Brian with another dog

Brian: Portrait of a Dog
Brian has a bone to pick.

Season: 1 Episode: 7
Total Episode Count: 7
Prod. no.: 1ACX07
First Aired: May 16, 1999

Guest Starring: Dick Van Patten
Featuring: Brian, Peter Griffin, Lois Griffin, Stewie Griffin
Also Appearing: Meg, Chris, Rupert, Diane Simmons, Tom Tucker, Jake Tucker, Felicia, John, Roy, Fluffy, Pillsbury Doughboy, Lady and the Tramp, Angus MacGyver, Dick Van Patten, Angela Lansbury, Alex Trebek, Joyce DeWitt, Liza Minnelli
Musical Numbers: On Moonlight Bay, Anything Goes

Director: Michael Dante DiMartino

Writers: Gary Janetti
Storyboarders: John Dubiel, Ken Laramay


Quahog is in the grip of an unusual heatwave and, not having air conditioning, the Griffins are suffering. Peter learns of an upcoming dog show offering a top prize of $500, which he sees as the perfect way to buy an air conditioner, and the family persuades a reluctant Brian to participate. After Brian performs his tricks at the dog show, Peter puts a bone biscuit on Brian’s nose. Brian finds this demeaning and humiliating so he becomes angry and refuses to “perpetuate the stereotype of the ‘good dog.’” and storms off in a huff.

On the drive home, Peter and Brian argue until an angry Brian gets out of the car. The police give Brian a ticket for violating the local leash law, which Peter has to pay, only further widening their rift. Lois tries to get Peter and Brian to make up, but when Brian makes another fuss about the dog show, an annoyed Peter points out that he has never asked Brian to do anything for the family before the dog show, and tells him to stop being a bad dog. Furious, Brian leaves, and Peter immediately buys a cat to replace Brian.


Brian struggles to cope without the Griffins, and is treated shabbily by the community, where he is even kicked out of the bus station. Peter begins to realize that he misses Brian, and the family hates their violent new kitten, so he goes out to find Brian and bring him home. By the time Peter finds him, Brian has hit rock bottom. Regretting leaving, he viciously attacks a man and is hauled off by the police.

At the pound, Brian is sentenced to a lethal injection, but Peter convinces the court to give Brian a chance to plead his case. Seconds into the trial, they sentence Brian anyway, confused as to why they are listening to a dog. Peter then steps in an delivers an emotional appeal on his behalf and pays everyone $20. The charges against Brian are finally waived and the town shows him new respect.

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