Most Famous (Real) Dogs in History

In a perfect world, all our dogs would have their 15 minutes of fame. They each deserve their moment in the spotlight! In the age of Instagram and Facebook, it’s easier than ever for cute, quirky, and agreeable dogs to score global attention.

Before social media, which famous pooches reigned supreme? Some names you might recognize, but some are one-time household names you may have never known.

Let’s take a look at some of the most famous real-life dogs in history.



The name “Rin-Tin-Tin” was once synonymous with a capable, work-minded dog. He was, in fact, a real German shepherd, trained for battle by the French in WWI. Rescued by an American soldier, the pooch scored roles in several notable silent films including, “Where the North Begins.” It made Rin-Tin-Tin a household name and was even credited for saving Warner Brothers from insolvency.


Laika was a stray roaming the streets of Moscow when the Soviet space program chose her to test out occupied space travel aboard Sputnik 2. Unfortunately, complications aboard the flight caused Laika to perish, but we all have her to thank for the Space Race of the 1960s and our eventual landing on the moon. She was hailed a national hero in Russia, and today stands a statue honoring her accomplishments.



Beloved English springer spaniel, Millie, lived in the White House with the (first) Bush family for eight years. She “authored” her own book and even put her paw print on the official presidential Christmas cards in 1991!



Lassie was the star of her own TV show and a feature film in the 1940s-50s. Lassie the character was in fact played by four different Collies over time, a breed known for its intelligence and obedience. Today, new “Lassies” still make promotional appearances all over the world.



In 1925, a deadly strain of diphtheria was poised to ravage the town of Nome, Alaska. Balto, a Siberian husky, led a sled dog team on the final leg of a Seattle-Nome trek in which the antitoxin was delivered to vulnerable Alaskans. His efforts were memorialized with various newspaper articles and even a still-standing statue in Central Park.


John G

Without his owner, Marley would have been just another lovable, neurotic pet. Thanks to the book Marley and Me by John Grogan, though, the Labrador retriever has been one of the most talked-about dogs in recent history. The book’s adaptation into a hit movie starring Jennifer Aniston in 2008 didn’t hurt.


Snuppy” is a name nearly all genetic scientists know. Credited with being the first cloned dog, Snuppy was an Afghan hound born in 2005, created using a single cell of an adult dog’s ear. Snuppy is still kicking in Seoul, South Korea and has even fathered 10 puppies of his own!



If you haven’t stumbled across a picture of Boo the Pomeranian on the internet, you’re missing out. Boo has over 17,000,000 Facebook Likes and is hailed as the World’s Cutest Dog. Pomeranians, of course, are naturally adorable, but its Boo’s ridiculous face-framing haircut that gives him the edge.

Should your dog be famous? We’d love to see pics of your noteworthy pooch and a quick sentence about why he’s destined for greatness!

Post your dog’s story on the DogVacay Instagram or Facebook page!


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