Black Dog Meaning and Symbolism (Depression and Conflict)

Dogs are the most beautiful creation of god as they are super friendly and loyal. Black dogs are quite common but the meanings and symbolism associated with black dogs are generally negative.

A black dog can symbolize fear, depression, connection to the dead, and conflict.

It is because of the black color that black dogs have a bad reputation in some cultures. Despite the negative connotations attached to them, people still love them equally.

Dreams related to black dogs are mostly believed to highlight your mental state.

Black Dog Meaning and Symbolism

Remember that symbolism is subjective. The below are examples of possible interpretations only, and may not be the correct interpretations for you and your situation.

What Do Black Dogs Symbolize?

1. Depression

Depression is the single biggest and most important symbol of a black dog.

This symbol originates with Winston Churchill who used to talk about how he was followed around by a big black dog. This was a metaphor for his depression.

Today, we commonly talk about the black dog as something that’s following us around and won’t leave us alone. The black dog is a metaphor for the burden of misery that won’t go away.

Related: Grey Cat Symbolism

2. Fear

The black color of a dog can bring out the emotions of fear from inside and that is why black dogs symbolize fear.

Black is the color of fear because it represents absence of light. When it’s pitch black at night, it feels like monsters could be stalking around you and you wouldn’t be able to see them.

This symbolism has been generalized, so seeing black animals often invokes a sense of foreboding and fear.

Read Also: Dreaming of a Friendly Dog

3. Connection to the Dead

Many people believe that black dogs are the guards of the other world and that is why they serve as a connection to the dead.

Many cultures have animals that act as guardians between the world of the living and the dead. Among them, we usually see four-legged noble creatures like gargoyles, lions, dragons, and dogs.

The black coat of the dog contributes here: blackness is the color of fear and darkness, which are two terms we might associate with death.

Related: Colors that Represent Death

4. Protection

Black dogs are viewed as a symbol of protection in many cultures as people believe that they keep the negative energies away.

This symbolism comes from the idea that dogs like rottweilers are protection dogs. We’ll usually associate protection with large, muscular black dogs who are well-behaved and loyal to you.

Related: Cat Spiritual Meanings

5. Friendship

black dog friendship

The Color of the dog does not matter. Even a black dog symbolizes friendship and loyalty.

Dogs are known as ‘man’s best friend’ because they can be incredibly loyal. A big black labrador or a similar cute dog can be looked upon as a friend through good times and bad. He’ll always be excited to see you and get some pets!

Black Dog Dream Meanings

Dream meanings are very subjective things, and I encourage you to take all these examples with a grain of salt. In my opinion, dreams are fun to interpret but not something I’d ever want to use as a basis for taking action.

1. Worried for a Loved One (Seeing a Black Dog)

If you see a black dog in your dream, it can mean that you are worried for your loved one.

Being worried about a loved one is quite natural when you share a bond. As our parents get older, for example, we worry for them more and more. So, this dream might just be a subconscious sign of your concerns.

2. Peace with Your Innerself (Seeing a Friendly Black Dog)

Seeing a friendly black dog in your dream is a positive one. It hints that you are at peace with your inner thoughts.

When you are at peace with your own self only then you can make peace with other people and things.

You might be dreaming of the dog because it’s your happy space. You’re there enjoying a good time petting a dog and enjoying its happy company.    

3. Struggles with Yourself (Seeing an Angry Black Dog)

Seeing an angry black dog can hint that you are fighting some intense battles in your own mind and you are in a stage of depression.

Of course, this dream is believed to be linked to your knowledge that, culturally, we use the black dog as a metaphor for depression. It might be your subconscious using this metaphor as a way to express the fact that you’re in a tough stage in your life.

Related: Colors that Represent Sadness

4. No True Friends (A Black Dog Watching You)

If you find a black dog watching you in your dreams then it can mean that you feel like you do not have any true friends and you are surrounded by fake people.

If you’re feeling this way, do remember that many people have this same feeling from time to time. Life is full of seasons, and in this season you may not have friends by your side, but this may not be permanent. We still make friends, even well into adulthood, who can come into our lives and be there for us.

5. Running Away from Danger (Being Chased by a Black Dog)

Being chased by a black dog in your dream can symbolize that you are running away from something dangerous and you do not have any control over it.

Dreams of chases like this often, logically, make us think that maybe there’s something scary and dangerous in our lives that our dreams are trying to come to terms with. Usually, if the danger in your life passes, this dream will subside.

Related: Black Crow Symbolism

6. Conflict with Someone (Being Bitten by a Black Dog)

If you get bitten by a black dog in your dream then it can symbolize conflict that you might be having with someone.

Usually, dreams are related to things that are on our minds at the moment. So, this dream might occur when you’ve been thinking a lot about an argument or conflict you’ve been having with someone lately.

Conflicts can be resolved if both of the involved parties are open to communication. Make sure that you express yourself clearly and also listen to the other side carefully.

 7. Being in Danger (Being Surrounded by Black Dogs)

Being surrounded by black dogs in your dreams can be a scary experience and its implications are also negative. There is a chance that you feel like you’re in danger.

Related: Black Fox Symbolism

8. Betrayal (Seeing an Injured Black Dog)

If you see an injured black dog in your dreams then there is a chance that you feel like you have been betrayed by someone close to you.

The bad thing about betrayal is that it always comes from a person close to you when you least expect it. While you can’t control the actions of other people, you can control how you react. It might be worth researching mature and productive ways to respond to betrayal.

What Does It Mean to See a Black Dog in Your Dreams?

Black dogs in your dreams are mostly believed to tell you about your mental state and your thoughts.

Here is a summary of a few examples of possible interpretations (remembering none of them might be the right one!):

Black Dog SymbolismPotential Meaning or Interpretation
1.Seeing a Black DogIt can show that you are worried for your loved ones.
2.Seeing a Friendly Black DogThis can mean that you are at peace with your inner self.
3.Seeing an Angry Black DogSuch a dream can mean that you are having conflicts in your own mind.
4.A Black Dog Watching YouYou may feel like you don’t have true friends.
5.Being Chased by a Black DogIt can highlight that you are running from a danger over which you do not have any control.
6.Being Bitten by a Black DogYou might be in a conflict with someone close to you.
7.Being Surrounded by Black DogsYou feel like you’re in an unsafe or dangerous situation.
8.Seeing an Injured Black DogYou feel like you have been betrayed by someone.


Despite the negative meanings and symbols attached to black dogs, they are generally friendly and have a deep bond with humans. It is up to you to carefully interpret the hidden meanings and symbols, and remember that dreams shouldn’t be things you should take too seriously – they’re more likely to be ways your brain is processing your thoughts and not predictions of the future.