The rock cakes almost broke their teeth, but Harry and Ron pretended to be enjoying them as they told Hagrid all about their first lessons. Fang rested his head on Harry’s knee and drooled all over his robes.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Hagrid’s beloved boarhound Fang was probably Hagrid’s least ferocious animal friend, and for that, we thank him. In fact, the not-so-aptly named Fang seemed terrified of Hagrid’s interest in dangerous things – whelping in fear whenever he had to take a little trip to the Forbidden Forest. Fair play, Fang. If anything, the dog was probably more sensible than Hagrid – and was usually to be found in his basket, being moody about various situations, usually drooling. Fang, we’re right there with you, buddy.
Hermione had got both her breath and her bad temper back again.
‘You don’t use your eyes, any of you, do you?’ she snapped. ‘Didn’t you see what it was standing on?’
‘The floor?’ Harry suggested. ‘I wasn’t looking at its feet, I was too busy with its heads.’
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
If three is a crowd, then every day was a busy day for Fluffy the dog – a three-headed canine Hagrid bought from a bloke in the pub, naturally. Fluffy was a key character in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, of course, protecting a mysterious trapdoor and scaring the living daylights out of Harry, Ron and Hermione. Despite having three heads and being larger than your average hound, however, Fluffy could have his adorable moments, such as falling asleep to the sound of music.
Fluffy shares its distinct physical attributes with the Greek mythological creature Cerberus, another three-headed dog, who guarded the gates to the underworld.
For one brief moment, the great black dog reared on to its hind legs and placed its front paws on Harry’s shoulders, but Mrs Weasley shoved Harry away towards the train door, hissing, ‘For heaven’s sake, act more like a dog, Sirius!’
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
This one might be somewhat of an anomaly, but we saw so much of Sirius Black in his dog form it seems unfair not to mention him. Taking the guise of a shaggy black dog in his Animagus state, Sirius was able to use his animal disguise to move around undetected after his escape from Azkaban. Of course, he did slip up a few times – such as getting on his hind legs to try and give Harry a slightly human-looking hug once. But still, as a dog, Sirius was able to move around freely, just as he should have been able to do as a human if justice had been served.
Of course, Sirius’s Animagus form as a dog makes perfect sense, seeing as his name is taken from the Dog Star.
On her last visit, the year before Harry had started at Hogwarts, Harry had accidentally trodden on the paw of her favourite dog. Ripper had chased Harry out into the garden and up a tree, and Aunt Marge had refused to call him off until past midnight.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Alright, even though Ripper was certainly not the friendliest of dogs, it wouldn’t be fair to exclude him here. After all, it’s likely that Vernon Dursley’s sister Aunt Marge encouraged Ripper’s more vicious ways with her own vicious personality – not to mention the constant feeding of brandy. J.K. Rowling has said in the past that she regrets giving Aunt Marge bulldogs – as her sister had a lovely one as a pet. Maybe with another owner, Ripper would’ve been a stand-up chap.
Other doggy facts from the wizarding world
Of course, beyond the doggy characters, there was the constant presence of canines in the wizarding world, including a magical version: a Crup. That’s a dog (resembling a Jack Russell terrier) with a forked tail.
Thanks to one particular dog, a group of Muggles accidentally stumbled upon a Portkey (disguised as an old trainer) that took them to a Celestina Warbeck concert. Of course, their memories were appropriately modified, but kudos to the dog in question who gave the Muggles quite an interesting evening.
Aunt Marge once got Harry dog biscuits as a gift – because that’s just the sort of lady she was.
A dog-shaped symbol is called a ‘Grim’ in Divination – a figure known as the sign of death. When a similar-looking dog started tailing Harry in Prisoner of Azkaban, he thought the worst – but thankfully, the dog Harry kept seeing around Hogwarts happened to be Sirius in Animagus form. Blame the typical morbid behaviour of Professor Trelawney scaring teenagers.