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10 Secrets You Never Knew About Clifford the Big Red Dog


In honor of Norman Bridwell’s iconic work authoring and illustrating Clifford: the Big Red Dog, we’re bringing you 10 things that you had no idea were true about the crimson canine!

Bridwell Readingvia Getty Images

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  • Ever wonder why Clifford the Big Red Dog is red? Well according to Scholastic, Bridwell said the only reason why he chose red is because that was the paint color he had readily available AND he just thought it would look nice with the blue sky and green grass.
  • Clifford’s owner, Emily Elizabeth, is named after Bridwell’s young daughter, who has the same name, according to Bridwell. Such a sweet tribute to his little girl!
  • Bridwell was originally going to name Clifford “Tiny” before his wife claimed the name was too boring, according to Scholastic. We’re sure glad she changed his mind!
  • The idea for a giant dog came from Bridwell‘s childhood. He said when he was a little boy he wished he had a dog he could ride like a pony.
  • Bridwell said Clifford got his name from an imaginary friend Bridwell’s wife had when she was a little girl.
  • Bridwell acknowledges Clifford’s birthday as being the same day he was told Clifford would be published, September 5. However, Scholastic wanted Clifford and Bridwell to share a birthday, February 15, so that kids busy going back to school in September would have time to celebrate, according to Scholastic.
  • Clifford’s parents and four siblings (two girls, two boys) were all normal-sized dogs, according to What About Dogs.
  • While he was born a normal size, the reason why Clifford grew so big is because his Emily loved him so much, according to Today I Found Out. SO sweet!!
  • Even though Bridwell said he does not have an ideal weight for Clifford, fans of the character have speculated on Reddit, based on scalings and measurements, that he is approximately 87 tons. We find it hilarious that this is a discussion happening amongst 30-year-olds–but we secretly had the same question too!
  • Unfortunately, the reason why the Clifford: the Big Red Dog PBS series was cancelled was because the voice of Clifford, John Ritter, passed away, according to IMDB.

clifford dogvia Getty Images

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