Dream Interpretation › Dog - Dream meaning and symbolism

Dog - Dream meaning and symbolism

Newfoundland dog by Sir Edwin Landseer

Main symbolic meaning

Dog characteristics

It is very good to point out that the dog was domesticated from a wolf over the centuries. Even when you see a harmless Chihuahua, a sleepy Basset or a cute Maltese, it is hard to believe, but they are all descendants of the ancient wolf. And what does it mean?

Even if dogs seem to look clever, they are not governed by reason but by their instincts. They are not fully aware of their decisions and also not fully responsible for their actions. Dogs simply do not think but act. A well trained dog is a good companion, guard and protector. But a wild or strange dog may pose the serious danger to you.

Dogs symbolize our animal instinctive power, that can help or harm.

Dream meaning

When you want to interpret your dream, it is very helpful to determine your relation to this species:

Dog attacking and biting (hand, arm, leg)

When your see a furious dog, which is attacking you, you have to deal with the unbridled instinctive energy. Such dog can easily bite your hands, arms or legs – it means that this uncontrolled power is not only threatening but actually harming. It can be a metaphor for your own (or somebody else's) wild desire, which is out of control, hurting your life. It can be inappropriate lust, ambition, greed, passion or your suppressed anger. The biting dog can hint at your problems to forgive a grievance – if you do not unleash your irritation in the daytime, it has to appear in your dream in other form. The attacking dog can also indicate that your deep primitive instincts are overwhelming (a fanatical zeal for sport can sometimes hurt your family etc.).

Dog dying / coming to life

When you meet a dead dog in your dream, it means that the wild and instinctive power was lost or suppressed (more in death meaning chapter). Conversely, when you see a dog coming to life, it is symbolic for waking up your instincts and straightforward responses.

Dog having puppies

Cute puppies are positive. They represent new life, the new potential which rises from your unconsciousness, from the animal forces hidden there. You can consider your instincts as fruitful and productive.

Dog eating a baby

If you see a dog eating a baby in your dream, you probably feel a conflict between your spontaneity (or impulsiveness) and your naive, idealistic or childish aspects of the personality. Babies are innocent but vulnerable. They do not know much about the world.

Dog pooping

A pooping dog symbolize the unpleasant consequences which the instinctive behaviour leaves everywhere in your life. If you have to clean the poops in your dream, you should be prepared to face the impacts of your cheerful and unplanned actions.

Dog chasing or killing a cat

The chasing between dog and cat is often typical for the duel of masculine (animus) and feminine (anima) principle. Cats are unpredictable, moody and unfaithful. They symbolize the feminine and spiritual power, while dogs have usually the opposite characteristic, because we are able to train them. Dog killing a cat is the victory of man's principle over the woman's attitude.

Dog losing the tail

From the Freudian perspective, losing the tail can be a manifestation of impotence or fear from castration. The dog is loosing one from its very typical attributes. Without the tail it is much harder to estimate the mood of this animal.

Misse and Turlu, Two Greyhounds Belonging to Louis XV by Jean-Batiste Oudry

Dog in Art

There are many dog images in art. Let's emphasize the important ones:

Paintings and sculptures

Dog in movies

Buzzfeed.com: 30 Of The Greatest Movie Dogs - Nothing makes a movie better than having a really cute dog as the star (or supporting role) ...

Other inspiring resources