Dog Lifestyle

Dog Tattoos and the Dog Tattoo Meaning Behind Them

I was reading a book the other day called Pen and Ink, Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them by Isaac Fitgerald and Wendy MacNaughton.  It was the Introduction by Cheryl Strayed, the author of the Bestselling Book, also a motion Picture, called Wild that intrigued me and got me thinking of dog tattoos’ meanings and the stories behind dog tattoos.  


Strayed describes the stories in Pen and Ink, Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them as an intimate collection of portraits and stories behind the images that we carry on our flesh in the form of tattoos.  Each of the stories is like being let in on a secret by a stranger that passed you on the street or sat across from you on a train.  


Of course this intrigued us as what is better than the secret of a dog lover revealed in the dog tattoos they carry and the dog tattoo meanings behind them.


Lisa Congdon, Artist and Illustrator from Pen and Ink, Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them


Lisa met Wilfredo through a dog rescue when he was five months old and curled up in someone’s lap.  When they handed him to her she fell instantly in love.  She loves him more than words can say.  In 2010, she decided to get a portrait of Wilfredo tattooed on her arm with his name in script below.  As she says “Now he’ll be with me forever”


Sassafras Lowrey, Author of two fun dog books: Tricks in the City for Daring Dogs and the Humans that Love Them and Chew This Journal: An Activity Book for You and Your Dog (Gift for Pet Lovers)


I recently found an article about Sassafras Lowrey and her dog tattoos and the meaning behind her dog tattoos which was a small glimpse into this artists life that I would not have experienced if it was not for the dog tattoos.  


Sassafras describes dogs as being the center of her world and the most consistent joyful part of her life as she was raised in an abusive home.  She uses dog tattoos to memorialize her relationship with dogs.  She has pawprints of all of the dogs in a band on her arm that were a part of her life when she was a child through her teens and she has portrait dog tattoos of the three dogs she currently shares her life with among other tattoos.  


Adele, known for Paw Prints on Chest


When we say to consider your dog tattoo thoughtfully we meant it.  We would not ever know Adele but we do now because of her dog tattoo that was only meant to commemorate her dog.  

To memorialize her dog, Adele had two dog paws tattooed on her chest.  This became a bad idea.  We were let into Adele’s portraits and stories behind the images that she carries on her flesh in the form of her dog print tattoos.  

Her story, as a result of her tattoo, is like being let in on a secret by a stranger albeit one that was printed in the news since and has caused her much embarrassment.  

The power of dog tattoo meanings.  

If you are considering a dog tattoo we discuss the pros and cons of getting a dog tattoo in our Article Should you get a tattoo of your dog?  If you need some inspiration check out our Pawsome People collection which includes Dog Printable Tattoos in a digital download created with an artist partnership.  

What you will notice is that the stories associated with lots of these tattoos are not sad stories (except Adele’s). “People want to remember their loved ones and have happy memories of them,” Says Davidson a Professor of Sociology at York University.  Although Davidson was talking about people, the same goes for dog lovers.  

Dogs inspire us with their very beings and that inspiration comes in the form of tattoo art with meaning.