What breed was Clifford the Big Red Dog? Find Out Here

What Is the Story Behind the Character of Clifford the Big Red Dog?

The first “Clifford the Big Red Dog” book was published in 1963, and the whole series has been read by hundreds of millions of children around the world for over 50 years.

But before the adorable big red dog won the hearts of millions of children, Mr. Bridwell worked as a commercial artist in New York, where he lived with his wife and baby. Since money was scarce, his wife suggested that he try his hand at illustrating children’s books. Unfortunately, if one believes the criticisms of a young editor of the time, Mr. Bridwell was not very good at drawing. So, the editor advised him to tell a story from an illustration that Mr. Bridwell had done of a little girl with a horse-sized red dog.

It appears that Mr. Bridwell did not base his drawing sketch on any particular breed but most likely drew inspiration from the behavior of several types of dogs to define Clifford’s endearing and loyal personality. As he once said in an interview when asked about his process for writing Clifford, there was “no process at all. He just seems like the kind of dog that would be fun to own.”

What kind of dog is Clifford?

In the original book and the animated TV show, its never specified what breed of dog Clifford is, only that he started off so small Emily Elizabeth could “gave him a bath in a soup bowl,” but “love made Clifford grow so big and the Howards had to leave their home.”

There have been various reports with different claims as to Cliffords actual breed, though none of them have been confirmed by author and illustrator Norman Bridwell himself.

Norman was working as a commercial illustrator when he wanted to get into creating childrens books, and at the recommendation of one editor, he wrote a book based on a drawing of a girl riding a horse-sized red dog. Reportedly, the canine in the original drawing was based on a bloodhound, though many have suggested he bears similarities to giant Vizslas. Even after Scholastic published the book, Cliffords breed was never confirmed. Article continues below advertisement

“Clifford the Big Red Dog” is slated to be released in US theaters on September 17, while the UK release will be on December 2

The movie is also expected to be streaming on Paramount Plus after the theatrical release window (however, no official dates have been confirmed yet). The live-action movie is the fourth time Clifford has been brought on-screen since Norman Birdwell penned the book series in 1963.

What breed was Clifford the Big Red Dog?

Clifford the Big Red Dog book series written by Norman Bridwell, via: Scholastic

What breed is Clifford the Big Red Dog?