Animal Symbols | Dream Symbols

Dog and Puppy Dream Meaning

meaning of dream about dogs
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Did you dream about a dog or puppy? Wonder if one may be your spirit animal? Today we’ll share some different dog and puppy symbols and dream examples to help you understand what it means to dream about dogs.

What Does it Mean to Dream About Dogs or Puppies?

dog dream meaning

Most of us see these popular furry friends in some way during our everyday life.

Maybe we notice a neighbor walking one while we are driving down the road. You may have friends or family members who are pet owners. You may even have your very own dog you love and care for or you may have even recently adopted a puppy.

With dogs being a part of our regular daily lives it is not too surprising they would also appear in our dreams!

There are several common themes we can might experience in a dream featuring our favorite furry friends.

Loyalty & Trust

bernese mountain dog symbol for loyalty

Dogs are often touted as “Man’s Best Friend” because they are very loyal to their owners. Dogs are pack animals, and they often look out for those who are part of their pack.

Sometimes we will notice a dog as an animal totem or spirit animal appear because we might feel like there is no one we can trust.

Ask yourself, am I trusting of others? Do I trust enough or am I trusting too much? Do I trust myself? Do I trust the outcome of this situation I am currently in?

Occasionally a dog will appear in your dreams as a sign to remind you that no one is truly ever alone, and we can always find a friend.

The message of wisdom is this: Have faith you will find a loyal friend you can trust.

Protection and Defense

dog guard dream meaning

Dogs are often symbols for protection and guarding. A watchdog is someone who looks over you and protects you from danger. In some dreams, a watchdog may appear to warn you of potential problem or concern.

If you dream about a mother and her puppies, it is likely you are dreaming about protecting and caring for someone or something.

This dream symbol may sometimes appear as a sign that you are being over protective or overly cautious. Other times these experiences can occur to remind you to keep your guard up and be on the alert for possible dangers.

Service and Duty

working dog
Photo by Marek Szturc

Many dogs are hard workers and serve their owners well. There are a number of dogs with jobs, such as those who work with police officers, fire departments, and even volunteer at hospitals to brighten the patients’ day.

Just as they work in our everyday lives, they can also appear in our dreams as a symbol for work and service.

There is also an expression, “worked like a dog”, which can mean one is overworked, or worked with little appreciation or reward.

Sometimes this can mean in a dream that you do not feel appreciated in your workplace. You may find your work to have little or no meaning. It could also be a sign that you are looking for a more rewarding and fulfilling career.

Unconditional Love and Forgiveness

One of the reasons a dog can be a great friend is they typically do not hold grudges against others. They are very forgiving and love unconditionally.

Sometimes a dog will appear in our dreams to remind us that we should not harshly judge ourselves or others.

Ask yourself in your dream: Do I love myself and others unconditionally? Do I need to forgive someone? Is it time to truly forgive and forget?

Responsibility & Commitment

puppy dream meaning

Ask any seasoned dog owner and they will tell you having a puppy can be an awful lot of work! You have to clean up after them, feed them, bathe them, take them to the vet, play with them, and give them lots of love and affection…for life!

For this reason, dogs and puppies in dreams can be a symbol for looming responsibilities or even a fear of commitment.

If your partner is talking to you about getting married or having children in real life you might for example have a dream about being surrounded by puppies who need cared for.

Common Dream Examples and What They Mean

Now that we have these basic common themes we associate with dogs in dreams, we can take a look at some different examples of dreams and what they mean.

Dreaming of Playing Ball or Fetch With Your Dog

English Bulldog, Bulldog, Dog, Ball

Many dogs love to play fetch. They love to chase balls and some animals will go on forever as long as you can keep throwing it to them.

This is usually a sign you need to introduce some playfulness and fun into your life. Another possible dog dream meaning is that you are longing to meet new friends that you enjoy doing things with.

Dreaming of Dog Fights, Biting, or Attacking

Dreaming of dog fight can be very scary, especially if you dream of being bitten by a dog or having a dog bite!

Remember how we said these animals are symbols for trust and loyalty? Dogs fighting in a dream can be a sign that you feel betrayed or lonely. It might be a subconscious sign that you feel alone in the world.

If you dream of a vicious dog snarling at you to attack, this can mean that there is something you are afraid of. It’s important to remember what common themes we mentioned earlier.

For example, the dog could be a symbol for your current work or job. Do you feel like your boss or co-workers are constantly belittling or attacking you? Do you feel as if you do not belong?

Fighting in our dreams is usually a symbol for some sort of unresolved conflict in our everyday waking lives.

It could be something very obvious, such as a recent fight with a friend or spouse, or it could be something a little more mundane, such as feeling conflicted in deciding on plans for the weekend.

Dreaming of Dogs in Water

dreaming of a dog swimming

Several breeds of this species enjoy and love water – some even have the word water in their name, such as the Irish Water Spaniel.

Water in our dreams usually signifies emotion and feeling. Often times the context of the dream will help you understand more about your own hidden feelings.

Dreams of dogs swimming or dreaming of yourself doing the doggie paddle could mean you are trying to stay afloat in a stressful situation. It could require a lot of effort and work to see the results you wish to achieve. You may also want to explore what it means to swim in a dream.

Dogs splashing in puddles could be a reminder for you to take a break from work and do something fun for a change.

Dreaming of a dog rescuing you in water or dreaming of rescuing a drowning dog could mean that you are overwhelmed with work or that you are forming a new mutually beneficial partnership with someone.

Dog Rolling in the Mud or Giving a Dog a Bath

dog in bathtub

No doubt if you’ve spent any time at all with your beloved pooch you are all too well familiar with that “wet dog smell”. Muddy paws can be quite a mess to clean up after as well!

A dirty and muddy dog in a dream can potentially mean that someone is being deceitful with you. They may not be “coming clean” in their dealings with you, and may be acting disgracefully or dishonestly. 

If you see muddy paw prints, it could be a symbol of someone leaving evidence of their past or it could mean that you are thinking about past events and how they currently affect you. 

If you dream of bathing your dog, it can mean that you are working to build up trust and security in your life.

Dreaming of Puppies in a Cage or Shelter

If you have a dream about a puppy being abandoned in a cage or shelter, it is quite possible you are feeling as if someone has let you down or betrayed you.

You may be suspicious of others’ actions or you may have concerns about your own safety and security. Puppies in a cage can also be a symbol for your own insecurities in life.

If you dream of adopting a dog at a shelter, it could mean that you are being given a second chance or that you are giving someone else a new opportunity. It can also mean that you can find new friends by being generous and kind.

Dog Dream Meanings by Breed Name and Type

different types of dogs

There are over 360 recognized breeds of dogs – that’s a LOT of different types of dogs to dream about! 

While we can’t possibly list them all, one way to understand if the specific breed you dreamt about has significance is to research the breed and think about the characteristics of the specific breed.

To help simplify the dream interpretation for different dog breeds, we’ll narrow it down by the American Kennel Club breed classification groups.

Identifying the type of dog you dreamt about and its main distinguishing characteristics can help you understand what it may mean for you on a personal level. 

Sporting Dogs in Dreams

Sporting dogs were bred specifically to help their owners hunt ducks, geese, and other flying game. 

Examples of sporting dogs you might experience in a dream:

  • Labradors
  • Retrievers
  • Spaniels
  • Setters

If you dream of one of these dogs, you may be trying to metaphorically hunt for something in real life. Are you hunting for work? House hunting? Are you on the search for happiness?

These dogs can also be a symbol for obtaining something in your life. What are you trying to get? 

Sometimes these breeds in a dream can appear as a symbol if you feel like you are doing a lot of running around and going back and forth in negotiations or trying to find peace in your life.

Hound & Tracking Dogs

Hounds are often used to track game animals, such as rabbits, deer, and coyotes. Popular breeds of this type include Beagles, Afghan Hounds, Irish wolfhound, and bloodhounds.

These dogs have an excellent sense of smell and are able to often put their nose to good work in situations for finding missing persons.

If you dream of a hound or tracking dog, it can mean that you are seeking a way to identify and resolve a problem. Is there a known threat you are trying to track down?

Sometimes these dogs may also appear in our dreams as a symbol as people we can trust to help us. These breeds are fiercely loyal and want to serve their owners to track and successfully identify a scent.

Dreaming About Terrier Breeds

Rats, mice, squirrels and other rodents can be a menace, and the terrier dog breeds were created specifically to address these problems.

Common breeds include the Rat Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, Jack Russel Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier and others.

Understanding the nature of these breeds can help you better understand what your dream might mean.

Often times these dogs can be a sign for you that is time for you to learn to better trust your intuition.

Since these animals tend to burrow and dig a lot, it could mean that you should investigate your feelings, especially if you have a hunch that something is off or wrong.

What It Means to Dream of Herding Dogs

border collie

Herding dogs are typically associated with breeds which help manage sheep, cattle and other livestock. These animals are very hard workers and easy to train.

Common herding breeds include German Shepherds, Australian Cattle Dog, Border Collie, English Sheep Dogs, and the Corgi breeds.

These breeds are fiercely protective and so when one appears in our dream it is very likely that it is a sign to take care.

Often times these breeds are a sign that we should be on guard for potential predators in our life, such as thieves, liars, and other dishonest people who may try to take advantage of us.

corgi dog meaning

If you dream was a fairly positive one, this can be a sign that you feel as if your needs are being met. You likely feel safe and secure in your current situation.

Working Dog Breed Symbols

Beyond hunting, tracking and herding there are many other specialized jobs dogs can do. These types of animals are highly intelligent and easy to train.

The Lagotto Romagnolo is a dog that was bred specifically to hunt truffles, which are a species of mushroom that can be difficult for humans to identify in the wild.

Sled dogs, such as the Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, and Samoyed are another type of working dog, who are known for their endurance, speed, and ability to withstand the elements of harsh cold and snow.

Other examples of this type of breed include Doberman Pinschers, Great Pyrenees, Boxers, Mastiffs, Saint Bernards, and Rottweilers.

These types of dogs are often a symbol for great strength and loyalty. When you dream of one of these breeds it often relates to your sense of security and accomplishment.

Non-Sporting Dogs and Companion Breeds

Sometimes the best job a dog can have is to be a friend. There are tons of different types of dogs in this classification, but their appearance in a dream or as a spirit animal or power animal usually signifies friendship and trust.

friendly poodles
Photo by Jenny Marvin

If you dream of a Bulldog, Bichon Frise, Chow-Chow, Dalmatian, or Poodle, it can be a sign that you are looking for fun and companionship in your life.

These breeds can also be a symbol for recognizing your own hidden talents and gifts in life.

Toy Breeds

toy dogs in dreams

Toy breeds might be small, but they surely make up for their size with big personalities! Examples of toy breeds include the Chihuahua, Havanese, Maltese, Papillon, Pomeranian, Pug, and Shih Tzu.

These smaller breeds are often associated with luxury, since they were often prized pets amongst wealthy businessmen and royalty throughout history. They also make for great companions because their smaller size is much easier for many people to care for.

If you dream of one of these animals, it can be a symbol for taking a rest from work and enjoying life just for the fun of it. Dreaming of a toy breed dog can often mean finding joy in the simple and smaller things in life.

These dogs in our dreams can also be a sign that we should carefully consider the type of company we keep. Do our friends reflect our own values and priorities?

How to Interpret Your Dream About Dogs

The best way to understand your dream is to ask yourself some questions and write about it in your dream journal.

What were my first thoughts when I woke up from the dream?

Usually the way we feel during the dream is how we feel about events in our current life.

If you wake up with feelings of anxiety or fear, it is helpful to explore what events in life are making you feel uncomfortable and worrying you.

Did you wake up feeling happy in the dream? Ask yourself what events in the dream bright you joy. How can you bring more positive experiences and feelings into your daily routine?

What Are My Own Feelings and Associations With Dogs?

How do you feel about dogs? While many people love dogs as pets, some people are afraid of dogs or do not like having dogs near them.

Everybody has their own unique associations for things we encounter in life. Your own personal feelings and experiences will give you a lot of insight in what a dream means.

Sometimes a specific dog will have a deeply personal meaning for you. For example, if I dream of a Maltese, it reminds me of my uncle who deeply loved his dog named Mystical.

Even the dog’s name may have meaning. If a dog’s name was Spot, it could be a literal way to remind you to keep your eyes open or to stay on target on a project.

What other symbols did I notice in the dream?

Often times there are additional dream symbols that can occur in a dream that may be helpful in understanding what the dream is about. Searching our dream dictionary for symbols you noticed can give you a lot of insight into how it relates to your life.

Here are some other related symbols to explore:

what it means to dream about dogs

What Are Your Thoughts?

Have you had a dream about a dog? What was your dream? What do you think it means? Share your dream experiences in the comments section below!

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  1. I have had dreams with the same dog twice. A small white dog with black over it’s right eye. In my dream the dog was being adopted and the first dream ended that the fog was not available. The dog had a tendency to run away from people. The second dream I spotted the same dog in a parking garage and it came up to me. I found out it was still available To adopt so I got it for my adult daughter. The dog spoke to me and said it was there for me. I woke up with an urge to search the internet for this dog. I have no clue what the meaning or message is but it I feel certain there is one.

  2. I dreamt a small Dalmatian kept following me around and was talking to me. I don’t remember what exactly it was saying, but then I work up and can still see the dog in my minds eyes. What does this dream mean?

    1. Depends,really. If I am not mistaken this dream could mean that someone is watching over you,Or that someone in your life is trying to tell you something,

  3. I had a dream that someone gave me a new puppy and that puppy exactly looks like my dead dog.
    I got shock and as soon as the puppy walk forward, I followed it with tears in my eyes.

    I had my dog for 12 years and he just passed away last month.

    1. I had a dream about my dog I lost not that long ago she was right there but when I went to get her she was gone I woke up screaming for her not sure what it means…..

  4. I dreamt that a dog was chasing me however I managed to run in the car and grab both my niece and nephew to safety. I was happy and relieved when I awoke.

  5. My husband had a dream that our dogs named Ramen turned into corn chips. He wanted to know what that meant. It’s a pretty silly dream, but just curious if anyone has any insight about this silly dream. Thank you.

  6. We lost my dog a month ago. We have recently within the past week started looking to adopt a rescue dog. We had a bad experience right away where we were on our way with my children to meet a dog and they called to tell us they were adopted. We have been struggling to find a dog with the COVID crisis. Last night I dreamt that we went to meet a dog, but the same thing happened we were told they were already adopted. Turns out it was our dog we recently lost. I am not sure of the meaning of this dream. Any thoughts?

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