Dreams about dogs are a common dream theme at bedtime. If you or a loved one have been covering this ground at night, you may have questions about what it all might mean. As part of a Huffington Post series on dreams and their meanings, we spoke to Vocata George, Ph.D., a Jungian analyst at the C.G. Jung Education Center of Cleveland, to get expert advice about the meanings of your or your loved one’s dog dreams. Note: While dream analysis is highly subjective, this post might provide some insight into why this dream occurred or is recurring.
What do dreams about dogs mean? "Jungian dream analysis shines the spotlight on yourself," says George. "When you dream about dogs, it is important to first consider what it is that made you think about dogs." George says dreams about dogs in general can help you "sniff out a part of your psyche."
What can I learn about myself from dreaming about dogs? "[These dreams] often provide a hunch about something going on inside yourself," says George. How you feel about dogs will play a big role in how the dream can be processed. "For example, if you loved a dog as a child and it died, that is a different feeling than if you were attacked by a dog at some point in your life."
Are there any tricks to avoiding or inducing dreams about dogs? While you can encourage yourself to revisit these dreams, George says that your subconscious self knows more than you and it will continue to help you work through dog dreams if it is necessary. "If you do not know something about yourself, you will have the dream over and over."
Beyond analysis, what cultural symbolism can be found in dreams about dogs? "Having dogs show up in your dreams can represent an instinctual quality in yourself," says George. "What is it that you are not expressing in your waking life? Is the dog in your dream angry?" In addition, you should consider how you feel once the dream ends, which could potentially reveal signs of suppressed anger.
Does a dream about dogs always relate to a real-life dog? According to George, dreams about dogs are often symbolic. This particular symbol often reveals the heart of a person's soul. "Look into what the dog represents and how it makes you feel during and after the dream for a hint of what your subconscious self is trying to show you," she suggests.
Vocata George earned her Ph.D. at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, Calif. She then pursued post-Ph.D. inter-regional training in order to become a Jungian Analyst. She is now a Jungian Analyst at the C.G. Jung Education Center of Cleveland, a center that remains dedicated to the evolution of consciousness and the pursuit of meaning in life through psychological insight and creative expression.