Dog Symbolism and Meaning

It is important to be aware that there are people who get extremely nervous when dogs bark and it is completely normal, but we must pay attention to understanding the language of dogs.

Canine language is complex and very energetic, but it is a way for them to communicate their well-being (or discomfort), their way of seeing the world and their status within a community.

A list of some meanings with which dogs are related are: fidelity, loyalty, companion, intelligence, obedience, protection, community, cooperation, communication and sensory perception.

The issue of communication is a central theme as we have seen previously in relation to this animal. This animal has often been considered as a connection between the physical and non-physical dimensions.

The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Celts considered the dog as a guardian of other worlds and hence it is also related to death, with a spiritual guide in charge of travel in this dimension (the spiritual one).

If we consider Anubis, the Egyptian god in charge of accompanying and ensuring the survival of the soul in the transition from reality (the physical world) to the spiritual world, we can see that he has the head of a dog, for which he was credited with great sensory power. and perceptive characteristics of dogs.

In addition, dogs represent protection, guidance, loyalty, and adherence to spiritual energies that we are not capable of perceiving. So, with what we have discussed so far, we can clearly see that the dog is related to security, protection and is considered a guardian.

As for the Celts, dogs represented heroism. Some of the attributes associated with him were courage, persistence, and virility. This is largely because the Celts used these creatures in hunting activities, so they were trained to be ready for battle. So, we can see values here like those named above and that have to do with defense and protection.

Dogs were also associated with guiding symbolism and were associated with the Celtic god Nodens, God of the waters, hunting and guidance. They were also related to another Celtic god, Sucellus, who was a god of protection and provision (from an agricultural perspective).

In all the universal symbology we see myths that represent man fighting with the beast to be himself. Apollo, the radiant Solar Lord, has the wolf as his companion, while his sister Artemis, the nocturnal one, has the dog; both animals highlight and balance aspects of the solar and lunar symbolism of the two gods. It is said that it was Apollo who tamed the dog.

As a guardian, the dog is faithful and warrior, always ready to attack to defend more than to defend itself. Like Ares, he stands at the center of the enigma between life and death, representing the guardian of the threshold between the two worlds.

In medieval symbology, the dog was represented at the feet of the lady as her faithful guardian, while the lion was placed next to the knight as a symbol of bravery.

Native American Indian tribes have relied heavily on this species in that they viewed it as a guide and support in day-to-day choices. Before the horses, it was the dogs that were trained to help the tribes in hunting activities.

In fact, when horses began to be “used”, introduced by the North Americans thanks to the Spanish, they were called “dogs from heaven”, since they were as useful as their canine allies. Some of the values associated with them at that time were those of support, fidelity, community, protection, friendship and communication.

In the old Germanic tradition, the Garm dog is the one that guards the entrance to the Hifhelm, the land of ice and darkness, the place where the dead reside. His symbolism is thus associated with the resurrection, after the journey to the afterlife, accompanying the deceased.

As for Chinese symbology, dogs were considered to represent friendship. This may be due, in part, to the fact that one of his legends had a dog named Fu who was in charge of guarding the sacred spaces and was the main protector.

Asians in general considered the dog to be a cunning being, a symbol of good luck, loyalty, obedience and prosperity. Other values to highlight would be those of transition and intelligence.

Among the Aztecs it was Xolotl, the dog that, like Anubis in Egypt, was represented with the body of a man and the head of a dog to accompany the dead. He is the dark part of Quetzalcoatl, with clear solar references like Apollo.

Thus, from a symbolic and psychological perspective, the dog, either as a symbol of the animal part of the human being with all the energy and demand for it, or as an intermediary between two places in the symbolic space; either as a guide and companion on the road or as a guardian and gatekeeper of the entrance and exit door to the “beyond”, it is a symbol that permanently speaks to us through myths, of the eternal duality of everything manifested and of the inner war of man to reach his true heroic condition.