Famous Fur: The 10 Most Famous Dogs of All Time

If you’re as crazy about canines as we are, chances are that your dog is the star of your home. They get all the best toys, premium spots on the couch, and all the belly rubs they could want.

It comes as no surprise, then, that there have been countless famous dogs that have captured the nation’s hearts. Whether they were a part of history or Instagram sensations, these pooches have all nuzzled their way into our lives.

Famous Dogs Throughout History

Want a walk down memory lane or wondering if you’re missing out? Read up on these famous dogs over the past century and beyond.

1. Pavlov’s Dogs

There may be no dog that has contributed more to the world of psychology than Pavlov’s dogs.

In the 1890s, a Russian doctor named Ivan Pavlov was making history. He started a routine of ringing a bell every time he fed his dogs.

After repeating this over and over, he started ringing the bell alone, without feeding the dogs at the same time. Pavlov discovered that the dogs would salivate every time he rang the bell because their minds associated the bell with food.

With this experiment, Pavlov discovered classical conditioning: the way our brains associate one thing with another. This became the basis for much of what we know about learning.

In fact, Pavlov’s pups earned their owner a Nobel Peace Prize in 1904.

2. Toto

As much as we love to bless the rains down in Africa, the Toto we’re speaking of is everyone’s favorite pup from The Wizard of Oz.

In 1933, a Cairn terrier puppy was abandoned. Luckily for her, she was soon adopted by Carl Spitz, a Hollywood dog trainer who was about to make her a legend.

After training with her new owner, Terry made her major movie debut alongside Shirley Temple in 1934’s Bright Eyes. She later became the face of Toto in the original Wizard of Oz.

Over her career, Terry performed in a total of sixteen movies, making her a notable actress in the 1930s and 1940s.

3. Sinbad the Sailor

We all know how loyal dogs are, but did you know they can be patriotic, too?

Sinbad was a beloved dog who served in the US Coast Guard for eleven years after signing his enlistment papers with a tap of his paw.

Most of Sinbad’s service took place on the George W. Campbell. As a proud veteran of World War II, Sinbad was awarded a whopping six medals after his military retirement.

4. Lassie

Is there any more recognizable dog name than Lassie? Probably not, but Lassie may not be who you thought she was.

A male collie named Pal made Lassie famous with the first movie of its kind in 1943. As the Lassie legacy continued into a TV series with an amazing nineteen seasons, ten of Pal’s descendants played his original character after his reign. 

While the character of Lassie was female, all the pup actors who portrayed her were male. This is because female collies are smaller and have thinner coats than males, so casting directors needed male collies to be consistent with the iconic look that Pal began.

5. Sunny and Bo Obama

When Barack Obama entered the White House, his family continued a tradition that is over 120 years old: having a dog in the White House.

After a studious search, the Obamas adopted two Portuguese water dogs, Sunny and Bo. To the untrained eye, they both look like standard poodles.

Bo and Sunny became almost as famous as the Obama daughters. It sounds as if the Obamas and their staff could have used some crate training tips from https://www.petcratesdirect.com, though, given Sunny’s habit of pooping near the Lincoln bedroom. 

6. Sully Bush

While we’re on the theme of presidential pups, we can’t forget about Sully. Sully is the service dog who served as George H.W. Bush’s companion when the former president’s health declined in his 90s.

Chances are that you knew the name “Sully” before this beloved pooch made his appearance on the national stage. He’s named after heroic pilot Chesley Sullenberger, who goes by the nickname “Sully.”

Sullenberger avoided a plane crash by landing the plane safely on the Hudson River. His skillful maneuvers saved all 155 people on board.

While the furrier Sully wasn’t around when President Bush was in the White House, it didn’t stop the country from falling in love. He became even more famous with a viral photo that showed him laying at the foot of George H.W. Bush’s casket.

As he grieves his latest owner, Sully is gearing up for new adventures as a service dog for wounded veterans.

7. Tuna

If Sully’s story made you tear up, don’t worry: we’ll lift your spirits again with this next canine celeb.

Tuna became world famous as the face of the “Phteven” meme in 2012. As a Chiweenie (a crossbreed between a chihuahua and a dachshund) with an adorably extreme overbite, Tuna has a beauty all his own.

Since his viral debut, Tuna has risen to Instagram stardom. Today he has two million followers who keep a loving eye on his antics and adventures.

Spot in the Spotlight

They say that dogs are man’s best friends, so it’s no wonder why so many of them have made national and international names for themselves.

Some of the famous dogs above have made lasting contributions to science and history. Others have served as much-needed entertainment and a break from our daily stresses.

Still, they all have one thing in common: they’ve reached beyond their owners’ hearts to become millions of people’s extended families.

Want more lists that will make you smile, laugh, or cry? Check out more articles from The List Love’s archives.

The List Love

The List Love is the home of high quality top 10 lists on everything from movies and TV to history and science. We offer interesting, entertaining posts to broaden your mind and smile. Follow us today on Facebook and Twitter for more amazing listicles!

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