What Does It Mean When You Dream About Dogs?

Dreaming about dogs often has to do with your instincts towards loyalty, friendship, and protection. But how you decode such dreams is usually a personal matter.

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Dreaming about dogs often has to do with your instincts towards loyalty, friendship, and protection. But how you decode such dreams is usually a personal matter.

Dogs are man’s best friend, no doubt about that. As a nation of dog lovers, there are times when our faithful four-legged friends will appear in our dreams. And with nearly 49 million households in the US alone owning a dog or two, it’s most likely that most of us grew up or will grow up around dogs. Whether the dog is our own or our neighbor’s, you’ll likely dream about dogs either positively or negatively. But what exactly does it mean to dream about dogs? Well, let’s find out.

Dreaming about dogs symbolizes loyalty, friendship, protection, generosity, and intuition. Such dreams can bring comfort, love, protection, and sometimes warnings.  In most cases, dreams about dogs can either have a positive or negative sign even if the meaning or the general interpretation of the dream may differ to various people.

In this article, we’ll decipher what it means to dream about dogs. We have to admit that the way you interpret a dream is a subjective art and not an exact science. As such, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to interpreting the dreams. That being said, let’s learn more about dog dreams and what it means to dream about dogs.

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How Dreams Work

Before going into details about dog dreams, it’s appropriate to at least jog your mind on how dreams work. Well, our brains work differently when we sleep than when we’re awake. When you sleep, the part of your mind that is dormant during the day becomes active while other parts of your mind including your body get some rest.

So when you’re dreaming, the dormant part of your mind (that’s now active) is now thinking. However, it doesn’t think literally but symbolically. In other words, the things, people, and places that we dream about are metaphors for other facets of our lives.

That being said, when trying to decode your dreams about dogs, you have to think about the relationship in your life that your dream about dogs is trying to present. As such, you have to pay close attention to the dog’s behavior and condition.

How to Analyze Dreams about Dogs

Dogs have played starring roles in our dreams. This is perhaps because they’ve been an ever-present part of human society for thousands of years. They’re viewed as man’s best friend and are highly regarded for their loyalty, friendship, instinct, generosity, and protection. As such, it’s not surprising that dogs are the most commonly dreamt animals followed by cats, horses, snakes, and spiders (just in case you’re curious).

With that in mind, dreams about dogs generally depict you or someone in your life with the same qualities. It might depict you, a close friend, or a family member that you want to protect. In some cases, the dog in your dreams might represent a real-life dog most probably from your childhood or your current dog.

To analyze your dreams about dogs, it’s important to think about what is most on your mind during that period. We generally tend to dream about the things that we’re so much involved in or focusing on at that particular time. Whether it’s about your job, studies, finances, or relationship, your dream about dogs will generally revolve around what you’re focusing on at that particular moment.

So when you dream about dogs, you should recall how the dog in your dream looked like. You should also try to recall what his temper was and what the dog was doing in the dream. Was it attacking you, was he chasing a car or other animal, was he sleeping, was he jovial, was he trying to escape, or was he digging a hole in the yard?

You should also try to recall whether you were watching the dog from a distance or whether you were interacting with him. In essence, these variables are of great importance in interpreting the meaning of your dream about that particular dog. To perfectly decipher what your dream about dogs means, you should be able to take note of the surroundings in your dreams.

Are Dog Dreams Symbolic?

Dog dreams are often among the most symbolic dreams. This is because they generally divulge the heart and soul of an individual, as well as a situation. This is why it’s important to always recall what the dog represented in your dreams and how it made you feel both during and after the dream.

Dreaming about dogs often symbolizes how you feel about areas of your life that you emotionally feel protective. Again, the type of dog, his color, and size all reflect how you choose to be emotionally protective. You have to note that dog dreams depict our primal urges for friendship, loyalty, protection, and belonging to a particular pack.

That being said, dreaming about a happy tail-wagging dog may symbolize group acceptance and healthy social life. The dog might represent you or someone very important in your life. On the contrary, an aggressive dog might represent some form of inner commotion or turmoil that is yet to be resolved.

Generally speaking, many people will dream about a childhood dog that passed on. Such a dream can occur during a difficult period in your life and your childhood dog might symbolize a friend offering you compassion, sympathy, and encouragement. Differently, dreaming about wild dogs might depict a lack of freedom while dreaming about an attack from a dog might symbolize the suppression of emotions in real life.

As with all dreams, your situation during that period will offer a deeper meaning about the dream. You should, therefore, pay close attention to smaller details and symbols within your dream. This is to help you piece together and decipher the real meaning of your dream in a more coherent way.

Different Dog Dream Meanings

Below you can find the general interpretations of dreams about dogs. We, however, have to note that these interpretations are subjective and not scientific. As such, their meanings can differ from one person to another depending on culture, religion, region, situation, and many other factors.

A Dog Biting Your Ankles

Dreaming about a dog biting your ankles can mean that you’re undergoing a period of difficulty and confusion in your life. It may mean that you’re between the proverbial “a rock and a hard place” and you’re having a hard time choosing between a few options. In other words, you are still unsure about the right option, so you find yourself in a difficult position.

The best thing to do is to share your situation with a trusted friend or loved one. This can help you regain your balance in life and get more clarity on how to deal with that particular circumstance.

A Happily Barking Dog

A happily barking and tail-wagging dog symbolizes not just acceptance in a particular social group but also happiness. It’s an indication that you are happy to be accepted in a given social gathering or group and that your social life is blooming. It symbolizes that something good and fun is about to happen in your life.

It’s, therefore, important to use these social opportunities to network, promote your business or career, and to make new friends.

An Aggressive Dog

Having dreams about an aggressive dog can have a variety of meanings depending on the context. It could mean that you have an inner conflict or you’re dealing with someone who is disloyal and untrustworthy.

An aggressive dog could also mean that you or someone else within your circle is trying to control every situation. Perhaps you’re making a lot of demands to those close to you. It can also be a warning that you are in an unhealthy relationship that’s full of manipulations.

Sending a Dog Away

If you dream that you’re sending a dog away, it could mean that you’re about to betray or hurt someone close to you. It could be a warning that you need to stop and reflect on your actions or what you’re just about to do.

A Wild Dog

As we noted earlier, dreaming about a wild dog could symbolize that your freedom of expression is being suppressed by those close to you. It could also be an indication of an impending argument or fight with a friend or a loved one and they could use your guilt to influence your decisions or your way of thinking.

They may want you to feel that you’ve done something wrong even though you’ve not done anything wrong. It’s much better to avoid divulging a lot of details to your loved ones when talking to them, especially after dreaming about wild dogs.

A Dead Dog

Having a dream about a dead dog could symbolize that you’re about to lose a personal relationship that’s so valuable to you. This is a dream that’s telling you to do your very best to salvage the relationship or reconnect with your true self. You also need to have self-preservation and reestablish personal boundaries.

Being Chased by a Dog

If you’ve ever dreamt about being chased by a dog, you’ll admit that it’s quite as frightening as being chased by a dog in real life. It often symbolizes that you’re being victimized, so you have to be strong and do not give anyone the chance of victimizing you.

Lost Dog

Dreaming about losing a dog could mean that you feel emotionally drained and do not have the self-confidence of dealing with certain situations. It shows that you’re confused and unable to stand for what’s right. This could be the right time to take some time off alone, reflect on yourself, and how to protect the things that you hold dear.

A Dying Dog

This could indicate that you have skills that you aren’t exploiting to the fullest and are now diminishing. You should look at yourself and think about what you used to be good at. You should then reevaluate it and see if you can use that talent or skill in the right manner.

A Puppy

We all know that puppies are loveable and dreaming about them could mean that you’re about to feel the same: loved. It could be an indication of a new beginning, a new job, and new relationships. It could also mean that you’re about to have fun, especially if the puppy in your dream is playful.

Different Colored Dogs

A White Dog - This often depicts that those who are close to you are loyal, trustworthy, and can be relied upon. It’s a great reminder that you should show those close to you how much you care about them.

It can also indicate respect, love, and gratitude. It is an indication that your life is about to get peaceful. It’s also an assurance that you have friends and loved ones who can protect you.

A Black Dog – This could mean that those close to you are about to betray you by showing you their true colors through their negative actions. It’s important to be very careful not to be duped.

If, however, the black dog is friendly, it could be an indication of your inner peace and growing self-confidence. You have to remain focused and steady in whatever you’re doing by controlling your weaknesses and you’ll keep going in the right direction.

A Brown Dog - This could mean happiness and contentment in life. Your friendships are strong, bonds are being strengthened, and you’re open to new and long-lasting relationships. It could be an indication of natural healing and good mental health.

Spiritual Meanings of Dog Dreams

Even though dogs are universally loved, we all have various spiritual beliefs, which can then influence how we interpret what we dream about dogs. Here are a few examples.

Biblical Meaning of a Dog Dream

In the bible, dogs are used to protect homesteads and guard flocks. As such, dreaming about a dog could be a sign of loyalty and protection but this may depend on the context of the dream.


In Hinduism, dreaming about a dog signifies faith, honesty, and diligent servanthood. It could also mean that Lord Yamaraj; the lord of death is about to pay you or someone close to you a visit. If the dog is black, it could mean death, which is a phase of life that symbolizes change, the end of a way of life, personal growth, and new beginnings.

Islamic Interpretations

An angry or biting dog could be an indication to be wary of people who might become deceitful. If you dream about turning into a dog, it could mean that you have a gift from Allah and you’re not appreciating it. Again, a happy or white dog could mean peace and prosperity.

Chinese Traditions

An angry or biting dog could mean an impending loss of money or fortune. You should, therefore, be frugal, save as much as you can, and do not spend aimlessly.

To this end, dreaming about dogs has different meanings that may be subject to different interpretations. The most important thing is to keep in mind that dreaming about dogs generally signifies loyalty, companionship, and protection. Whatever you dream about dogs, take your time to recall everything and see if it relates to the circumstances of your life currently.

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