Dogs are considered to be mankind’s best friend. Pokémon that look like dogs, however, make even better companions than normal dogs. No offense to the dog reading this with you.
Since the dawn of time, dogs have stuck with us through thick and thin, helping us track down our missing loved ones by sniffing the items they’ve left behind, sensing the auras of good people to trust and bad people to stay away from, and even detect when we are sick so that they can help us. Dog Pokémon are able to do all those things, but with enhanced abilities.
If you’re looking for a trusty canine to join your Pokémon team, here’s a list of the 10 best Pokémon dogs we believe will always be a good fit. You can also check out our list of the best video game dogs if you’re looking for more pups.
Lucario may not look like a dog because it stands on two feet, but it does possess some of the best canine qualities. This Pokémon is well renowned for its ability to sense aura, which many dogs in the real world read from the magnetic field emanating from humans with positive energy.
Lucario evolves from Riolu when you give it tons of love during the day, something many dogs require from their human companions. In battle, it stands on tiptoes instead of having its feet fully planted on the ground, which some dog breeds tend to do. The one advantage it has over every dog on the planet is it can enjoy chocolate without dying after eating an entire chocolate bar.
The evolved form of Growlithe via the Fire Stone, Arcanine is a classic Pokémon known for its majesty, beauty, and speed. It can run 6,200 miles in 24 hours with a flighty grace. That’s giving the Siberian husky a run for its money, as it runs for 100 miles daily.
Arcanine’s bark is so loud and commanding that any person or Pokémon who hears it grovels before it. It’s rarely seen in the wild, but when it is found, it can be seen living either in prairies like Lassie or in active volcanoes, as seen in the Hisui region in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, where it takes on a different form thanks to the constant volcanic activity of its environment. It can also stash food in its mane and carries it to its nest for its young.
Evolved from Houndour, Houndoom live in packs just like wolves. You could tell it leads its pack by the horns raked sharply across its back. Houndoom determine leadership by fights within the pack, which are vicious given its dark nature. After all, it’s the Dark Pokémon, and the skull designs let you know it.
The toxins in its gut allow Houndoom to create a boiling fire mixed with poison, inflicting burns that will never heal no matter how much you try to treat it. Better watch out!
Inspired by the Scottish Terrier, Stoutland is as famous for its giant mustache that touches the ground as it is for its bravery, having a penchant for rescuing people who are lost at sea or in the mountains. If it rescues anyone in cold environments, its fur is thick enough to protect itself and others from freezing temperatures.
Stoutland makes a good partner of choice for many Pokémon Trainers, as it loves spending time with humans and can warm up to them in just three days after being introduced to them. That’s what we call loyalty.
Aside from being one of the best doggos in Pokémon history, Yamper is the only known Pokémon that can have Ball Fetch as an ability, which is helpful for catching failed Poké Balls. Like most dogs, it tends to chase after fast-moving things, including people, other Pokémon, and even vehicles — as long as it doesn’t get run over by a carl anyway.
Yamper can’t store the electricity it generates, so it will only give off sparks of electricity when it is running, thanks to an organ that produces it from the base of its tail. Its design is inspired by Queen Elizabeth’s band of royal Corgis, which fits the UK-influenced landscape of the Galar region, where it’s a popular choice for herding other Pokémon, like Wooloo. Just as Scooby-Doo helps solve mysteries for Scooby Snacks, Yamper will only help people in exchange for treats.
Snubbull has a pronounced underbite just like pugs, shih-tzus and bulldogs, to name a few breeds, but its jaws give off a powerful bite. Despite its frightening appearance, it’s a very playful and affectionate Pokémon, so it gets sad when others run away instead of giving it the love and attention it deserves.
In battle, Snubbull prefers to scare its opponent rather than fight it. Like most dogs, it uses its keen sense of smell to track things down. It will gladly find your cell phone if you drop it somewhere you shouldn’t have. It’s also the perfect companion for women, who will dress it
Furfrou may not evolve to or from other Pokémon, but it can have its fur trimmed into nine different styles: Star, Diamond, Heart, Pharaoh, Kabuki, La Reine, Matron, Dandy, and Debutante. However, it will only allow those it trusts to cut its hair.
Having a haircut allows Furfrou to move swiftly when battling other Pokémon. If you go five days without trimming it, its hairstyle will revert to a regular trim — any pampered poodle’s worst nightmare! Furfrou used to guard the King of Kalos in the region’s medieval times, so every aristocrat worth their salt competes to see which Furfrou hairstyle is fit for a king.
Before you fight me on why Fennekin is on this list despite being classified as the Fox Pokémon, foxes belong to the Canidae family of the animal kingdom. Fennekin is a mix of a fox and a small dog, but it leans toward the fox side as it chews on twigs.
It’s as temperamental as any other small dog, but with a tendency to set things on fire, using its ability to vent hot air from its ears to scare away opponents. Fennekin having the best of both worlds makes it the most popular Kalos starter Pokémon ahead of Froakie.
Rockruff looks to be the most normal-looking puppy in the Pokémon universe, and that’s saying something. People often recommend it to beginner Pokémon Trainers because its friendly disposition allows it to bond with Trainers very easily, but its wild and independent nature makes it tougher for most Trainers to raise.
Rockruff never forgets an odor after smelling something once, having a keen sense of smell that spurred stories about it reuniting with its Trainer after getting separated by following the faintest traces of their scent. The rocks around Rockruff’s furry neck make it look like it’s wearing a necklace, which makes it the cutest doggo that even Paris Hilton would fawn over.
Smeargle is a beagle-like Pokémon that’s a born artist — and perhaps a better artist than Snoopy. The top of its head is designed like a beret, and its tail acts as a paintbrush, with the color of the paint depending on the individual Smeargle. The paint could be green, red, blue, yellow and brown, with the hue changing with its emotions.
Smeargle uses paint to mark its territory with over 5,000 different markings — a more creative method than peeing everywhere — and uses Sketch to copy the moves of other Pokemon it fights. If you’re an artist who wants a creative Pokémon for a partner, Smeargle is it.
Cristina Alexander is a freelance writer for IGN. She has contributed her work to various publications, including Digital Trends, TheGamer, Twinfinite, Mega Visions, and The Escapist. To paraphrase Calvin Harris, she wears her love for Sonic the Hedgehog on her sleeve like a big deal.