Brian (January 31, 1999 - ) is a talking white dog. He was born in a puppy mill in Austin, Texas and has lived with the Griffin family since Peter picked him up as a stray. While he exhibits some typical dog behaviors such as eating garbage and licking himself, he also possesses various anthropomorphic qualities, such as the ability to speak quite intelligently and walk bipedally. He also has a particularly sharp wit. Peter is his best friend, despite Brian's vastly superior intelligence. Seth MacFarlane has once described Brian as "a dog who has a wit as dry as the martinis he drinks." Brian is often the voice of reason in the family, often reminding Peter how stupid his plans are.
Brian has a cultured background; he loves opera and jazz, has talented vocal ability, being able to sing all four parts to a barbershop quartet simultaneously. He is depicted speaking fluent French, Tagalog, and decent Spanish. He attended Brown University, is also a member of Mensa, and is an avid writer (in Brian Goes Back to College, he is invited to write for The New Yorker).
Brian is apparently working on a novel, but the fact that he just can't seem to finish it has become a running gag.
While not seen holding a regular job in Quahog, Brian is depicted owning a Toyota Prius car, paying bills, and maintaining a credit card. In an episode he has been a substitute teacher at Chris' school, a contributor for the The New Yorker, a taxi driver and a drug-sniffing dog for the Quahog police department. He also worked selling cars while the Griffin family thought that Peter had died in the episode "Perfect Castaways". Brian held several jobs while living in Los Angeles including waiter, car wash attendant, screenwriter and pornographic film director.
In contrast to the other characters on the show, Brian actually can remember things from show to show. In the "The Fat Guy Strangler" episode, Brian remembers Peter encouraging him to jump into the closed window of the General Lee in "To Love and Die in Dixie". Brian also recalls Stewie beating him up mercilessly over a bet in "Patriot Games" and lets him swallow Peter's chewing tobacco spittle in retaliation in the "Airport '07" episode.
As the most sensible member of the Griffin family, Brian often serves as the voice of reason or as a mediator during family arguments. He is also usually the first (and often only) one to realize that there is impending danger.
In "Love Blactually", Brian is shown to be an atheist. He attempts to purchase a copy of The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, meeting love interest Carolyn, who reaches for the same copy. However, this is questionable after the episode I Dream of Jesus, when he saw Jesus perform a miracle.
He shares a very close friendship with Stewie, and in the episode, "Brian and Stewie" (season 8), they admitted that they love each other - not as lovers, but as irreplaceable friends.
In the twelfth season episode "Life of Brian," aired November 24, 2013, he is fatally wounded after being hit by a car. He later dies on the operating table. His last words were "You've given me a wonderful life, I love you all." However, in the episode "Christmas Guy" (two episodes later), aired on December 15, 2013, Stewie goes back in time and saves Brian, meaning that he never died.