Biographical information
Age (1955)"Middle aged" (for a dog)
Physical description
Behind-the-scenes information
Played byFoster (Part III)
This article is about Doc's 1955 dog Copernicus. You may be looking for the Moon crater Copernicus.
"While he [Doc] studied himself [in the mirror, wearing the brain-wave analyzer], wondering whether to continue work for the day, Copernicus started barking. The dog, third in a line of pets named after famous scientists, raced from the kitchen into the living room, arriving there just as the rap [at the door] sounded."
—From Back to the Future by George Gipe (quote, page 114)

Copernicus was Dr. Emmett Brown's dog in 1955, named after famed scientist Nicolaus Copernicus.


Doc acquired Copernicus from the local dog shelter in October 1949.[1]

Copernicus, like Einstein later, was usually Doc's guinea pig in his experiments. He had been with Doc on the night of November 5, 1955 when Doc began testing his brain-wave analyzer on him.

On November 14, Copernicus accompanied Doc and Marty McFly on the expedition to recover the DeLorean Time Machine from the Delgado Mine, where Doc's 1985 counterpart had hidden it after becoming stranded in 1885 when the flying DeLorean was struck by lightning on the night of November 12. Doc made sure Copernicus would be safe by creating a homemade dog-sized miner's helmet for him from an old metal bowl with a flashlight mounted on the top, which was held onto Copernicus's head by a strap.

Copernicus grieved for his master when he found Doc's tombstone in Boot Hill Cemetery the same night.

Copernicus passed away in early September 1964, and Doc later welcomed a new canine companion from the dog shelter named Edison — continuing with the theme of pets named after famous scientists.[2]

Copernicus appeared to be either a mixed-breed or a breed of terrier, possibly a Wheaten.

Behind the scenes[]

  • While Copernicus was never referred to by name on-screen in Part I, his name was mentioned in the novelization. It wasn't until Part III that his name was actually spoken and confirmed as being Copernicus.
  • As with Einstein in Part III, Copernicus was portrayed by a different dog than the one which was used in Part I.
  • In the novelization (see Quote above), Copernicus is identified as being the third in a line of Doc's theme of pets named after famous scientists — implying that Doc had two other dogs (the names of which remain unknown) before Copernicus.



  1. DeLorean Time Machine: Doc Brown's Owner's Workshop Manual; "Doc Brown's Journals: 1946-1985", October 22, 1949; page 10.
  2. DeLorean Time Machine: Doc Brown's Owner's Workshop Manual; "Doc Brown's Journals: 1946-1985", September 9 and 23, 1964 respectively; page 19.