A Dog’s Purpose hits cinemas this week, and it is - unsurprisingly, considering the title - the epitome of dog goals. An exploration of one dog’s multiple reincarnations (stay with us), it’s basically an excuse to have an utterly adorable collection of different puppies, Old Yellers and everything in-between woof, snuggle, and lick their way into your heart.
While that medley of multiply-lived doggos is strictly on-screen, we’ve decided to get our internet sleuth-hat on to find the next best thing - real life pound pups who look more than a little ‘cartoon dog IRL’.
Brace yourselves - DAAAAAWs are coming.
Dug (Golden Retriever)
Pixar may hook you in with the first heart-wrenching 10 minutes of its adventure romp Up, but there’s only one character everyone remembers after the credits roll - and he’s not human.
Golden retriever Dug, and specifically a collar that allows him to speak in English, steals the show - particularly whenever a squirrel is around.
He was so beloved, Disney even tried to make a Dug in real life mini-movie…
WHO’S A GOOD BOY?
Lady and the Tramp (American Cocker Spaniel & Mutt)
It’s bonkers to think that classic Disney romance Lady and the Tramp is now over 60 years old, but its iconic characters, relationships and scenes feel as fresh as ever.
The moment when pedigree high-class pooch Lady falls for rough, wiley stray Tramp over a bowl of spaghetti is as glorious as ever, despite being aped a gazillion times. This particularly life-like couple set Imgur ablaze when the above photo was uploaded back in 2012.
And when someone photoshopped in strings of pasta, it was game, set and match.
Disney themselves even recreated the moment to celebrate the Blu-ray rerelease. No photoshop needed.
Lady and the Tramp is available now on Sky Cinema Disney
Winston (Boston Terrier)
In case you haven’t seen Big Hero 6, we’d like to introduce you to one of Pixar’s greatest ever shorts, Feast.
This utterly adorable story of a stray Boston terrier adopted by an owner who is in turn saved by his best canine friend is the epitome of best friend and heartwarming goals.
Winston, his adorable appetite, and his spectacularly cute real life counterpart FTW.
Tod and Copper (Fox and Hound Dog)
Disney’s 1981 tale of two unlikely best friends has won audiences’ hearts for over 35 years, and for good reason. Who wouldn’t like to believe in a world where a fox and an adorable floppy eared dog can be best friends?
Well brace yourselves, because truth is stranger than fiction. Sure, Tinni may not technically be a hound dog, but these pictures are pretty much identical in every other way.
Photographer Torgeir Berge is Tinni’s guardian, and has been as astonished as the rest of us by his burgeoning friendship with a wild fox, who Berge has called Sniffer. Adorbs.
Poggo, Perdy, and 98 Others (Dalmatian)
Much as we want to believe otherwise, the chances of 101 dalmatians actually coming together in real life are pretty rare. So here’s the next best thing - a dalmatian called Pebbles who aped her on-screen counterparts with a litter of 15 spotty, snuffling, squeaking pups.
Snowy (Wire Fox Terrier)
Let’s be honest - without his trusty Wire Fox Terrier sidekick, Tintin wouldn’t have lasted beyond his first adventure (and the first five minutes of it, at that).
Whether you’re talking about his original drawn incarnation, or his above CGI Spielberg-ian showing from The Adventures of Tintin, he’s as adorably scruffy as he is clever. Turns out Wire Fox Terriers are just as cuddly in real life too.
Scooby-Doo (Great Dane)
Scooby-Dooby-Doo, where are you? ERMAHGERD HERE HE IS.
Trust Reddit to not only find a scarily realistic Scooby-Doo lookalike (replete with blue collar), but to spark a comment thread that also finds a twin for Scooby’s diminutive cousin Scrappy-Doo.
Scooby-Doo The Movie is available now on Sky Cinema
Snoopy’s iconic for many reasons - but while his smarts, faithfulness and comedic yelp are all worthy touch points, it’s his dozy kennel-nap that many will recognise.
It’s a pose easily replicated by deflated, knackered pooches. Cue this adorable beagle pup, who nailed the pose first time.
Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie is available now on Sky Cinema
Bolt (American White Shepherd)
Unless your dog’s name is Fenton, it’s unlikely you could ever find a dog as fast as Bolt, Walt Disney Animation’s super-speedy scrapper. But speed means nothing when you compensate with PHENOMENAL ADORABLENESS.
While Bolt was a fictional amalgamation of different breeds, this cute contender is pretty damn close. Snow white coat? Check. Pointy ears? Check. Big ol’ moon eyes? Check check check.
Mr. Peabody (Beagle)
Dogs, much as we love ‘em, aren’t generally renowned for their smarts (hey, it’s why they’re anywhere near as loveable as they are). But Mr. Peabody more than lives up to his title as the ‘smartest being in the world’.
Thankfully, it’s an intellectually superior look you can pull off pretty easily. Simply add glasses and voila. While we couldn’t find a beagle wearing Peabody’s particular style of glasses, we’re happy to report we did find a close cousin rocking equally, if not more, as adorable frames.
Brian Griffin (Labrador Retriever)
While we love Family Guy’s Brian Griffin, and we don’t doubt he’d make a great friend, we have reservations about his skills as a family pet.
For one thing, there’s the drink problem - that said, his real world counterpart certainly looks pretty adorable…. (No dogs were inebriated in the making of this photo)
Clifford the Big Red Dog (Labrador Retriever/Vizsla Cross)
Thankfully no matter how hard we looked, we couldn’t find anyone who had actually dyed their dog a vibrant shade of burgundy. Which means we have to settle for the next best thing.
Photoshop wizard Christopher Cline created a series of pictures in which he and his doggo buddy Juji frolic in all manner of beautiful wilderness scenes. The big twist? His pet has been graphically enlarged to the size of a hippo, realising all the dreams we ever had in which we got to ride our childhood best friend into all kinds of imaginary battles