What Do Dreams About Dogs Mean?

If you're a dog obsessive like me, you probably can't imagine a better fate than to dream about dogs. I mean, all my waking hours are already spent transfixed by these cuddly and/ or regal balls of furry perfection; so why not think about them while we're asleep, too? It sounds more pleasant than having another dream where it turns out that you forgot to graduate from middle school, right?

But while our waking life interactions with dogs might have no complex hidden meaning (except that they are a fuzzy friend who is a gooooood dog, yes, yes you are), in dreams, dogs can symbolize all sorts of complicated things. As Jungian analyst Vocata George, Ph.D. told the Huffington Post, "Having dogs show up in your dreams can represent an instinctual quality in yourself," and dreams about various breeds or dog activity can signify everything from feeling like you're experiencing forward movement in your own life to trusting the loyalty of an old friend. OK, so most of the things dogs symbolize in dreams are pretty great. But what exactly do they all mean? Why are you having them? And how are they different from, say, cat dreams?

To help you sort out the specifics, we've consulted with "definitive dream interpretation site" Dream Moods to help you interpret your dog dreams and nightmares, and figure out what exactly that recurring dream you have about going to the Puppy Bowl means (besides that you are a very, very lucky person).

Dogs

To just generally see a dog in your dream, walking around, capering, snacking on one of your shoes in a very leisurely manner, or otherwise dogging around "symbolizes intuition, loyalty, generosity, protection, and fidelity." The dream may mean that, like a dog, you approach the world with good intentions, and that those good intentions will help you achieve success in your endeavors.

Angry Dog

A dream about an angry dog who is growling, howling or snapping may represent that you're feeling in conflict with yourself. Is choosing between two options in life making you feel as confused and irritable as a dog who's trying to figure out why you keep flipping its ear inside out? Alternately, a dream about an angry dog may symbolize feeling betrayed by someone in your life.

Sick Dog

The animals we know as "man's best friend" often symbolize true and trustworthy companionship to our subconscious. So dreaming of one (literally) sick puppy may mean that you're concerned about a friendship that you (or your friend) have been neglecting. What can you do to return that friendship to health? If you dream that the dog is so sick that it is dying (nooooooo!), you may be mourning a friendship that has ended.

Black Dog

Black dogs — who are common in folklore as harbingers of doom — might appear in a dream while you're worried about the dark side of a friend or friendship. Of course, not all of our dreams are determined by ancient folkloric hang-ups — if you know a black dog IRL, you might just be dreaming of them, or you might just think black dogs are cute. And good for you if you do! They are adorable, and if we make all our preferences based on folklore, we'd all be, I don't know, trying to eat some gingerbread house or something.

White Dog

Alternatively, the same folkloric beliefs say a white dog represents purity — and so dreaming of a white dog may "[indicate] that the intentions of a friend are pure and true."

A Dog Having Puppies

If you dream of a dog giving birth to or otherwise nurturing their puppies, you might be thinking about your own nurturing side. Are you thinking about getting some actual puppies? Or are you thinking about having human puppies, aka babies? 

Bulldog

A dream about a bulldog may mean that "some protective force is helping you move forward in life." 

Biting Dog

To dream that a dog is biting or has bitten you may symbolize that you're dealing with disloyalty in your life. Do you feel like an old friend is turning their back on you? If you dream that a dog has bitten you on the leg, things might get even more specific — it may "[suggest] that you have lost your ability to balance aspects of your life. You may be hesitant in approaching a new situation or have no desire to move forward with your goals."

Is a dog biting someone you know in your dream as you watch? It could indicate that you feel that the person has betrayed you.

Of course, if you have dealt with a traumatic dog bite in your life, this all may simply be your subconscious dredging it up. If you have PTSD related to the time when a dog bit you, it may be related to that, too. 

Alternatively, it symbolizes disloyalty. To dream that someone is bitten by a dog indicates a betrayal. You feel that you have been wronged by this person. 

German Shephard

German Shephard dreams "[highlight] your protective instincts and attentiveness to a situation." You've got your act together, just like this very confident and together dog. Dreaming that a German Shephard is biting you, however, means that you let your guard down to the wrong person — so get it back up ASAP.

Barking Dog

A barking dog can mean a lot of different things in your dream, all depending on what its mood seems to be. Is the dog barking because it is angry or upset? Then you may be trying to deal with your own habit of "making demands on people and controlling situations around you." You also may be trying to figure out a way to deal with unfriendly coworkers, roommates, or other people that you spend a lot of time with.

However, if your dream pup is barking with joy, it symbolizes pleasure and social acceptance. "Finally!" your subconscious may be saying. "I am getting to run with the (proverbial and literal) big dogs!"

Images: Matthew Szwedowski/ Unsplash; Giphy (10)

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