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The Meaning of Dogs in Dreams – Possible Interpretations

Dogs are a common sight in many households since they are one of the most popular choices as pets. People are attracted to dogs primarily because of their loyalty and devotion to their owners, and they provide companionship, and entertainment and improve their owners’ lives, physically and emotionally.   

But what does it mean when you dream about dogs? If you own a dog or saw one during the day, your dream may be a reflection of these events. But what if you don’t have any dogs in your life and yet you dream of them? Let’s take a look at the possible meanings of dogs in dreams.  

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How Are Dogs Viewed in Different Cultures? 

a dog standing and looking at a distance

Historians believe that dogs were domesticated as early as 12,000 BCE, with the earliest traces of domesticated dogs having been found in the temple of Gobekli-Tepe in Turkey. From the same time period, archeologists have also found the remains of an old man buried with a puppy in the Natufian Grave in Ein Mallaha, Israel.

With their long history of living and interacting with humans, it is not surprising to know that dogs have become integral to many cultures worldwide. They have also become part of local myths and folklore in some parts of the world. 

For example, dogs have religious significance for the Aztecs, Ancient Egyptians, Christians, the Hindus of Nepal, and some parts of India, to name just a few. Xolotl, the Aztec god of death, was pictured as having a dog head, while Anubis, the Egyptian god of the underworld, had the head of a jackal.  

For Christians, dogs represent faithfulness and are mentioned several times in the Bible. The Hindus believe that dogs guard the doors of Heaven, while also serving as the messenger of Yama, the god of death, and dogs are worshiped in the five-day Tihar festival that occurs every November.  

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Dogs are also one of the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac, where they represent loyalty, honesty, and hard work. In Greek mythology, dogs were believed to be the sacred animals of Artemis, the goddess of nature, and Ares, the god of war. Cerberus, who guards the gates of Hades, is also depicted as a three-headed dog. 

All this is to say that dogs have been a part of human civilization and culture since ancient times. Therefore, seeing them in your dreams is not as uncommon as you might think.  

Dreaming of Dogs – The Most Common Interpretations 

a brown and white dog

From a scientific perspective, dreaming is one of the ways in which your brain processes emotions, thoughts, and memories. This process helps the brain organize information gathered during the day and gives it time to work out issues, make decisions, and prioritize specific details. Apart from that, dreams can also be a manifestation of your unfulfilled desires.  

Spiritually, it is believed that deities, spirits, angels, and other supernatural beings will sometimes communicate with people through dreams. These dreams carry messages crucial for your growth and healing, as well as helping people find their direction and purpose in life.  

Most dreams are pretty mysterious and are rarely clear with the message they want to convey. When it comes to dreaming about dogs, the interpretation would also vary depending on the circumstances. But in general, dreaming about dogs involves friendship, loyalty, or protection since these are traits that are commonly associated with dogs themselves.  

The dogs may also stand for certain human relationships you have in real life. For example, when a dog shows up in your dream, it may be a reminder for you to protect someone you care about or to treasure the friendships that you currently have. 

However, each dream can have different meanings depending on the context and the situation. If you want to understand your dream, you need to consider other details, such as what the dog looked like, what it was doing, and how you reacted to it. Here are twenty dreams about dogs and their possible meanings:  

1. Being Chased by a Dog 

a running dog

When you dream about a dog chasing after you, it could represent that you have been running away from something important, such as a responsibility or unresolved feelings.  

As such, you need to analyze your recent actions and see if you have been avoiding some people or trying to put off an important decision in your life.  

2. Seeing a Black Dog 

The appearance of a black dog in your dream can manifest sadness, loneliness, grief, or depression. It can be telling you that something isn’t right in your life or you’re going through a period where your feelings can overwhelm you. The dog is there as a reminder to help you process these emotions and hopefully, emerge stronger and in a more stable mindset.  

3. Watching a Dog Die 

If a dog dies in your dream, this signifies that a relationship that is important to you has just ended or will be ending soon. After all, a dog represents companionship, loyalty, and friendship. Seeing the death of a dog signifies the death of these characteristics. It may be a necessary and unavoidable situation, but you are still feeling the pain of losing someone who used to play a major role in your life.  

4. Getting Bitten by a Dog 

a dog biting a finger

A dog, biting you in your dreams, can be interpreted very differently, depending on where you were bitten. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be hurt or injured in life but instead implies that there are some issues that need addressing.  

A bite on your hand means that someone is playing with your feelings or may not treat you as seriously as you want them to. A bite on your ankle means confusion or uncertainty, especially if you are about to make an important decision or will be entering a new phase in your life.  

5. Dreaming About Your Childhood Pet Dog 

Recognizing your old childhood pet in a dream could mean that you are worried about your current relationship. 

You may be feeling unstable and are seeking comfort in the presence of your loyal pet and if the pet is deceased, it could be a literal message telling you that it is doing okay and that you need to move on with your life.  

6. Dog Barking at You 

If you dream of a dog aggressively barking at you while you are hopelessly standing around, not doing anything, it could represent a sense of helplessness or powerlessness about a particular situation in your life. 

Maybe you are feeling vulnerable or threatened and still have not thought of a way out. It could also refer to a specific person with a dominant and aggressive personality who is making you feel weak and inadequate.  

7. Being Attacked by a Dog 

An aggressive attack from a dog in your dream replicates the feeling of pressure and suffocation that you have been feeling in your waking reality. Perhaps you have been wanting to escape a toxic relationship but don’t know how, or you want to move away from an oppressive career but don’t have any alternative at the moment.   

8. Seeing a Brown Dog 

a brown dog

When you see a brown dog in a dream, this has something to do with your friends. If the brown dog looks happy and healthy, your relationships are stable, and your friends positively influence your life. However, a sickly brown dog could implicate that something is wrong with your relationships and that you need to spend more quality time with your friends. 

9. An Injured Dog 

Having an injured dog appear in your dream hints that someone dear to you is suffering. This can be due to a physical illness, or it could mean that this person is going through a rough patch. 

Pay attention to the people around you, and you will see which one of them is silently crying out for help.  

10. Dog Wagging Its Tail at You 

A friendly dog greeting you in your dream represents a happy occasion with your friends. You may have an upcoming reunion with close friends, whom you haven’t seen for a long time, or someone you haven’t talked to in a while will suddenly get in touch.  

11. A Talking Dog 

a man talking to a dog

If a dog suddenly talks to you in your dream, it could refer to a recent event in your life where you felt deceived. You may have perceived things differently, or the situation didn’t turn out how you expected it to. 

Another possibility is that you are about to make an important decision, but haven’t fully sorted out your thoughts, so you are looking for someone who could help you clear your head.  

12. Stepping on Dog Poop 

Stepping on dog poop in real life is an unpleasant experience that you would definitely avoid if you could. 

As such, it symbolizes a mistake or troublesome event that is about to happen. Luckily, it also means that you still have the chance to turn around, if you pay attention.  

13. Snake Biting your Dog 

When you dream about a snake suddenly biting your dog, it could be hinting at a possible betrayal from a close friend. Someone you trust has done something behind your back, and this is bound to hurt you. 

Whether the friendship can still be saved or not depends on the extent of the betrayal and your capacity to forgive. 

14. Seeing a White Dog 

A white dog’s presence in a dream signifies spiritual growth or a positive change that is about to occur in your life. It can also be a sign of inner peace and self-satisfaction, which means that you are happy and content with the things happening in your life.   

15. Killing a Dog  

If you dream of killing a dog, it might be a manifestation of your desire to break free from a relationship. You may have been unhappy with someone but couldn’t find a reason or an opportunity to cut off ties.  

However, it could also signify an internal struggle, and a desire to regain control of your life.  

16. A Sick Dog 

a sick dog

A sick dog appearing in your dream hints at some issues within your relationships. You may have been neglecting some of your friends, which may have caused a dent in your relationship. 

So,  no matter how strong your friendship is, you always need to put in the time and effort to maintain your relationships with your friends and loved ones. 

17. Encountering a Stray Dog 

Whenever you encounter a stray dog in your dreams, it could mean that you are feeling lost or confused. 

You may have given up on your goals and don’t know how to proceed from there. You might be feeling disillusioned about something that you used to believe in, and now, you are unsure how to reframe your thinking in order to accept reality.  

18. Dog in a Cage 

If you dream about a dog inside a cage, this indicates that you are feeling trapped in a situation that you do not like, and escaping from it is beyond your control. 

Maybe someone has made a decision on your behalf that has impacted you significantly, or you feel that you have misplaced your trust in someone who plays an essential role in your life.   

19. Seeing a Dead Dog 

Dreaming about a dog that is already dead represents your feelings of loss or grief. You may have just been through a rough experience where you lost something important, such as a relationship, a job, or a goal. This probably happened unexpectedly, which is why you have yet to come to terms with this loss.  

20. Fighting Dogs 

two dogs fighting

If you see a group of dogs fighting in your dream, it can represent an issue that you have encountered or are still in the middle of working out. You may have argued with a loved one, or a friend called you out because of a misunderstanding.  

Wrapping Up 

Dogs have been living peacefully with humans as pets and companions for thousands of years and have become an integral part of the family for many dog owners. As a result, seeing dogs in dreams is likely to involve situations related to friendship, companionship, and loyalty, which are concepts commonly associated with these animals. 

That said, in order to understand what the dog is trying to convey in your dream, you need to consider other details such as its appearance, the environment, and how you reacted. 

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As she grew up reading books on mystery, mythology, fantasy, and adventure, Olive developed an urge to explore the world as an adult. After completing a degree in Mass Communications, she built a career in marketing for the past two decades but has spent most of her vacations backpacking through different countries. During her trips, Olive likes to immerse herself in the local culture to further expand her understanding of other people and their lifestyles, which she now uses to aid her writing.