Scooby is brown from head to toe with several distinctive black spots on his upper body. He is generally a quadruped, but displays bipedal 'human' characteristics occasionally. Scooby also has opposable thumbs and can use his front paws like hands. He has a black nose and wears an off-yellow, diamond shaped-tagged blue-green collar with an "SD" his initials and has four toes on each foot and unlike other dogs, Scooby only has one pad on the sole of each of his feet so that it was easier to draw in the Scooby-Doo Annuals. Scooby has a fully prehensile tail he can use to swing from or press buttons. Both his head and tail are malleable and useful as a communication aid or creating a distraction. Iwao Takamoto later explained that before he designed the character, he first spoke to a Great Dane breeder, who described to him the desirable characteristics of a pedigree dog. Takamoto then drew Scooby as the opposite of this. He said "I decided to go the opposite way and gave him a hump back, bowed legs, small chin and such. Even his color is wrong.
Scooby-Doo and Shaggy share several personality traits, mostly being scared easily, but their friends Velma Dinkley, Daphne Blake and Fred Jones encourage them to go after the costumed villains usually with Scooby Snacks, a biscuit-like dog treat or cookie snack usually shaped like a bone or as shown in later versions of the cartoons Scooby's dog tag, though occasionally appealing to Scooby-Doo inherent loyalty and courage to take a more heroic stance. In all iterations, Scooby has a speech impediment and tends to pronounce most words as if they begin with an "R", though most of the characters are able to understand him perfectly. His catch phrase, usually howled at the end of every episode, is "Scooby-Dooby-Doo!" or "Rooby-Rooby-Roo", sometimes followed by a quirky chuckle. When he solves cases with his nephew Scrappy-Doo, he's very protective of him, as he often runs after him to prevent him from going straight to the monster or ghost.
Family and relatives
Over the course of Scooby's adventures, many relatives of his were introduced:
- Scrappy-Doo: Scooby's young nephew and son of Scooby's sister Ruby-Doo
- Scooby-Dum: Scooby's cousin/brother, a gray dog. A Mortimer Snerd-esque dog who longed to be a detective; he was rather dimwitted in which he'd keep looking for clues even after the mystery was solved.
- Scooby-Dee: Scooby's cousin, a white dog. Spoke with a Southern accent, and was an actress, even though she was Scooby's cousin, she acted more like a girlfriend.
- Yabba-Doo: Scooby's brother, a white dog owned by Deputy Dusty in the American southwest. Unlike Scooby's and Scrappy's, his typical custom catch-phrase at the end is "Yippity-Yabbity-Doooo!!!", and not "Yabba-Dabba-Doo!"
- Dooby-Dooby-Doo: Scooby's identical twin cousin. He is a famous singer and is one of few of Scooby's relatives who had hair.
- Mumsy-Doo: Scooby's mother.
- Dada-Doo: Scooby's father.
- Whoopsy-Doo: Scooby's cousin, a clown. Owned by Shaggy's uncle, Gaggy Rogers.
- Ruby-Doo: Scooby's sister, and the mother of Scrappy-Doo.
- Skippy-Doo: Scooby's brother. He is highly intelligent and wears glasses.
- Howdy-Doo: Scooby's brother. Enjoyed reading supermarket tabloid newspapers.
- Horton-Doo: Scooby's uncle. Was interested in monsters and science.
- Dixie-Doo: Scooby's cousin.
- Grandpa Scooby: Scooby's grandfather.
- Great-Grandpa Scooby: Scooby's great-grandfather.
- Yankee Doodle-Doo: Ancestor of Scooby who came to Plymouth, Massachusetts aboard the Mayflower with Shaggy's ancestor, McBaggy Rogers.
- Amber: Shaggy and Scooby are abducted by the aliens and abandoned in the desert. There they meet a wild life photographer, Crystal and her dog Amber. Scooby was heartbroken when it is revealed that Amber and Crystal are actually aliens from another planet and must go home, though he and Shaggy quickly forget about them when they found out there was one more Scooby Snack box left. Amber and Crystal did seem to have actual feelings for Shaggy and Scooby but don't pursue them due to 'long distance relationships never working out'. Amber's disguised form is that of a Golden Retriever wearing a red bandana while her true form is a large, blue reptilian creature with a beak-like mouth. Like Scooby, she is capable of speech but only shows so as she's about to leave, and unlike Scooby, she speaks like a normal human.
- Sandy Duncan: Scooby fell for Sandy Duncan at a studio, much to Shaggy's annoyance.
- Scooby-Dee: Scooby and his cousin Scooby-Dum compete for the affections of canine movie star Scooby-Dee, who is also their cousin.
- Sled dog: Scooby falls in love with a sled dog. At the end, she kisses him.
- Chiquita: Scooby meets up with Chiquita, Alejo Otero's son's pet Chihuahua, when the gang arrives at Alejo's family hotel. Scooby-Doo! and the Monster of Mexico
- Roxanne: An old girlfriend that Scooby meets again when the gang return to their home town to take a break from mystery solving. In the time apart, she met singer J.C. Chasez's pet bulldog, Rico.