In the show, he is a metaphorical pet dog, and exhibits the characteristics of a typical domesticated canine. He is some generic but very smallsauropod/prosauropod type; he is identified as a "snorkasaurus" throughout the course of the series. He usually leaps onto his master just as work-weary Fred arrives home — invariably knocking him down, yapping happily, energetically licking his face while his master would prefer to, if not is downright anxious to, eat dinner with his family and proceed with the evening's activities, if any. But no matter how hard he tries to the contrary, Fred gives in to Dino's ticklish and wet dino-doggie kisses. Dino frequently exhibits human emotions, nearly "talking," and can also be moved to anger, at which point he snarls and snaps. He also loves to play with Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm; these characters are introduced in the middle part of the series. On more than one occasion over the course of the series, Dino saves the children from peril. Dino is a relatively small dinosaur, only slightly larger than the humans of his time, smaller than mammoths that appear in the series, and much smaller than the numerous sauropods that appear as work animals in the series (a full-sized sauropod appears as a crane in the opening sequence, and oversized "bronto ribs" the size of an automobile in the closing credits); he is comparable in size to the dwarf Europasaurus.
Dino debuts in the opening credits of the pilot episode of The Flintstones, but is not mentioned by name until the fourth episode, "No Help Wanted." His role is considerably altered in the aforementioned Episode 18, "The Snorkasaurus Hunter," where he is portrayed (in an apparent flashback story) — talking and, at the end of the episode, acting like a butler for the Flintstones: answering the telephone, dusting, and ironing. He also has blue skin instead of his varying pink-to-red color, which seems to from vary episode-to-episode during this early period. His skin is finally settled upon as purple after Episode 18. For that episode ("The Snorkasaurus Hunter"), he is voiced by Jerry Mann (in an impersonation of comedian Phil Silvers). However, prior to and following that episode, Dino only barks and exhibits the characteristics of a dog. In previous and subsequent appearances, Dino is voiced by Mel Blanc, who also voiced the character of Barney Rubble for nearly all of the episodes in the series' 1960-66 run, except for a few episodes in the early part of the show. Blanc also voiced many uncredited characters as well. After Blanc dies in 1989, the role is taken over by Frank Welker.