Miller’s Guild » 9 Spiritual Symbolism & Meanings Of Dogs (Totem + Omens)

9 Spiritual Symbolism & Meanings Of Dogs (Totem + Omens)

If you’re a dog lover and believe that ‘dogs’ and ‘unconditional lovers’ are synonyms, well, we get you! There are a lot of things one can learn from a dog. After all, they’re our best friends, aren’t they?

In this post, we’ll dive deep into the spiritual symbolism and meanings of dogs. We’ll also discuss what various religions and natives from different parts of the world symbolize dogs for. And finally, we’ll get to understand more about dog totems and omens. Let’s get started!

What Do Dogs Symbolize?

It’s an evident and widely known fact that dogs symbolize love. However, there are plenty of things a dog symbolizes besides love. Let’s have a look at these meanings, one at a time, shall we?

1. Perseverance

Dogs have a habit of working until the point of exhaustion. They are tenacious at whatever they do. Even when they’re following their loved ones, they do so persistently, wagging their tiny tails.

Also, the adjective ‘dogged’ in an English dictionary means to show tenacity. It’s not every day that an adjective is named after an animal.

So, if you feel connected to your dog spirit animal, it means that you need to persevere no matter what in whatever you’re planning to achieve.

2. Faithfulness and trust

Most humans these days believe that dogs are more faithful towards them than their own fellow species. Dogs are indeed charmingly faithful. They stay loyal towards their master and do their work diligently and faithfully, leaving no room for mistrust.

At points in life where you feel that people around you cannot be trusted and are possibly trying to swindle or take advantage of you, you might resonate with this aspect of dog totem.

3. Childlike essence

If you’ve ever felt like a parent to your dog and overwhelmingly adored by their playfulness, well, welcome to the club!

Dogs are incredibly playful. Whenever their master catches a ball or a toy and enthusiastically calls their name to play a dog game, they eagerly start running after you, no matter what they’re doing.

And whenever they play, they put their heart and soul into the game, unless and until they’re tired and need a moment to catch their breath. So, what a dog symbolizes is such childlike essence, and they teach us to relax, have a moment of joy now and then, and a lust for life.

4. Family

Most canines, including dogs, are known to prioritize their family needs and teamwork. That is why they find it easy to adapt in human households. The relation is whole-heartedly reciprocated.

Humans also see their pet dogs as their family members and shower them with affection and pay attention to their needs and want. So, dogs are symbolized for unity and family. They remind us how the relationships we build are the greatest gifts and how we should treasure them.

5. Companionship

Dogs are indeed our friends. They don’t ask much in return and just want to love you and play with you. Be it sad or happy times; we love to spend time with our tail-wagging friends; we even talk to them sometimes, don’t we?

So, our relationship with dogs is a perfect example of a genuine friendship, a true companionship. No judgments, plenty of affection, good quality time, absolute authenticity, and always by your side during the hard times – the relation is truly epic.

So, dogs are symbolized for such companionship, and they remind us to have a similar equation with our friends. It means we should stop judging our friendly, shower them with affection, and embrace them, not only the good parts of them but the sad bits too.

6. Safeguarding

Dogs are also symbolized for protection. Though cute and playful most of the time, they can suddenly become aggressive and hostile if they notice any harm coming their loved one’s way.

Many protective breeds and rescue dogs breed have the sole purpose of safeguarding. A breed called livestock guardian breed were bred with the sole purpose to protect livestock from their predator.

If you resonate with such protective breeds of dogs, it means that you’re someone who takes care of people around you. It reminds us to trust our guts when in times of danger and quickly activate our protective traits to safeguard our loved ones.

7. Unconditional love

Dogs are known to have a big heart, a heart full of love and compassion. They don’t make many demands but are always there for their masters and family. They welcome their acquaintances with fast excited breaths and wagging-tails.

Even if humans let them down, these small animals have a huge heart to forgive and go back to being loving and caring in a fraction of seconds. So, dogs remind us to open our hearts more to others, to forgive, and to love.

8. Sensitivity

Dogs have incredible senses. They smell something from a significant distance and hear noises and movements that humans are unaware of. Moreover, they are believed to determine the times of the day by detecting the change in the smell of surrounding air.

And, how dogs are used for detecting drugs and odors in a crime scene, you’re familiar with it, aren’t you?

Dogs are also believed to be excellent at understanding social cues. There’s a common saying that dogs can sense human’s fear, and thus one must act brave whenever there’s a stray dog nearby.

Also, dogs understand whenever their masters are feeling low or happy and act accordingly. So, dogs remind us to notice the subtle things and trust our initial gut feeling regarding someone or something. They remind us to expand our perception and see much deeper than what’s on the surface.

9. Divine messengers

Dogs are also symbolized as divine messengers. Angels have no physical body and can take the shape of any being they want. So, they are often believed to take the forms of dogs and convey messages to humans.

Also, if your pet dog has died, and you’re seeing them often in the dream, pay closer attention to details, as angels might be trying to communicate you through dreams as your loving late pet.

Native American Dog Symbolism

What Do Dogs Symbolize

Native American mythologies and folklores portray dogs in a beautiful light. They are symbolized for unconditional love, loyalty, and protection by Native Americans.

Dogs were believed to be owned by each tribe and were considered to be hunting companion, guardian, and guide to humans.

There’s also a prevalent belief among the natives that the great spirit spoke to them as animals, and thus, they must be treated with respect and love, as brothers and sisters.

So, in legends, whoever mistreated dogs were sure to meet with their worst fate, while those who respected and treasured them were rewarded with good fortune.

Celtic Dog Symbolism

Ancient Celts symbolized dogs for their hunting skills. That’s the reason why hounds are portrayed as accompanying many Celtic gods, goddesses, and heroes. Dogs are also believed to keep the spirit safe in the underworld and escort them to their new life.

Celts also associated dogs with luck and healing. They also symbolized dogs as guardian figures. Moreover, one of the highest honors a warrior could receive in the ancient Celt was to be compared to a dog.

Eastern Dog Symbolism

While Chinese people farm dogs for meat, they also symbolize them as an augur of good fortune. In many Chinese folklores, one can bind dogs being associated with bravery and faithfulness.

Japanese also consider dogs to be bringers of good luck. They further associate them with devotion and assiduousness. Japanese believe that dogs guard their shrines, preventing any evil spirits from entering.

Likewise, the Pungsan dog, symbolized for its purity and loyalty, is the national symbol of North Korea.

In Nepal, dogs are considered to be associated with the god of death, ‘Yamaraj’. Dogs are believed to play an integral part in judging the good deed and sins of souls in the afterlife, and thus, they are worshipped every year during Kukur Tihar.

African Dog Symbolism

Unlike the popular notion, dogs are depicted as diabolical creatures in African literature. They are often associated with darkness and death.

In ancient Egypt, dogs and humans were considered to be strongly connected, and dogs even followed their masters to their tombs, symbolizing lifelong companionship.

Biblical Symbolism of Dog

Bible doesn’t praise dogs as the rest of the world does. It mentions dogs as wild and unclean animals and is associated with negativity. However, Bible does symbolize dogs for compassion and healing as a dog is depicted to lick a poor man named Lazarus’s sores.

Dog Symbolism in Buddhism

Buddhists believe that despite the differences between humans and dogs, if dead dogs are provided with respectful funeral rites, blessings, and prayers, they have the ability to reincarnate as a higher life form.

Dog Spirit Animal: Positive Traits

Having a dog spirit animal heightens your ability to love and forgive. You’ll be there for those in desperate need of help. You’ll also be fiercely protective of those you love and find yourself going to lengths to fulfil their needs and desires.

Likewise, you’re perceptive and sensitive to others’ emotions. You love to keep everyone around you happy by spreading kindness and happiness.

Dog Spirit Animal: Negative Traits

As dogs are kind and loving animals, you’ll also possess the same qualities if you have a dog spirit animal. While these are some of the beautiful qualities to own, you might find yourself being taken advantage of, at times by opportunists, due to these soft qualities.

Another disadvantage of having a dog spirit animal is that you’ll often find yourself over exhausting yourself. You’ll put your heart and soul into whatever you do and work tenaciously. So, you’ll have a hard time making time for relaxation and fun.

And when you take the time and relax for a while, you’ll feel tired and lazy to get up and continue the work. In short, you’ll have a hard time maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

When To Call On Your Dog Spirit Animal?

If your spirit is feeling low, summoning your dog spirit will benefit you a lot. Likewise, if you’re feeling lonely and in desperate need of companionship, this might be the right point in your life to call on a dog spirit animal.

Dogs remind you that there is someone out there for you, and you must keep your hopes high if you’re craving love and attention at the moment.

Likewise, if you’re feeling dull and you’ve lost your lust for life, summoning your dog spirit animal might help you reinvigorate the playfulness and joy within you.

They remind you to relax and have a moment of fun. They’ll help you maintain your work-life balance and make you realise that sometimes, it’s okay to treat yourself.

Dog Totem or Spirit Animal

Those underdog totems are protective, respectful, generous, and loyal. They are devoted to their friends and family and never stray away from their close circle. They are happy to witness others’ successes. They believe in having faith, in friendship, spirituality, and in themselves.

At the same time, if you have a dog totem, you can see see right through people’s intentions and sense if someone is passing negative energy to you and your loved ones. You have a protective eye and are cautious of any trouble or negativity coming your way.

Dog Omen

Encountering a white dog is considered to be an omen of luck and good fortune, while a black dog encounter is associated with evil and death.

Likewise, a rescue dog is an omen of hope for the future, and encountering a working dog symbolizes a change in the direction of your life purpose. A hound dog encounter warns you that you might need to do something exotic in your life and not follow the trend.

Summary

Did you encounter a white dog on your way today? Or are you feeling if a dog is your spirit animal? Or, is your love for dogs so huge that you’re planning to get it tattooed on your body?

Whatever your reason is for researching more on dog symbolism, totems, and omens, with this comprehensive guide, we hope you have all the required information on these little tail-wagging animals.

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