Humans have been intrigued by their dreams since the dawn of civilization. In the dream state, our subconscious mind shows us scenes that often seem to make perfect sense when we’re in the middle of it, but become an enigma when we awaken. Having dabbled in dream analysis for decades, I’ve learned that one could spend a lifetime studying dreams and still come up empty.
Decoding the messages of our nocturnal ramblings is difficult because dream analysis is a subjective art rather than an exact science. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to dream interpretation. Dream symbols can mean different things to different people – men versus women, or what country you’re from, for example.
How you personally feel about a certain dream symbol in your waking life adds another layer to the interpretation. For example, if you love dogs, seeing them in your dreams will have a different meaning than it will to someone who was attacked by a dog. Your opinion of particular breeds can also influence your dream analysis.
With that being said, I will offer a bit of information about dog dreams and what they might mean.
Analyzing Dreams about Dogs
Dogs are a common dream theme, likely because even if you don’t have a dog yourself, they are ever present in our society. Dogs are viewed by many as faithful best friends and constant companions. Thus, dogs in dreams often have to do with friendship, loyalty, protection, instinct and generosity. The dream dog may be a symbol that represents you or someone in your life who exhibits these qualities. A dog in a dream might also be a “stand in” for a friend or family member you want to protect. Sometimes a dog in your dream will represent a real life dog, perhaps a childhood pet or your current one.
To begin to analyze a dog dream, think about what is most on your mind. We tend to dream about what we’re focusing on at any given time, whether it’s a relationship, job, school, money problems, a child or something else.
Next, try to recall what the dog looked like, what his temperament was, and what the dog was doing in the dream. Was he sleeping, chasing a car or some animal, attacking you, digging a hole in the yard or trying to escape? Is the dog interacting with you or are you watching him from a distance? All of these variables can influence how you interpret the dream’s meaning.
Dog Symbolism in Dreams
Dreams about dogs are often symbolic, and reveal the heart and soul of a person, or even a situation. Think about what the dog represents and how it made you feel both during the dream and after. This is what your subconscious self is wanting you to see.
Dogs in dreams are often indicators of a part of yourself kept hidden from others and even from yourself – and their messages can help you get to the root of your problems or feelings.
The Dreambible website says “To dream of a dog represents feelings about areas of your life where you are emotionally protective. The type, size, and color of the dog all reflect how you choose to protect yourself from difficult emotions or confront problems.”
Barking Dogs in Dreams
If you hear barking in your dream, it can mean different things depending on whether it sounds like happy barking or angry barking. Happy barking symbolizes a pleasant activity with others or being accepted into a social circle. A dog that is barking ferociously suggests that you or someone else is being annoying, demanding or controlling. Angry barking can also symbolize someone who is grouchy, irritated or unhappy.
Dreams about Being Bitten
A dog trying to bite you in a dream could symbolize someone in your life who is being mean, unkind, rude, fickle or degrading. Who do you feel is attacking you or bothering you? Who do you feel threatened by? Where the dog bites you can also be a clue – on the leg, it could refer to your ability to balance some aspect of your life. A dog bite on the hand symbolizes disloyalty and betrayal.
Aggressive Dogs in a Dream
A dog that is vicious and/or growling could indicate an inner conflict within yourself. It may also symbolize someone being unfaithful or untrustworthy.
Puppies in a Dream
A dream that a dog has puppies could represent your ability to nurture someone (a child or a friend) or something (a job or a relationship). Puppies being born can symbolize a parental or protective instinct. The dream puppy can also symbolize a person in your life who is impulsive, rowdy, needy, curious or lacking discipline. Puppies are adorable but demanding; is there someone who continually tests your patience, as young pups often do?
It’s important to understand that dream analysis is a personal thing. Each individual brings to their dreams many aspects of their true self, and only you can decipher what a dog dream might mean. Then again, it’s also important to remember that there is no right or wrong interpretation. Just have fun trying to figure out what your dream dog symbolizes in real life, and don’t take it too seriously. Sweet dreams!