What Is Dog The Bounty Hunter's Real Name?

There's only one Dog the Bounty Hunter. Although European audiences generally aren't as familiar with him, as The U.S. Sun noted that Dog has been a reality television stalwart stateside for quite some time now. As his attention-grabbing moniker suggests, Dog is a bounty hunter and former bail bondsman who initially found fame in 2003 after successfully capturing high-profile fugitive Andrew Luster. The heir to beauty conglomerate Max Factor fled to Mexico after being convicted, in absentia, of drugging and raping multiple women. Luster was located in Puerto Vallarta by Dog, who was assisted by two co-workers (one of whom was Dog's son, Leland Chapman). 

Dog was subsequently gifted his own titular reality series, which began airing on A&E the following year. It ran until 2014, after which spinoffs "Dog and Beth: On the Hunt," with late wife Beth Chapman, and "Dog's Most Wanted" also ran for several years. The television personality came to international attention after trying unsuccessfully to capture another high-profile fugitive, Brian Laundrie. It might surprise you to learn, however, that Dog's parents didn't name him after his assumed profession. Rather, the moniker he's adopted fits the reality star's outsized personality just like his bleached-blonde locks and omnipresent shades.

Dog was a more fitting moniker than the bounty hunter's real name

Given Dog the Bounty Hunter's illustrious career, it's no wonder people have wondered what his real name is. According to IMDb, Dog's real name is Duane Chapman — "Dog" is just a nickname. 

In a 2020 interview with The New York Times, the personality known as Dog claimed to have caught an incredible 10,000 criminals over the course of his career. Elsewhere, Dog has fathered 12 children. He also has 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, has been married four times and been convicted of robbery 18 times. According to the man himself, God "promised to make him famous" someday, which is lucky because, as Dog admitted, "I need the attention. I wake up every day and say, 'Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the baddest bounty hunter of them all?' I need love." These days, Dog has fans all over the world, many of which were actively encouraging him to get involved in the Brian Laundrie investigation. 

In addition to his moniker, Dog has a signature look from which he rarely deviates. As the personality explained in an interview with The Guardian, his iconic fried mullet, which frequently includes a quiff up top, was a result of necessity rather than style. As for where his infamous nickname originated from, Dog shared, "When I was in a motorcycle gang I was made sergeant of arms. He's the smallest guy with the biggest mouth who starts all the fights. The club president called me 'God spelled backwards' because I spoke about God and I was man's best friend. In the bounty hunter world it turned into 'this dog can hunt'." We can't argue with that.