In the second episode of season one, titled Mole Hunt, Sterling Archer wakes up after a one night stand and discovers that his new lady friend has brought her pet pug, Abelard, into his apartment.

An image of Abelard the Pug

He is furious at his beleaguered and long-suffering butler, Woodhouse, for allowing him, in his drunken state the previous evening, to violate his own policy of not permitting dogs in the apartment1.

Much later, in episode 10 of the fourth season, titled Un Chien Tangerine, we learn that Archer doesn't actually dislike dogs - in fact, he immediately takes to the title character2 of the episode, an enormous English Mastiff named Kazak.

He explains that he loves dogs, with the notable exception of the dog his mother owned when he was a child, an unbelievably pampered Afghan Hound named Duchess.

Duchess and her hound

Archer's animosity towards Duchess has nothing to do with her being a dog; it was actually motivated by his mother's deliberate and blatant favoritism towards the dog and corresponding emotional neglect of Archer. In fact, throughout the series, Archer has consistently shown himself to be incredibly fond of animals of all kinds. In particular, he was extremely excited to see someone's privately owned pet tiger, and he has horsed around with Cheryl's pet ocelot, Babu, on several occasions.

So if Archer doesn't hate any dogs aside from Duchess, why doesn't he allow dogs in his apartment?

1In Woodhouse's defense, he did try to stop Archer from bringing the pug inside, but Archer drunkenly refused to listen, insisting that the dog was barking the song Putting On The Ritz (it wasn't). Unsurprisingly, this didn't prevent Archer from threatening to rub coarse grade sand into Woodhouse's "tiny dead eyes" the next morning.

2The word Chien is French for "dog", and the episode is set in Tangiers, where Archer and Lana find Kazak; hence, Kazak is Un Chien Tangerine, or A Dog From Tangiers.

  • Have you ever lived with a dog? For me that gives all the explanation needed, in light of Archer's lifestyle and obsessions. I guess you could try to argue that cute dogs are "chick magnets", so they should be up his alley, but I don't think he's ever shown himself to be willing to rely on anything other than his glorious self (and his profession) to attract women. I may be forgetting a counterexample, though, as I'm not entirely convinced that he wouldn't take any opportunity that presented itself for a pretty enough woman. – zibadawa timmy Oct 28 '15 at 20:22

It's not really very clear whether meeting Abelard the pug changes Archer's mind about dogs (after his unpleasant childhood experience with Duchess) or whether he liked them all along but we do know that Archer is very house-proud and clearly wants to ensure that his penthouse remains in pristine condition. That means no dogs.


In this impossibly cool penthouse, a PHONE begins to ring

Archer: Pilot Script - Mole Hunt


ARCHER: Stop! Stop. I have to go. But if I find one single dog hair when I get back, I'll... rub sand in your dead little eyes.

WOODHOUSE: Very good, sir.

ARCHER: I also need you to go buy sand.


ARCHER: I don't know if they grade it, but... coarse.

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