Dog Symbolism: The Spiritual Meaning Of Seeing Dogs

Doggone it! These puppers have lots of symbolism.

dog licking owner white seated at desk MediaFire

Commonly referred to as man's best friend, dogs hold special places in the lives of their owners. 

They come in many colors, sizes, and breeds and typically are an extension of their owner's interests.

Dogs can be working dogs, such as German Shepherds, or just snuggly members of the family like Golden Retrievers. 

Dogs are just as diverse in symbolism as they are in shape and size.

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Native American dog symbolism

For Native Americans, dogs had a larger role to play in daily life. Dogs were used as guides, hunting companions, and camp guards. 

With such important roles, it's no wonder that dogs were a symbol of unconditional love and loyalty, and even protection. 

If one mistreated a dog they were punished heavily.

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Dog meaning in dreams

In dreams, a dog appearing may mean many things. 

It's a common belief that seeing a dog in your dreams means that you are questioning some belief that you previously held. This is because dogs are a symbol of reliability.


Depending on the type of dog you dream about, there could be different meanings as well. These interpretations reflect on the personalities and traits of the particular breed. 

There are different meanings for color too.

White dog meaning

A white dog appearing in a dream has a positive meaning compared to the meaning of a black dog.

White dogs represent spiritual connections and growth in your relationships. 

Black dog meaning

Black dogs, however, represent more sinister things. These dogs represent death in your life or some sort of evil. In European countries, a black dog is seen as the guardian of the Underworld crossing your path. 

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Dog spirit, totem, and power animal meaning

The dog spirit animal is tied directly to the notion that man's best friend is loyal, protective, and will love you unconditionally. 

Those are the base traits if your spirit animal is a dog.

Next, it depends on the breed of the dog.

If your spirit animal is a Pitbull then it's a symbol that you need to trust your gut instinct more.

The dog totem animal means you are capable of unconditional love and will commit to the things you believe in without hesitation. You are extremely loyal to your family and friends and represent devotion.

The dog power animal also means that you value kindness over the material goods that may be offered in life. It also means that you need to be truthful and loyal to yourself.


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Dog symbolism in literature

In written works, dogs retain their symbol of loyalty.

One example of this is "Greyfriars Bobby." This is a story of a Skye Terrier in 1912 that guarded the grave of his owner. This was even based on a true story.

Many use the death of dogs in literature as an emotional trial that the protagonist must overcome. 

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Dog symbolism in the bible

In the bible, dogs have a negative meaning. They are referenced as wild dogs and seen as unclean. 

In the Bible, Paul calls the false apostles "dogs" in Phil 3:2. 


While the Bible has a negative connotation, many Patron saints were depicted with canine companions by their side as they are a symbol of faith, obedience, and loyalty. 

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Dog meaning in different cultures

Celtic people believe that dogs are symbols of courage, honor, and extreme loyalty. 


These people used dogs for hunting and battle. They referred to their warriors as hounds, which they viewed as the highest compliment. 

Ancient Egyptians frequently depicted dogs in their hieroglyphs as they followed their owners to the tomb.

Egypt is the place where they found the first collars with names for dogs.

No matter the symbolism, dogs are still fierce and loyal companions that nevertheless occasionally eat your furniture. 

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Ciara Litchfield is a writer and first-generation college student. She works in new and expert content for YourTango. She enjoys reading, napping, and her dog.