Review of Harry Potter Dogs

From the fearful Fang to the threatening, three-headed Fluffy, the world of Harry Potter is rife with dogs of the magical — and not-so-magical — variety. In honor of Warm Fuzzy Week, we’ve rated five of Rowling’s canine characters based on some very scientific criteria.

Padfoot/Sirius Black


Appearance: B

While a little shaggy and malnourished in “Prisoner of Azkaban,” Padfoot/Snuffles/Sirius Black cleans up nicely by “Order of the Phoenix.”

Usefulness: A

Having an animagus around sure would be useful: playful pup by day, “siriusly” sexy Gary Oldman by night.

Fetching capability: A

Oh, he’s fetching all right.

Lickability: A

Yes, please.

Overall grade: A-



Appearance: C

When he’s not slobbering and baring his ginormous teeth, Fluffy has some precious puppy potential.

Usefulness: C

Yeah, he’s intimidating, but he falls asleep after hearing just a few notes of music. How useful is a guard dog with music-induced narcolepsy? Besides, I don’t own any precious magical stones that need guarding. Heck, I don’t even know a 15th-century alchemist capable of making one.

Fetching capability: D

I wouldn’t want to touch any toy that’s been in Fluffy’s mouths. Have you seen “Sorcerer’s Stone”? You could drown in this dog’s saliva.

Lickability: F

Bring a poncho.

Overall grade: D



Appearance: A
Whether you picture Fang as a Boarhound (as he’s described in the books) or a Neapolitan Mastiff (as he’s depicted in the movies), Fang is undoubtedly one cute canine.

Usefulness: C
He may be afraid of his own shadow, but he’s loyal and good for a snuggle.

Fetching capability: B
If Hagrid can train Hippogriffs and Thestrals, I’m pretty sure he managed to teach Fang a thing or two. Just don’t throw the ball too close to the Forbidden Forest.

Lickability: B
You’re in for some wet kisses, but if things get too slobbery, just slip him some of Hagrid’s infamous Treacle fudge.

Overall grade: B

Remus Lupin


Appearance: B
So he’s a bit scruffy and his robes are frayed and patched. And sure, he could rip you to shreds during a full moon. But is it just me or is David Thewlis kind of cute? (What is it with me and old British dudes?)

Usefulness: B
This man knows his grindylows, as well as a slew of other dark creatures — after all, he is one. Plus, he always seems to have chocolate on hand, which is something I look for in a man. However, there’s always the possibility he could eat you or turn you into a werewolf, so that’s going to lose him some points.

Fetching capability: F
If you want to attempt a game of fetch on a moonlit night, be my guest.

Lickability: B
Depends on the lunar calendar.

Overall grade: C+

Fenrir Greyback


Appearance: F
This guy makes Professor Slughorn look like Gilderoy Lockhart.

Usefulness: F
If your goal is to strike terror in the hearts of everyone at the supernatural dog park, then you might find old Greyback to be quite useful. Other than that he’s really just a horrifying reminder to brush and floss.

Fetching capability: F
He’ll only fetch you nightmares.

Lickability: F
No, no, no. Oh, God. NO.

Overall grade:


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About the author

Laura J. Moss is an editor and writer whose articles have appeared on,, The Huffington Post, and Yahoo. She was denied entrance to Hogwarts, so she earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina and now lives in Atlanta with her fiancé and several cats. She also writes young-adult novels, and she co-authored "The Unofficial Harry Potter Insults Handbook: 101 Comebacks for the Slytherin In Your Life."

View all articles by Laura J. Moss

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