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Decoy for a Dognapper is the fifth episode of the first season of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!


When Mystery Inc. hear about a series of dognappings, they investigate. But when Scooby is dognapped, mistaken for another dog, the gang track him to a secret hideout in the desert where they face a witch doctor and a ghostly Indian on horseback. 


While out for a walk, Scooby sees a prize poodle kidnapped and races to find the rest of the gang. After listening to a radio broadcast about a rash of dognappings, they visit one of the victims, Buck Masters, who thinks that the dognappings are related to an upcoming dog show. The gang decide to play the hunch, substituting Scooby as a decoy for a prizewinning Great Dane belonging to another show competitor. The ploy works, and Scooby is grabbed by the dognappers. Shaggy gives chase on a motor scooter but loses the dognappers' truck when he is menaced by a ghostly Indian on horseback. Meanwhile, the dognapper's ringleader, the Indian Witch Doctor, recognizes that Scooby is not Miller's Great Dane and has his henchman put Scooby on a handcar and send him down the mountain.

The rest of the gang, following the tracking beacon on Scooby's collar, catch up with Shaggy, and they then all watch as Scooby goes racing down the railroad track. Shaggy saves Scooby by leaping onto the handcar, applying the brakes, and riding it back to safety just ahead of the Midnight Express. Scooby leads them back to where he had been taken, an abandoned Indian village high up in a cliff. No sooner do they arrive than the witch doctor appears and warns them off, but the gang separates and presses on. Fred and Daphne once again meet the witch doctor, and Daphne vanishes when Fred goes to investigate the stone idol in front of which the witch doctor had been standing. Meanwhile, Scooby also becomes separated from Shaggy and Velma, and following a passage, he finds Daphne (who's been tied up) and the imprisoned dogs. The two of them round up the rest of the gang, free the dogs, and use them to chase and tree the witch doctor, who they unmask as Buck Masters. It had been Masters' plan to kidnap all the dogs who might have beaten his own dog in the competition and then release his dog in time to win. The ghost indian on horseback was made with a movie projector from the back of Masters' truck.


Main characters:

Supporting characters:


Other characters:

  • Princess (only appearance)(no lines)
  • Princess's owner (only appearance)
  • Man on radio (only time heard)
  • Big Red (mentioned)
  • Bob Miller (mentioned)
  • Bob Miller's dog (only appearance)(photograph)
  • Pink dog (only appearance)(no lines)
  • Ghost of Geronimo's horse (only appearance)(no lines)(projection)
  • Bats (only appearance)(no lines)
  • Two kidnapped dogs (only appearance)(no lines)
  • Sheriff (only appearance)





  • None


Culprit Motive/Reason
Buck Masters as the Indian Witch Doctor
He wanted to get rid of all the dogs that might beat his dog in the dog show.


Don Messick Scooby-Doo
Radio voice
Buck Masters
Indian Witch Doctor
Casey Kasem Shaggy Rogers
Frank Welker Fred Jones
Pink dog
Stefanianna Christopherson Daphne Blake
Nicole Jaffe Velma Dinkley
Jean Vander Pyl Princess's owner
Barry Richards Ghost of Geronimo

Full credits

The following credits are how they are seen on-screen (or as close as possible).


  • The following snippet of the first close-up of the Indian Witch Doctor]from the first season's opening and closing sequences is in this episode when he warns the gang to stay away from the village, however in the episode, it has an added glow when and this isn't set in the Indian village, but is instead set in some woods and looks like a cartoon drawing.
  • This is one of the few, if not the only, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episodes which begins outside in broad daylight; it looks like it's Autumn, although it's unknown if this is the intention.
  • This is the first time one of the gang takes romantic interest in another character, and most appropriately it happens to be Scooby.
  • This is the first time Shaggy's seen to have a Scooby Snack, and it's implied that this is, in fact, the first time he's had one (this is later contradicted in the A Pup Named Scooby-Doo episode Snow Place Like Home, which shows the first time Shaggy eats a Scooby Snack on that series).
  • The scene of Shaggy roasting the hot dogs is virtually identical to the one in A Clue for Scooby Doo, only with the addition of Velma.
  • This is the first known time Daphne is kidnapped by the monster; excluding her imprisonment in Hassle in the Castle.
  • This is the first time the exposed villain reprimands the Scooby Gang for their meddling.
    • Additionally, Buck Masters is so far the first and only unmasked villain who actually curses the gang instead of throwing the traditional "meddling kids" catchphrase upon being captured.
  • Production-wise, this is one of the rare instances, perhaps even the only time, that Scooby is on a leash; chronologically, Scooby had been put on a leash in the A Pup Named Scooby-Doo episode A Bicycle Built for Boo!
  • During the railroad trestle scene, in close-ups of the Midnight Express train, parts of the Santa Fe railway logo can be seen on the locomotive.
  • The fact that the gang finds abandoned cliff dwellings (being used a hide-out by the villains) gives a hint as to this episode's setting: somewhere in the Southwestern U.S.
  • This is the first time they play real detectives and offer their services to someone (even if it does turn out to be the culprit).
  • This is the also first time that the gang decide to investigate a case that initially has nothing to do with the supernatural. Eventually, the dognapping case does become supernatural with the appearance of the Indian witch doctor ghost.
  • Although the ghostly appearance of Geronimo is left a mystery till the end, the fact the witch doctor is simply one of the dognappers is established early on.
  • In this episode, rather than Fred, Scooby unmasks the villain.
  • Buck Masters and Bob Miller have the same initials.
  • Snippets from this episode are (repeatedly) used in the opening sequence of the DTV Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery.
    • TBA


Cultural references

  • Geronimo was a prominent leader of the Bedonkohe Apache.
  • Custer's Last Stand is a reference to the 1936 film serial of the same name. The film is based on Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, which was nicknamed Custer's Last Stand, due to the last war fought by George Armstrong Custer.
  • The Indian witch doctor warns the gang that they will "meet the fate of Spanish conquistadores" if they do not leave. Spanish conquistador Francisco Vázquez de Coronado explored the southwestern United States between 1540 and 1542; he was among the first Europeans to view the Grand Canyon.
  • The "Batusi" is an infamous dance by Batman from the 60s TV series, starring Adam West.
  • When the gang discovers the Indigenous Village, Shaggy says he likes his hair where it is. This implies the racist stereotype that Native Americans would scalp people. This, of course, was based in the time-period of 1960s.


  • Dalmation Press published Dog Napping! in 2002.

Animation mistakes and/or technical glitches

First time.

Second time.

  • The picture of Bob Miller's dog is originally shown in full, but the second time only its head and neck are shown. The word "Champion" also moves from inside the teal background to the white frame. The "p" in "Champion" in the second shot also looks more like a "d". The eye is different in each one too, in the first it's black and in the second the sclera is brown instead of white (which was done for animals, but not humans) which makes it look completely shut as its eyelid is half shut. Its eye dot is also a little above its eyelid.
    • Fred calls it a "photo", although it could be seen as a framed picture.
    • When the scene shifts from Fred holding it, to the entire gang, he's now holding two sheets of empty paper.
    • The photo goes from Fred to Shaggy, but there's no noticeable exchange between them.
  • As Fred is putting the new collar on Scooby, there is a line on his neck.
  • The chair behind Mr. Masters is temporarily blue instead of brown. 
  • Scooby temporarily loses his spots when the garbage almost lands on him.
  • On Beach Boulevard, while Shaggy is talking to Scooby about taking Miller's and his dog's place for their evening walk, the top of the dog lead is poking through the collar.
  • The new collar is supposed to have replaced Scooby's regular one, but when Mike opens the crate and the Indian Witch Doctor reacts to seeing Scooby, his dogtag is sticking out. A few seconds later, when the Indian Witch Doctor tells Mike to get rid of Scooby, his collar is also sticking out.
  • As Fred is announcing to Daphne and Velma that they've arrived on Beach Boulevard, his teeth turn flesh coloured as his mouth half closes.
  • Also, during that time, Velma is not wearing her headphones.
  • Velma said the signal representing Scooby was moving awfully fast when in fact it wasn't "moving" at all. The signal flashing fast could compensate for that.
  • Fred and Daphne are missing from the Mystery Machine, when he says, "Okay. That's it. Here we go."
  • When Scooby digs his nails into the floor boards, they are brown.
  • As Shaggy is telling Fred about his encounter with the Ghost of Geronimo, the additional equipment in the Mystery Machine is missing.
  • While Scooby has his head out of the crate, two of the holes have simply been covered in brown even if it doesn't match Scooby's movements.
  • When Scooby looks at Shaggy trying to pull the lever, his dog collar is miscoloured like his regular one. (A bit of his body below his collar is also missing so it looks like his head is floating.) When he then reacts to helping Shaggy, the new dog collar is completely in blue.
  • Scooby's head floats again when he tells Shaggy to go faster as the train is gaining on them.
  • When they watch the train go past them (after Fred pulled a switch), Scooby's new collar is blue again.
  • After the brief fade to black after the rescue, Scooby is now wearing his regular collar. It's fairly possible that they replaced it in that brief instance, although it seems highly unlikely as the first thing Daphne and Velma seem to do is ask Scooby if he's okay.
  • When the gang encounter the Indian Witch Doctor, when Scooby runs and says "I see him! I see him!", his mouth never moves.
  • Shortly after the bats, as the gang enters the old Indian village, Daphne and Fred are about to go into a room (right before they see the witch doctor and Daphne falls through a trapdoor). Look closely and one part, one of the lavender strips on Daphne's skirt is missing.
  • Fred's figure is gone after they chase after the dognapper.

Inconsistencies/continuity errors and/or goofs/oddities

  • It's unknown why Scooby was roaming in the middle of the neighborhood by himself without the rest of the gang. He doesn't do that again. It's possible like the SDMI Scooby said about walking him self, as revealed in The Man in the Mirror, that this Scooby also does the same.
  • When the poodle is dognapped, it is broad daylight, but by the time Scooby gets to the beach, the sky is dark; it couldn't have taken him that long. It seems to be animation mistake, as this was also the case in A Clue for Scooby Doo, which made the gang look like they went in the evening (although in the earlier case, it's possible they went for a night visit to the beach).
  • Mr. Masters has an office meaning he has some job of importance, but he could've very well got this from the many dog shows he's been in (although he could've just decorated his office with his many prize-winning show dog).
  • It's impossible to identify Big Red, as Mr. Masters has his office full of pictures of other species of dog. Apparently he's bred many show dogs to be (and maybe that was the point).
  • When Scooby is dognapped, Shaggy yells "Scooby" several times. He could blow the dog's cover that way.
  • At this point in the series (as revealed in Spooky Space Kook), Velma is not established to be technologically proficient so it's unknown where they got the equipment (transmitter, direction finder, etc.) they used in this episode.
  • In spite of Daphne's wealth, which isn't established until The New Scooby and Scrappy Doo Show episode No Thanks, Masked Manx, or hadn't been retconned yet like in the A Pup Named Scooby-Doo TV series, it doesn't seem likely that the gang would pay out for a new expensive collar, so it's unknown if they faked it or burrowed it from Miller? Also, it's unknown if Shaggy's trench coat and hat is burrowed from Bob Miller, too? If it is from Miller then it's rather careless of Shaggy when he seemingly discards it before driving the motor-scooter.
  • The antenna is apparently wireless because it isn't attached to the direction finder or anything.
  • It's unknown if the other equipment inside the Mystery Machine besides the direction finder was actually being used in junction with it or just there for show (to make the gang look more professional). Presumably it was the former.
  • Perhaps due to toon physics, Velma (as well as Daphne if she was using it in the Mystery Machine as it was moving) can stay on a wheeled chair with ease as the Mystery Machine is in motion.
  • The pink dog is of a made-up breed. It also seems to be completely left alone by its owner.
  • It's unclear what relationship Mike and Indian Witch Doctor/Masters had, but it was enough that the latter knew the former by name.
  • Hopefully, Shaggy had the courtesy of returning Charlie's scooter to him.
  • When the Indian Witch Doctor warns the gang away from the village when they arrive, he flashes, but only in his first close-up. How he could do it and why only for a brief instant is unknown.
  • To escape the bats, Shaggy runs through a door, leaving Velma behind. He meets Scooby, runs back through the door and closes it. On this side of the door, he sees Scooby again. To return to Velma, Shaggy goes through the door a third time, which should be the exact opposite direction from her.
  • Shaggy should really be mistaking Scooby for the Indian Witch Doctor (the monster wearing the mask), not the Ghost of Geronimo.
  • After Shaggy escaped the bats, Scooby greeted him with a hello, but Shaggy replied, "Hi, Rooby." In spite of that, the subtitles and closed captions still say "Scooby".
  • Fred says, "Good boy, Scooby, you found and freed them all". Daphne found the dogs first, but she doesn't get any credit.
  • Shaggy actually held the space above the door handle instead of the handle itself.
  • Shaggy describes a plethora of different food stashed, all from cans that simply say "Dog Food". Scooby calls it "Scooby food", which considering this is the kind of food he eats, he's not wrong. Shaggy then goes ahead and makes a large sandwich out of the contents he had just described, seemingly from the dog food cans, so clearly it's not exactly dog food to begin with. Although, there is a scene of him making his four-tier sandwich out of human food. It would've made more sense to just point out both. A green box with the words "Dog Food" was already seen before on top of the dog cages.
    • All of what Shaggy mentions while making his sandwich, and only the lettuce and ham is seen. It would also be impossible for him to add a boiled egg without having actually boiled one beforehand.
  • Mike isn't apprehended, at least not on-screen, but he isn't mentioned in the exposition wrap-up to the sheriff at the end of the episode.
  • The viewers briefly see through Scooby's eyes while he wears Velma's glasses. Considering how strong Velma's prescription must be to accommodate her terrible eyesight, it would be impossible for Scooby to see perfectly through her glasses. Also, dogs are partially colorblind so Scooby would not see all the colors humans do.

In other languages

Language Name Meaning
Brazilian Portuguese Isca Para Ladrão Bait For A Thief
French L'Appât The lure
Greek Δόλωμα για Απαγωγή Bait for Kidnapping
Hungarian Kukackutya Dog decoy
Italian Cani rapiti Kidnapped dogs

Home media


Buck Masters: You blasted kids! Why didn't you mind your own business?!
Fred: Actually, catching dognappers is our business, Mr. Masters. After all, Scooby-Doo is a dog, and we love him very much.
Scooby: Aww.

Fred: Okay, it's solid. Now, let's get up to that village.
Scooby-Doo: Not me. (begins to slink away)

External links

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Mine Your Own Business Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
(Season 1)
What the Hex Going On?