Developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo, Pokemon is a video game, anime and media franchise that basically involves finding, training, and battling countless species of hyper-intelligent animals.
So, it’s no surprise that there’s a pretty substantial crossover of animal fans and pokemon fans: Pikachu is clearly a mouse, and there are spiders, dinosaurs, sheep & even turtles too. But perhaps no animal is better represented in the Pokemon universe than our faithful doggos, with canine-inspired Pokemon included in every single Generation of games to date.
They span the type-ranges, as well as representing a comprehensive list of canine breeds, species and ages. From poodles to bulldogs – and from Pokemon Blue to Pokemon Go – there’ll be something for everyone in this comprehensive list of every dog-like Pokemon we’ve ever seen in-game.
Vulpix is a Fire-type Fox Pokemon which first appeared in Pokemon Blue’s Hoenn Region. However, since then Vulpix has appeared in every subsequent mainline Pokemon game and a great many spin-off titles. Vulpix has the “Flash Fire” ability which “powers up” Fire-type moves if it’s hit by one.
In Generation VII, there is also an Ice-type regional form native to the Alola region. Alolan Vulpix have adapted “after long years in the ever-snow capped mountains,” which have allowed Alolan Vulpix to attain “power over ice” and develop the “Snow Cloak” ability, which effectively boosts evasiveness is a hailstorm.
Ninetales is a Fire-type Fox Pokemon which evolves from Vulpix after exposure to a Fire Stone (and from Alolan Vulpix after exposure to an Ice Stone.) Ninetales is significantly larger than Vulpix, and is “said to live 1,000 years,” according to the Pokedex. Each of its nine tales is “loaded with supernatural powers”, and grabbing one could land you with a 1,000 year curse attached to your name.
While regular Ninetales is a Fire-type, Alolan Ninetales is an Ice and Fairy-type Pokemon. Alolan Ninetales takes the ‘supernatural’ element even further, hailed as a mystical incarnation of a deity native to the snowy mountains of Alola. Alolan Ninetales has been known to guide lost travellers lost on those mountains, and punish those who have harmed nature.
Vulpix may have been Pokemon’s first canine, but Growlithe is Pokemon’s first pupper. As a Fire-type, Growlithe suffers from a weakness to Water, Ground, and Rock-type moves. This dog Pokemon is armed with two abilities: Intimidate, which lowers the Attack stat of the opponent, and Flash fire, which powers up Fire-type moves when hit by one.
Growlithe is described as having “a brave and trustworthy nature” which is “extremely loyal” and “will fearlessly bark at any opponent to protect its own Trainer from harm.”
Arcanine is a Fire-type legendary Pokemon and is the evolution of Growlithe. As a Fire-type, Arcanine is also weak to Water, Ground, and Rock-type moves. Growlithe and it’s evolution Arcanine are the Pokemon Red alternatives to Vulpix and Ninetales, and as such also require a fire stone to evolve. Arcanine has the same two abilities as Growlithe.
The pokedex entry claims that Arcanine can run over 6200 miles in a single day and night, and “has been long admired for its beauty.”
Eevee (#133) (and its Eeveelutions)
Eevee is one of pokemon’s most famous faces, which first debuted in Pokemon Red & Blue. This tiny Normal-type Fox Pokemon isn’t much to look at, even if it is probably Pokemon’s cutest characters.
But what makes Eevee so unique is its “unstable genetic makeup,” which means that Eevee is able to alter its body to suit its surrounding environment. In practice, this means that Eevee can transform by a number of different methods with different results. Evolved forms include: the Water-type Vaporeon (#134), the Electric-type Jolteon (#135), the Fire-type Flareon (#136), the Psychic-type Espeon (#196), the Dark-type Umbreon (#197), the Grass-type Leafeon (#470), the Ice-type Glaceon (#471) and the Fairy-type Sylveon (#700).
Snubbull is Pokemon’s first bulldog. Prior to Generation VI, Snubbull was a Normal-type, but after later being categorised as a Fairy-type, it is now weak to Steel & Poison-type moves. Snubbull has two abilities: ‘Run Away’ & ‘Intimidate’.
In the Pokemon canon, Snubbull is a popular choice among female trainers. Snubbull is timid by nature, and when mixing with other dog Pokemon is known to be bullied. The Pokedex entry also notes that it is known to grow close to others easily and loves to be spoiled.
When Snubbull hits Level 23, they have the occasion to evolve into Granbull: a significantly larger, but just as timid, Fairy-type bulldog Pokemon. As a Fairy-type, Granbull is again weak to Steel and Poison-type moves, and ditches the ‘Run Away’ ability for ‘Quick Feet’, which boosts the speed stat if the Pokemon has a status condition.
But while Granbull may be a lot stronger, and look as tough to match with famously powerful jaws, it doesn’t much care for disputes and instead prefers to avoid confrontation. It is another popular choice among young people.
If Snubbull looks tough and acts soft, Houndour looks extremely tough and is powerful enough to back it up. The dual-type Dark & Fire-type hound Pokemon was first introduced in Generation IIs Pokemon Gold & Silver. As a dual-type, Houndour has a weakness to Water, Ground, Fighting & Rock-type moves. It holds the ‘Flash Fire’ and ‘Early Bird’ abilities, the latter of which allows it to awaken from sleep twice as fast as other Pokemon.
Houndour is a dog Pokemon with a pack mentality, filling the air with eerie howls before dawn to call attention to their pack. As such it is a master cooperator, becoming very loyal to you as its Trainer as your bond develops.
When Houndour hits level 24, it can evolve into the significantly larger hound, Houndoom. Houndoom is also a dual-type Dark & Fire Pokemon with the same weaknesses as its pre-evolution form, as well as holding the same abilities.
According to the Pokedex, Houndoom’s eerie howls, matched with its horns and skull-like medallion caused many to think the Pokemon was the grim reaper himself. Houndoom is as ruthless as it is loyal, spewing “flames mixed with poison to finish off their opponents” before sharing the prey with the rest of their pack.
I had always thought Smeargle was some sort of monkey, but it makes total sense that the legendary Painter pokemon was actually a beagle. First introduced in Generation II, Smeargle is a Normal-type, which means it is particularly vulnerable to Fighting-type moves. The pokemon has the ‘Technician’ ability, which powers up its weaker moves, and ‘Own Tempo’, which prevents it from becoming confused.
Smeargle is best known as the However, Smeargle is also known for its ability to use the ‘Sketch’ move, which permanently copies the last move used by the opponent. This means Smeargle can learn virtually every move in the Pokemon games.
The Legendary Beasts: Raikou (#243), Entei (#244) & Suicune (#245)
Raikou, Entei & Suicune have both feline and canine features – hence why they are known as “Beasts”. Revived by Ho-Oh after the burning of the Brass Tower, these three legendary pokemon first debuted in Generation II. All three of the legendary beasts hold the ‘Pressure’ ability, allowing them to raise their PP usage.
Raikou is an Electric-type legendary Thunder pokemon, as such it has a weakness to Ground-type moves. According to the Pokedex, “Raikou embodies the speed of lighting.” When it roars, the Pokedex claims that Raikou can “shake the ground as if lighting bolts had come crashing down.”
Entei is a Fire-type legendary Volcano pokemon, as such it has a weakness to Water, Ground, and Rock-type moves. According to the Pokedex, “Entei embodies the passion of magma”, having been born in the eruption of a volcano. Entei can send up bursts of fire “that utterly consume all that they touch.”
Suicune is a Water-type legendary Aurora pokemon, as such it has a weakness to Grass and Electric-type moves. According to the Pokedex, “Suicune embodies the compassion of a pure spring of water.” Suicune also has the ability to purify dirty water.
Poochyena is a Dark-type Bite pokemon first introduced in Generation III. It resembles a wild hyena. As a Dark-type, Poochyena has a weakness to Fairy, Bug and Fighting-type moves. It also has the ‘Run Away’ and ‘Quick Feet’ abilities.
Although Poochyena is an omnivore, it is known to “take a bite at anything that moves.” It is known to chase after prey and “intimidate its foes by making the hair on its tail bristle out.” But if Poochyena’s enemies fight back, it has often been known to flee.
When Poochyena reaches Level 18, it has the opportunity to evolve into the Dark-type Mightyena. Substantially larger than Poochyena, Mightyena trades the ‘Run Away’ ability for ‘Intimidate’, while retaining ‘Quick Feet.’
Mightyena is one tough looking doggo, with red eyes and a monochrome design. A fierce pack animal, Mightyena possesses sharp pointed fangs with which it will “bite savagely”, according to the Pokedex. Owing to memories of its time in the wild, Mightyena is known to be loyal only to trainers who have displayed what it considers to be “superior skill.”
Electrike is an Electric-type Lightning Pokemon first introduced in Generation III. Electrike has the ‘Static’ ability, which can cause paralysis upon contact, and ‘Lightning Rod’, which draws in all Electric-type moves which boosts Special Attack instead of taking damage.
As an Electric-type, this pokemon is especially weak to Ground-type moves. Electrike carries electricity in its fur, so is frequently giving off sparks – particularly as a storm is approaching.
When Electrike makes it to Level 26, it has the chance to evolve into Manectric. Manectric is an Electric-type Discharge Pokemon which also has a weakness to Ground-type moves. It also has the ‘Static’ and ‘Lightning Rod’ ability.
Manectric has masterful control over electricity, so much so that it can stimulate its own muscles, moving extremely quickly and recovering just as fast. In the Pokedex, it is written that Manectric “is said to nest where lighting has fallen” – as such, it rarely appears before people in the wild.
Riolu is a Fighting-type Emanation Pokemon which first appeared in Generation IV. As a Fighting-type, Riolu has a weakness to Psychic, Flying and Fairy-type moves, as well as the ‘Inner Focus’ ability, which protects it from flinching, and ‘Steadfast’, which boosts the Speed stat each time the Pokemon flinches.
Riolu is energetic and skilled in hand-to-hand combat, described in the Pokedex as having “enough stamina to keep running all throughout the night.” However, it also is skilled in using waves called to auras “to gauge how others are feeling” and to sense “the state of the environment.”
When levelled up with high friendship during the day, Riolu has the opportunity to evolve into Lucario, a Fighting & Steel-type Aura Pokemon with a weakness to Fire, Fighting, and Ground-type moves.
If Riolu was skilled at aura manipulation, Lucario is a master. It has full control over auras, able to use them to take down prey or “pulverise huge rocks.” It can also tell what other people are thinking, so Lucario is loyal only to trainers “who have justice in their hearts.”
Lillipup is a Normal-type Puppy Pokemon, first introduced in Generation V, which resembles a Yorkshire Terrier. It has a particular weakness to Fighting-type moves, and is capable of the ‘Pickup’ ability, which allows it to pick up items in and out of battle, and ‘Vital Spirit’, which prevents it from falling asleep.
Lillipup has a fantastic memory, meaning that it bonds quickly and deeply to its trainer. It is also extremely observant, using the soft furs covering its face to survey information about its surroundings.
When Lillipup reaches Level 16, it can evolve into Herdier, the Normal-type Loyal Dog Pokemon. Resembling a Yorkshire Terrier with a black overcoat which is said to be so dense and springy that even Mightyena’s sharp fangs would bounce right off. Herdier has the ‘Intimidate’ and ‘Sand Rush’ abilities, the latter of which boosts the pokemon’s speed stat in a sandstorm.
Like Lillipup, Herdier is extremely smart and friendly – there is even a legend that Herdier was the first Pokemon ever to partner with a human.
Then when Herdier reaches Level 32, it can evolve into Stoutland, the Normal-type Big-Hearted Terrier Pokemon. Like Herdier, Stoutland has the ‘Intimidate’ and ‘Sand Rush’ abilities.
Its defining feature is its glorious moustache which is said to determine the social hierarchy of Stoutland in the wild. The Pokedex also claims that a Soutland caught in the wild will only take three days to warm up to its new trainer.
Zorua is a Dark-type Tricky Fox Pokemon first debuted in Generation V. As a Dark-type, Zorua is vulnerable to Fairy, Bug and Fighting-type moves. Zorua has the ‘Illusion’ ability, which means that it comes out disguised as the Pokemon in the party’s last spot.
Zorua is small and timid, which is likely what contributed to its ability to take on the forms of other creatures. The Pokedex even claims that Zorua will transform into a child and venture into cities in search of food. Crazy!
When Zorua reaches Level 30, it has the chance to evolve into Zoroark, a Dark-type Illusion Fox Pokemon. Zoroark has the same weaknesses as Zorua, as well as the same ‘Illusion’ ability. Zoroark is distinguished by its long burgundy mane.
Zoroark is a fierce pack animal, with the Pokedox claiming that it will “conjure terrifying illusions to keep its den and pack safe.” Zoroark has a special place in the Unova region’s lore; lonely trainers are said to have asked Zoroark to show illusions to them.
The only Canine Pokemon to serve as a starter option to a mainline title in Generation VI, Fennekin is a Fire-type Fox Pokemon with a weakness to Water, Ground, and Rock-type moves. Fennekin has the ‘Blaze’ ability, which powers up Fire-type moves when its HP gets low.
Fennekin is famous for snacking on a piece of twig as it walks, filling it with energy.
When Fennekin reaches Level 16, it has the opportunity to evolve into Braixen, the Fire-type Fox Pokemon. Braixen is larger and, unlike Fennekin, bipedal, with a large bushy tail and orange fur protruding from its large ears.
Now with a twig stuck in its tail, Braixen can use friction with its fur to set the twig alight by plucking it out. It can also use this flame to send signals to its allies.
When Braixen reaches Level 36, it has the opportunity to evolve into Delphox, the Fire & Psychic-type Fox Pokemon. As a dual-type Pokemon, Delphox has a particular vulnerability to Ghost, Dark, Ground, Water, & Rock-type moves.
Now holding a branch, Delphox can use the flames to gaze into the future. Using its psychic abilities, Delphox can also generate a fiery 5,400 degree vortex which, according to the Pokedex, it can use to “incinerate” its opponents.
Furfrou is a Normal-type Poodle Pokemon, first introduced in Generation VI’s Kalos region. As a Normal-type, it is vulnerable to Fighting-type moves, and enjoys the ‘Fur Coat’ ability which halves the damage Furfrou takes from physical moves.
Furfrou’s Fur Coat is central to its reputation. Furfrou’s coat will continue to grow until it is cut, allowing it to be styled into nine unique fashions. The Pokedex claims there was an era where aristocrats would “compete to see who could trim their Furfrou’s fur into the most exquisite style.” However, Furfrou will only allow someone it trusts to cut its hair.
Rockruff is a Rock-type Puppy Pokemon first introduced in Generation VII. It enjoys the ‘Keen Eye’ ability, which prevents other Pokemon from lowering its accuracy, and ‘Vital Spirit’. As a Rock-type, it is vulnerable to Water, Steel, Grass, Fighting, and Ground-type moves.
The Pokedex claims that Rockruff can be difficult to train, bonding very strongly with its Trainer but holding “a habit of biting.”
When Rockruff reaches Level 25, it can evolve into Lycanroc, the Rock-type Wolf Pokemon. However, depending on the game version and certain other conditions, Rockruff can evolve into three different Lycanroc forms: Midday Form, Midnight Form, and Dusk Form. Each form is also a Rock-type with the same weaknesses.
The Midday Form is calm and cautious, with sharp fangs razor sharp rocks protruding from its mane. It has the ‘Keen Eye’ and ‘Sand Rush’ abilities, and is ready to strike at all times with its “fangs always aimed towards opponents’ weak spots.”
The Midnight Form is reckless with a far more sinister appearance. It lurches on two legs, often grinning with two large, glowing red eyes. It has the ‘Keen Eye’ and ‘Vital Spirit’ abilities, and often uses full-force headbutts to shatter giant boulders and obliterate opponents, not caring about the damage it is doing to itself.
Finally, the Dusk Form of Lycanroc is a mixture of the two, described in the Pokedex as having “both calm and ferocious qualities.” It has the ‘Tough Claws’ ability, which powers up moves that make direct contact.
Nickit is a Dark-type Fox pokemon, and as a Dark-type pokemon it has a particular weakness to Fairy, Bug, and Fighting-type moves. Nickit has the ‘Run Away’ and ‘Unburden’ abilities, the latter of which boosts the speed stat if the Pokemon’s held item is used or lost.
A thief by nature, Nikkit is aided in this by the soft pads on its feet and its long tail which it uses to wipe away any tracks it leaves.
When Nickit reaches Level 18 it has the opportunity to evolve into Thieval, the Dark-type Fox pokemon which has the same abilities and weaknesses as its pre-evolved form.
Thievul has the ability to stalk its targets and steal from their with the aid of its ability to detect scent. Cunning and sleek, in the wild Thievul’s natural rival is known to be Boltund, another Generation VIII canine Pokemon.
Yamper is an Electric-type Puppy Pokemon first introduced in Generation VIII. It has the ‘Ball Fetch’ ability, meaning it can fetch the Pokeball from the first failed throw of a battle. As an Electric-type, Yamper has a particular vulnerability to Ground-type moves.
A joyful looking pup which resembles a Welsh Corgi, Yamper is known for its gluttony: often only assisting humans because it wants treats. As it runs, it can generate electricity from the base of its tail – making it particularly apt as a herding dog in the Galar region.
When Yamper reaches Level 25, it has the opportunity to evolve into Boltund, the Electric-type Dog Pokemon. It has the ‘Strong Jaw’ ability, which boosts the power of biting moves.
Boltund is particularly good at running, with a top recorded speed for 50mph. As it runs, it can send electricity through its legs to strengthen its legs. According to the Pokedex, it can “run nonstop for three days”.
Zamazenta is a Fighting-type Legendary Warrior Pokemon native to Generation VIII’s Galar region. A member of the Heroic duo with Zacian, it has the ‘Dauntless Shield’ ability which boosts its defence stat as it enters a Pokemon battle. As a Fighting-type, it has a particular vulnerability to Psychic, Flying, and Fairy-type moves.
Known in legend to sleep for aeons in the form of a statue, stories passed along in Galar describe Zamazenta working alongside an ancient king to save the region. The shield which covers its front is so strong that even the sharp claws of a Dragon-type Pokemon will be unable to leave a mark. This ability to deflect any attack led to this legendary dog being known as “the Fighting Master’s Shield,” and is so strong that it is the only known Pokemon able to use the Steel-type ‘Behemoth Bash’ move.