Growlithe is a fan favorite Pokémon within the community. Here is how to evolve it, and some neat facts about the doggo as well.




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Pokémon"s original "good boy" Growlithe has been a crowd favorite since the creature first appeared in the original 151 roster of little pocket monsters. It"s hard for any other canine Pokémon to stack up to the adorable fiery four-legged tiger-striped dog.

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There will always be newcomers such as Yamper or legendary good boys like Raikou, Entei, and Suicune, but frankly, that"s a list of subpar doggies that don"t stack up to the loyalty and dedication of Growlithe. But how does one evolve such a handsome lad to its next stage as Arcanine? Luckily we have everything you need to know, and a few extra facts things you"ll enjoy about Pokémon"s original pooch.

Updated September 21st, 2020 by Hayley Mullen: Dog Pokémon will never waver in popularity, and Growlithe may just be the most famous of all dog Pokémon out there. From its unique origins and inspirations to its fascinating moveset and breeding mechanics, there"s always a reason to learn more about this puppy from the original 151 Pokémon.



Among the small list of stone evolutions, Growlithe is only one of four Pokémon that evolves using the Fire Stone. Before Pokémon Sword Pokémon Shield, it was ideal to evolve Growlithe at level 45 to get all of his moves, but with the Move Reminder, you can learn all of Growlithe"s moves without having to wait. Now anyone can get the legendary doggo Arcanine without breaking a sweat, run around with that giant fire breathing behemoth ASAP.



It might seem hard to believe, but Growlithe was called Flamie in the Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue beta. It"s no secret that a lot of weird, and a lot of wonder, has come out of the leaks surrounding the original games and it"s successor. Between cut content, baby evolutions, and story hooks, it"s something that the Pokémon Company is certainly keeping tabs on now. Unfortunately, Flamie isn"t the worst reveal from the beta content. Its evolution was going to be called Blaze.



When watching the anime it"s easy to draw the parallel between Growlithe and real-life K9 units, it was the original dog Pokémon, so therefore it is logical that it works alongside Officer Jenny. But why not any other Pokémon? All of its entries in the Pokédex throughout the games say things like "fierce" and "loyal" which falls in line, but in Pokémon Sapphire and Pokémon Ruby, the entry reads as follows:

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"Growlithe has a superb sense of smell. Once it smells anything, this Pokémon won"t forget the scent, no matter what. It uses its advanced olfactory sense to determine the emotions of other living things." Yes, it"s good to have a loyal and fierce partner, but a partner that never forgets a scent and can determine the emotions of other living things? That"s useful to the police force.



An avid fan can recite who the legendary dogs are in the Pokémon universe, and being the good boy that Growlithe is he almost made that cut. Throughout the run of the franchise, it is stated over and over again that Growlithe"s evolved form Arcanine is a "legendary dog" and even in the first movie is seen in a carving alongside the legendary birds. Even as recent as Pokémon HeartGold, the word "legendary" was tacked onto Growlithe"s evolved form. Was it a mistake the Pokémon Company leaned into and hoped no one would notice? Or perhaps it was the rarity of the Fire Stone in some regions that made the pairing considered legendary?


It"s hard to deny that Growlithe is the opposite or pairing of Vulpix. It certainly seems that way in terms of stats and statistics from the game, with Growlithe representing the shisa from Japanese folklore and Vulpix representing a kitsune. However, pulling from Arcanine"s Pokédex it repeatedly says that it is a legendary Pokémon from China (Back when the franchise was rooted in real-world locations). This would make Gowlithe more of a "Foo Dog" than a shisa (Though a shisa itself is derived from the same thing). Although both depictions of the mythical creatures look very similar, it is hard to deny what the dex dictates.


Getting into a bit of history involving Growlithe"s origins, the reason for the tiger stripes is both simple and complicated. The very same statues that seem to be the origin of Growlithe"s creation aren"t as simple as being Chinese guardian lion statues, or "foo dogs," or shisa.

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They have many iterations, transformations, and meanings, and without getting too deep into the mythos surrounding them, in the Edo period of Japan these statues just didn"t take from lions and dogs (or a combination of the two), they were made in the shape of dragons, wild boars, foxes, and yup... Tigers.


It was already stated that Growlithe is one of the few Pokémon who take evolution stones, and only one of four that utilizes the Fire Stone. Growlithe is also only one of ten Pokémon of the original 151 line up to be a pure Fire-Type Pokémon, that"s including evolutions. Scaling that back to pure Fire-Type lines, that"s only one of four. This means if people wanted to blaze it old school (specifically in the remakes that were dual typing) Growlithe was one of the few ways to do it.


In the Pokémon 1997 Spaceworld Demo for Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver ROM data, a lot of things have been uncovered and circulated the internet through various media and credible sources. Among the things leaked were unused baby Pokémon, thankfully some saw a return in later generations albeit with different designs. One of those unused baby Pokémon was none other than Puddi, Growlithe"s baby form that was supposed to evolve at level 12. Seeing the design of this Pokémon, it"s easy to figure out why Gamefreak decided that it would be among those cut, and if we do see another evolution of everyone"s favorite good boy it probably won"t be a pre-evolution.


When checking the Pokédex, every single Pokémon will be put into a decriptive group called a Pokémon Category. For example, the Bulbasaur evolutionary line are called the "Seed Pokémon," but this category also includes Pokémon such as Sunkern, Seedot, and Ferroseed.

Growlithe"s classification is the "Puppy Pokémon," and it shares this category with only three other Pokémon. These other puppies are Lillipup, Rockruff, and Yamper, who all come from different regions and generations of the games. For sure, these are some of the cutest dogs that Pokémon has to offer.


When it comes to gender in Pokémon, each individual creature has their own set ratio for what gender they will appear or hatch as. For many Pokémon, the odds are 50:50 for male or female, but the Growlithe line has a unique gender ratio for its egg group: 3:1 odds, with a 75% chance of being male.

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Growlithe and Arcanine are the only Pokémon that aren"t in the Human-Like Egg group that have a male-female ratio of 3:1, making them quite unique in the breeding meta of the games.


It"s hard to deny that Growlithe has considerable popularity, perhaps due to its Gen I origins as well as its undeniable cuteness. To this day, Growlithe and Arcanine have appeared in over 15 spinoff/side games in the Pokémon series, having various roles in each of them.

Growlithe can be captured in games such as Pokémon Pinball, Pokémon GO, and the Pokémon Ranger series, whereas it can be recruited to one"s team in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series. It also makes appearances in every Pokémon Rumble series game, as well as the Pokémon Trozei and Pokémon Shuffle spinoff games (all great news for Growlithe fans).


Many Pokémon encountered in the wild will be holding an item that reflects their biology or personality. Wild Abra and Kababra have a 5% chance of holding a Twisted Spoon when encountered in the wild, while Buneary, a Normal-type Pokémon, has a varying chance of being found with a Chople Berry, which will weaken a super-effective Fighting-type attack when eaten.

Growlithe has had a very consistent held item across the Pokémon generations. In Generation I, it would always be found holding a Berry. In later generations such as Gen IV, it had a 100% chance of holding a Rawst Berry, which would heal the user"s Burn status.


Because Growlithe is in the Field egg group, it can be bred with Pokémon such as the Eeveelutions and the Litten Evolutionary line to learn special moves it couldn"t learn otherwise. Growlithe can learn powerful attack moves such as Double-Edge and Double Kick via breeding Wooloo, or the crafty move Covet from Eevee and its evolutions.

Most interesting is that Growlithe can be bred to know the move Morning Sun, which will restore the user"s HP based on the weather and time of day. Currently, Morning Sun can be used by less than 30 Pokémon in total, and the only Pokémon capable of passing this move down to Growlithe is Espeon.


From the yesteryears of the Pokémon anime, there was an episode that depicted a young James pre-Team Rocket that showed the viewers that his very first Pokémon just so happened to be Growlithe.

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This Growlithe was nicknamed Growlie and only appeared in two episodes "Holy Matrimony!" from the original series, and in Pokémon The Series: Diamond and Pearl the episode "The Treasure Is All Mine!" not only is Growlie the first nicknamed Pokémon of the series by a main character, but also technically James" first Pokémon that pre-dates the infamous Koffing. Despite his very absent appearance in the anime, James is still considered Growlie"s trainer.




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This one might be half parts obvious and half parts a surprise. Looker was a character that was introduced in Pokémon Platinum and has been an NPC that has remained in the series of games up until Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon, with a notable absence so far in the newest installment of the franchise. He"s an international police officer who travels the world investigating various villainous teams.

Looker has only one Pokémon in the games: his Croagunk, which appears in Pokémon Platinum and is apparently killed before the events of Pokémon X & Y. His Croagunk makes an apppearance in the short series Pokémon Generations, but his first known Pokémon is a Growlithe. It seems like even international problems require the best "good boy" there is, and Growlithe fits that bill without a doubt,

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