Dog - Dream meaning and symbolism
Main symbolic meaning
- Fidelity, obedience – a dog can be well trained
- Protection – usually is guarding the master or the territory
- Instincts – it is a descendant of wolves, which is not governed by reason but by immediate feelings
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.
When you want to interpret your dream, it is very helpful to determine your relation to this species:
- Are dogs primarily your friends (pets) or you are rather afraid of them in waking life? Were you ever attacked by any of them or did you have small and lovely puppy when you were young?
- How the dog behaves in your dream? Is it your enemy or guardian? Are you at a safe distance? Is your relation indifferent?
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.
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.
Dog in Art
There are many dog images in art. Let's emphasize the important ones:
Paintings and sculptures
- Wikipedia.org, Cultural depictions of the dog
- Piero di Cosimo, The Death of Procris, 1495
The dog (whose form is visually echoed by three other dogs in the background) represents none other than Hermes Trismegistos and a tree shown growing over Procris's breast symbolises the arbor philosophica.
- Lavinia Fontana, Portrait of Bianca Degli Utili Maselli and her children with dog, 1604/1605
Sold in 2012 at Sothebys for 602 500 USD
- His Master's Voice
In England, artist Francis Barraud (1856-1924) painted his brother's dog Nipper listening to the horn of an early phonograph during the winter of 1898.
- Titian, Youth With Dogs, 1575-1576
- Jean-Batiste Oudry, Misse and Turlu, Two Greyhounds Belonging to Louis XV., 1725
- Goya, The Dog, 1819-1823
- Jeff Koons, Balloon Dog, 1994-2000
In 2013 price realised 58 405 000 USD at christies.com
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) ...
- Beethoven (1992)
There were many big dog stars in the motion picture history, but this one is really the BIG one.
- Funny Dogs Compilation
A bit of fun at the end.
Other inspiring resources
- Important facts about dogs – britannica.com