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Black Dog Symbolism (Top 12 Meanings)

Black Dog Symbolism (Top 12 Meanings)

The symbolic meanings of black dogs vary depending on the culture and context it is used in. Some people believe seeing these dogs is an omen of bad luck or even death, while others see them as symbols of protection against danger. 

Generally, these animals are often seen as a symbol of death, darkness, depression, and fear. However, some people also link them to protection and friendship.

In this article, we’ll explain black dog symbolism in detail. We’ll also share some common black dog dreams and their possible interpretations.  

Black Dog Symbolism and Meaning

Here is a detailed explanation of all the symbolic meanings of black dogs mentioned above.


The black coat of dogs represents the absence of light. It can be seen as a symbol of darkness, unknown or unseen.

Also, people from some cultures believe that these animals can attract evil or negative energies. For instance, they’re sometimes associated with Satan or demons in English Folklore [1].


Black dogs are a powerful symbol of depression [2]. Many people use them to describe the overwhelming feelings of sadness and hopelessness that come with depression.

For instance, Winston Churchill famously referred to his depression as a black dog. He said that it followed him around wherever he went [3]

It can feel like a powerful and overwhelming force that makes it difficult to get through each day.

Important Note: Keep in mind that depression is a medical illness, and there are now treatments available to cure this problem.

Link to the dead

In many cultures, black dogs are believed to have a special connection to the afterlife and the departed [4]. Some people believe they act as guardians or watchdogs for the boundary between the living and the dead.

Black labrador retriever in close-up photography.
Photo by Ari Spada on Unsplash

Some people even believe that seeing black dogs is a sign that their late loved ones are watching over them. In this way, they can be a comforting symbol for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one.


Black dogs also represent fear. This association comes from their black color, which can bring out feelings of fear in many people.

Additionally, there’s an otherworldly creature In Celtic mythology called the Cu Sidhe, which is believed to have frightening howls [5]. This belief has also contributed to the association of these animals with fear.


In some cases, black dogs can be seen as protectors or guardians. It’s believed that they have the power to keep negative energies away and protect their owners [6].

This symbolism is associated with larger, muscular black dog breeds, such as rottweilers, trained as protection dogs. They’re seen as loyal, trustworthy, and fiercely protective of their owners.

In some cultures, black dogs are also believed to have supernatural powers to ward off evil spirits. This belief might have originated from their strong smell sense, allowing them to detect danger before humans can realize it.


Black dogs can also symbolize friendship because of their loyal nature. Like any other dog, they never abandon their owners, no matter how dangerous the situation is.

This symbolism is particularly important for those who feel alone or isolated. That’s because a dog can provide unconditional love, comfort, and support and make their owner feel safe.

Black Dog’s Dreams and Their Meanings

Seeing a black dog in your dream can have different interpretations and meanings depending on the context.

Let’s discuss some of the most common dreams about black dogs with their possible meanings.

Playing With a Black Dog

This dream suggests that your circumstances are about to change, and you’ll need to adapt accordingly. However, it’s also a reminder that you need to stay open to change and make decisions with a positive mindset.

Black Dog Running After You

This dream can mean you are running toward redemption. You have been working hard to resolve issues in your life, and the results are about to show up. It encourages you to keep working hard to see positive changes in your life.

Black Dog Barking at You

This dream reminds you that the spiritual aspects of your life are important. 

You might have spent too much time chasing after money and material things. But it’s time to turn your attention to your spirituality. It means you need to pay attention to your surroundings carefully. 

It’ll help you find people/situations causing you to neglect your spiritual needs and deal with them properly.

Being Bitten by Black Dog

This dream is closely associated with your professional growth. It challenges you to take steps to increase your productivity at the workplace.

It might also indicate that you’re unhappy with your job and it’s time for a change. Don’t be afraid to pursue the career that makes you happy.

In short, this dream might be a reminder that you need to follow your passion.

Dream of Killing a Black Dog

While it sounds terrible, killing a black dog in your dream shows your empathetic nature. It indicates you have a good nature and you’re willing to take on other people’s pain and suffering.

However, you can also consider it a reminder that you shouldn’t neglect your well-being while trying to mend others. 

Fighting With a Black Dog

If you see yourself fighting a black dog in a dream, it suggests you’re having difficulties with your relationships. For example, you might not be on good terms with some members of your family or friends, and it might be affecting both your personal and professional lives.

So, you need to take positive action to create peace and harmony in your environment, such as restoring broken relationships.

Final Words

Black dogs have various symbolic meanings across different cultures and traditions. While the connotations they carry are generally negative, like death, fear, and darkness, they also represent positive qualities like protection and friendship.

We hope this guide has helped you understand the black dog symbolism to appreciate their unique place in your lives.