“Man’s best friend” can also be man’s spirit animal.
Animal totems can be used to guide you throughout your life and to help you grow as a person. If you have a dog as your guide, you have a lot to think about.
In this post, we’ll outline the basics like what a spirit animal is, what it means and how to find out what yours is. Then we’ll delve into what it means to have a dog as your totem.
What Is A Spirit Animal?
In some cultures and beliefs, people believe that the spirit of a particular animal guides them throughout life. A person’s spirit animal may be one that shares similar traits with the person or traits the person should learn.
Spirit guides are a popular concept in indigenous, Pagan and Wiccan cultures. They may also refer to them as “totem animals” or “power animals.”
However, you may also hear a person jokingly refer to something as their spirit animal, implying they share or love traits about the person or animal. For example, someone may say “Britney Spears is my spirit animal” or even more stupidly, “Chocolate is my spirit animal.”
What Is My Spirit Animal?
In general, people who believe in spirit animals believe that you do not get to choose which type of animal is your spirit guide. For example, just because you like dogs does not mean one is your spirit guide. You may hate snakes only to figure out that a snake energy is your spirit guide and your hatred for them represents traits you should learn to embody.
People suggest different ways to find your spirit guides. Although there are tons of online quizzes, most believers suggest finding your guide through meditation and dreams.
Beginner tip: Try a guided meditation, like this one.
What Is The Purpose of Spirit Animals?
Once you’ve found your spirit animal, you can use it to learn and grow. Think about the traits your spirit animal has and contemplate how you can add more of that trait into your own life. For example, if your totem animal is a cat, think about ways you can add solitute and more independence into your life. It may help to research the animal to uncover traits you hadn’t thought of.
Who Has Dog As A Spirit Animal?
People that have dogs as spirit animals tend to already be kind and loving, much like dogs themselves. They may also have careers that allow them to help or counsel others, such as teaching, nursing, etc.
The Meaning of Dog Spirit Animals & Dog Animal Totem Traits
In general, dog spirit animals are thought to embody certain traits. While reading these characteristics, it may be helpful to consider how you relate to each.
Loyalty. You probably knew loyalty was going to be on this list because it’s the most common dog trait (i.e. “a man’s best friend). If a dog is your spirit animal, it may symbolize that others can safely find loyalty in you. On the other hand, if you’re going through a dark time, particularly with the people in your life, a dog spirit animal can serve as a reminder that loyalty is possible… you just need to find the right people. It could also be a sign that you need to be loyal to yourself, your feelings and what you know is right.
Unconditional love. The second most commonly thought of trait relating to dogs is unconditional love, meaning that a dog will love you no matter what. Humans can find achieving unconditional love very difficult and contradictory. If your spirit animal is a dog, it could be a sign that you need to open your heart and use a little compassion when dealing with other people. Accepting other’s faults and using understanding can go a long way.
Playfulness. The trait of playfulness may be particularly true if you feel like playful breeds keep showing up in your life. Dogs love to play, whether it be a good ol’ game of fetch, a competitive game of tug-of-war or trickster play, as when they plot to sneak their next treat. A dog spirit animal could be a symbol that you need to take some time out to inject some fun into your life—whether it be a physical game or a game night with your family. Thinking of the activities that make you feel joy could be a good place to start.
Instincts. Although every animal has instincts that help them survive, this can be particularly true for dogs. Have you ever seen a normally friendly dog bark, get angry at or dislike a stranger? Even though the person has barely spoken, the dog has made up their mind that they’re a bad person. Although it’s bad to judge, dogs seem to have an intuition that allows them to see through people. If you’re not already in touch with your intuition, having a dog spirit animal could mean that you should start working with that more subconscious side of yourself and trusting it.
Protective nature. Many breeds are seen as “guard dogs” and will alert the family whenever a stranger comes close to the home. Similarly, if you have a dog spirit animal, you may be the protector in your social circle. You may be the one who makes sure everyone gets home safely after a night on the town or the parent who always knows what her kids are up to. On the other hand, having a dog spirit animal could mean the opposite. If you’re going through a hard time where you often feel scared, fearful or vulnerable (either of physical or psychological threats), a dog spirit animal could be a reminder that you are protected and not alone.
Companionship. Similar to the trait of loyalty, dogs represent a heartfelt companion. If dogs are your spirit animal, you may find yourself feeling a bit lonely or isolated. Dogs can represent your need and ability to reconnect and find companionship with others—not just in dog form 🙂
Others see as trustworthy or true to their word. You may not immediately think of a dog as trustworthy because they will usually be the first ones to steal food off of the table when you’re not looking. However, in the big picture, dogs are trustworthy in their dedication to you in the family environment. People with dog spirit animals may notice that people always tell them they seem reliable and honest and stick to their word. They may be the ones others confide in times of upheaval.
Go-Getter. If your spirit animal is a hunting-type of dog, you may want to consider the go-getter traits of dogs. Are you someone who is always on the go to get something or achieve your next goal? If so, you can relate to dogs this way and at times, you may even want to consider slowing down. However, if you have dog energy, you’re likely to find a good balance. If you’re someone who has been a bit lazy lately, you may want to consider bringing in some of this energy to help you motivate yourself to achieve goals.
What Does The Spirit of A Dog Mean For You?
Everyone who has a dog as a spirit animal can derive a different meaning out of it and that’s because all of our lives are unique. While we can’t tell you what specifically a dog spirit animal means for you, we can give you a starting place. Read the traits above and see how those traits fit into your life. Do you embody that trait? Is that trait something you need to work on? Basically, how does each characteristic fit into your life?
Along with the tips below, it can help to do some additional research about dogs to uncover a deeper meaning.
Consider The Breed
If you think dog is your spirit animal, you may also want to consider the breed. For example, if a certain breed of dog keeps showing up in your life, consider the traits that are unique to that type. In addition, if there’s a certain dog breed you don’t like or that annoys you, think about what that means. Perhaps you share similar qualities that you’re a little self-conscious about. Or maybe you’re completely the opposite and you need to add a little bit of that trait into your personality.
While all dogs are known to be loyal, some breeds are generally more energetic, more lethargic or more “intelligent.”
Take a Chihuahua for example. These dogs are known to be have energetic personalities that are entertaining and sometimes offbeat. You could interpret this to mean that you shouldn’t be afraid to speak up or to let your true self be seen.
Conversely, pugs are known to be less lively with more of a serious look. You could interpret this spirit guide lesson to mean that you should relax more and enjoy some introspective downtime.
Spirit Animals: Dogs, Coyotes & Wolves
Since dogs are descendants of coyotes and wolves, you may consider researching these animals to gain extra insight. Dogs are similar except domesticated, so you may also find that you resonate with some traits of these similar animals.
Dogs In Dreams
Do dreams about dogs mean anything? The answer can vary. For example, if you have a dog and you dream about him, your mind may simply be recalling an event from earlier that day or piecing various events together.
In other cases, dreams about dogs may symbolize something more important. Some people who believe in dream interpretations say that dogs symbolize other people in our lives. For example, if we dream of a vicious or barking dog, it may mean that someone is betraying our trust or that we are perhaps betraying ourselves.
A dog that is sick or struggling could represent the struggle through a friendship or that a relationship is unhealthy or “dying out.”
A dog running playfully and happily could simply represent that you’ve selected the right group of friends who support you and help you joyfully live life.
Every spirit animal has positive and negative traits. If you’ve discovered that your spirit animal is a dog, consider the role the following traits play in your life:
- Unconditional Love
- Protective nature
- Go-getting attitude
After reflecting on the traits, you may see opportunities to change or tweak certain aspects of your life and personality. That’s not only normal but it’s the point of spirit animals… to guide you. If you’re really into the idea of spirit animals, do additional research about dogs to learn more about what it means to your life. You may also want to research the traits of specific breeds or related animals like coyotes and wolves.