Why do we dream? That is the question! Since distant past, we have been asking this question and we still do not have concrete answers, although the act of dreaming has been a subject of numerous studies, experiments and research.
Some would say, and there is a good reason to agree with this view, that dreams are our channel for all the information and experiences we get during our time of being awake.
There is too much of the information we cannot consciously and rationally process at a given moment, so we need an extra channel to do so.
There is certainly some truth into it. Dreams, however, still remain a bit of mystery.
According to the father of psychoanalysis, Freud, dreams help us process suppressed desires, to put it simply.
Many times it proves so – it definitely happen to all of us that we dream things we either deliberately or subconsciously suppress.
Some of our dreams appear too odd and bizarre to link them with anything we have seen or experienced in life.
Since old times up to this day, dreams have been associated with mysticism, spiritualism, divination.
Dream interpreters had their hands full, when it comes to dreams of prominent, notable figures, such as kings, emperors, generals and many more.
Many prophets and saints claimed they’ve received a divine message through dreams.
Indeed, it seems there is something prophetic or, at least, symbolic and meaningful in dreams, something more than simply images we suppressed or lost in thoughts during our waking hours.
We dream about all kinds of things and go through unimaginable scenarios within the dreaming realm. Animals dream, too.
Our civilization is made of symbols – everything around us is permeated with the power of symbolism.
We may dream ordinary things, but every ordinary thing has a powerful symbolical meaning that can help us understand our dreams better.
In the following paragraphs, we will talk about dreams related to dogs.
We are all familiar with dogs, regardless of whether we like them or not – we see dogs all the time, some of us keep them as pets and furry companions.
The quality of our dog related dreams will be shaped by our actual experience with dogs, but not necessarily.
Let us find out more about dog symbolism.
Symbolical Meaning of Dogs – General Info
What do dogs symbolize? Let us go through some of the basic symbolical meanings of dogs, before we move to more specific cultural perceptions of our four-legged friends.
Dogs, in the first place, represent loyalty and fidelity.
Dogs are said to be humans’ best friends and, indeed, a pet dog is probably the most faithful being you will meet.
They love their owners, they risk their lives to save their beloved humans, they are happy only to be around.
There are numerous sayings related to this particular symbolism; for a person who is devoted, honorable and loyal, many would say ’loyal as a dog’.
This is one of the most common and the most beautiful associations on dogs.
Dogs are associated with trust and faithfulness, linked with loyalty, of course.
Dogs are more faithful than many representatives of our own human species; for a good reason a famous writer said that animals are without sin, pure and kind.
In addition, dogs are associated with guardianship and protection.
Not only they are faithful to their beloved owners, but many dog breeds can successfully be trained for assistants to people with special needs, as rescue dogs etc.
Dogs and puppies are also associated with playfulness, youthfulness and childhood. They are very playful and friendly, unless badly treated, of course.
You can see pure joy in a dog playing the catch-a-ball game with an owner, for example. Dogs enjoy games just like children.
In relation to faithfulness, loyalty and attachment, dogs represent unconditional love and they are associated with family values.
Since far far past, dogs have been around us, sharing our food and shelter.
Since prehistoric era, we have built a strong bond with these for-legged fellows, who became our loyal-to-death companions.
You have certainly heard the story of the famous akita dog who waited for his owner day by day, after the man passed away.
The faithful dog waited for its owner until last day, hoping his beloved human would return.
There are many other examples, to prove the well-earned symbolism of unconditional love.
Dogs can be associated with negative things and ideas, as well, but these are the most common.
Dogs can be associated with anger, threat, danger. They are to be found in various mythologies and cultures.
Have you heard of Cerberus? Or Anubis, jackal-god, a relative to divine dogs?
Let us find out more.
Dog symbolism around the world
In various mythological, spiritual and cultural systems, dogs have often been associated with some special skills, abilities and powers.
The aforementioned Cerberus was the guardian of the realm of the dead in Greek mythology.
He was not an ordinary dog, though, built a three-headed beast, with an ability to see things mortals cannot see.
In the Norse mythology, there is another dog-guardian, Garmr, standing at the gates of the underworld realm.
According to Norse mythology, Garmr will howl as the world nears its ending. We clearly see how dogs are associated with prophetic abilities and visions.
In Greek mythology, dogs have often been presented as divine, faithful companions to gods and heroes, especially figures associated with hunt.
Sirius was a dog companion to Orion, while the goddess of forest and hunt, Artemis, is often accompanied by dogs.
In the Far East, dogs have also been associated guardianship, protection, divinity.
Dogs have been valued in Chinese folklore, accompanying heroes of Chinese legendary tales.
Those lion-like statues often seen in all sizes, as amulets or statues before the temples, are so-called Foo dogs.
Similar lion-like dogs are present in Japanese culture and highly valued as guardian spirit animals.
In Celtic folklore, dogs are associated with loyalty, bravery, healing, love and good luck. Celtic warriors have often been accompanied by their faithful hounds.
In Africa, there are various views on dogs. In certain Africa folklore stories, dogs are perceived as dark spirits.
However, in Ancient Egypt, dogs were praised.
Although Egyptians were known for their adoration of cats, they also highly valued dogs and considered them a noble animal, worth of every respect.
Biblical meaning of dogs
Biblical views on dogs are a bit complex, for dogs are seen as both a positive and a negative symbol.
Throughout the biblical texts, we meet dogs as symbols of thieves, brutality, severity.
However, dogs are also associated with loyalty and healing.
Some of the Christian saints are associated with dogs. Saint Roch, for example, is a divine protector of dogs and a protector from diseases. He is commonly represented with a dog.
Another saint, Saint Dominic, has been depicted with a dog by his side.
His dog carries a torch, as a symbol of guidance, trustworthiness and loyalty.
Dreams About Dogs – General Info
Now, let us turn to dreams about dogs.
As we have seen, dogs are associated with various symbolical meanings and are present in virtually all cultures around the world, in symbolical, religious, mythological sense; we have given only a couple of examples.
What does it mean to dream a dog?
Considering the powerful meaning of dogs in general and the vast and colorful palette of possible dream scenarios, the meaning of a particular dog dream will depend on many specific details.
In general, seeing a dog in a dream has something to do with the basic values we have represented above – with questions of loyalty, faithfulness, trust, guidance, companionship.
A specific dog dream should be analyzed within the context of the dreamer’s current life circumstances, emotional status, and attitude towards dogs in actual life.
If you are normally relaxed around dogs, your dream experience will be different from the one who is scared of dogs.
If you have a dog, such dreams will likely be more common, of course, and many of those will reflect your own feelings and thoughts about your pet.
Nevertheless, considering the symbolism associated with dogs, dreams about these popular four-legged fellows can reveal many things that you did not know about yourself. Let us see into some specific dog dreams scenarios.
Dreams about getting a dog
If you dream about getting yourself a dog, buying a dog, receiving it from somebody else, it tells something about your maturity, your responsibility and willingness to take care about another living being.
Your feelings about the act of getting or receiving a dog in a dream would, however, tell more about it.
If you decide to buy a dog in a dream or take one from a dog shelter, with a desire to provide the animal with a happy and comfortable life, it tells much about the growth of your personality.
Such a dream tells you are ready to take responsibility for someone else and to share your love with another living creature, which ennobles your soul.
Maybe you have really thought about getting a pet (dog) in your real life.
If you feel uneasy about getting a dog – there could be various scenarios (someone presses you to get a dog, someone gives you a dog, you want a dog, but feel insecure etc.), it means you are not ready to take more responsibility for others.
First, you have to get yourself together and everything else comes next.
If you got a dog, without asking for it, it means you will be pushed into a situation of great responsibility for someone else’s life, even if you are unready.
Alternatively, a dream about getting yourself a dog could be a reflection of loneliness and solitude.
Maybe you live alone and would like to have another living being you can take care of, take for a walk etc.
Dreams about petting a dog
Dreams about petting a dog are usually nice dreams. They tell about gentle feelings, kindness, warmth of your heart.
Maybe in waking life you do not show much affection and gentleness to people around you.
Maybe you have literally been bad to your pet and in the dream, you wish to redeem.
It also applies to certain human relations in which you have been rough towards another.
Dreams about petting a dog could also reflect your calmness and satisfaction with your current life; if a dog is relaxed and enjoys it, it means you have someone trusting you, someone ready to surrender to your care.
If you try to pet a dog, but the animal is being restless or even becomes aggressive, it reflects certain difficulties and problems you have with someone in your life.
It is probably nothing serious, but there is someone you would like to ’tame’, while the person resists.
You would love to show your affection to a dear person, maybe a family member, but the person refuses and cannot settle down.
Dreams about walking a dog
Dreams about walking a dog are usually pleasant and nice, unless you and your companion experience some negative events along the road.
This type of a dream could have countless alternative meanings, depending on the setting of the walk.
Dreams about walking a dog without trouble, simply, enjoying a relaxed and playful walk, reflect your inner state of content and calmness.
Alternatively, such a dream could reflect your need for a little spare time with your beloved pet.
If you encounter any troubles along the way, the dream could have various meanings.
If you encounter a group of stray wild dogs and your pet protects you, it is a good sign, regardless of how scary the dream might be.
If you were attacked by stray dogs (or some people, it does not matter) and your dog runs away from you, the dream carries a negative connotation.
It tells about betrayal and loneliness, but it also tells you have to rely on yourself.
Dreams about playing with dog
Dreams about playing with a dog are good ones, regardless of if you dream about playing with your own pet, if you have one, another’s dog, a stray dog etc.
These dreams tell about relaxation, joy, youthfulness.
These dreams tell about your inner child, your need to have some simple fun and joys in life
. Perhaps you have been taking things in life too seriously, now you need to relax.
If you look at a dog (or another pet) playing with some toys, running around and so, you will see pure happiness and joy, without any worries about tomorrow.
Sometimes, we have to look upon our furry friends and learn from them.
Dreams about puppies
Dreams about little dogs and puppies are always associated with helplessness, gentleness, love, softness.
Puppies in dreams represent innocence, purity, vulnerability. They are tiny, soft and they cannot look after themselves.
Puppies in dreams could reflect your own feeling – maybe you feel too soft and vulnerable for the cruel world we live in, like a little puppy.
You need someone to pamper you, to cuddle you and show you gentleness and love.
Puppies are in need for protection, nurture, care, warmth.
It is either you who needs guardianship and protection at this moment, or you are the one to provide shelter, care, love and devotion to someone else.
Dreams about puppies reflect our care and unconditional love for the gentle people we have in our life and vice versa.
Puppies are, of course, associated with youthfulness and childhood. We have spoken about baby puppies, who are helpless on their own.
A bigger puppy, playful and cheery is something else. These little ones are playful, curious, still in need of help and protection, but charmingly adventurous.
Playful puppies represent our inner child, our need to return, for at least a moment, into our careless, playful childhood days. They remind us of the child within us.
Dreams about training a dog
If you dream about training a dog, it means you have taken some serious responsibilities in your life or it means you will be in the position of an instructor, a teacher or so, in your waking life.
You are about to instruct somebody else.
The challenge of training a dog in your dream reveals the path of potential difficulties you may encounter.
If your dog in the dream is obedient and you have no trouble teaching it tricks, it means your instructions to other people/person will likely go well; or it tells about your confidence about something ahead of you.
If the dog does not follow your instructions and becomes disobedient, it means you do not have control over people you are supposed to instruct or teach.
It tells about your insecurity when such tasks are in question.
Alternatively, this dream possibly tells about some more intimate relationships.
You are trying to control someone, to make one trust you and be obedient (a common case with kids, but not necessarily).
The dream tells about the process, the challenge, and the possible difficulties you may encounter when such a relationship and positions are in question.
In any case, you are the one who is supposed to be an authority.
Dreams about dog chasing you
Dreams about a dog chasing the dreamer are, as expected, most common in people who are sacred of dogs in real life.
All their fears and frustrations that hunt them on a conscious and subconscious level turn into what they are afraid of the most.
If dogs are chasing you in a dream, it means you are hunted by certain unresolved things, of any nature. There is something that bothers you and makes you nervous, scared and anxious.
Maybe you have suppressed such feelings and thoughts, but they re-occur in your dreams as wild dogs chasing you.
If the catch you, the scenario could be pretty awful, but the dream means you simply cannot avoid all the dangers and challenges. You cannot run forever.
On the contrary, if you manage to escape, it means you will find a way to save yourself from certain potential danger, which could be good.
Alternatively, it means you have only postponed the facing with your challenges.
Dreams about dog biting you
The meaning behind dreams about a dog biting you depend on whether it was your dog biting you, a stray dog, another owner’s dog etc.
If you dream about your own pet biting you, it means someone close to you is disobedient and even disloyal.
Someone you sincerely care for will turn away from you. This is a dream about ingratitude, betrayal, disobedience.
If someone else’s dog bites you in the dream, and the owner is someone you know in life, it means this person only pretends to trust you.
If a stray dog bites you, it is a dream of an unexpected inconvenience, a trap, a trouble you cannot foresee.
Dreams about sick dog
Dreams about a sick dog, or sick animals in general, are negative and scary.
These dreams potentially tell about your own health or health issues of close people. It is a warning sign to check on your health status.
Sometimes, these dreams tell about someone in life who needs a lot of our help and support, someone who needs to be taken after, who cannot take care about themselves.
A sick dog in a dream does not necessarily tell about some actual health issues, physical health problems, but it reflects depressive mood, sadness, sorrow, the feeling of being lost and helpless, sick in the soul.
Such a dream tells about difficult times one is going through or times ahead.
Dreams about cats and dogs
Dreams about dogs and other animals can have various meanings.
However, the most common, in symbolical sense, are the dreams about cats and dogs.
Cats and dogs are, symbolically again, taken as enemies, although nature often proves this view wrong.
In any case, if you dream about cats and dogs, it tells something about opposite values in your life and about your relation with people who are different from you by nature.
The dream meaning, of course, depends on the actual behavior and attitude of a cat and a dog in a particular dream setting.
If they act friendly, play and cuddle together, it tells about your closeness to someone who is very different from you by their temperament; yet, you definitely have a common tongue and feel safe together.
If they fight, it tells about problems, arguments and opposite views over certain subjects, it tells about people who cannot get along, no matter how hard they try.
Biblical meaning of dogs in dreams
As we have already mention some of the Christian symbolism of dogs, let us see how it plays out in dreams.
In biblical terms, dogs could be seen as both negative and positive animals. In the Bible, dogs are seen as unclean, evil, ravenous, even demoniac.
However, a dog licking wounds is considered a symbol of healing in Christian art, so, there is more to religious dog symbolism than the aforementioned.
As we have also mentioned, certain saints are closely associated with dogs, in the positive connotation.
Dogs are frequently depicted in medieval Christian art, as symbols of faithfulness, fidelity and loyalty.
While biblical interpretation of dogs in dreams is not always that nice, we should take a wider religious perspective and take every dream detail into account.