'Ruh-roh!': Celebrate 50 years of 'Scooby-Doo' with these real-life lookalikes

Jon San
Supervising Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

Fifty years after Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! aired on CBS, the mystery-solving Great Dane lives on in pop culture. Sure, it’s mostly due to his forever useful phrase “ruh-roh,” but he also has a formidable presence on Instagram, where dog owners like to show off their lookalike Scoobies.

First things first, though: Anyone with a keen eye for dog breeds would immediately raise their eyebrows at the cartoon Scooby-Doo, who doesn’t exactly look like a Great Dane.

Scooby-Doo as featured on the cartoon show Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?. (Photo: Everett Collection)

In fact, the glaring differences were intentional. According to legendary animation artist Iwao Takamoto, he purposely designed Scooby with non-Great Dane qualities like “a hump back, bowed legs, big chin and such. Even his color is wrong.”

Of course the biggest difference between cartoon Scooby and real-life Scoobies is that he can talk — barely, but still, that’s a trick no dog can pick up.

The first voice of Scooby-Doo, in 1969, was Don Messick, and he was later replaced by veteran voice actor and current Scooby voice Frank Welker — who was part of the gang from the start, having voiced Fred in the original series. Of course, there was Casey Kasem, who lent his talent to the squealing, perpetually-hungry character of Shaggy.

In the live-action movies, Scooby-Doo's fellow scaredy cat Shaggy was played by Matthew Lillard. (Photo: Everett Collection)

But back to the Scoobies that live among us…

Hannah Lackey, of Greensboro, N.C., named her pup Scooby Melvin Doo, even though he’s a German Shepard mix. And honestly, he looks eerily similar to the cartoon version — although the matching blue collar definitely helps.

Scooby-Doo is technically a Great Dane although this German Shepherd mix (also named Scooby-Doo) looks spot-on. (Photo: Everett Collection/Courtesy of Hannah Lackey)

Even more importantly, Lackey’s Scooby is seemingly aware of his royal ancestry. “One day I put on the Scooby-Doo movie,” says Lackey, “and [he] actually sat there and watched the entire thing with [my husband and I].” Case in point, she shared evidence of this phenomenon on her dog’s Instagram account:

Geneva Heinkel, of Phoenix, Ariz. is a fellow Scooby owner who’s a longtime fan of the cartoon and is studying to be a veterinarian. Her Scooby-Doo, a Fawn Great Dane, even has the signature SD dog collar as seen on the cartoon Scooby (and is available to buy on Amazon).

“As a kid, I had a stuffed animal of Scooby-Doo that I slept with every night,” Heinkel shares, “so when I grew up I always knew I wanted a Great Dane that looked just like him.”

Geneva Heinkel has been a fan of Scooby-Doo her entire life (Photo: Courtesy of Geneva Heinkel)

And in terms of personality, Heinkel says her Scooby is just as easily spooked as cartoon Scooby. “He’s scared of everything,” she reveals. “When I first got him, he fell into the pool, so now he’s not a big fan of swimming.”

Geneva's Scooby-Doo is fond of his cartoon likeness (Photo: Courtesy of Geneva Heinkel)

Besides Heinkel and Lackey, a quick search on Instagram for #scoobydoo reveals plenty of lookalikes.

And for fans of the anthropomorphic dog and his human colleagues, a new Scooby-Doo movie is scheduled to be released in 2020, this time under the name Scoob!.

According to IMDB, Welker will continue to provide the “ruh-rohs” and will be joined by Will Forte (Shaggy), Zac Efron (Fred), Gina Rodriguez (Velma) and Amanda Seyfried (Daphne).

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