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The Best Dogs in the Pokémon Franchise

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With Pokémon Scarlet and Violet less than a month away, the Pokémon Company recently revealed Greavard, a new adorable Ghost-type Pokémon. Along with Fidough, there have been two new dog Pokémon introduced so far in the newest generation of Pokémon. This certainly isn’t the first time Pokémon based on dogs have been introduced in the franchise.

Part of why Pokémon is so successful is because it creates magical creatures based on animals in real life. There have been dog Pokémon from as early as generation one when Pokémon Red and Blue debuted in 1996. Dog Pokémon are popular because many people have pets and can relate to training their own dogs. So, from the past eight generations, here are the best dog Pokémon.

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Growlithe Is a Classic Fire Breather With Unique Forms


Growlithe is a classic Pokémon introduced in the first generation. A fire breather with many Fire-type moves at its disposal, Growlithe is as cute as it is dangerous. Growlithe’s evolution, Arcanine, is so powerful that it can use moves like Flare Blitz or Double Edge. In the recent Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Growlithe and Arcanine received ancient forms — Growlithe gained some adorable scruff for its head, while Arcanine became draped in a mist-like fur. This fur gave both Growlithe and Arcanine the Rock type, adding to its already powerful move pool. Whether from Kanto or Hisui, the Growlithe line is a well-designed, classic line of Pokémon that can pack a punch.

Yamper Has an Adorable Ability


One of the most recent dog Pokémon to be introduced, Yamper was a cute addition to Pokémon Sword and Shield. Yamper’s ability — named “ball fetch” — further emphasizes its cuteness. While not having much use competitively, when playing through the main story mode, Yamper will fetch one Pokéball if it does not work the first time in a wild encounter, given that Yamper isn’t already holding another item. Yamper evolves into Boltund, which is incredibly quick and packs a punch with strong moves such as Wild Charge or Play Rough. The Yamper line is great because it includes a cute personality that also evolves into a speedy attacker.

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Lillipup Can Learn a Variety of Moves


A Pokémon introduced early in the fifth generation, Lillipup is a precious puppy that is useful in the early game with abilities such as Pickup. As Lillipup evolves, it only becomes stronger with its middle evolution, Herdier, and its final evolution, Stoutland, scaring its opponents out with the intimidate ability. These three Pokémon can also learn a variety of moves despite their normal typing. Stoutland has access to Iron Head, Wild Charge, Psychic Fangs, Fire Fang and Ice Fang, for example, with many more included in that list.

Rockruff Has Unique Evolutions

Introduced in the seventh generation’s Pokémon Sun and Moon, Rockruff might just be the best dog Pokémon in the entire franchise. Not only is its simple design adorable, but its rock typing gives it a unique edge when compared to other early game Pokémon. Rockruff can also evolve into three different forms depending on the time of day. There’s midday Lycanroc, dusk Lycanroc, and midnight Lycanroc, each with its own unique designs and abilities.

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Midday Lycanroc keeps its colors from Rockruff and looks sleek and quick, dusk Lycanroc turns orange and gains bright green eyes, and Midnight Lycanroc stands on its hind legs and has glaring red eyes. The sheer number of options makes raising the Rockruff line extremely exciting, more so than any other dog in the Pokémon franchise.

Dog Pokémon have been a staple of the franchise since the beginning. Growlithe and Arcanine started the trend in Kanto, with the two having classic designs and being hard-hitting Fire types. Lillipup proved to be a useful early game dog with access to a variety of moves, with those moves only getting stronger as it evolves. Yamper has a cute ability with a quick evolution, and Rockruff has different forms that provide multiple possibilities when playing through Alola. Fidough and Greavard will be unique dog Pokémon in their own right, and it’s exciting to see what their evolutionary lines will look like as Pokémon Scarlet and Violet‘s release date approaches.

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