Dog and Puppy Dream Meaning

What Does it Mean to Dream About Dogs or Puppies?

Many of us love dogs, some are afraid of them, and others just don’t want to be near them. Whichever one you are doesn’t take away the fact that they are part of daily life. When we go out, we might see someone walking a dog. Our family and friends might have dogs and of course, so may we.

Dreams about dogs are usually positive, although occasionally they indicate inner conflict and betrayal. Dogs represent loyalty and friendship, as well as protection and generosity. They can be viewed as guardians or guides as they are devoted to their owners. 

Sometimes the dogs in your dreams represent yourself, at others, they stand for other people in your life. 

Loyalty and Trust

Dogs aren’t called ‘Man’s Best Friend’ for nothing. They are loyal to their owners and trust them with their lives. They are pack animals and need to be part of a pack. This doesn’t mean that they need other dogs in the house. They consider you and your family their pack and you need to establish yourself as a leader.

There are many different reasons dogs (see also wolf dream meaning) will appear in dreams. They can remind you that you are not alone, and it is always possible to make friends. If you are worried that you can’t trust anyone, the dream is telling you to have faith and that there are people around who are trustworthy. You may also be worried about trusting yourself to make the right decisions. The dream can mean that you should go for it. 

If the dog is healthy and has a companion it can mean that there is someone in your life that you trust completely. However, there is a warning associated with this. Are you sure that this person is trustworthy? If the dog doesn’t have a companion, it could mean that you are sabotaging things in your waking life. If the dog is injured, it can indicate a breach of trust. Be on your guard.

Protection and Defense

Dogs generally protect their families, and some are even watchdogs. When we think of watchdogs we often think of German Shepherds, Dobermans, and Rottweilers. If you see one in a dream, it could mean that there are problems or even danger ahead and you need to be prepared for them.

If you dream of puppies with their mother (see also mother dream meaning), it could mean that you are being protective of someone. It could also mean that you are protecting something like a secret. Occasionally it indicates that you are being over-protective. Examine your relationships with other people in your life.

Service and Duty

There are many dogs who work for a living. Think of Border Collies who herd sheep and Labradors who are often used as guide dogs for the blind. In addition, some dogs work with the fire service and some as police dogs. There are even dogs who are volunteers in hospitals, visiting the patients to cheer them up. It doesn’t stop there. Some are trained to help if their owner is epileptic and has a seizure.

In our dreams, dogs can appear as symbols for work. Perhaps you are working hard at your job and are being rewarded for the work you do. Maybe you are looking for a job. The dream might be telling you that it is time you revealed your hidden talents.

However, there can be a negative side to dreaming about dogs working. Perhaps you are feeling that you aren’t appreciated in the workplace. Maybe you’re not moving up the career ladder as quickly as you would like to. On the other hand, it could mean that your job has no meaning and isn’t fulfilling. Perhaps it’s time to look for a more rewarding job which will make good use of your talents.

Unconditional Love and Forgiveness

The wonderful thing about dogs is that they are completely faithful to their owners. They love their family unconditionally and don’t hold grudges. Unfortunately, however, they can still be devoted to their owners even if they are treated badly.

In dreams, dogs can be a symbol of forgiveness. Perhaps we should forgive somebody or even forgive ourselves for making a bad decision. 

Responsibility and Commitment

If puppies (see also puppies dream meaning) appear in your dreams, you could be worried about taking on new responsibilities. Puppies need a lot of attention and care. They need to be housetrained, fed, bathed, trained to react to commands, and taken to the vet for routine injections and neutering. In addition, they will want to play, and they need lots of love. If you can’t commit to this, it is not advisable to get a puppy. 

Your new responsibilities could be anything from starting a new job, getting married, or having children. It’s quite likely you’ll see yourself surrounded by puppies in the dream.

Common Dream Examples and What They Mean

We can now delve deeper into the meaning of dog dreams by looking at different situations you might see the dogs in.

Dreaming of Playing Ball or Fetch with your Dog

Most dogs enjoy playing fetch and some are keen to keep playing for hours if you are game. If you see this scenario in a dream, it could mean that you are looking for fun in your life. Perhaps you have been working too hard and need a break. Maybe you need new friends to go out with and have a good time.

Dreaming of Dog Fights, Biting, or Attacking

Not all dog dreams are positive. If you dream that you are watching dogs fight or that one is attacking you, it can be frightening. 

There are many interpretations of these types of dreams. To see two dogs fighting can mean that you are feeling betrayed. Somebody you trusted has let you down or gone behind your back. It can also mean that you feel alone in the world and deserted by family and friends. Alternatively, it can mean that you are ashamed of something you have done and are regretting your actions. You may also be embroiled in a conflict with friends or family. It is time to step away from this situation as it is having a negative impact on you. Perhaps it’s time to heal the rift. On the other hand, the conflict could be as simple as deciding between two activities for the weekend.

A dream of a dog attacking you means there is something you are scared of. It could be that you are being picked on at work or that your boss keeps putting you down and not recognizing your efforts. Alternatively, it could indicate that there is conflict within yourself. Perhaps you want to apply for your perfect job, but it doesn’t pay much money, while your current job pays well. A dog attacking you could also indicate betrayal by someone close to you.

If a dog bites you in your dream, it can also mean betrayal. If the dog bites your hand it symbolizes disloyalty. On the other hand, if you see a dog happily barking means that you are enjoying your life and don’t have any problems.

Dreaming of Dogs in Water

Many dogs love going in for a swim and some even have water in their names, for example, the Portuguese Water Dog and the Irish Water Spaniel. If we dream about water, it usually relates to our emotions.

Dreams of dogs swimming could mean that you are in a situation that is stressing you out. It will take a lot of effort, but with the right mindset, you can achieve your goals. Dreaming that you are doing the doggie paddle has the same meaning.

Dogs splashing in puddles can mean that you need to have fun. Dogs love to splash about in puddles so perhaps you should take a break from always working. 

Dreaming of a dog rescuing you in water or vice versa could have one of two meanings. Perhaps you are feeling out of your depth and need help to get out of this frame of mind. On the other hand, the dream can be more positive and indicate that you are forming a partnership with someone. This could be either in your personal or working life.

Dog Rolling in Mud or Giving a Dog a Bath

Many dogs enjoy rolling about in the mud, meaning that you will have to give them a bath. If you see this in a dream it can mean that somebody is taking you for a ride and not telling you the truth. 

If you see muddy paw prints in your dream this often means that you are thinking of things that happened in your past which are affecting the state of your mind now. Perhaps you are living in the past and need to move on. 

If you dream of bathing your dog, it can indicate that you will get a fresh start. It can also mean that you are building up trust with someone from either your work or your personal life. Your life is going to become more secure in some way, perhaps financially or maybe emotionally.

Dreaming of Puppies in a Cage or Shelter

This can be a negative dream. It could mean that you are feeling abandoned by your friends or family or that you feel as if you have been betrayed by someone close to you. Perhaps there was been a spate of crime in your area and you are worried about the safety of your family. 

However, if you dream of adopting a dog from a shelter, the news is more positive. Perhaps you have done something wrong at work and you are being given a second chance. Maybe you have had an argument with a loved one. If so, the news is good, and harmony should be restored. Alternatively, you could be the good guy by giving someone else an opportunity to excel. If you do something good you will be rewarded. Maybe you will gain new friends.

Dog Dream Meanings by Breed Name and Type

There are a lot of dogs to dream about as there are over 360 recognized breeds, not to mention all the designer dogs and mixed breeds. 

If you dream about a specific breed, it’s a good idea to research that particular breed as it may give insight into the meaning of your dream.

Sporting Dogs in Dreams

In centuries past, sporting dogs were bred to hunt such birds as geese and ducks. Sporting dogs include Setters, Spaniels, Retrievers, and Labradors and although they are still used for hunting, many are kept just as pets. 

If you dream of one of these dogs, you might be searching for something in your waking life. Is it love, friendship, or a new career? Only you will know the real interpretation of this dream. 

Sporting dogs can symbolize a goal you are trying to reach or sometimes they can mean that you are looking for peace in your life. Perhaps things have just been too hectic, and you want a calmer life.

Hounds & Tracking Dogs

Hounds include Bloodhounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Afghan Hounds, and Beagles. They have been used in the past and even today to hunt game, rabbits (see rabbit dream symbols), and even deer. They are also used to hunt missing persons as they have a great sense of smell.

These dogs are extremely loyal and often appear in dreams as a sign that there are people we can trust. We just have to trust our instinct and put our trust in the right people. Alternatively, it could indicate that you are trying to solve a problem and you need to study all the facts. 

Dreaming About Terrier Breeds

Terrier dog breeds are used to hunt rodents, squirrels, and other small animals and are good at it. These breeds include the American Pit Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, and Rat Terrier. These dogs burrow and dig so the dream may indicate that you need to examine current situations or feelings. Perhaps you suspect that someone is going behind your back making bad reports to your boss. It is time to confront this person. Trust your intuition and don’t let things slide. It will be worse for you if you do. If you feel that something is wrong, investigate these feelings. It could give you peace of mind.

What it Means to Dream of Herding Dogs

Herding dogs work hard and include Corgis, English Sheepdogs, Border Collies, Australian Cattle Dogs, and German Shepherds. They are often used to manage livestock such as sheep and cattle.

Because these dogs are extremely protective, dreaming about them can mean that we need to exercise caution. Things may not be as they seem at work and somebody could be ready to stab (see also stab dreams) you in the back.

We need to take the whole dream in context. Work out how you feel in the dream. If you feel positive and happy, you should be secure in your waking life. If the overall feeling is low, then somebody might be trying to take advantage of you. Be on your guard.

Working Dog Breed Symbols

There are many types of working dog breeds. In northern countries where it is cold, you will find sled dogs such as the Samoyed, Siberian Husky, and Alaskan Malamutes. They are used to pulling sleds in extremely cold conditions, and despite the weather, they are fast and hardy. The Lagotto Romagnolo is another type of working dog. It was bred in Italy to hunt for truffles because it isn’t easy for people to find them. They are a great delicacy in the culinary world. Boxers, Dobermans, and Rottweilers are also considered to be working dogs. 

These dogs are loyal to their owners and are also both physically and mentally strong. If you dream of one or more of them, it means that you feel secure and have accomplished your goals.

Non-Sporting and Companion Dogs

There are many different breeds in this category and if you dream of one it is a sign to recognize your talents and achievements. Their main purpose is to be a friend so dreaming of them is positive and bodes well for your future life. 

If you dream of a Bulldog, Poodle, Dalmatian, or Chow Chow, it can mean that you are due some fun in life so go out and get some enjoyment. You deserve it after working hard.

Toy Breeds

Toy breeds used to be well-favored by royalty and now are extremely popular with celebrities who often carry them around in their handbags. However, despite being small, they are larger than life characters. Examples of this breed include Pomeranians, Pugs, Maltese, and the Havanese.

If you dream of a toy breed it can be a sign that you need to enjoy life more and cut down on the work hours. Enjoy the smaller things in life as they can have an impact on your life just as much as the bigger things. Appreciate your family and friends more and don’t be too serious. Life is to be enjoyed. 

On a more negative note, these dogs can be telling you to examine your friendships closely. Are their values the same as yours or should you be looking for new friends?

How to Interpret Your Dreams About Dogs

The way you interpret your dreams about dogs can reflect the way you feel about dogs. It can also be based on your emotions both in the dream and in your waking life. It is a good idea to keep a dream journal so that you can write down your dreams as soon as you wake up. It is too easy to forget your dreams as the hours pass by, 

What Were My First Thoughts When I Woke Up from the Dream?

Generally, the way we feel in our dreams mirrors our feelings in our waking life. If you are generally happy with the way your life is going, you will probably have positive dreams about dogs. However, if you are anxious and worried you may have negative dreams, such as dogs fighting, or ones where you are being attacked by a dog. If you do feel negative in your dream, you need to assess what is making you feel like this. Only then can you try to correct the problems. 

What Are My Own Feelings and Associations with Dogs?

Before you can fully interpret your dream about dogs, you have to recognize how you feel about dogs. If you love them, you are more likely to have a positive dream concerning them and what is going on in your life. If dogs make you feel afraid, the dream probably will be negative. A dog could be chasing you for example, or even attacking you. Perhaps this happened to you as a child and it has become a recurrent dream. It is time for you to get over this fear and a good way to do this would be by having interactions with a placid dog to show you that not all of them are to be feared. 

Perhaps the name of the dog in the dream has some relevance. You could have a dog called Portia for example which will make you think about Shakespeare. Perhaps you need to read more books and plays to increase your knowledge. A simple name like Lassie can remind you what devotion really is.

What other Symbols Did I Notice?

There may be other symbols in your dream which will help you interpret it. For instance, what color was the dog? If it was black it could mean that there is danger ahead. However, white symbolizes purity and a good future. Were there other people in the dream apart from the dog? Did you recognize that person or not? If you did what place do they have in your waking life and do they have any associations with dogs. If they hate dogs, maybe they’re not such nice people and it may be time to end the friendship. However, if they like dogs as you do, you may discover a friend for life. The possibilities are limitless.

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