What Kind of Dog is Odie?

group of dogs on a picnic table

The Garfield comics by Jim Davis are a popular cult classic. Although Garfield the cat is the main character, the comics wouldn’t be nearly as interesting without Garfield’s interactions with Odie the dog. Who is Odie and what kind of dog is Odie? Here’s what you need to know:

Who is Odie?

Odie the dog is Garfield’s main counterpart, aside from their human, Jon, in the Garfield comics. He has been with Garfield since his first year.

Longtime readers of the comic, or those starting at the beginning, might remember that he came with Lyman, Jon’s original roommate, and then stayed behind after Lyman’s departure five years into the comics. But, in the book, Garfield: His 9 Lives, Jon brought him home years ago when Odie was just a puppy to be a companion for his kitten, Garfield.

Over the years, Odie became more of a proverbial punching bag than a foil for Garfield. He always seemed to bear the brunt of the cat’s indifference. But, despite how Garfield treated him, Odie always seemed to have a good outlook. However, we’re never sure if that was due to his attitude or the low IQ Garfield assumed he had.

In a 2006 interview with MovieWeb, Jim Davis describes Odie as being everything Garfield wasn’t. Where Garfield was short and round, Odie was tall and skinny. While Garfield was grouchy and hated Mondays, Odie was happy. Garfield loved to be lazy while Odie loved to play and chase balls. Garfield had conversations in his head or chats with other animals while Odie mostly barked.

What Kind of Dog is Odie?

At least when it comes to the print comics, no one is quite sure exactly what type of dog breed Odie is. In a Sunday strip from August of 2007, Garfield is reading about dog breeds and rejecting them before settling on “purebred clown”. Odie seems to agree with this guess by honking his nose affirmatively.

Although Garfield rejects the Bulldog, Pointer, Sheepdog, and Basset Hound in favor of “Purebred Clown”, this doesn’t necessarily discount these breeds. From a human perspective, Odie could be a mixed-breed dog that displays traits from all of those breeds.

On the print side, Odie’s dog breed is undefined. However, in the animated/live-action Garfield movies, Odie is played by a Wire-Haired Dachshund. Many online opinions maintain Odie is part Beagle due to his big head and small nose while others say he is a Dachshund because of his slender body and because a Dachshund was used to portray him in the movies. Other opinions blend the two and maintain that Odie is a Dachshund/Beagle Mix.

Want Your Own Odie?

Although Odie’s dog breed is unknown, there are plenty of purebred dog breeds and mixed-breed dogs that can get you close. Dachshunds or Basset Hounds could be a good fit for anyone who wants a short-legged, floppy-eared companion. A Beagle is another good candidate and mixes related to any of these breeds could help you get your own version of Odie.

No matter what dog you decide on, learning more about the breed, asking the breeder questions, and meeting the puppies in-person can all help you choose the right puppy for you.