Companion DogTetsuya #2Kuroko no Basuke
Human DogKazuhito HarumiInu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyō
Scary DogMikeHunter x Hunter
Funny DogGutsKill la Kill
Badass DogAkamaruNaruto

20 Best Anime Dogs – Highlights

First, we’ll introduce you to the 20 best anime dogs of all time (in our humble opinion). They’re all known for their lovable, often hilarious antics and/or for the roles they play in anime shows. But each of them has a distinct personality and style that makes them stand out from the rest. From Akamaru (the companion of Kiba Inuzuka in Naruto) to Inui (the anthropomorphized dog character in Aggretsuko), let’s dive into the world of anime animals!

  • Akamaru (Naruto)
  • Ein (Cowboy Bebop)
  • Guts (Kill la Kill)
  • Sadaharu (Gintama)
  • Heen (Howl’s Moving Castle)
  • Pakkun (Naruto)
  • Tetsuya #2 (Kuroko no Basuke)
  • Black Hayate (Fullmetal Alchemist)
  • Shiro (Elegant Yokai Apartment Life)
  • Makkachin (Yuri!!! On Ice)
  • Kazuhito Harumi (Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyō)
  • Wanta (Elfen Lied)
  • Chouchou (One Piece)
  • Iggy (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure)
  • Bee (Dragon Ball GT)
  • Enek (Spice & Wolf)
  • Cherry (Lucky Star)
  • Holy (One Piece)
  • Mike (Hunter x Hunter)
  • Inui (Aggretsuko)

Akamaru (Naruto)

Akamaru is one of the most beloved anime dogs in anime history, and for good reason. Not only does he have a really cute puppy face and fluffy body, but he also serves as Kiba’s partner in the anime series Naruto. Akamaru is fiercely loyal to his best friend Kiba and is always there to help him out.

He’s also incredibly strong for a dog, being able to use his clan’s signature jutsu, the Fang Wolf Fang Jutsu, to create a powerful ball of energy. Akamaru is truly one anime dog that you won’t want to miss!

Breed 🐶Ninken (a fictional species of ninja dogs)
Trivia 🔍Aka means “red” in Japanese, and Akamaru was named that because his fur turned red after eating a Military Rations Pill.

Ein (Cowboy Bebop)

As one of anime’s most iconic anime dogs, Ein is known for his adorable Corgi features and street-smart, mischievous personality. His intelligence is unmatched (enhanced by a research facility), and he even helps to solve some of the crew’s mysteries in the anime series Cowboy Bebop.

When not busy assisting his partner, the bounty hunter Spike Spiegel, Ein loves to play around and have fun. He’s one anime dog that you’ll definitely want to keep an eye out for!

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Breed 🐶Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Trivia 🔍The name Ein might be short for Einstein or a German translation of “one,” related to the fact that a dog’s bark is spelled “wan” in Japanese.

Guts (Kill La Kill)

Guts (Kill La Kill)
Kill la Kill | © Studio Trigger

Guts is the pet pug of the Mankanshoku family in Kill la Kill. He lives in the Mankanshoku’s home and is often seen eating, hence his name – “he eats with a lot of gusto” (in Japanese, it’s Gatsugatsu taberu, meaning “eating greedily). But don’t think he’s an innocent doggo – he was caught peeping into Ryuko Matoi’s bath together with the boys!

Breed 🐶Pug
Trivia 🔍A giant, crying version of Guts is seen in the show Space Patrol Luluco – nobody knows why!

Sadaharu (Gintama)

Sadaharu is the pet dog of the Yorozuya, the anime’s main protagonists. Apart from being the mascot, he’s also known for his destructive, bad-tempered personality – but he calms down over time. While he’s extremely loyal to Gintoki and his friends, he can also be a source of trouble at times, such as when he swallowed Gin whole (and later puked him out)!

Breed 🐶Inugami (a dog god in Japanese oriental culture)
Trivia 🔍Sadaharu’s original name was Kamiko, which means “god’s child” in Japanese.

Heen (Howl’s Moving Castle)

Heen is the “errand dog” of Madame Suliman in the anime movie Howl’s Moving Castle. Heen is loyal to his master and is always at her side, helping her with chores or errands like escorting Sophie to the palace. Heen is also very smart, although he can only communicate through wheezing, gasping, jumping and scraping – not a bark in sight!

Breed 🐶Petit Basset Griffon Bandane
Trivia 🔍The anime’s produced, Toshio Okada, speculated that Heen might be a wizard in disguise. In that case, he would be working for the witch Suliman, and it would explain his heavy weight!

Pakkun (Naruto)

Pakkun (Naruto)
Naruto | © Pierrot

Pakkun is one of Kakashi’s ninja dogs in the anime series Naruto – the smallest one, actually. He’s known for his tracking abilities and grumpy face. In addition to the main series, this dog appears in the spin-off Rock Lee’s Springtime of Youth. Pakkun makes a good Naruto dog name!

Breed 🐶Miniature Pug
Trivia 🔍He was able to say Kakashi’s name at 4 months of age!

Tetsuya #2 (Kuroko’s Basketball)

Tetsuya #2 of the anime Kuroko’s Basketball looks like a husky-colored Shiba Inu, and he acts like a typical dog. Very attached to Kuroko, he often follows the anime’s protagonist everywhere he goes. His sharp sense of smell is also helpful in their missions, which can even include sneaking into other teams’ locker rooms!

Breed 🐶Shiba Inu
Trivia 🔍He’s estimated to be around 1 year old, although he looks like a younger puppy.

Black Hayate (Fullmetal Alchemist)

Black Hayate is an anime dog who plays an important role in the narrative of Fullmetal Alchemist. He was originally a stray dog who was taken in by Master Sergeant Kain Fuery and later adopted by Riza Hawkeye. She named the dog “Black Hurricane” and soon trained him to be a military dog.

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Breed 🐶Shiba Inu Mix
Trivia 🔍The Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate fighter plane was the inspiration for his name.

Makkachin (Yuri!!! On Ice)

Makkachin (Yuri!!! On Ice)
Yuri!!! On Ice | © MAPPA

Makkachin is the pet poodle of Victor Nikiforov. Makkachin is a friendly and good-natured anime dog who gets along well with everyone around him. He can follow Victor and Yuuki Katsuki without a leash, and he enjoys playing with water (did you know that the poodle was bred as a water dog?).

Breed 🐶Standard Poodle
Trivia 🔍He’s very old for a large dog, at 15 years of age. Victor took a break from competitive skating because he wanted to spend his dog’s last years of life with him.

Kazuhito Harumi (Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyō)

Kazuhito Harumi is the main protagonist of the series Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyō (Dog & Scissors). He was formerly a human teenager, until he got reincarnated as a dachshund dog after getting killed by an armed robber at the school café. This book lover can still read in his dog form, but unfortunately, he lost his ability to speak!

Breed 🐶Dachshund
Trivia 🔍His first name, Kazuhito, means “peaceful person,” and his last name, Harumi, means “spring sea.”

Iggy (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure)

An ally who appears in the second half of Stardust Crusaders, Iggy is an urban mutt who accompanies the anime’s protagonists on their final expedition to Egypt in order to defeat DIO. His Stand is The Fool, which allows him to shape-shift and manipulate sand. This pup has a cartoonishly human face, but he’s loyal and feisty at his core.

Breed 🐶Boston Terrier
Trivia 🔍He was designed as a Boston Terrier because it’s a black-and-white breed, which makes it easy to depict in manga.

Bee (Dragon Ball)

Bee (Dragon Ball)
Dragon Ball Z | © Toei Animation

Who could resist this cartoonish Labrador face? Bee is owned by Mr. Satan and Innocent Buu, and made his anime debut in Dragon Ball: The Return of Son Goku and Friends. He provides comic relief with his simplistic, cheery nature. He’s also a fast learner, to the point where he learns how to use the binoculars onboard the Princess Bulma!

Breed 🐶Labrador Retriever
Trivia 🔍His name is probably short for Beelzebub, which makes sense for a dog owned by Mr. Satan.

Shiro (Elegant Yokai Apartment Life)

Shiro is the anime’s main protagonist’s pet dog. He’s actually a ghost dog, and a white Shiba Inu. Shiro ensures that his human, Kuri, is happy and safe at all times, even becoming the guardian of his friends. On a dark side, he killed Kuri’s abusive mother in vengeance when she murdered the boy.

Wanta (Elfen Lied)

This small anime dog in Elfen Lied saved Mayu’s life – he stopped her from walking into the ocean (she can’t swim). Wanta is a friendly and loyal pup who stays by Mayu’s side even though she can’t give him much. Fiercely defensive of her, he often barks at anyone who tries to talk to her.

Chouchou (One Piece)

One Piece | © Toei Animation

Chouchou is a dog from Orange Town, who guards his owner’s pet-food shop like a protector. Even though his master is long gone, he continues to sit vigil and attack anyone who threatens the shop. Chouchou is friendly and loyal, and he once helped the Straw Hat Pirates escape a town mob.

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Enek (Spice & Wolf)

Enek is a sheepdog with an adorable face. He belongs to Nora Arendt, a shepherdess in Spice & Wolf. Enek has a thick, shaggy coat and obeys his owner’s every command, always staying by her side. He warns every man who seems to be interested in Nora away from her!

Cherry (Lucky Star)

One of the few female anime dogs in existence, Cherry is a large white canine who belongs to Minami Iwasaki and her family. She’s intimidating and relaxed at the same time, and often buries her food in the yard, which Minami scolds her for. What’s strange is that the English subtitles to the Lucky Star OVA change her gender to male!

Holy (One Piece)

Holy’s face is iconic, with the grumpy eyes and tongue sticking out. He’s a pale yellow dog that Ohm rides on during battles. As a powerful fighter and loyal companion, Holy is a force to be reckoned with. Although he isn’t very smart, he obeys commands, so everything goes according to plan!

Mike (Hunter x Hunter)

Hunter x Hunter | © Nippon Animation

The scary guard dog of the Zoldyck Estate is the largest dog on our list. His intimidating expressions and size alone make him a fearsome opponent, and he also shows limited emotion, acting more like a machine than a living animal. However, he obediently carries out his owners’ command to kill all intruders (and gladly eats them in between meals).

Inui (Aggretsuko)

Aggretsuko isn’t what most people think about when they hear the word “anime”, but it’s a popular Netflix title. This anime dog is Inui, a supporting character who is anthropomorphized and given a puppy face. She’s based on the Borzoi breed and has a gentle nature.

23 More Anime Dogs That Are Worth Seeing

If you still aren’t satisfied with the list of anime dogs, don’t worry! We’ve got plenty more to introduce shortly. Maybe one of them will strike your fancy if you’re looking for an anime dog name:

  • Antoinette (Ouran High School Host Club)
  • Puppy (Code: Breaker)
  • Tanuki (Super Lovers)
  • Cezar (Castlevania)
  • Alexander (Fullmetal Alchemist)
  • Zeke (Highschool of the Dead)
  • Potato (Air)
  • Taromaru (Gakkou Gurashi!)
  • Pedro Martínez (Kimi ni Todoke)
  • Tadakichi-San (Azumanga Daioh)
  • Ioryogi (Kobato)
  • Shigure Souma (Fruit Basket)
  • Chikuwa (Yuru Camp)
  • Belka and Strelka (Little Busters)
  • Buddy (Nichijou)
  • Apo (Space Brothers)
  • Koromaru (Persona 3)
  • Mametarou (Massugu ni Ikou)
  • Tobimaru (Sword of the Stranger)
  • Puppy (Elfen Lied)
  • Beck (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad)
  • Kedama (Given)
  • Hakubi (Kekkaishi).

Roles of Dogs in Anime – Errand Dog, Data Dog, and More

Roles of Dogs in Anime – Errand Dog, Data Dog, and More

Dogs have been popular characters among anime fans for many years, with several roles they can play. In fact, you might be surprised by the many different ways they’re used! Here are just a few examples:

  • Errand dog – Heen in Howl’s Moving Castle is the best example. He runs errands for Madame Suliman, although he’s lazy by nature.
  • Fighter dog – Kiba Inuzuka’s Akamaru is a prime example of this type of role. He helps Kiba fight evil.
  • Data dog – Ein in Cowboy Bebop fits the bill perfectly. He’s a data dog that helps the crew of the spaceship with various tasks.
  • Working dog – Enek in Spice & Wolf belongs to a family of shepherds, and uses his natural ability (breed) to help with their work.
  • Guard dog – Mike in Hunter x Hunter is a gigantic guard dog who watches over the Zoldyck mansion.
  • Companion dog – Tetsuya #2 from Kuroko no Basuke is very much a companion who sticks by his owner’s side at all times. He even got his name from Tetsuya Kuroko!

Which anime dogs are the best in your opinion, and why? Let us know in the comments below!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Is the Best Dog in Anime?

Any answer to this question will probably be met with disagreement from other anime fans! Dogs like Akamaru, Ein, Tetsuya #2, Shiro and Makkachin would all be amazing pets to have. Potato and Kano, the companions of Yukito, are also worth mentioning.

What Is the Anime Dog?

If you’re wondering which dog breed usually appears in anime, it’s probably the Shiba Inu. It’s a Japanese breed, just like the bigger Akita Inu. As for their role in anime, dogs are usually fun and loyal companions of protagonists and supporting characters!

Which Anime Has a Dog?

There are countless anime titles with dogs in them. But one interesting anime with a dog as a protagonist is Ginga Nagareboshi Gin. It follows Gin, an Akita puppy who joins a pack of dogs and proves his strength.

What Is a Yokai Dog?

Yokai are spirits in the Japanese mythology. They’re sometimes described as ghosts, demons, or minor gods. A yokai dog is a yokai that takes the external form of a dog.

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