Famous Literary Dogs and Their Names

Throughout the history of literature, canine characters have frolicked through the pages of mysteries, mythology, children’s books and other tomes. Here are some famous literary dogs that have enhanced the reading pleasure of dog lovers through the ages.

Literary Dogs and Their Names

Literary Dogs of Ancient Tales

Ancient Greek mythology tells the tales of gods and warriors. Their legends have influenced society and culture throughout time. Three literary dogs of Greek mythology and Greek-inspired literature include:

  • Cerebus, the giant and foreboding three-headed hound that guards the gates of hell to prevent the souls from escaping
  • Sirius, the hunting dog of Orion that is now represented in the skies as the brightest star in the constellation Alpha Canis Majoris
  • Argos, Odysseus’ faithful dog that recognized his master even after being separated for a decade during Odysseus’s absence from the home front in Homer’s Greek epic poem titled “The Odyssey”

From the Pages to the Screen

Two of the most celebrated dogs of the silver screen originated as literary dogs. These two pooches that delighted readers and filmgoers alike include:

  • Toto, Dorothy’s little cairn terrier that embarked along the yellow brick road with her in Frank Baum’s book that we all know as “The Wizard of Oz”
  • Lassie, the faithful and determined collie that traveled a long distance for a reunion with the little boy that she missed in “Lassie Come Home,” written by Eric Knight

Classic Literature and Children’s Books

Dogs have been featured characters in various works of classic literature, and they have also delighted young readers on the pages of children’s books. Some of these famous literary dogs have included:

  • Buck, from Jack London’s “Call of the Wild”
  • Jip, the spaniel from “David Copperfield,” written by Charles Dickens
  • Ribsy, the lost mongrel that endured several adventures along the trek to get home in the children’s book of the same name that was written by Beverly Cleary
  • Clifford, from “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” a colorful children’s book written and illustrated by Norman Bridwell

Modern Literature

When it comes to literature that has been scribed in recent decades, four of the most popular characters of the canine kind include:

  • Cujo, the rabid Saint Bernard from horror writer Stephen King’s novel of the same name
  • Fang, the hulking boarhound that served as faithful friend and protector to Rubeus Hagrid in the magical world of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series
  • Marley, the mischievous yellow Labrador retriever that brought readers joy and tears in John Grogan’s narrative that was titled “Marley & Me”
  • Ghost, the albino direwolf companion of Jon Snow in the “Game of Thrones” series

Literary Dog Names for Your New Puppy

There are numerous names of literary human characters that would make distinguished appellations for your well-read puppy. Some of these names for male dogs include:

  • Gatsby, from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
  • Othello, from one of William Shakespeare’s plays
  • Macbeth, from one of William Shakespeare’s plays
  • Romeo, from William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”
  • Hamlet, from one of William Shakespeare’s plays
  • Puck, from William Shakespear’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
  • Apollo, from Greek mythology
  • Zeus, from Greek mythology
  • Atlas, from Greek mythology
  • Hercules, from Greek mythology
  • Scrooge, after Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”
  • Ichabod, after Ichabod Crane in Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”
  • Sherlock, from Conan Arthur Doyle’s “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”
  • Moriarty, from Conan Arthur Doyle’s “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”
  • Ulysses, from the James Joyce’s novel of the same name
  • Hannibal, after Thomas Harris’ character named Hannibal Lechter
  • Frodo, from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”
  • Hobbit, from J.R.R. Tolkien’s book of the same name
  • Poirot, from Agatha Christie’s mystery novels

Some names of female literary characters that would make good literary names for dogs include:

  • Lolita, from Vladimir Nabokov’s book of the same name
  • Ophelia, from “Hamlet,” written by William Shakespeare
  • Juliet, from William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”
  • Titania, from William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
  • Athena, from Greek mythology
  • Hermione, from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series
  • Marple, from Agatha Christie’s mystery novels
  • Scout, from Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Forms of literature can also make good literary names for dogs, such as

  • Limerick
  • Sonnet
  • Haiku
  • Fable

Finally, some author names can also inspire distinctive literary dog names for your canine companion, including:

  • Vonnegut
  • Hemmingway
  • Hawthorne
  • Dickens
  • Asimov

Such names will not guarantee that your dog will learn to read, nor will it pen a bestseller of its own. One promise, however, is that when you curl up by the fireplace to begin a new journey through the next fictional world that beckons your imagination, your faithful friend will be happy to curl up at your feet and keep you company. Meet these literary cats!

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