What Breed of Dog Is Brian Griffin from Family Guy? (Famous Dogs!)

Family Guy is full of eccentric characters, but one, in particular, stands out. When Season 1 debuted in 1999, we learned that the Griffins have an unusual family pet: a talking Labrador retriever named Brian. The dog speaks not only English but also French, Tagalog, and a little Spanish, and did we mention he loves opera and jazz? That’s a unique plot twist that raises many questions, some of which we answer below.

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Who Does the Voice of Brian Griffin?

Seth MacFarlane, the show’s creator, is the voice behind Brian. MacFarlane does the voice of several other Family Guy characters, including Peter and Stewie. He won an Emmy Award for his voiceover work on the show, bringing home the Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance in 2019. Willam H. Macy has also voiced the role of Brian at least once.

TV shows featuring animals that can talk aren’t anything new. The 1960s sitcom Mister Ed starred a “talking” Golden Palomino horse.

How Old Is Brian Griffin?

TV characters often age slower than in real life, and Brian is no exception. Family Guy first aired in 1999, making Brian (at least) an improbable 23 years old in 2022. But according to the show’s Fandom page, Brian is only 10 years old.

Does Brian Griffin Die?

The plot of Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story sees Brian dying after eating chocolate out of the trash can. Since anything is possible on TV, Brian is alive and well in subsequent episodes.

Are Labrador Retrievers Smart?

Brian Griffin’s intelligence is no coincidence. Real-life Labrador Retrievers rank high in trainability. The dogs are eager to please their owners and learn commands. Labs also have high mental stimulation needs and need tasks to do, or they’ll get into trouble.

What’s the Difference Between a Labrador Retriever and a Golden Retriever?

Golden Retriever vs Labrador Retriever
Image Credit: Left – Golden Retriever (RebecasPictures, Pixabay); Right – Labrador Retriever (RebeccasPictures, Pixabay)

While the dogs have similar-sounding names, they are two distinct breeds. The AKC first registered Labradors in 1917 and Goldens in 1925. At a glance, you’ll notice that Golden Retrievers have longer coats and broader heads. On average, Labradors are slightly larger than Goldens.

Fun Facts about Labrador Retrievers

  • Based on AKC registrations, Labradors have been the most popular dog in the U.S. for over 30 years. French bulldogs, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Poodles round out the top five breeds.
  • Over the years, Labrador retrievers have belonged to some famous people. Ernest Hemingway, Bill Clinton, and Queen Elizabeth all owned a Lab at one time.
  • Unbeknownst to his owners, in 2013, a Labrador named Barney ate over 100 pebbles. While he passed a few on his own, a veterinarian had to remove most of them.
  • Despite its name, the breed originated in Newfoundland.
  • The average life expectancy for a Labrador retriever is 10 to 12 years.

The AKC recognizes three standard colors for Labradors: black, chocolate, and yellow. In real life, white Labs like Brian Griffin are rare. The white dogs are actually light variations of yellow.

Featured Image Credit: viktori__photo, Shutterstock

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