Dog Meanings and Symbolism and The Dog Spirit Animal

Thoughtful Dog Looking Over a Valley

Dog meanings and symbolism include adaptability, family, friendship and affection, loyalty and devotion, patience and perseverance, bravery, protection, sensitivity and insight, purpose, and joy. While it’s arguable when dogs first became domesticated, some historians believe it first happened in northern Eurasia between 14,000 and 29,000 years ago. Historical evidence shows that wolves began following nomadic peoples to eat the leftovers from their hunting expeditions. Fast-forward to today, and dogs are now a part of people’s lives all over the world. So, dog meanings and symbolism, including the spiritual meanings of dogs and the dog spirit animal, are important topics to the many people who adore these special animals.

Bull Dog in the Grass

What does a dog symbolize?

  • Adaptability
  • Family
  • Friendship and Affection
  • Loyalty and Devotion
  • Patience and Perseverance
  • Bravery
  • Protection
  • Sensitivity and Insight
  • Purpose
  • Joy

Detailed Dog Symbols and Meanings

What can we say about man’s (and woman’s) best friend? There aren’t enough ways to praise these wonderful creatures who make the world so much better simply because they’re in it. Here are details on dog meanings and symbols and what they might mean in your life:

Adaptability

The dog’s cousin, the wolf, opted to stay wild. But the descendants of dogs had a different idea. They chose to live near, and eventually with, people. Some might say the ancestor of the dog took the easier route. However, the lives of many dogs are certainly not easy. But the key difference between the wolf and the dog is that the dog chose to adapt to something new and different.

Sophie the Cattle Dog

One remarkable example of a dog’s adaptability is the story of Sophie, an Australian cattle dog. To begin, Sophie, a natural herding dogs, learned to ride in a sailboat with her family, the Griffiths, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.

On one sailing trip, the family hit very rough seas and Sophie was thrown overboard. The Griffiths searched and searched for Sophie but they never found her. They feared she had drowned and they finally gave up their search, brokenhearted for losing their beloved dog.

Miles away from where the Griffiths had hit rough seas, park rangers were on a routine patrol of the uninhabited island of St. Bees Island. While patrolling, they noticed a sickly dog on the island, something they had never seen.

While no people lived on St. Bees Island, it was inhabited by wild animals and some feral goats. The rangers tried to capture the strange dog but couldn’t capture her.

An Astonishing Change

Months later, they were doing another routine patrol of the island when they saw the same dog, this time looking much healthier and having gained some weight. The rangers found some baby goat carcasses on the island and realized the wild dog must have been hunting them. On this patrol, they were successful at capturing the dog.

The rangers put out a bulletin that they had found a dog on the island, which by some miracle, the Griffiths read. Sure enough, the unknown dog was Sophie, their cattle dog.

In an awe-inspiring feat, after Sophie was thrown overboard she managed to swim nearly 6 miles (9.7 kms) to reach the island. When Sophie was reunited with her family, she didn’t miss a beat and seamlessly fell back into her normal routine of being the family dog.

The story of Sophie and the sheer adaptability of dogs in general should inspire all of us to have the confidence to handle the changes and challenges that come our way. The dog doesn’t focus on the scope of the challenge. Instead, they adapt to the situation and do what has to be done.

Dog Meaning: Family

Family Dog

How is it that dogs became “man’s best friend”? To begin, our interpersonal relationships are quite similar to those of canines. They form deep social bonds with members of their pack just as we humans do. In fact, dogs and wolves are famous for putting their family’s needs before their own just as many humans do. This is why there is such a thing as a “family dog.” These loving animals blend in very well with human family life.

Canines also rely on teamwork to survive. For example, the African wild dog is the most successful hunter in the world, averaging a 60 percent success rate every time they hunt. In fact, they hold the Guinness World Record for the most successful mammalian hunters. The reason is that they are very organized, using the teamwork of their extended family to achieve desired outcomes.

The dog embodies the spirit of family. They reminds us that the greatest gift in life is our relationships with those we love. The spirit of the dog is unity. They remind us that the sum of us is better than one of us alone.

Friendship and Affection

The dog companions with whom we share our lives are the descendants of wild canines who chose to become our associates. And as time went by, those bonds strengthened to the point where the domesticated dog is now an important part of human families and a best friend for many people. In fact, the affection shared by dogs for their people is like a well that never runs dry.

The dog doesn’t ask for much in return for their friendship and affection either. In fact, they are not transactional as all. They simply want to be by your side.

As a symbol of friendship and affection, the dog reminds us to not be too judgmental of our friends. No one is perfect and sometimes it’s best for us to just to accept our friends for who they are.

If you are a person who already knows the dog is your spirit animal, undoubtedly you are a good friend and a person who is caring and affectionate with those you love.

Loyalty and Devotion

Dog Devotion

The term “puppy love” could have been named for another animal if not for the unmatched, heroic love and devotion of the dog. The dog’s love is unconditional. This is why they will stay with their guardian through thick and thin, from wealth to homelessness and everything in between. Case in point, we humans can feel so much love from our dogs that when we look at them and they at us with affection, we both experience a boost in oxytocin, the bonding hormone that surges when people have a baby.

The loyalty and devotion of a dog is pure. They remind us to be pure of heart in our relationships with others. This doesn’t mean letting others take advantage of our good graces. But instead it means viewing them with compassion and understanding for where they are coming from and what they have gone through in life. It also means sticking by those we love in good times and in bad.

Patience and Perseverance

People who have had dog companions and who had to make the gut-wrenching decision to put them down understand that our pups possess a stoicism that can be astonishing. Many dog lovers agree that your dog will persevere and stay alive to avoid leaving you, even if they are very sick and in a great deal of pain. My own dog, Roo, died of cancer. Yet up until her last day of life, she insisted on going on our walks. She always wanted to be by my side.

In another story, a combat veteran who was wounded in action and who suffered from PTSD was home with his dog, Major, a Labrador/pit bull mix. Suddenly the veteran was overwhelmed with a seizure. Major had been trained to call 911 by stepping on his guardian’s iPhone. The 911 dispatchers got the call, but not hearing anyone on the other end of the line, though it was a prank call, so they hung up. But Major persisted. He called 911 ten times and finally the dispatchers understood they better send someone to the home.

Their heroic persistence and stoicism is why dogs are symbols of patience and perseverance. We humans have created a culture that has a strong emphasis on immediate gratification. The dog spirit animal reminds us that life isn’t just about that. Having the patience and perseverance to be by our loved one’s sides in the worst of times and to never give up on things are noble qualities we should all aspire to.

Dog Symbolism: Bravery

German Shepherd Jumping

Some people believe dogs should not be used in combat. But whether you are ok with that or not, no one can deny that in the worse of situations, dogs display astonish bravery.

During World War II, a German shepherd, collie, and husky mix named Chips was given to the military by his human guardian to help in the war effort. In a battle in Sicily in 1943, Chips and his military trainer were caught in enemy fire. Chips broke away from his unit and attack the enemy, scaring them enough that they ceased firing, which gave Chips’ unit an advantage and caused the other side to surrender. Chips was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart for his bravery. And once the war was over, he was returned to his family.

Sako the King Shepherd

In another story, a king shepherd from British Columbia named Sako was driving in a car with his family when they had a tragic accident. Everyone in the car was killed except Sako and his guardian, a teenage boy. The courageous dog took care of the boy, leading him to find water, keeping him warm, and even fending off coyotes. After 40 hours, rescuers finally found the boy and Sako and were able to rescue them.

As a symbol of bravery, the dog teaches us that there are some missions that are more important than our own security and even our lives. Fear is a useful emotion – up until a point. When it keeps us from fulfilling our purpose and our full potential, then it’s something that should be overcome.

Dog Meaning: Protection

Wrapped up in their astonishing bravery is that dogs are naturally protective. A St. Bernard named Barry was a search and rescue dog working in the Swiss Alps in the early 1800s. In fact, he saved 40 people in his lifetime. In one incident, Barry searched for a young child who went missing. Barry found the boy and stayed with him to keep him warm. When no humans came, the boy said that Barry nudged him and let the boy climb on his back. Barry carried the through the snow to a nearby monastery, where monks were able to save the boy.

As a symbol of protection, the dog reminds us to trust our instincts when it comes to protecting those and that which we love. If someone or some situation feels off, trust your intuition and tap into your powers of protection.

Whether you already know the dog is one of your spirit animals or if a dog has suddenly made themselves known to you in a remarkable way, remember to always fiercely protective of those you love.

Sensitivity and Insight

Dog Looking After Me
My dog, Roo, lying with me when I was home sick with bronchitis. Photo: Kristen M. Stanton.

When the Beatles wrote “A Day in the Life”, they added a special section at the end of the song. No matter how many times you’ve listened to that song, you’ve never hear it. But your pup has. In an interview, Paul McCartney said the band added a special section at the end of the song at a frequency that only dogs can hear.

The dog’s sense of hearing and smell gives them special insights into the workings of the world that we humans are unaware of. Not only can dogs detect drugs in luggage, they can detect cancer and a diabetic’s blood sugar if it gets out of whack. Experts also say that your dog can distinguish the sound of your car when you’re almost home and understand times of day by changes in the smell of the air.

Social Cues

In addition to having strong senses, the dog is also remarkably adept at picking up social cues. They understand when we’re stressed, hurting, and happy. One study found that dogs can tell when someone is lying and whether certain people are untrustworthy.

The dog spirit animal reminds us to tune into our gut feelings and initial responses to people and situations. It’s easy to get de-sensitized because we’re so busy managing our day-to-day. We miss the subtle things. The dog spirit animal reminds us to pause, take a step back, and expand our perception. In this way we can live not as people who are skimming the surface of life but as enlightened beings with insight.

Purpose

Chobe in Los Altos
Chobe, who was my niece dog. She was exemplary at her role as the family dog. Photo: Katie Jacobs Stanton.

The dog’s unwavering devotion and spirit is why they are also symbols of purpose. As the heart-warming movie A Dog’s Purpose demonstrates, dogs feel a sense of mission. They pursue life with intensity, persistence, and devotion. This purpose might be simply loving you or it could also mean watching over you and helping you to stay in balance physically and emotionally. It might also mean serving as your warning system and protector.

Whatever the dog is tasked with doing, they take their purpose seriously. The dog’s sense of purpose should remind all of us that we are here for a reason. In our own unique ways we are here to learn and to make the world better. As the saying goes, when you are working to fulfill your purpose, the Universe will conspire to help you.

Dog Symbolism: Joy

Dog Playing

Despite their intense sense of duty and purpose, dogs still like to have a really good time. They love, socialize, and play with wild abandon. For all of their noble and adorable qualities, the dog doesn’t forget to have fun. Thus, the dog is also a symbol of joy.

The dog spirit animal reminds us that life isn’t just about work and responsibilities. It’s also about celebration, relaxation, and joy.

Dog Mythology and Folklore

In 1914, workers in a suburb of Bonn, Germany discovered an ancient grave that held the skeletons of a man, a woman, and a dog, as well as some decorated objects made with antlers, bones, and teeth. It turned out that the grave was from the Paleolithic era, which was roughly 14,000 years ago.

Decades later, an archaeologist and veterinarian named Luc Janssens was studying the remains from the grave while getting his PhD. As both an archeologist and a veterinarian, Janssens noticed something about the skeleton of the dog, notably his teeth, which no one noticed. He could tell that the jaw of the dog was actually the jaw of a puppy and that the puppy had suffered from canine distemper.

Caring for a Puppy

Janssens could tell that the puppy had most likely contracted canine distemper at 19 weeks of age but that he lived to a surprising 28 weeks, which would have almost been impossible for a young dog in the wild. However, the shared grave and important objects demonstrated that the puppy had been cared for by the Neolithic couple. The only way he would have survived such a life threatening illness for so long was with diligent, ongoing care.

Archeologists believe this grave is one of the first known examples of human beings having an intense emotional bond with dogs. Since then, humans have lived side by side with dogs throughout the ages. Hence, the dog is an important figure in the mythology and folklore of many cultures. Here are some of those stories:

Mesopotamian Dog Mythology

Dog Votive
Votive dog statuette dedicated by a physician to the goddess Ninisina. Ca. 1894–1866 BC. Louvre Museum. Photo: r
Marie-Lan Nguyen.

Artwork and artifacts discovered in ancient Mesopotamian temples reveal that some of the ancient peoples Assyria, Akkadia, and Babylonia took part in dog cults. In fact, there is a temple in Isin, Mesopotamia (now southern Iraq) that is called é-ur-gi7, which translates to “dog house.”

In the temple, archaeologists discovered the skeletons of dozens of dogs, which means dog were likely sacrificed there. For the people of Mesopotamia, dogs were symbols of protection and healing, so they offered them to their gods.

Ninisina / Gula Goddess

The dog house temple was dedicated to the goddess Ninisina or her alternate, Gula. She was the goddess of physicians, medicine, and healing. In addition to the skeletal remains of dogs discovered in her temple, there were bronze statues and clay pots given to honor her, which depicted dogs. Some of the artifacts revealed that spiritual advisors would watch the behavior of dogs as signs from the Ninisina or Gula.

Dog Meaning in Ancient Egypt

Dog Mummy
Ancient Egyptian mummy of a monkey and a dog. Cairo Egyptian Museum. Photo: Namiac.

The ancient Egyptians loved animals. In fact, their pets were as important to them as ours are to us today. While every family had a pet cat, generally the more well-to-do families had a dog.

While the Mesopotamians most likely created the first dog collar, the Egyptians famously added bling, adorning their dog’s leather collars with jewels and stones. And if a pet dog died, the whole family would shave their heads and eyebrows in mourning. In addition, the pet dog would be mummified, so they could join their humans in the afterlife.

The ancient Egyptians were also fond of specific dog breeds. They had salukis (the first dog breed, which dates back to around 7000 BC) as well as basenjis, greyhounds, Ibizan and pharaoh hounds, and whippets.

Anubis

Anubis
Coffin fragment depicting the deities Anubis and Nut. Ca. 100 BC to 100 AD. Martin von Wagner Museum, Würzburg, Germany. Photo: Daderot.

The ancient Egyptians had dog deities too. Anubis, the god of the dead, was depicted as a man with the head of a jackal. And his wife, Anput, was depicted as a jackal nursing her pups. Both of these deities were associated with dogs. In addition, the Egyptians had some lesser-known dog deities.

The Dog in African Folklore

Many Africans respect wild dogs for the excellent hunting skills. However, in African folklore, views of domesticated dogs are more mixed. For example, in one tale told by the Mende People of Sierra Leone, the dog is blamed for the reason people die.

According to the tale, the gods gave the toad a message to tell the people. The message was, “Death has come.” However, they also gave the dog a message to tell, which was, “Life has come.” Unfortunately, the dog stopped to eat on his way to bring his message to the people, so the toad got there first. Hence, this is why humans are not immortal.

Dog Meaning in Greek Mythology

Cerberus
Hercules battling Cerberus by Nicolo Van Aelst and Antonio Tempesta. Ca 1608. Image: Los Angeles County Fund.

In ancient Greece, the dog symbolized protection. The Titan goddess Rhea, wife of Cronus, sent a golden dog to protect the infant Zeus. The golden dog looked after the baby Zeus and his nurse, the goat Amaltheia, on the island of Crete. Then when Zeus grew up, he put the magical dog in the heavens, creating the constellation Canis Major.

Cerberus

Perhaps the most famous dog in Greek mythology is the three-headed hound with the tail of a dragon whose name is Cerberus. Like mythic dogs in other cultural stories, Cerberus guarded the gates to the underworld. In fact, Cerberus was so vicious that he would prevent the dead from entering Hades, thus impeding their progress to the afterlife.

In the last of the 12 labors of Hercules, King Eurystheus tasks the hero with capturing Cerberus and bringing him back to the surface of the Earth. To Hercules’ credit, he managed to do so with his bare hands. He then returned the three-headed dog to continue fulfilling his purpose of guarding the gates of Hades.

Argos

In Homer’s epic story the Odyssey, Odysseus returns home after 20 years. However, in his absence, unscrupulous men with designs on Odysseus’ wife Penelope have taken over his house. So, Odysseus disguises himself as a beggar in order to sneak into his house. As Odysseus approaches the house, he finds his dog Argos, now ancient and neglected, lying on a pile of cow manure.

Yet despite all the time that has passed and Odysseus’ disguise, Argos recognizes Odysseus immediately, gives him a warm greeting, and passes away.

Celtic Hounds

In Celtic mythology, similar to Greek and Egyptian mythology, a canine guards the threshold to the underworld. In one Welsh myth, the ruler of the underworld, Gwyn ap Nudd, leads of pack of hounds call the Hounds of Annwn. He and the hounds are responsible for escorting the dead to the underworld.

Black Dog Meaning

In English folklore, a black dog symbolizes both malevolent as well as protective powers. The black dog might be depicted as a supernatural, even demonic, force who is connected to the devil. As in other stories, the Hellhound guards the gates of the underworld.

Dog Symbolism in Norse Mythology

Garmr Guading Hel

Garmr and Hela guarding the threshold to the Norse underworld, Hel by Johannes Gehrts. Ca. 1889.

In Norse mythology, a fearsome dog with four eyes named Garmr guards Hel, the Nordic underworld. Garmr was said to be covered in the blood of his many victims.

Dog Meaning in the Bible

In the Bible, the dog is often depicted as an unclean animal. However, in Luke 16:19-31, Jesus speaks of the compassion of dogs:

“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores.”

On the one hand, being licked by dogs is a metaphor for being the lowest of the low. However, when Lazarus dies, he is “carried by the angels to Abraham’s side” while the rich man goes to Hell.

Dog Symbolism in Islam and the Middle East

As in Norse mythology, there is a Persian myth about four-eyed dogs who guard the Chinvat Bridge, which separates the world of the living from that of the dead.

In Islam, as in early Judaism and Christianity, the dog was seen as an unclean animal. However, the prophet Muhammad was said to show compassion for animals. In one story, he has a pet cat. In another, Muhammad tells the tale of a man who was thirsty and came across a well, so he drank some water. When he looked up from the well, he saw a dog panting from the heat. So, the man put his shoe in the well and collected more water and let the dog drink from his shoe. And this was a deed that pleased Allah.

Dog Meaning in Zoroastrianism

In the Zoroastrian faith, which is one of the world’s oldest religions, the dog is viewed as a righteous being. For one, the gaze of a dog is said to drive away demons. In addition, dogs guard the gates to Heaven. Furthermore, practitioners of the Zoroastrian faith are supposed to care for both pet and stray dogs, including stray pregnant dogs and their puppies. Some believe that dogs are reincarnated as otters, so it’s equally important to care for the “water dogs.”

The Dog in Hindu Mythology

Bhairava with Dog
Hindu deity Siva as Bhairava with a dog. Ca. 19th century. Author unknown.

In Hindu stories, Yama, the god of death, is said to have two guard dogs named Syama and Sabal. As in Norse and Persian mythology, these dogs were said have four eyes. In addition, they play a role in the judging of souls as people pass to the afterlife.

In addition, the Hindu gods Muthappan and Bhairava both ride dogs. While dogs are seen as less enlightened than human beings, many Hindus believe that caring for dogs can help them get to Heaven.

Dogs in Buddhism

While some people who believe in reincarnation say that only humans can be reincarnated as humans, some Buddhists believe that animals, including dogs, can be reincarnated as humans. While dogs are viewed as less enlightened than humans, some Buddhists believe that giving their dogs proper funeral rites, including burial or cremation, prayers, and blessings by a monk can help them reincarnate as a higher life form.

Dog Meaning in China

Chinese Dog Art

In China, they tell the story of a dragon-dog named Panhu. According to the legend, Panhu shapeshifts into a man so that he can marry a beautiful princess. Panhu marries the princess and they have six sons and six daughters.

Year of the Dog

In the Chinese zodiac, people born in the Year of the Dog are said to be friendly, loyal, and honest. They are also excellent communicators.

Native American Dog Meanings

It’s no secret that Native Americans hold the wolf in very high regard. What is less known is that they began domesticating dogs thousands of years ago. Before Europeans introduced them the horse, some Native Americans used dogs to pull sleds. In addition, dogs were protectors and family companions.

In one Native American legend, the Creator wanted to find an animal who would be a companion to the people. So, he asked each animal how they would live with humans. Some animals said they would eat the people, while others said they would run from them. It was only the dog who said they would help the people hunt, share their food with them, and would guard their children, even if it meant losing their own life. So that is how the god came to be a companion to the people.

Mesoamerican Dog Mythology

Aztec Dog Meaning
Xolotl as depicted in the Codex Borgia, pre-Colombian artwork.

The dog was also an important figure to the Mayas and Aztecs. They believed that dogs carried people who died across a body of water to the afterlife. Thus, they sacrificed dogs and buried them with people so the dog could transport their souls.

Xolotl

The Aztec god Xolotl ruled thunder and lightning and he was often depicted as a dog-headed monster. Xolotl was said to guide the souls of the dead. In addition, Xolotl protected the sun from the demons and other evil energy of the underworld.

Australian Aboriginal Dogs and Dingoes

Dingo
Dingo (Canis dingo) illustration from The Mammals of Australia, Volume 3 by John Gould, et al. Ca. 1863.

Genomic scientists believe that humans brought the Australian dingo to the continent about 8,300 years ago. Though, they are unsure about who those humans were. However, what is clear is that the dingo has become an important figure in both Aboriginal and popular Australian culture. Furthermore, Aboriginal cave art depicts the now-extinct thylacine, which is also known as the Tasmanian wolf. Thus, the Aborigines were intrigued with canines in the way that so many people of other cultures are.

The Aboriginal Australians would raid dingo dens for puppies, which they would then raise and keep in their camps. Before they have access to pasteurization in the 1800s, Aboriginal women would even breast feed the dingo pups. As the dingoes got older, they were an important sources of protection as well as food for the people. In addition, dingoes helped them with their uncanny ability to find both above-ground and underground sources of water. Eventually, the dingoes would return to the wild to breed. So, they never became fully domesticated.

The Aborigines did have domesticated dogs who were important in family life. In fact, the term “three-dog night” is an Aboriginal terms to describe a really cold night. They would sleep with their dogs for warmth, so if you have to sleep with three instead of one or two, it was very cold!

Aboriginal families would call a dog whose human guardian had passed away Wanguwangu, which means “without-without.” If no one else in the tribe took care of the dog, they often went feral.

Dogs as Spiritual Protectors

For the Aboriginal Warlpiri People, dogs are both physical and spiritual protectors. Dog would warn the people and protect them from the presence of jarnpa. A type of monster, the jarnpa would bewitch people and then maim, rape, and kill them. But thanks to the dogs who can smell the jarnpa, the people are protected, as the dogs will chase them into the bush.

Dog Spirit Animal

Roo at Fort Funston
My dog, Roo, before she passed. Fort Funston, San Francisco, CA. Photo: Kristen M. Stanton

The dog has been the beloved companion of people around the world for centuries, and many people feel a spiritual connection with their canines. In fact, those who believe in reincarnation might say their dog was with them in a past life or numerous past lives. Certainly, the film mentioned earlier, A Dog’s Purpose, addresses this idea.

Personally, I have felt a deep spiritual connection to my pets. When my dog, Roo, passed, on the night of her death I was crying and praying. In a flash, my maternal grandmother who died when I was in high school came through to me. She was simply, without question – there. My grandma loved dogs. She used to say if she had been on the Titanic, she would have rescued all of the dogs before the people. When she came through so clearly to me, I knew that she was telling me that Roo’s spirit was in good hands. This gave me comfort.

Watching Over You

After Roo passed, I felt that she was still with me, watching over me, as she always did when she was alive. After a year of grieving, I was ready to get a dog again. When I found Fin at a rescue place and it was clear he was going to be my next dog, I felt this overwhelming feeling a grief about Roo. It was so intense that I felt like I would crack in two. After I calmed down a bit, I realized that it was her soul finally being able to be fully at peace because she knew I would be ok.

Fin
My dog, Fin, at 3.5 mos., Sausalito, CA. Photo: Kristen M. Stanton

For those who love dogs, you probably already know the dog is one of your spirit animals. Personally, I do believe in animal soul mates. While many of us feel a deep spiritual connection to certain wild animals, the spiritual connection to a beloved dog has a level of intimacy that is unique. And while it’s heartbreaking when they leave the physical world, that soul connection is unbreakable.

If you are curious about other animals who might also be your spirit guides in addition to the dog, you can take UniGuide’s spirit animal quiz in my overview post about spirit animals.

Dog Power Animal

As the name implies, a power animal can inspire you with their most dynamic traits. So, if you want to transform an area of your life, mediate on the attributes that the power animal represents. For example, you can summon the dog power animal when you:

  • Want to see the best in people instead of feeling judgement and criticism.
  • Would like to be a better friend and family member. The loving, joyful, and easy-going dog provides a blueprint to follow!
  • Need to remind yourself to be a better protector, whether it’s of your children, family, or friends, or even your own physical and mental health, your ideas, or your career.
  • Want to have more fun in your life and remember to simply enjoy yourself.

Dog Totem

An animal totem is a helpful symbol that encapsulates the protective powers of the animal it represents. Therefore, a dog totem is a helpful symbol for manifesting more protection, bravery, and sense of purpose in your life. The dog totem is also a helpful symbol for summoning more patience and for persevering when things aren’t necessarily going your way yet. The dog totem is also a helpful reminder to trust your instincts. Don’t take everything as face value. Instead, pay attention to subtle cues or vibes you pick up about people and situations.

Dog Dream Meaning

What does it mean if you dream of a dog? Dreams are personal to each dreamer, so there is not a cut and dry answer to what dreaming of a dog means. For example, a dream meaning about an unfamiliar dog who is threatening may mean something entirely different from a dream about a dog, living or passed, whom you’re familiar with.

If you do have a very vivid dream about a dog companion who has passed over the Rainbow Bridge that is very likely their spirit connecting with you.

When analyzing your dog dream, it’s important is to consider the emotion you felt in your dream, whether it was fear, anger, anxiety, or some other feeling. Your emotional state in the dream will help you to understand the nature of a matter that you need to address when in your wakeful, conscious state. For example, dreaming of a vicious dog could mean you have some conscious or sub-conscious fears that you need to face head-on. While dreaming of a dog or dogs in distress could mean you are clueing into them, and it might help to volunteer, donate, or support a dog rescue organization.

Dog Tattoo Meaning

Man with HIs Pit Bull Mix

A dog tattoo is a lovely tribute to a special dog in your life or to these wonderful canines in general. Certainly all dog people understand why you would get a dog tattoo! It demonstrates that you love dogs and also that you are most likely a friendly, social person who is fiercely protective of and devoted to those you love. Of course, tattoos are personal to each individual, but hopefully understanding more about dog symbolism and mythology can bring deeper meaning to your tattoo.

Organizations that Protect Dogs

Every year, approximately 3.3 million dogs enter animal shelters in the U.S. alone. And roughly 670,000 of these dogs are euthanized. And in some cases, the dogs who enter shelters are the lucky ones. In some countries, people still capture and eat dogs. These include China, Vietnam, South Korea, India, Nigeria, Ghana, and even in rural parts of Switzerland. Furthermore, too many dogs face abuse and neglect around the world.

If you care about dogs, please do what you can to protect them. Here are some organizations that work to protect the safety and well-being of our dog friends:

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