Dog

Dog Symbolism

Unconditional acceptance and love for yourself is crucial today. Let go of self judgement and criticism.
-Dog

This page focuses on dog symbolism, dog meaning, dog totem, and dog dream aspects of the mutt. More than any other animal on the planet the canine has been the most closely linked animal to humans. Over the centuries they have played important roles in our society. They are our mentors, companions, partners in work and play as well as our teachers. In the last few centuries, man has deliberately bred the dog to suit certain purposes and tasks.

While investigating the dog breeds of the American Kennel Club, I counted fifty alphabetically and only got as far as Chihuahua. There are endless registered breeds. Thus, there are also mixed breeds like the Labradoodle (Labrador and Poodle cross) and Puggle (Pug and Beagle cross). Each of these canine types has specific personalities and characteristics that help me recognize their messages as totem animals. Therefore, each strain has unique symbolism and messages. In all, there are 28 particular varieties of the canine in the general population of animals on this website. And as if that is not enough, add the wild wolf, dhole, dingo, jackal and the coyote to the mix because their DNA is almost indistinguishable from that of their domestic counterparts.

Table of Contents

Dog Symbolism, Dog Meaning, and Messages

In general, dog symbolism is a reminder that kindness will often get you a lot further than criticism. In other words, dog meaning prompts you to allow yourself to be gentle with those around you.  Moreover, you should accept that their paths are not necessarily similar or conjoined with yours.

In some cases, dog meaning can also be a reminder that you should always be loyal and truthful to yourself. Therefore, you should make a point of being your own best friend. Furthermore, by having self-respect and self-value, you can love yourself first. In fact, this is essential for you to be of great assistance to others. In particular, when you have self-esteem, it will assure that others will respect you.

Occasionally dog symbolism can represent confusion about your loyalties, beliefs, and commitments. In other words, when you try to be everything for everyone, you end up losing sight of yourself. The only way to resolve this is to put yourself first and foremost. Thus, by letting go of everyone and everything else, you will be able to piece together what is right for you. In fact, only with loyalty to yourself will you be able to grow and move forward.

~ Puppy Dog Symbolism

In general, a puppy represents your innocence and childlike approach to the world and the desire to fix other people. In other words, it is a reminder that we can only help those who help themselves. Alternatively, a puppy can be a message that it is time for you to let go of all of the latest fads and forms.  Sometimes the best way to conform is to be non-conforming.

~ Lap Dog Meaning, Toy Group

Conversely, a lapdog can represent a person who is in need of constant reassurance. In other words, someone in your life has the unreasonable expectation of being taken care of for the rest of their life. Therefore it would be prudent for both of you to work through some co-dependency issues. Alternatively, the lapdog can also symbolize the universes reassurance that everything is as it should be.

Lapdogs fall into the toy group of the American Kennel Club list of breeds. On this website, the list of lapdogs includes; Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Pug, Poodle (Toy), Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier.

~ Terrier Dog Symbolism, Terrier Group

When a terrier type of dog makes its presence known, you are being asked to persevere with your current project. It doesn’t matter that you don’t see any results from your hard work right now. The point is to stay committed to your goal with faith and courage. Your determination will pay off in the long term.

The American Kennel Club list of Terrier Group breeds includes; Airedale, Miniature Schnauzer, and the Westie.

~ Hound Dog Meaning, Hound Group

When a hound comes baying into your life, it is a reminder that running with the pack is not always the right way for you to make progress. Moreover, you should step back a bit, and sniff out something a little bit different for yourself. If everyone is reaching for the same prize, what’s the point of having it?

The American Kennel Club list of Hounds Group breeds includes; Afghan, Beagle, Bloodhound, and Dachshund.

~ Bird Dog Symbolism, Sporting Group

In this case, it would be prudent for you to do a little bit of research. Someone is misleading you a bit, and it is your job to get to the truth of the matter. Therefore you must use your instincts to sense precisely where to look for what. Alternatively, animals in this group can also be a sign that you must get back to your spiritual presence. In other words, ground yourself in your own beliefs, and not someone else’s.

The American Kennel Club list of Sporting Group breeds includes; Cocker Spaniel, Golden Retriever, and Labrador.

~ Working Dog Meaning

For the most part, this group of tail-waggers focus on life purpose. All of these animals have work in the fields of, rescue work, protection, and actual physical labor. When you encounter one of these pooches, the message symbolizes a change of direction with your life purpose. Therefore you should pay attention to the type of dog within this group, or to what the dog is doing. Dogs like the Rottweiler and Doberman are often used for protection while the Husky and Berner are used to pull carts and sleds.  Dogs like the Boxer were bred as cattle dogs, while the Great Dane was bred to hunt Boar.

~ Non-Sporting Group

Animals in this group of dogs include the Boston Terrier, Chow Chow, Shar Pei, Dalmation, Bulldog and Poodle (Miniature and Standard). The commonalities in this group are few and far between. However, they all serve as an early warning system within their household. Like most canines, they announce visitors, patrol their territory, and they provide comfort and love to their human companions.

When one of these pooches from this group makes its presence known, it is a reminder that you may need to socialize a bit more. Most likely you have been working too hard, and focusing a bit too much on a project and it is time for you to take a bit of a breather. In other words, it is the best way to reset and recharge your batteries so that new ideas and fresh work can flow.

~ Herding Dog Meaning, Herding Group

In general, when you encounter a herding dog, you are being reminded to keep a sharp eye on your loved ones. In other words, something may be amiss, and it is up to you to figure out exactly what is going on. It could be a predator on the horizon, or it could be someone close to you is straying into danger. Be sure to keep a watchful eye so that those close to you can stay safe.

Alternatively, the appearance of one of these animals can also be letting you know that you may be judging others a little bit too much. More often than not, traits we see in others that we dislike, are traits that we own. Thus, in effect, we are judging ourselves.

The American Kennel Club list of Herding Group breeds includes; Bouvier, Collie, German Shepherd, and Old English Sheepdog.

~ Rescue Dog Symbolism

When one of these canines enter into your life, it is a symbol of a new beginning and an ending. In other words, it is the end of one karmic cycle and the beginning of another. In fact, this pooch is good news! For the most part, life is full of rhythms and this one, in particular, will be a happy and rewarding experience. This canine is a symbol of hope for the future.

Dog Totem, Spirit Animal

People with the dog totem have a great spirit and an enormous capacity to love. In fact, it takes a lot to break their spirit. In fact, these folks with the dog totem are usually helping others or serving humanity in some way. They embody the loving gentleness of best friend and the fierce energy of protector. People with this spirit animal will have a deep understanding and empathy of human shortcomings and have the compassion for unconditional acceptance and love.

Dog totem people are fiercely loyal to their pack and stick with them through thick and thin. They are unquestioningly supportive, committed and trustworthy. These folks will never abandon, undermine or betray those close to them. People with the dog totem also have a passion for justice and fair play. As a result, they love to champion causes while being open-minded and willing to listen to others reasoning.

People with the dog totem also have a great deal of wisdom, and they are willing to share that knowledge generously. These folks have a lot of influence among their peers and have excellent insight into human nature. They are independent thinkers and know how to cut to the truth of matters.

~ Rescue Dog Totem, Spirit Animal

 

Folks who have the rescue dog as their totem are always involved in a new beginning of some sort. They will often place all of their loyalties in one other person, only to be let down and abandoned to start over again. These people need to do a fair amount of inner work that will allow them to find and keep their friends and family close. This cycle is recurring until their fear of abandonment has been resolved. Alternatively, people with this power animal are eternally optimistic, faithful, and find love and beauty in the most unusual places. They are also highly successful in matters other than the heart.

 

Dog Dream Interpretation

When you have a dog dream, it suggests that your strong values and good intentions will enable you to go forward into the world and bring you success. The pooch in your vision may also represent someone in your life who exhibits these qualities. Alternatively, to see a canine in your meditation indicates a skill that you may have ignored or forgotten. If the animal is vicious or growling, then it suggests some inner conflict within yourself. This type of dog dream may also indicate betrayal and untrustworthiness.

If the dog is dead or dying, then it means a loss of a good friend or a deterioration of your instincts. You should also consider common notions associated with the word dog, such as loyalty (man’s best friend) and to be “treated like a dog.” If you are feeding the animal in your dog dream, it means that you are nurturing an old skill or talent. It also implies that you need to put more time and effort into fostering your friendships. If you dream that a bitch has puppies, then it refers to your nurturing abilities.

~ Coat Colors in a Dog Dream

In general, canines with a black coat color are symbolic of entering the void. In other words, they are an omen of change. Occasionally a black dog dream can also represent a lack of self-respect. Thus a little bit of inner work and self-forgiveness is in order. When the animals’ fur is white or cream colored, it represents the need to orient your goals spiritually. In other words, listen to your intuition and focus on your heart. The color red in a dog dream symbolizes your intention. To be specific, stay focused on your goals, and don’t allow yourself to get distracted by other people. A gold-colored dog dream foretells unexpected spiritual gifts, while the fawn color is more representative of accepting and integrating change.

When the coat color is unusual, then the focus is more is more internal. For instance, a pink color means that it is not healthy to hide who you are. In other words, it may be time for you to take the leap and stand out more. The color green represents healing and self-love. Yellow is the color of happiness and joy. However, this color can also represent fear and cowardice. Multicolored animals will combine the messages of their respective colors. If the colors are more rainbow oriented then the directive is that you have successfully managed to integrate the changes you have on which you have been working.

Additional Associations for Dog:


40 Comments

  • I saw my first white dog, or as I refer to it, my ghost dog when I was maybe 4 yrs. old. It was in the BlackBerry bushes in the backyard of a friend of the family who was watching me for the day. I remember sitting on the swing set when I first heard a dog barking. I turned to look when I saw a small white dog, like a english bulldog, hiding in the bushes, growling and barking at me. Terrified I ran to the house where I told the women what I had seen. She walked with me to look. No dog in sight anywhere! Later that afternoon I heard her speaking with my mom on the phone. Something about “that’s where we buried our dog…”
    Second sighting came about 10 years later. I was out hiking in the woods when I looked up to catch sight of a pure white Shepard like dog running through the woods. Being startled, I turned and hid behind a burn. When I looked again, no sight of any white dog.
    These sightings have always made me wonder what meaning they might have. Suggestions?

  • I’m going through a lot of challenges, mainly birthing my teaching and Healing work in a new town in California after 10 years of being in the rainforest and struggling right now to pay bills and provide for my 4 and 6 year old boys. I had just done a pipe ceremony and was sitting in the river praying to great spirit to please give me a message to help me. First a beautiful crow flew from upstream down to me and over my head. Then out of nowhere a dog came. He crossed the rocks right to the rock I was on. He has no owners with him but wasn’t a stray. He looked like Australian Shepherd mixed with Australian Cattle Dog. It was time for me to leave and he went and got a stick to play. Then he walked with me to my car, walked through the parking lot and disappeared somewhere!

  • On 3/15/18 around 10 pm I was outside praying when I was shown two symbols in the western florida sky. One was that of a heart which was fainter than the other symbol. The other symbol I was shown was that of a dog. A chihuahua more specifically. To test for this just being some constellation or something I went out the next night and looked at the western sky and neither symbol was there. Does anyone know what these symbols could mean? I was praying to God asking Him why I am unable to give Him everything in my life. I was also asking Him what it is that He wants me to do.

    • I as well had a dark charcoal gray dog matching that description outside my home one night. I had just smoked holy grail not long before and went outside for a cigarette. He circled the parked car and ran right to me without fear. He was well kept but had no collar. What made the occurrence even more odd was that a new stray cat walked up about 3 feet from the dog and myself and layed down. They even appeared to know each other. The dog paid no attention to the dog paid no attention to my friend nor my mother before trotting trotting off about 30 mins lster.

  • Hello

    I come to your site for a second time to tell you about what I witnessed today. First one was about falcons visiting me. This time I saw dogs running to watch a funeral arriving to a cemetery.
    I got off a taxi and was about to head to my office when a funeral (ambulance first and several cars following) was arriving to the cemetary close to the company i work for. Then I saw movements on the low level roof of the neighbouring company of ours. I saw 3 female dogs running toward the edge of the roof and standing excited but silent watching the funeral passing. They were totally taken by what they were seeing . I passed just under them but the dogs was completely frozen watching the sad event. Some people from the funeral which were parking their cars were also surprised to see the dogs reactions. Very marking moment . Amazing.

  • “Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”
    Mark Twain
    There are so many things that Dog, É:rhar means to me at this moment. I have had the privilege of having had so many É:rhar friends in my life and so many great É:rhar loves. I have lost most of them from this world but they walk with me each and every single day. And, while my heart breaks with each loss, my heart and my spirit are larger and filled with greater love for having known them. Many of us could learn from letting the Dog within us, the Spirit that loves without condition unwaveringly, that can love even after the greatest hardship, walk free. There is no greater nobility, no greater endurance and generosity than the one that lives in the Spirit and the Heart of É:rhar. Today I think of the Dogs in my life, Momo, Catou, Jake and Nahla and I am filled with gladness for their Friendship. Today, as my friend Momo nuzzles beside me, I know that I am blessed. Niawen’kó:wa my friends. Niawen’kó:wa to the great Spirit that has blessed us with the presence of É:rhar.

  • I just got visited by a white dog while watering my lawn. It is trash/garbage pickup day. A stray white dog with no collar came wandering along the street from the east. He paused, looked at me. His eyes matched the color of your photo dog. He looked just like the beige striped dog in your page photo, but all white! This animal was big, over 60 pounds. He seemed calm, beautiful condition, good temperament, a bit unsure about which way to go. He decided to walk across the street over to me, and I headed casually over to the gate to put a safe barrier between us. I went into the house and called animal control (office not open), then the police. I love dogs but I don’t want to approach large stray animals that I am completely unfamiliar with, not if I have a choice.

    He waited around in my driveway, sniffed my lawn cuttings bags, and marked his territory on them and the trash can. Then he continued down the street, heading west. I have been visited by a strange white dog before, (a husky), but that was soon after my own dog died and I was still grieving over the loss. The sudden appearance of this one is unexplained.

    Soon the police caught up with him and put him in the police car. I guess that is best because today the temperature is going to be very hot. A white dog can suffer sunstroke or become dehydrated. The police will be searching for his owner.

    • I just had a similar experience with a white dog like the one in the picture too. Except this one had brown spots. I went outside to get something out of my car. I opened the car door, reached inside and got what I needed and when I turned around this dog was standing right behind. Literally within a matter if seconds. It appeared out of nowhere. It startled me but it didn’t scare me. I reached down and petted him for a second and he followed to my chair on the porch. He put his paws on my lap, licked my face a few times and ran off. It was almost like we knew each other.

  • I ‘ve always dreamed about dogs and had visions of dogs. I was always scared of dogs except my dad’s dog. The dog passed years ago…I’m not sure what kind of dog.
    My dad passed 3 yrs ago from cancer which when we found out he was already terminal he lived. 1 yr and a half after that..broken hearted..then January of this year I bought a puppy(Pomeranian Chihuahua mix) fell in love now she’s the only other dog im not afraid of. She over loves me n my son n looks like a mini version of my dad’s dog. My dreams if dogs they were always barking at me but never attacked no matter how close I was…what does any of this mean

  • My dog keeps standing in my doorway looking around. Butt in my bedroom, body in the doorway and front paws in the kitchen. She stands there for long periods of time like she’s looking at something or waiting? Maybe even guarding me. Then all of a sudden she walks away. She’s lived here for years and never did this, Lately, in the past year she does this multiple times a day. If there’s ingiht on this I would love to know.

    • Angie, have your dog checked at the vet’s office. Veterinarians are well trained in animal behavior. If your dog is very old, a senior, she may be getting a form of forgetfulness. Older dogs can have memory problems just like senior humans.

  • I keep being seen by a dog in these dreams and on occasion it has a wolf with it… the wolf were injured by what looked like a shot wound.

    sounds weird and I agree. What could this mean?

  • Hi, I’m 13 and many stray dogs come to my house even the like really bad ones. One time this pit bull that was used for fighting kept growling at me and I just reached for him like it was natural after that he warmed up to me. A couple days later I checked out my window because my mom let me keep the dog and something big got on the dog and I just couldn’t look so I looked away and went to sleep. The next day I checked the dog and I broke out crying cuz it was all skin and bones. My mom said it was the chupacabra but I’m not sure. This was a couple years back and I don’t have any explanation.

  • What does it mean when in your dreams there is a dog that you meet and come to love instantly, but then it is taken away and replace by another dog? Not by a dog you hate, but by one you do not have the same connection with.

  • What does it mean when a friend or family members dog suddenly becomes very happy and excited to see me as if I were his/her long lost master and within days/weeks that dog passes away?
    It has happened to me 3 times now and I feel as if I am the grim reaper!

    I know I am intuitive yet not a strong or consistent one as I have had other encounters with individuals I was told were going to pass away and again days/weeks the individual did indeed pass away.

    But I am confused as to how I should feel about all this. Plus the fact that dogs are”happy” to see me.

    I havent been able to find any information on this. Is this something someone could explain the reasoning of it all to me???

  • I brought 24days German shepherd puppy at home but after 3 weeks he expired. So plz tell me is that puppy is unlucky to us or what.

    • You bought a german shepherd home at 24 weeks. well you are the reason that dog is dead. puppies take 8 weeks not 3weeks and 3 days to be able to live on their own without special care.

      • More of an issue of the awfulness of the breeder than this poor person. Most people trust the breeder they go to enough to believe when they say it’s okay to take the dog home, and some breeders, like the one this dog came from, lie and try to get as many dogs out the door as quick as they can.

  • I meditate and see a white dog playing and just happy to be with me. I’m not sure of the breed but it looks like a Puoli. Next it sits down next to me as a large bear shows up. The bear is not a threat. I’m confused.
    Any ideas what this means?

    • White dogs or wolves are symbol of healer (physical and spiritual) white dogs are guides. Watch yourself and the dog closely, what are your patterns and where can you step into a larger role as healer? Where do your senses take you? Remember also that this totem is of magic and high vibration.

  • My dog has bitten me 3xs for no reason. There are times he is the perfect dog then out of nowhere he will turn like dr jekel and mr Hyde. What could be causing this be behavior?

  • Ok, so I have recently discovered that my spirit animal is the dog. It’s been with me for as long as I can remember. Anyway, I have this weird ability to “smell” my papas dead dogs in completely random places like my house. But they never even got to see my house… There were 2 dogs that my papa had. They were golden retriever mixes. The male dog was mixed with St. Bernard and the female was mixed with German Shepherd. I just think it’s really weird that I can “smell” them. Am I crazy? What do y’all think?

    • Hello Abby:
      Everyone’s psychic senses develop differently and at different times in their lives. The spirit world will work with what they can to announce their presence. Smell is one of their tools – especially if you can recognize who or what they are by their odor. Embrace your gift with the understanding that you have the ability to detect spirit through smell. Find a way to continue to expand your psychic awareness. Be still and allow their messages to come through. This can come in the form of visions, knowledge, clairaudience, clairsentience, sensations of being touched in someway or even empathy. Trust what you get and see where it takes you. Have fun with your journey.

    • i wouldnt say that having a dog as your shadow animal is a bad thing,
      its my shadow animal as well,
      but also one of my life journey animals as well.
      if its your shadow animal, it might be trying to tell you to open up and love yourself and others more,
      dogs are all about unconditional love and loyalty.
      this is just my interpretation,
      so take it as you will 🙂 im just trying to help

  • I dreamed I was walking with my husband side by side. He looked behind us and saw a familiar person about 2 city blocks away. Beside that person was walking a horse with a dog on its back. My husband was happier to see the horse and dog rather than the person. I dont think he even acknowledged the person, they stayed their distance while the horse and dog came to him. When I turned to talk to my husband, a man came along grabbed the horse by the mane & cut deeply into its face as if trying to carve out a ball of meat. I frantically screamed out to the person who had been walking beside the horse & dog to come help but they didnt come. A silver flat structure with knives that propel on its left & right sides appear to serve as a divider between the attacker and my husband, the horse & dog. As my husband tries to balance the table like structure I tell him to be careful. I fear his thumbs may be severed. I didn’t witness the death of the horse, or any thumbs being severed but blood was definitely shed from the force between the man and my husband. The blood was splattered on me but I dont know from where it came.

  • I had a dream that there were many large dogs and i started stroking them but they were being brought into a medium sized room and locked in. I don’t know what this means as that is all i got from my dream. However, before i went to sleep I prayed to God asking him to give me a sign indicating if I should try to get in contact with my animal spirit. I also asked if he could give me a sign telling me if i should be patient and let life guide me, or if i should decide what i want to do with my life right now and follow that. I am 16 years old you see so i’m at a confusing ‘choose your career’ time of my life 🙄
    If anyone can help me understand if my dream is a sign then i will be very grateful.

    Thanks

    • hi!
      im not sure if my interpretation is right with you or not,
      but take it as you will
      since you are only 16 years old and going through that confusing time of choosing your career,
      maybe your dream about the dogs going into the room and being locked in could indicate something that has to do with your friends or someone important to you, considering they were large dogs.
      the fact that they were getting locked in might be trying to tell you that some kind of isolation period is going to happen, where you will “go away” for a period of time, maybe to figure out your career decision, maybe something more important.
      figure out how to lock pick the door to get the doggies out basically.
      do some meditating on it, and soul searching, and youll get the answers 🙂

      being only 16 i wouldnt say you should decide your life at this moment,
      i remember when i was 16 i couldnt decide either, and it took me to get out of highschool to finally figure it out.

  • every time i go any where no matter whose dog or what type dogs all seem to look at me even pull their owners towards me until i have stopped stroked them and spoken to them yes i do i speak to the dog and they put their ears back and listen once i have done that they happily go their own way can anyone explain why
    the other animal i notice and all ways sounds as they are shouting at me iv got very close to them and have got photographs standing near them are crows and rooks animals can tell us more than we know
    just wounder if any one else experiences this.

    • OMG same. Dogs pull towards me until I stroke them and talk to them and a crow almost hopped onto my hand. And I can get close to most birds

  • I just came back from a family dinner that was ruined by my ex boyfriend because he got drunk and yelled obscenities at everyone . It made me realize that this time there is no going back as badly as i feel for him and understand his pain I know I’m powerless to help him. On my way home I drove by a scene with a police officer and another driver pulled over blocking traffic from hitting a dog that had clearly been hit by a car. I think that this is my higher power sending me a strong message but I’m not sure if it’s a warning or just a “pay attention”. What do you think?

    • You made the right decision. The death of the dog signifys the death of the relationship. The officer and traffic was basically just to make sure you got the sign. That you attention was brought to the situation at hand. You are better of leaving that man in your past. He can be helped just not by you. He’s not ready and you’re not the answer to his internal questions. Hope this brings you comfort and peace. Love and light friend.

      Kat

  • The high point of my life right now is tossing toys for my dog. She smiles back all the time. Sometimes she gives me the old pig eye when I want to go back in the house.

  • Thank you for the insight in this article. I am very thoughtful of my dogs. I only just now Google searched dog as a totem. I do not dream. I think of myself as someone raised in part by Labrador retrievers. Again thank you.


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