Just another WordPress.com site

Bad Dog T-Shirts

So, way back in the 80s, I used to go to the Pensacola area a couple times a year.  There was a surf shop in Gulf Breeze that carried the coolest line of t-shirts I’ve ever seen.  Every time I went down to Florida, I picked up a couple shirts.  The design always included a very stylized dog (very angular) whose head almost looked like an upside-down  Flying V guitar.  Great colors, great graphics, and always a snappy caption to tie it all together. 

One of my favorites was of our hero, Bad Dog, all decked out in his finest, in the middle of a three sexy poodles.  The caption:  3 Dog Night.

Over the years, I have performed countless internet searches in an attempt to find a retailer who might still carry this line, all in vain.  I just performed another search and found someone in my particular situation:  liked the shirts, can’t find them, can anyone help?  I found a post on a T-shirt forum and here’s the link to the thread.  Based on one of the responses, it seems someone is familiar with the line, but none of the respondents knows where to find any product.  The company may have gone under or the line may have been discontinued.  One of the respondents even included a link to an eBay auction, but it had long since expired so there were no photos available.

One of the posters included a picture to verify everyone was talking about the same thing, and sure enough, it is.  Not only is it the same company, I once had this very T-shirt.

It’s not the best scan, and it doesn’t completely capture the entire image, but it’s definitely the company. 

The text on this shirt reads: "He wouldn’t sit!  He wouldn’t beg!  He wouldn’t heel!  He was a BAD DOG!" 

In the corner where the little boy is, there is more text that reads: "He seemed like such a lovable puppy…  how could this have happened?"

I’d always thought of the company as Bad Dog, but someone posted and mentioned American Bad Dog, which I do remember on the shirts.  I would absolutely LOVE to find more of these shirts.  I know the likelihood of finding these again is slim to none, but it would be quite a score for me.  If you know where I might be able to find them, I’d love to hear from you.


September 30, 2007 - Posted by | Entertainment


  1. Hi
    Did you ever find any bad dog t-shirts?  Back in the 80\’s my sister, my
    Dad and I traveled to Coco beach, Florida on our way to Antigua.  We
    stopped in a surf shop and picked out a shirt for my Dad- a Bad Dog
    t-shirt.  We thought it was so funny–he wouldn\’t sit, he wouldn\’t
    beg…  Anyways, we nicknamed him \’Bad Dog\’ and it has always stuck.  I
    am planning his 70th birthday party and just sent out invitations with
    a Bad Dog theme.  Had hoped to get him another t-shirt but is sounds
    like they are impossible to find.  In your searches have you ever found
    anyone selling them?

    Comment by Unknown | September 17, 2008 | Reply

  2. No, neither I nor any of the people I\’ve spoken with have ever seen another Bad Dog t-shirt (at least as they appeared back in the 80s).  THere is another company doing Bad Dog stuff, but it\’s not remotely similar, and I\’m not convinced it\’s even the same company.
    Good luck finding the old stuff…

    Comment by Dan | September 20, 2008 | Reply

  3. Heck, I bought that shirt for my husband in Key West in 1985. Best shirt, ever. He asked about getting another one the other day. Guess that\’s not possible. Since I\’m a sculptor, I\’m going to make a variation on it. I already have a good dog I\’m going to put on Etsy tomorrow. Too bad I don\’t do t shirts. If you like check out JTNee on Etsy. My dog is a good dog except when he eats poop. Then he is a really Bad Dog

    Comment by Jody | September 17, 2009 | Reply

  4. Yeah, I LOVED all the Bad Dog t-shirts. We have two Scotties. It would seem poop of the feline kind is the most highly sought after, though I suspect neither is all that picky…BTW, I love your work on Etsy. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Dan | September 29, 2009 | Reply

  5. “He wouldn’t sit. He wouldn’t beg. He wouldn’t heel. He was a bad dog.”
    This was my favorite shirt in 1984. The triangle-head dog with the green eyes. So awesome. “He was such a lovable puppy. HOW COULD THIS HAVE HAPPENED???
    I wish I could buy one for my kids.

    Comment by Marcie Fernando | March 21, 2011 | Reply

  6. I am actually wearing this very shirt right now but had it stashed amongst a pile of old T-shirts I work in.
    The last time I pulled it out I went searching online as well but couldn’t find any.
    I just happened to pull this out yesterday and went out again to see if I could find it and saw this trail. It really had the same effect on me as you and I just loved the design. I don’t remember where I got it or when but this dog has seen better days. I just couldn’t throw it away. It is American Bad Dog and and it has a copyright symbol next to it. It is also signed by someone named “jasper” . Maybe there is a patent or copyright out there on it. If not, let’s get it back in print…..

    Comment by BD | July 12, 2011 | Reply

    • I’ve never been able to find any additional information on the company that put this line out, so I don’t think we’ll ever see the likes of this shirt style again. Too bad because it was so original and amusing.

      Comment by magnoliaVillage | July 12, 2011 | Reply

  7. I had a version of the Bad Dog t-shirt that had him in bed with a very shocked looking young lady and several young boys peering at them through a window. Same angular dog, same captions, it was one of my favorite shirts of all time!

    Comment by D-Man | August 3, 2011 | Reply

  8. You didn’t have to travel to Florida, to embrace the Bad Dog. Growing up on Lake Michigan, we loved us some BD, and my crew always hit the shops for the latest designs. Absolutely a perfect time capsule piece for the rainbow decade.
    Billionnaire Michigan grocery guru Fred Meijer, opened up several casual clothing stores called, Sagebrush. (Usually built in Meijer parking lots.) It was the conduit between us Michigan freshwater beach boys, and the big water. 80’s closets filled with: Bad Dog, Hobie, Panama Jack, Quiksilver, Ocean Pacific, Vuarnet, Jams, yadayadayada. I can still smell the pineapple sex wax! Good to see others out there who loved; The Dog, the water, the colors, the Vice, & the decade as much as we did in, The Mitten. (What we can remember, that is.) ;-D Audi 5000!

    Comment by Corndog | February 16, 2012 | Reply

  9. I came looking for info about the same shirt. I found one that is basically shredded, just cloth and no longer a t shirt.

    Comment by kelly | May 24, 2012 | Reply

  10. Cant believe i ran into this forum. An old buddy of mine came up north to do some boating today and we got to talkin about all the bad dog shirts we used to have,i have to say they were the best.He went to school in Virginia and sent me up my first one and its the one in the picture above. I used to get so many complements and laughs with that shirt . I went down to visit and went to the store where they made them and they had a big selection,i was hooked on em. That was about 1979 or 80. Great to see that picture again,sure miss those shirts and all the good times that went along with wearing them!

    Comment by marvelous | May 25, 2012 | Reply

  11. I also bought the same shirts in a surf shop in Hattetas. have also tried numerous searches. the post is one of the shirts I had and loved. would love to find more

    Comment by ron | May 29, 2012 | Reply

    • When I was stationed in Norfolk, 1982-1986. We could buy Bad dog shirts at a shop in Sandbridge. We also found them at a shop in Nagshead, NC. near the Brewthru. It would be great to have a freshly minted BD.

      Comment by Grogman1 | August 7, 2012 | Reply

  12. wearing it now, had 2 one in white background and one in yellow background. yellow one finally disintegrated and the white is going running with me now. I live England. shirt still in ok shape, small tear under left arm arm pit but otherwise intact. will post a picture in future
    oh and on the front pocket is a logo for OD Surf Shop in Myrtle Beach SC. tried Googleing but nothing shows

    Comment by carter | July 27, 2012 | Reply

  13. I bought several of these in Ft. Walton/Destin in the ’80s while in school at Auburn University. My roommates ended up calling me Bad Dog or just Dawg for short and still do. I have two of these left and one is in tatters but is still the most comfortable t-shirt I have.

    Comment by Sheldon | September 4, 2012 | Reply

  14. My sister and I had some shirts in the 80’s too! We are desperate to find more.

    Comment by t | September 6, 2012 | Reply

  15. I’ve got one of these shirts, the basic blue one. It was my dad’s but he left it in the attic when he moved out. I always loved it but I’m afraid to wear it out of the possibility that I might rip or stain it. Might have it framed someday (: I found another one for sale on eBay when I was 11 or 12 and now I really wish I’d asked my mom to buy it.

    Comment by Heather | September 15, 2012 | Reply

  16. can somebody post a better scan of the shirt pictured in this post? I have a friend who might be able to re-draw it in a way that we could print on a t-shirt ….

    Comment by Jeff | October 22, 2012 | Reply

  17. Great memories. I owned one that I picked up at the WRV surf shop near 5 points back in the early 80s. As I recall mine read-” American Bad Dog, He Say You Beg”

    Comment by Mack Johnson | December 3, 2012 | Reply

    • Love it, classic, used to get them on Nantucket every summer when I would do tricks on my fluorescent green freestyle bike on the ferry dock. My dad still mentions the shirts once in a while. #80s

      Comment by G | January 7, 2013 | Reply

  18. mine was pink,from REHOBATH DELAWARE,,,need another

    Comment by kevin pyzyna | December 7, 2012 | Reply

  19. We ought to start a “Search for the original Bad Dog”. We could use social media. Those shirts were so hot. I had a couple from P-cola when I was in flight school in the early 80’s. I would definately buy some. My son is in College and would love ’em. They were so detailed. You really had to study them to get all the jokes and twists.

    Comment by Bill Bafford | January 14, 2013 | Reply

  20. I had that shirt… bought it in Naples, Florida in the mid-eighties. Found this page trying to track one down.

    Comment by MWorrell | January 25, 2013 | Reply

  21. I had an American Bad Dog T-shirt also. It was the same Dog drawing design.I really liked the art work. My T-shirt had the dog in a bed, a startled Farrah Faucett haired Blonde was sitting up by his side pulling up the covers to conceal her chest. The caption read “Dog Gone Bad”.It was on the back of the T-shirt.On the front, was the dog, with his title printed out AMERICAN BAD DOG.It was over the left chest side.I live in Indiana, but I do not recall where I purchased the shirt.It was in the 80’S. I got alot of good comments from that shirt by people of all ages

    Comment by David Andrews | April 17, 2013 | Reply

    • I had this shirt as well. I’ve never been able to find any more of these but would love to…

      Comment by Stosh | April 8, 2014 | Reply

  22. So, this thread is still alive. I posted on the linked forum. I would LOVE to find the designer and bring this brand back to life. I had the t-shirts and the stickers. Finally ended up losing them to girlfriends (biyotches) and never could replace them. Mine were bought in Panama City over several years of spring breaks.

    Comment by RCR484 | May 22, 2013 | Reply

  23. I had this shirt in a peach color with the exact text and graphics. I wore it out. Would LOVE to find another. Found this page when searching for one online. If anyone finds a source, please share. Woof!

    Comment by barkkeeper | May 30, 2013 | Reply

  24. I have the original catalog.

    Comment by Brad | July 11, 2013 | Reply

  25. I would love if someone could find a way to make a print of the “He was such a loveable puppy” one.

    Comment by Nahnah | January 27, 2014 | Reply

  26. I found one at the thrift store today. Mint condition sz M. Let me know if anyone is still interested. If not it is headed to ebay.

    Comment by brandon | January 30, 2014 | Reply

  27. http://www.ebay.com/itm/310868424564?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649
    I just listed it today if anyone wants it. It already has a bid.

    Comment by brandon | February 6, 2014 | Reply

  28. I too was visiting Pensacola in late 80s and bought the shirt – I had a decal as well. I still have the shirt!

    Comment by Stooger | March 21, 2014 | Reply

  29. My kids asked to go to the good will store to find some old school t shirts and i told them about my favorite “Bad Dog” tees that i had in college! Can’t believe there are so many of us still yearning for them. Brad can you post the catalog? I’ll find a way to get these thing made!

    Comment by seb | April 19, 2014 | Reply

  30. I happened to scan a decal of this that I think ya’ll are looking for. I do not know how to post it here….

    Comment by Loren | July 12, 2014 | Reply

    • Hi Loren,

      can you send it by email to jeffbaddog@trashmail.com ?


      Comment by Jeff | July 30, 2014 | Reply

    • Please forward the image. I would be very thankful.

      Comment by Shamu | November 2, 2014 | Reply

  31. also looking for a bad dog T shirt. I had a couple of them and they were my favorites. Bought them in the Panama city Destin pensacola area in the early 80’s. He was such a lovable Puppy!

    Comment by keith | November 10, 2014 | Reply

  32. I am the Jasper and I still have the original art!

    Comment by Steve O'Laughlin | April 8, 2015 | Reply

  33. I have 8 original ones and I will have some made in about 3 weeks ,Stay tuned ,I was a big fan ,get on list at sportsterthunder@outlook.com….

    Comment by Kurt | April 16, 2015 | Reply

  34. Not sure if the particular American Bad Dog t-shirt I had was mentioned above, but I seems to remember it saying, “American Bad Dog…Wet Your Tail!” It had that angular looking dog, possibly surfing on a board, and he was flashing a kind of sinister grin, as if he enjoyed being a bad dog, getting his tail wet while catch a wave. Anyone recall this shirt?

    Comment by Robert Newman | July 4, 2015 | Reply

  35. that was me who posted the picture. I had 5 different Bad Dog Shirts I bought at Kitty Hawk Kites in Nags Head. Certainly is a mystery that there is no info of designer or distributor,

    Comment by Ray | August 4, 2015 | Reply

  36. I am the man who started the search for the lost American Bad Dog. From the best research I find. The creator of Bad Dog is artist Larry Bage: https://seldenarcade.wordpress.com/

    The rights are owned by American Apparel. Maybe we should ask them to bring back Bad Dog. 😀

    Comment by B4rcus | August 6, 2015 | Reply

    • I worked for Larry from 1984 to 1988. Larry came up with the original icon of the little pointy dog for a line of surf shirts that did not feature the dog itself. I thought the dog was cool and so I proposed the idea of a shirt featuring the dog to promote the line of shirts and Larry green lighted it. That shirt was the original ” He wouldn’t sit, he wouldn’t beg..” That was my concept, I hand drew it and hand color separated it. Like I said in the previous post, I still have the original colored pencil comp as well as the original black screen art that was hand drawn on frosted vellum with a rapidograph technical pen. Of course, I also have couple of pristine, unworn shirts. That was the only Bad Dog shirt I did but it was the first featuring the dog. I used the name Jasper on my art for years because it was a nickname given to me by the bass player of a band that I was playing with in the Tidewater area in the early eighties. They started introducing me as “the Amazing Jasper” at gigs and it stuck. Oh yeah… I was the drummer. Since then I’ve moved on to a lot of different areas beyond t-shirts, most notably major league sports logos such as the Minnesota Wild and F.C. Dallas. You can check-out a bunch if my work on my website at steveolaughlin.com which also has links to my Coroflot page and my LinkedIn page. You’ll get an idea of what I’ve been up to for the past 31 years. Cheers – Steve

      Comment by Steve O'Laughlin | December 16, 2015 | Reply

  37. I saw this shirt in Pensacola in the mid ’80’s. I never forgot about it obviously. I never had one. Thanks for posting your article.

    Comment by David | December 11, 2015 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: