The dog appears more often than any other animal in dreams. It represents your natural drives that, despite usually being well socialized, still have a tendency to revert back to their spontaneous or ‘wild’ state. This is particularly the case if the dog within is provoked or encouraged. Dogs can also represent those parts of yourself that you express spontaneously: your easy-flowing natural feelings; devotion, perhaps to a lover or child; fidelity and faithfulness. Like the cat, the dog can be a substitute baby for women, or represent an outlet for affection or caring. This is particularly true of dreams about puppies, which are a symbol of childlike playfulness or following someone about in a devoted way. In mythology, the dog has symbolized the guardian of the gates of death, or a messenger between the hidden and the visible worlds. The dog was also thought of as a guide or guardian of the hidden side of life.
If a dog appears in your dream, pay attention to whether it was aggressive or friendly. It is also important to consider what your waking feelings about dogs are, as this will have an influence on the interpretation of your dream. If you love dogs and you enjoyed caring for or playing with your dog in your dream, then it may be a sign that you are in need of more fun and friendship in your real life. Alternatively, because dogs are traditionally thought to be loyal, dependable, faithful friends and protectors to humans, it may be that your unconscious was highlighting these qualities within yourself or a person you know. Perhaps you are longing to have a friend you can trust and on whom you can depend.
Dogs typically represent friends and companionship in dreams, so if you dreamed of taking out-of-control dogs for a walk with them all straining on a lead, perhaps you are finding it hard to fit into your current circle of friends; do you feel that you have little in common with them anymore? If your dog broke away from you or you dropped its lead in your dream, do you fear losing the trust or loyalty of your friends? If you are taking a dog for a walk and were holding the lead, this suggests that you might be restraining of your aggression towards a friend or someone else; if someone else is holding the lead, it may be that you are feeling attacked by someone you know. If a dog was aggressive in your dream and you fear dogs in waking life, your unconscious may have been reflecting your waking fear. If, however, you love dogs in real life, such a dream may represent a friend who is about to turn on you in waking life-perhaps they already have.
The loud barking of a dream dog can signal the animal within you trying to break free. Perhaps you feel angry about someone or something and are close to exploding with rage; or is your bark worse than your bite? A dog barking happily shows that you are enjoying your social life. A friendly, happy dog shows that you have lots of good friends. A dog barking and snarling warns against enemies and if the dream dog is big and powerful, as well as friendly, it shows that you feel in need of a powerful protector. If a dog bit you in your dream, could this suggest an ungrateful loved one or relative who is biting the hand that feeds? Since dogs are often associated with masculine energy, if you were attacked by a dream dog, such a dream might represent feelings about a man or a relationship with a man. The black dog figures quite frequently in people’s dream imagery. For some people it represents depression; for others, death.
If a dog appears in your dream you may also want to consider if your dreaming mind is speaking in puns. Do you feel ‘sick as a dog’ or are you ‘in the doghouse’, and so on? Although interpretations will vary, bear in mind that in general a dream of dogs usually has positive association.
Idioms: die like a dog; dirty dog; dogeared; dog eat dog; dog in the manger; gay dog; go to the dogs; let sleeping dogs lie.