Dogs In Your Dream: The Meaning and Spiritual Symbolism

Dogs are among the most-loved pets in the world, and they have a huge impact on our lives, so it’s no wonder they appear in our dreams.

The dream of having a dog is often associated with emotion. In particular, feelings of love, protection, loyalty, companionship, and security, but can also embody other emotions, too.

The appearance of a dog in a dream may also represent your need for affection, especially if you’ve been feeling cut off from other people or the world in general lately. Or perhaps your relationships don’t seem as good as they used to be.

Let’s take a closer look.

What Do Dogs Mean In Dreams?

Dogs in dreams can represent a myriad of themes and emotions, and the most common are associated with your closest relationships, including loyalty and affection.

In dreams, dogs also embody how you trust others, just how much and how far. This is as much of an unconscious decision as it is a conscious choice.

Some people swear that body language informs communication much better than words do on their own, so it’s interesting to explore relationships in dreams a little deeper.

The dog as a dream symbol specifically refers to the emotions caused by your relationships, the power they have over you, and the support that people might offer you in waking life.

Depending on the context of your dream, the dog may appear as a warning against trusting someone in waking life. It may also appear as a positive sign to begin a new relationship or strengthen an existing connection.

As with any dream interpretation, considering your own feelings during the dream is important, but it is especially useful when your dream features dogs, as they are directly connected.

Dogs And Their Relation To Empathy

Some people that dream of dogs experience a lot of emotion within the dream, and this can carry over as a physical reaction when they wake. 

Some dreams involving dogs can be incredibly lucid, and it’s a testament to how powerful these dreams are when they provoke a physical reaction (see also Why Am I Dreaming Of A Dead Dog?) (see also Why Am I Dreaming Of A Dead Dog?).

If you have deeply emotional dreams often, this is a sign of being highly sensitive, which some people call being an empath, where you can feel other people’s emotions so deeply they might as well be yours.

These dreams are not only useful for those who are empaths, but also for those who have trouble processing their emotions or struggle to give them an outlet.

The dog dream symbol serves as a way to recognize your feelings, whether they are on the surface or deeply buried in your subconscious.

The dogs in your dream help release any emotion that’s pent-up or stuck, allowing you to move on.

These dreams often occur when you feel overwhelmed by waking life, or when you feel you have no time to pay attention to your emotions, and you need to continue pushing forward.

Dreams like these force you to recognize your emotions in the dream, which provides a safe space for processing them without any fear of judgment.

A dream of a dog can also tell you why you’re feeling the way you are (see also White Dog Dream Meaning).

For instance, if you dream of a dog attacking your dog, this can symbolize that you’re getting too emotionally involved in other people’s lives, and this is affecting your own wellbeing.

Dreaming of a dog being hurt can denote your own sympathy when other people are suffering and your kind nature.

If you dream of dogs often, this dream symbol may act as a spiritual or emotional guide to help you through difficult times, helping you to regulate your feelings when waking life gets tough.

Dogs in dreams are also associated with:

  • Loyalty
  • Relationships
  • Power
  • Protection
  • Emotions
  • Wellbeing
  • Trust
  • Honesty
  • Kindness
  • Sympathy
  • Empathy

Different Colored Dogs In Dreams

It’s worth paying attention to the color of the dog’s coat in a dream, as this can help inform the meaning behind it.

Dreaming Of A Red Dog

A red or ginger dog in your dream embodies resentment, frustration, and anger. This dog may appear to you as a warning to be careful of who you should trust, or it can represent your own anger, or someone else’s who is close to you.

Dreaming Of A Gray Dog

A gray dog in your dream represents the unknown in a relationship. This might be as simple as an undercurrent of the uncertainty of where you stand with each other.

Maybe there’s something strange that you’re picking up on, but you don’t know what it is. Is someone keeping secrets?

A Brown Dog In Your Dream

A brown dog appearing in your dream is symbolic of protection, nurturing, and grounding.

Typically, brown dogs in dreams represent a parental figure or a guardian in your life, but they may also symbolize a part of you that needs guidance and reassurance.

Dreaming Of A White Dog

White dogs in dreams refer to a profound connection. This may be in one or more of your relationships, where you barely have to say anything to have someone understand you, but it can also refer to a spiritual journey or connection, too.

A Black Dog In Your Dreams

A black dog appearing in your dreams indicates a period of great change and transformation. You may be at a crossroads in life, where your decisions will shape your future for years to come.

Black dogs can also appear as a warning. You may be getting too dependent or attached to someone who is not good for you, or an unhealthy coping mechanism.

It’s also worth paying attention to the dog breed in your dream if you can remember what specific breed you were dreaming of. Consider the dog breed’s typical personality for more insight into your dream, as well as people’s assumptions about them.

For example, dreaming of a large dog such as a German shepherd may be frightening at first. When you look closer and remember that these dogs are often great family dogs and protectors, your dream may encourage you to look deeper.

Someone that you may assume to have a hard surface may be a softer person on the inside than you think. 

Similarly, dreaming of a chihuahua acting aggressively may denote someone who is naturally on edge in waking life. At first, you might assume that they are sweet and cuddly until you get on the wrong side of them.

The Spiritual Interpretation Of Dog Dreams

As dogs are very loyal animals that rely on their social connections and their instincts, they may appear in your dreams when you need direction in your relationships.

If you’re feeling trapped, or stuck in a relationship, or things just feel like they’re going wrong, and they may never be right again, then the dog dream symbol might appear as reassurance and assistance.

They can also manifest in your dreams when one of your chakras is blocked.

Specifically, your heart chakra, which is associated with love and connection, and the root chakra, which is linked to certainty, security, and your place in the world.

As dogs are beloved pets and usually live on your home property, if not inside, dreaming of dogs refers to your home life, the physical space you inhabit, as well as your sense of emotional security.

In waking life, dogs are among the most social and most trainable of pets, and in dreams, they can also embody the people in your life that make you feel safe.

Having a dog in waking life does mean that you’re more likely to see dogs in dreams, and in dreams, they can also act as a spirit guide when you need them the most. 

Common Dog Dreams And Their Symbolism

There are so many ways that dogs can appear in dreams, that it would be impossible to go through them all.

However, when it comes to dream symbols, there are always repeating themes that you can examine to find the meaning behind your specific dream.

The best way to start looking for the symbolism in your dream is to look at the most common dreams featuring that symbol, and you’ll start to see a pattern emerging.

A Dog As A Friend Or Protector In Your Dream

Dogs are among the most protective animal symbols in dreams. Think about our relationship with dogs for example, and how loyal and protective they are of us and our family.

A dog protecting you in a dream is a message from your subconscious. You shouldn’t worry so much, as the dog in your dream represents how you are protected from the worst of life.

Maybe you feel like all you do is worry about the future and the people you love. Your dream urges you to pay attention to the good in your life, and enjoy everything for what it is.

Dreams like these often occur when you feel threatened in some way. Perhaps your work life seems uncertain, or a rift has opened up in one of your relationships.

A friendly dog in your dream denotes future happiness and joy. A dog jumping on you, licking, wagging its tail, playing with you, or otherwise acting happy all have the same meaning in a dream.

These dreams point to the time you’ll spend with your loved ones, where you’ll focus on the present and enjoy the moment, and nothing else.

These dreams can also suggest there’s a new relationship on the horizon, or you feel a better sense of belonging soon.

Seeing A Stray Dog In Your Dream

A stray dog in your dream is directly linked to the feeling that you do not belong.

Stray dogs, after all, do not have safe homes, and while they might have a pack of sorts, these dreams urge you to find people you feel you belong with.

Dreaming Of A Dog Swimming

A dog swimming in a dream is a very good sign for the future. It suggests a better connection between you and someone else, where you’ll barely have to say anything for them to know exactly what you’re thinking or how you feel.

If you dream of a dog struggling to swim, this implies that your emotions are getting the better of you in a relationship, and you need to work to overcome them.

A Dog In Your Home In A Dream

Dreaming of a dog in your home is a very positive sign. It implies that there is a new relationship in the future, and this connection will provide you with a lot of happiness and security.

However, if you dream of an aggressive dog forcing its way into your home, you should be wary of who you consider your friends, as someone might overstep a big boundary of yours soon.

A Dog In A Kennel In Your Dream

Seeing a dog in a kennel within your dream implies that you feel you cannot be honest about your feelings with someone. Though they might ask, you know that they won’t like the answer.

Seeing A Dog Give Birth In A Dream

A dog giving birth in a dream suggests a new life stage or a changing dynamic in one or more of your relationships. 

Puppies in your dream represent brand-new relationships and the buds of new connections that will shape your life.

Dreaming Of A Dog Sniffing You

A dog sniffing you in a dream means that you’ll soon forge some new connections in waking life, with people you’d least expect.

These new relationships may even change your life in some way.

Seeing A Dog On A Lead In A Dream

Dreaming of a dog on a lead implies that a relationship in your life has developed a worrying imbalance. One of you has all the control and the power, and this will not end well.

You may feel as though you sink everything into this connection, and you don’t get anything back, or this relationship is suffocating you.

Dreaming of a dog on a leash implies a communication breakdown somewhere in your life.

Dreaming Of A Dog Pooping Or Peeing

A dream where you see a dog going to the toilet is a mixed sign.

It can either suggest that you are bringing any built-up negativity to the surface to expel it, or you’re about to be on the receiving end of some toxic behavior. 

Dreaming Of A Dog Eating

Seeing a dog eat in your dream refers to processing an emotional situation, or a bunch of feelings that you’ve been ignoring.

Being eaten by an animal in a dream is a powerful dream symbol. It suggests that you’re making great progress on your spiritual path, and you’ve learned to let go of your pride and false illusions to live your life as honestly as possible.

A dog eating you in a dream represents how you’ve let go of fear and other forces of negativity, allowing you to live with enough energy to help others.

A Dog Eating A Bone

This is a good sign and signifies a brand-new start in life.

A Dog Eating A Cat

A dog eating a cat in your dream reflects how you are working your way through spiritual intuition or instincts, and you’re letting these guide your decisions.

A Dog Eating A Snake

Dreaming of a dog eating a snake implies that you’re on your way to revealing hidden parts of your subconscious.

A Dog Eating Fish

A dog eating fish in your dreams suggests a wealth of inspiration for your future. 

A Very Hungry Dog

Dreaming of a very hungry dog points to how you may need to reach out when you feel lonely or unsupported. Not everyone will be able to notice.

A Dog Biting In A Dream

A dog biting something or someone in your dream speaks of betrayal, lies, and someone who was once loyal acting against you.

A dream like this can suggest that while you’re putting all your efforts into one goal, it may not play out as you hope.

A dog biting in a dream can indicate that despite your best efforts, you may be enabling someone rather than helping them. 

A Dog Biting Someone In Your Dream

A dream where a dog bites someone implies that you’ve noticed that someone in waking life needs help. Someone else may be manipulating them in some way or setting them up to be a scapegoat.

Dreaming of watching a dog bite someone suggests that you should act on your intuition, and see if this person would like your help.

A Dog Biting Your Left Leg

A dog biting your left leg in a dream refers to the past and any unresolved issues that you’re still dragging around with you like a bad limp.

This dream urges you to find a way to reconcile, whether that’s apologizing to yourself or someone else, or finding a way to try and make it right.

Seeing A Dog Bite Your Right Leg

In dreams, a dog biting your right leg is a bad sign for the future. It suggests that someone may try to manipulate or betray you.

This dream also calls on you to make sure you spend your time wisely, so you can look back on the past with few regrets.

A Dog Biting Your Bum In A Dream

Dreaming of a dog biting your bum symbolizes a betrayal that will cut you deeply. You won’t be able to let it go. 

Someone who you trust without question might try to manipulate you, lie, or otherwise betray you in some way.

A Dog Biting Your Right Hand

Dreaming of a dog biting your right hand signifies that you need to be cautious about how much you share with others, whether that’s your energy, time, or material possessions.

You may have your priorities backward, where you are spending all of your time trying to help others and reserving none for yourself.

Your dream warns you against not setting clear boundaries, giving in to fear or indecision, and not taking control of your life.

Dreaming Of A Dog Biting Your Left Hand

A dog biting your left hand in a dream implies that you need to be careful about what you receive. This may be false information that someone is feeding you, where you give your power to other people and make yourself vulnerable.

Something may come along that will seem great to start with, and it’s only as you go on that you will realize that you feel trapped or limited.

This could be in terms of your profession, your career, a business partnership, or a specific relationship.

Dreaming Of A Dog Fighting Or Attacking

While most dogs are very sweet-natured, we have to remember that they have different personalities, and some dogs are very aggressive, just like some humans.

Most dogs in dreams act as a connection to your emotions, and when you see a dog acting aggressively, attacking, or fighting, this is usually a warning.

Dreams of dogs acting aggressively typically happen when you feel constrained by an authoritative or aggressive person in your life.

Maybe they look and act loyal and protective, but do something against their wishes and see them turn on you.

These dogs can represent your own negative emotions, such as fear or frustration.

If you are a spiritual person, dreams of dogs fighting can reveal a blocked root chakra or heart chakra, and you need to do some spiritual cleansing to regain your balance.

Dogs Attacking People In Your Dream

Dreaming of a dog attacking someone represents your view of the outside world. The uncertainty that life presents you with means that you stay inside your comfort zone more than you should.

It also suggests that you don’t trust the universe and what it has planned for you, and deep down, you don’t trust yourself to handle difficult situations.

A dog attacking a child in your dream represents deep uncertainty or insecurity at the core of your being. Perhaps something in waking life has left you feeling vulnerable or terrified about the future.

Sometimes these dreams occur when you need to process feelings of powerlessness or loneliness, in which case you should reach out to someone you trust.

Dogs Attacking Animals In Your Dream

Dreaming of a dog fighting another dog is not a positive sign. It symbolizes betrayal, feeling threatened, unhealthy competition, and envy.

Someone who you see as a great friend in waking life may not be what they seem. It may be that they are competing with you in some way in waking life, and they want to see you fail for one reason or another.

Dreaming of a dog fight where two dogs are absolutely trying to kill each other reflects the imbalance in your priorities.

Remember that the instinct to survive is in every one of us, and while other people are putting themselves before their relationships, you are doing the opposite.

It may be that you’re prioritizing other people before yourself, and this will only mean burnout, which will take longer to recover from than if you just dealt with your problems first, and then other people’s.

A dream like this often occurs when someone is taking advantage of your generosity or kindness.

A dog attacking a cat in a dream suggests there is a discord between your emotions and your intuition. You’re very conflicted. Your intuition is telling you one thing, but you are clinging onto your emotions which are saying something completely different.

Maybe you feel trapped by nostalgia, unable to let something go as you think it can still carry on, such as a relationship that has broken down.

Your intuition insists that there’s nothing you can do, and you need to resolve this conflict before you can move forward.

A Dog Killing Or Being Killed In A Dream

Something being killed in your dream typically refers to power, and the need to let go of something.

As dogs refer to emotions, empathy, emotional connections, and survival, a dream like this indicates that you need to let go of some emotional ties in waking life. They have become unhealthy.

Killing a dog in your dream refers to the necessity of putting an end to something, in order to regain your own power and control over your life.

You may feel completely trapped or voiceless in a relationship or situation that is sapping all of your energy, and this dream refers to your desperate need for an escape from this.

This dream urges you to cut yourself out of this situation before it gets worse, and the pent-up frustration and anger get so bad that you lose control over it and emotionally explode.

Dreaming of a dog being killed by someone suggests a harmful relationship or unhealthy dynamic in waking life. Someone may be completely jealous of you or a loved one and may move against them.

A Dog Killing Another Dog In Your Dream

This dream implies that you are emotionally conflicted. You are completely torn in a situation or in trying to make a decision, and you need to come to a resolution.

A Dog Killing A Bird

Dreaming of a dog killing a bird suggests that your emotions are getting in the way of your wisdom, knowledge, or spiritual health. You may refuse to make progress so that you can cling to an emotional attachment.

A Dog Killing A Rat

This dream draws your attention to the trouble you have in trusting people. You have been hurt before, but if you don’t let people in at all then you cannot sustain meaningful relationships.

A Dog Killing A Cat

Dreaming of a dog killing a cat suggests that your caring nature and emotional attachments are getting in the way of your instincts, as well as sapping your energy.

Cats in dreams represent intuition and a spiritual perspective, so seeing a dog kill a cat in a dream suggests trouble in your future, which you won’t see coming.

Your dream calls on you to regain a balance between empathy and your emotions.

A Dog Killing A Snake

If you dream of a dog killing a snake, this refers to your emotional attachments suffocating or stifling your intuition.

You are turning away from your inner truth, either consciously or subconsciously, and this dream urges you to take some time to recognize things as they are.

Other Negative Dog Dreams

Seeing A Rabid Dog In Your Dream

A rabid dog appearing in your dreams refers to something completely out of your control.

This is a situation or thing that you had absolute power over to start with, and this role reversal is a horrible disquiet. 

A dream like this calls on you to recognize that whatever this situation is, you cannot solve it alone. Rational thinking and your own wisdom is not enough here. 

If you have recurring dreams of rabid dogs, this may be your subconscious telling you that you need to seek professional advice.

Running From A Dog In Your Dream

A dog chasing you in a dream represents the part of you that is always tempted to run in the other direction.

This might be a fear of commitment, whether that’s in a relationship or making an important decision, or a fear of failure.

These dreams also occur when a relationship or great attachment is holding you back from experiencing the best that life has to offer. 

Maybe you’re holding onto how things used to be because you’re afraid of change, or you think that holding on so tightly will stop bad things from happening. This is an illusion of control.

If the dog manages to catch you, this represents your fears taking hold of you completely. It will take a while for you to shake them off, and regain a balanced perspective.

Seeing A Dog Barking Or Growling

A dog barking or growling at you in a dream is a warning. Just like dogs use their body language and their bark to tell you to back off, in dreams, this represents something that you need to be wary of.

Specifically, this dream warns you against a new emotional attachment, usually in a new relationship.

It implies that this connection is less than healthy at its beginning, so what does that mean further on? Your dream urges you to be cautious.

A Dying Or Injured Dog In A Dream

What a horrible dream! Dreams where a dog dies or becomes injured refer to incredibly powerful emotions, usually brought on by energetic shifts and great changes in waking life.

As dogs represent powerful connections in relationships, a dream like this may suggest a discord in a powerful relationship, becoming separated from part of yourself, or needing to distance yourself from a situation or relationship.

Change brings uncertainty, after all, that is the nature of change, but quite often change is much better than stagnation. 

Those unexpected shifts in life are what motivate us to do better, to carve a better life for ourselves, and push us along our spiritual paths.

A dream like this points to the importance of letting go of things that no longer serve you, and adapting to change instead of fighting it.

A dying dog in your dream implies that you need to let go of an emotional attachment to something or someone, or a life-changing opportunity which will mean saying goodbye to a way of life or someone you love.

An injured dog in a dream denotes your own empathy when it comes to other people’s suffering. It also signifies your fear that your loved ones will suffer in the future.

If you have recurring dreams like this, your subconscious urges you to focus on the good in life, and don’t look for trouble and disaster, otherwise you may find it.

A Dog Drowning In A Dream

Dreaming of a dog drowning suggests that you’re being swallowed by your emotions for someone. You have lost control over your feelings, and they are overwhelming you.

This can also point to an unhealthy relationship that you depend on to make you feel secure or happy, and this dream urges you to regain control.

Dreams like this are common when you start a new relationship, or disaster falls on an existing connection with someone.

Dreaming Of A Dog Being Hit By A Car

Dreaming of a dog being hit by a car is a horrible experience. Equally, it points to a shift in a relationship, where a decision you or someone else has made has transformed the dynamic completely.

For instance, someone may have changed their life course by moving to a different country or city, and you’re both adapting to this change. 

The action of the dog being injured by the car represents a fear of a breakdown in your relationship.

Dreaming of your own car hitting a dog or hitting a dog while driving represents fear of what your decisions might create. You are afraid of things being your fault.

This symbol can also suggest that you want to transform your life, but something is holding you back. This may be the expectations of your family or being worried about what others might think of you.

Final Thoughts

Dog dreams can be positive or negative. As a dream symbol, dogs appear to emphasize the connection between your emotions and your relationships, and how these affect each other.

Dog dreams are useful not only to show you where you might be ignoring your emotions, but they also help denote your spiritual connection, too.

A negative dream involving a dog can suggest you need to take some time to work on cleansing your chakras or making sure that you’re moving toward a goal for the right reasons.

In many cultures, dogs are considered sacred animals, and so dreaming of them can draw your attention to your spiritual wellbeing or journey.

In order to interpret your dog dream correctly, it’s worth trying to remember as much detail of the dream as you can, as well as your reaction when you saw the dog in your dream, and what it was doing.

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