5 Best Pokémon For Dog Lovers (& 5 For Cat Lovers)
When it comes to the designs of our favorite Pokémon, many are based on either real-world animals or mythical creatures that use those animals as a basis for their legends. Although there are some clear exceptions in the more controversial designs that take inspiration from inanimate objects, the majority of Pokémon are based on creatures that players can relate to.
As they are some of the most commonly domesticated animals in the world, no Pokémon are more relatable than those based on cats or dogs, since many players have, or have had, a pet at some point in their lives. This means they will likely gravitate towards either the cats or dogs in their playthrough, particularly in Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee or Sword & Shield, where Pokémon can follow beside their trainer.
10 DOG LOVERS: Boltund
Boltund may get some flack for being nothing more than a yellow dog, but it’s hard to fault its design when it just looks so full of joy. Based on the Greyhound and English Foxhound breeds, both in its design and relationship with Thievul, Boltund looks like it just wants to play fetch with its trainer or roughhouse with the neighbor’s Stoutland all day long. Although it may have come from Yamper, which is based on the Corgi and doesn’t look like its little legs could carry it very far at all, Boltund lives up to its Electric-typing in how it looks like it could sprint off in a flash with its tongue wagging in the wind.
9 CAT LOVERS: Meowstic
Espurr and its evolution, Meowstic, may have some of the scarier Pokédex entries in the Kalos Region, but their designs are based on one of the more adorable cat breeds, the Scottish Fold. While Espurr takes more inspiration from this breed, Meowstic takes some cues from nekomata and bakeneko, cat-like yokai that stand on two legs and cause mischief for anyone unfortunate enough to come across them.
8 DOG LOVERS: Stoutland
Any Pokémon fans who also love their dogs to be fluffy beyond belief should find an instant connection to Stoutland and its pre-evolutions. Based on an amalgamation of Shih Tzu, Maltese, Yorkshire, and Scottish Terriers, there’s no part of this puppy that players wouldn’t want to snuggle up to on a cold night.
Stoutland, aside from being linked to these smaller and fluffier breeds, also bears some resemblance to the Saint Bernard and Newfoundland breeds, as it has a knack for rescuing people from both freezing mountainous areas and stormy seas.
7 CAT LOVERS: Persian
The original cat Pokémon, Persian is the quintessential domestic cat in the Pokémon series, made somewhat famous by the one Giovanni seems to always have by his side. As its name suggests, Persian is based on the Persian breed of cat, while also taking some inspiration from Siamese cats as well as much larger wild cats such as pumas. The Alolan variant, on the other hand, is based on the British Shorthair, which often has a large, rounded head and a grey-blue coat.
6 DOG LOVERS: Houndoom
It seems the people at Creatures Inc. wanted to create a Pokémon that instills fear into everyone it comes across and hit gold when they created Houndoom. Its general physique suggests that it is based on the Dobermann, a breed normally associated with an intimidating look though is, in fact, a generally loving and loyal breed. It also takes some inspirations from hellhounds in mythology, particularly with its raked-back horns and the skull on its chest.
5 CAT LOVERS: Luxray
Until Diamond & Pearl, there weren’t many options for players who were fans of big cats rather than domesticated felines, as many new cat Pokémon, such as Purugly, were a little too fluffy for many. Then came Luxray, the Electric-type big cat with major design cues from both lions and lynxes and a terrifying ability to see through walls. Although later Pokémon would take much more inspiration from big cats, namely Pyroar and Solgaleo, Luxray is arguably the better designed of these lions, especially with its shiny form.
4 DOG LOVERS: Arcanine
During the time when Red & Blue were the only Pokémon games around, players didn’t have many choices when it came to dog Pokémon. That being said, the one choice they did have is one that has stood the test of time and is still one of the best dog Pokémon around, living up to its status as the Legendary Pokémon.
While Arcanine takes inspiration from many different breeds of dog, its main basis is from the Komainu, a mythical dog-lion hybrid that often guards Shinto shrines in the form of giant stone statues. These statues bear a strong resemblance to the tablet carving seen in the episode Pokémon Emergency!, where it was shown alongside the three Legendary Birds of Kanto.
3 CAT LOVERS: Incineroar
Incineroar’s fanbase is twofold: those who love big cats and those who love wrestling. Taking major influences from the lucha libra as well as tigers, with its shiny form taking some inspiration from white tigers in particular, it’s hard to not love this Fire-type starter even if you are more of a dog person than a cat person. Incineroar is also incredibly unique for a Fire-type, with its fire coming from the “belt” around its waist rather than its mouth, a trait that isn’t shared with many other Pokémon.
2 DOG LOVERS: Suicune
It may be known as a Legendary Beast, but Suicune, as well as its brethren Entei and Raikou, are based on dogs along with some real-world mythology. In particular, these beasts are based on the qilin, mythical creatures of legend that are an amalgamation of various creatures, such as ox, fish, dragons, unicorns, and even giraffes. While qilin aren’t generally associated with canines in their design, Creatures Inc. clearly decided to change that and made the Legendary Beasts much more dog-like than their inspiration would otherwise suggest.
1 CAT LOVERS: Zeraora
This mythical Pokémon takes clear inspiration from tigers, not unlike Incineroar, but also takes some design cues from mythological creatures as well. In particular, it takes cues from raiju, the physical embodiment of lightning in animal form, as well as kamaitachi, violent yokai that are said to ride on dust devils and cut people open with their razor-sharp claws that leave a painless wound.
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