The Most Famous Dogs of All Time
Some dogs rise to fame because they’re adoptive parents are handy with a camera and know their way around the Instagram algorithm. Other famous dogs earn their notoriety by being the first animal to orbit the earth, or by serving in the U.S. Coast Guard. Every dog on this list is incredible, whether for their modeling abilities or service to our nation.
Here are some of the most famous dogs throughout history.
1. Sunny and Bo Obama
The former first dogs of the United States, Sunny and Bo, are two adorable Portuguese water dogs. Since Donald Trump is the first president in nearly 130 years to not have a dog while in office, we’re left with especially fond memories of the days of Sunny and Bo. Bo was the Obama’s first dog, and then along came Sunny. Sunny has a bit of a reputation, though, as she was known to poop just outside the Lincoln bedroom and also once nipped at the face of a White House guest.
Next: Brave science dogs
2. Pavlov’s dogs
In the 1890s, Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov noticed that the dogs he was studying not only salivated when they were being fed, they salivated whenever he entered the room. Thus, the idea of classical conditioning was discovered. In 1904 he won a Nobel Prize in Medicine for his experiments on conditioned reflex, but only at the expense of the dogs he experimented on. To catch and test the saliva of the dogs he practiced on, Pavlov surgically implanted small tubes on the dogs’ muzzles. Though his practices would be considered grisly today, at the time, he was applauded for finding a way to test on dogs without having them undergo vivisection or having to kill them after the experiment.
Next: This dog has 2.1 million followers on Instagram.
Marnie has 2.1 million followers on Instagram and more celebrity selfies than … well, a human celebrity. She’s known for her funny little walk and tongue that just can’t help falling out of her mouth. Her “voice” on her online platforms is funny, lovable, current, and exactly what you’d think a Marnie would sound like. Her Instagram bio reads, “16 year old Shih Tzu adopted from a shelter at age 11. I 💗 2 partee. H8 being alone. I’m a lady! Adopt senior dogs.” Marnie uses her stardom to advocate for the adoption of senior dogs.
Next: Another presidential dog
4. Millie Bush
Millie Bush was another popular presidential dog. She belonged to Barbara and George H.W. Bush, and easily stole the hearts of Americans while her dad was in office. Millie is perhaps best known for her New York Times best selling non-fiction book, Millie’s Book — an inside look at a day in the life of a White House pup. While the Bushes were in office, Millie gave birth to a litter of puppies, and one of those puppies ended up back in the White House with President George W. Bush.
Next: A famous dog on the big screen
5. The original Lassie
The 1943 hit movie, Lassie, is about a devout Collie who goes on a 500-mile journey in order to reunite with her family. Lassie, in the original movie, was played by a rough Collie named Pal. After Pal, 10 generations of his descendants filled in for the role. As you might have noticed, Pal was a boy dog, and so were all of his relatives that portrayed Lassie on screen. According to Babble, that’s because “male Collies retain a thicker coat in summer and look more Collie-ish on television. Also, male Collies are larger, and human child actors could play alongside them for longer before outgrowing them.”
Next: You can purchase a plush version of this dog online.
Boo was one of the first Internet celebrity dogs. His mom created him a Facebook page back in 2009, and his climb to stardom took off. In 2010, Ke$ha tweeted that she had a new boyfriend (it was Boo), and Khloé Kardashian called him the “cutest dog on the planet.” Today, you can purchase a plush version of Boo and flip through one of his four photo books.
Next: The first animal to orbit the earth.
Laika was a stray dog found on the streets of Moscow who trained for the Soviet space program in 1957. She was chosen to be the sole occupant of Sputnik 2. At that time, the space program didn’t posses the technology to de-orbit the spacecraft and bring Laika back to earth after the mission so Soviet officials said that Laika was euthanized on the sixth day, prior to any oxygen depletion. However, it was later revealed in 2002 that Laika, sadly, had died from overheating within hours of the launch. Today, she has a small monument in her name near the military research facility where she practiced her training.
Next: This Instagram famous dog supports no-kill shelters.
Tuna has a face only his mother could love — his mother and the entire Internet. Tuna rose to fame when someone posted a photo of him on Reddit and he became a meme. Today, he has 1.9 million followers on Instagram and is an advocate for pet rescue. Tuna and his adopted mom, Courtney, partner with organizations like Best Friends to support no-kill animal sanctuaries.
Next: A sweet therapy dog
Lentil is French Bulldog who was born with a cleft palate. Before the French Bulldog Rescue Network raised enough money for his surgery, he could only eat out of a tube. Today, Lentil is thriving and enjoys his job as a therapy dog for children with cleft palates, just like him. You can follow Lentil on Instagram here.
Next: Another movie star pup
10. Rin Tin Tin
Rin Tin Tin was a German Shepherd who was rescued from a French battlefield during World War I by American soldier, Lee Duncan. Upon returning home to the U.S., Duncan trained Rin Tin Tin to star in Hollywood films. His breakout role was in the 1923 film, Where the North Begins. After the film’s success, Rin Tin Tin went on to star in 28 films.
Next: These two have their own book.
11. Harlow and Sage
Harlow and Sage are a beloved Weimaraner and Doxie duo. They’re known for their sweet cuddles, expressive faces, and adorable adventures — all captured by their adopted parents on Instagram. Though Harlow and Sage are the original famous dogs of the pack (they even landed themselves a book deal), their family has since grown to include two more pups: Indiana and Reese. Together, they provide one of the cutest online presences around.
Next: This dog served 11 years in the U.S. Coast Guard.
Sinbad was a sailor on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter, George W. Campbell. He began his job with the Coast Guard the way every other sailor does: by signing the enlistment papers (he signed with his paw print). Once the paperwork was signed and he receive his own service identification number, he went on to serve 11 years in the Coast Guard, including combat in World War II. After his time of service, Sinbad was awarded the American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and the Navy Occupation Service Medal.
Next: Toast meets world
You might recognize Toast as the star of her popular Instagram page, Toast Meets World. But before she was the glamorous pup we see today, she was an abused puppy mill mom. Today, Toast and her adopted mother promote puppy mill awareness. You can even buy one of her “French Toast” totes — a portion of the proceeds go to the Friends of Finn organization, which raises funds and awareness for puppy mill raids/rescues and vet care.
Next: A dog hopelessly devoted to his owner
The Huffington Post ran a story back in 2012 about a faithful German Shepherd named Capitán who returned to his owner’s grave every day for six years. After Manuel Guzman died, Capitán’s family thought he had run away. But a few days later, when the family was visiting Guzman’s grave, they found Capitán devotedly waiting near the gravesite. Capitán goes home to visit his family briefly, but always returns to Guzman’s grave before nightfall.
Next: Mishka the talking dog
Mishka has a special talent: she’s quite the talker. Mishka is a husky that can say things like “I’m hungry,” “no,” and “I love you.” As soon as her owner started posting videos of Mishka talking, she became a viral sensation. Thanks to her impeccable handle on the English language, Mishka has over 927,000 subscribers on YouTube.
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