Popular Dogs in the 1960
From the counterculture hippie movement to the start of the civil rights movement to putting a man on the moon, the 1960s represented a period of rapid change in America. Like in the 1950s, a number of dogs infiltrated popular culture either mirroring or directing the social conscience of the time. A few of our favorites include:
Astro the Dog
The Jetsons is a fictional animated sitcom taking place in 2062, 100 years in the future from when the show was originally produced. Perhaps representing the sheer possibility of the space age, and completely opposite of the Flintstones, the Jetsons’ fictional world is one of robots (think house maker Rosey), computers (R.U.D.I.), and flying cars.
Astro, the family dog, was able to speak a rough English, though he was a bit clumsy. Like most dogs, what he lacked in finesse he more than made up for in family loyalty. Perhaps speculating a world of more intelligent dogs, Astro was smarter and more advanced than 1960′s era dogs. While we still have a few more years to go, thus far it’s not looking like a more intelligent Astro type dog is likely to become a reality..!
Scooby-Doo originally ran from 1969 to 1976, so it technically was born -and even ran for a season- in the 1960s! Famous to this day, each animated episode featured Scooby, a talking Great Dane, and his four teenage friends (Fred, Shaggy, Velma, and Daphen) running into trouble with ghosts, villains, and the like. Like any smart canine, Scooby had a major role in solving each mystery.
Well, not *that* smart. Scooby, along with Shaggy, was fairly cowardly and seemingly always hungry, just like my dog. His ability to solve mysteries was usually fortuitous and based on luck, not sheer ‘skill’. But like any good dog he was loyal and lovable, becoming the star of the show.
Rounding out our list is Axelrod, a Basset Hound for Flying A service and gas stations (in the late 1960s the company was purchased and dissolved into the parent company). Known as the Flying A Dog with a worried look from his long in the face expression, Axelrod starred in many print and broadcast ads with slogans like “When it comes to your car…oooh, do we worry!” and “The house that worry built.”.
Axelrod was not the only automotive related mascot of the time. Both Esso -later rebranded as Exxon- and Pontiac -for their GTO muscle car- used tigers in their ads.
Animal mascots were huge in the 1960s. What did we miss? What was your favorite dog mascot or character from this decade?