Entei is based on Chinese guardian lions, or Lions of Foo, creatures that resemble fully grown male lions. They are often confused with canines and incorrectly called "Foo Dogs" by Westerners. Their original significance was serving as guardians (like gargoyles upon churches) at Buddhist temples. The image of a ferocious beast would scare intruders away. This correlates with Entei being seen as a guardian in the third movie, protecting Molly and her allies.
http://i.imgur.com/8Ri7C.jpg - Viridi is best goddess.