winters & Schnorbitz, and starred with Bernie in his eponymous show in 1978 and 1980.


Jack Russell whose comic timing rivalled that of Kelsey Grammer in the long-running sitcom Frasier. His fans rewarded him with more mail than his human co-stars.

Scooby Doo

“…where are you?” If you were under 10 in the 70s you drove your parents mad singing the refrain to the popular animated cartoon over and over and over again… Scooby, a talking Great Dane, solved supernatural mysteries with the incentive of many waistline-busting Scooby snacks.


Or Pollux as he was known in the original French version of the Magic Roundabout. This shaggy character spun about the psychedelic landscape of the 1970s children’s show, guzzling sugar lumps. Children loved him. Adults wondered if all was well at the BBC…


Metallic mutt who was first seen accompanying his master, the fourth Doctor (Tom Baker), in 1979. The success of the robotic companion was such that K-9 returned for K-9 and Company (1981), The Sarah Jane Adventures (2007-2011) and K-9 (2009-present) and met up with tenth Doctor David Tennant in Doctor Who episode School Reunion.


Ethel Skinner’s beloved pug was a part of the EastEnders cast from 1985 to 1992, when Ethel was obliged to have him put down. Plotlines ranged from kidnap to constipation.



The coolest dog in town, created by cartoonist Charles M Schulz, he broke into telly in 1983 in the animated Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show. Loves to daydream on top of his kennel, wearing First World War aviator’s hat and scarf. Also likes to dance.