What Does It Mean When You Dream About Dogs?

What Does It Mean When You Dream About Dogs?

Last update: 01 January, 2022

Dreaming is a common experience. Indeed, everyone dreams. Furthermore, there are certain dreams common to all who share a certain culture and way of life. One such example is a dream about dogs.

Interpreting the meaning of dreams is done from the projection and free association of ideas. In fact, since dreaming is an automatic process, it’s affected by the memory, emotions, and personal imagination of each individual.

Therefore, the fact that a dog appears in a dream will have a different meaning for each individual. However, since it’s a common experience, certain valid meanings can also be drawn from it. In this article, we take a look at some of these interpretations.

What happens in your brain when you dream?

A dream is a succession of mental images (and other sensations) resulting from intense brain activity during the deepest phase of sleep. The scenes you experience don’t have a narrative as such. Nevertheless, on waking, you tend to order them into something meaningful.

There are two well-defined phases of sleep. These are REM and NREM. Although dreams can be experienced in both of these phases, when you dream in the first stage, you’re more likely to remember them on waking.

Sleeping woman

What’s the purpose of dreams?

Little has been said about the real function of dreams. As a matter of fact, for a long time, they weren’t taken too seriously or they were given spiritual connotations. However, today, they’re known to serve to consolidate memories, process emotions, or express repressed feelings.

Dreaming of dogs

Dogs, like any other element of reality, have a positive and a darker side. For instance, for those who think of dogs as their best friends, they’re likely to be represented in their dreams as a positive image. On the other hand, for those who fear dogs or don’t like them, their image in their dreams will take a more unpleasant form.

Through the testimonies of people and normative life in Western culture, some ideas have been extrapolated about what it means when you dream of dogs:

  • Large dogs. Given the social nature of these animals, a large dog in a dream represents your relationships with others. On the positive side, it may refer to the feeling of being surrounded by loved ones. The other side of the coin would be the fear of losing someone or experiencing some kind of social conflict.
  • Small dogs. Small dogs are often as fierce and determined as large dogs. Dreaming of them can be an allusion to your determination to follow a goal, even if it seems an impossible dream taking into account your own capabilities.
  • Being chased by dogs. Dreams of being chased by a dog are quite common. In fact, they tend to signify the anguish of not being able to escape from something that’s worrying in your real life, mixed with the feeling of betrayal about someone close to you.
  • Dogs that attack you. This experience is usually directly related to cynophobia or a previous traumatic experience with these animals. The most subjective interpretation is that it’s a representation of the fear of being around someone dangerous.
  • Puppies. A baby of any species is always associated with ideas about innocence and care. It can be a reflection of your protective instincts or a representation of helplessness in childhood. It all depends on the context of the dream.
puppy dog eyes

Personal interpretations

Dreaming of dogs can have rather abstract and subjective meanings. Furthermore, sometimes there are no concrete interpretations. Therefore, the meaning that you give to these experiences yourself can be invaluable, always taking into account your own individual context.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.