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Wolves are commonly mentioned in religion, appearing as beloved companions of many deities. Domesticated dogs, who are known as Man's best friend have no representatives on the other hand. I find this to be one of the greatest mysteries in religion, as whatever the reason, it is going to be a grand revelation.

  • Do read about the dog who accompanied Pandavas to the heaven and also read about dattatreya who is always accompanied by a dog. – Just_Do_It Sep 23 at 20:50
  • perhaps this will answer your question: hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/13959/… – Just_Do_It Sep 23 at 20:51
  • The dog that accompanied the Pāṇḍava is a shapeshifted Yama, so is unrelated to Canis Lupus Familiaris. Dattātreya is a hermit, so the dog that accompanies him is more wolf than domestic dog, especially as the Vedas are in other descriptions described as wandering. – Aupakarana Abhibhaa Sep 23 at 21:13
  • You are right that canines appear a lot in religions, which makes their domestic kin's omission even more bizarre. – Aupakarana Abhibhaa Sep 23 at 21:14
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Keeping pet dogs is not recommended. That's why you might never find stories of pet dogs in Hindu scriptures.

The following verse is relevant:


Now, they also quote:

Gods do not eat the food of a man who keeps dogs, who is married to a Sudra woman, who is controlled by his wife, or who lets his wife’s lover remain in his house.

Vashishta Dharma Sutras 14.11


The simple meaning of this verse is gods won't accept Pujas and offerings from households where dogs are kept as pets. So, while many do it nowadays, the act does not have the approval of certain Hindu scriptures.

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  • I think your on to something, however, I think the reasoning behind that verse is not any the obvious ones. Virtually every Hindu deities have pets and/or companions that have all of the qualities people usually use to explain verses like this (e.g. lotuses and Garuda). Gods are also perfectly okay with wolves and other non-domestic dog canines (they appear with/for them all the time), so the reason has to be something specific to domestic dogs alone. – Aupakarana Abhibhaa Sep 24 at 7:29
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    Yes gods do have animals with them, they are their vahans (mounts) and not pets also those animals might not be like the earthly animals. Scriptures allow keeping cats in homes but not dogs. I don't know what it is with dogs that there exists the prohibition @AupakaranaAbhibhaa – Rickross Sep 24 at 7:47
  • I thought of a logic, but from a completely Jyotisha point of view. When a dog becomes part of family, you commence to have the effect of Ketu in your 2nd house. Consequently, you also have the effect of Rahu in 8th house. As Rahu aspects its next house and thereby destroys it, 9th house (dharma) of a person gets destroyed. I think Vashista kept this fact in mind, though mortals like us can only guess and never know. – Swapnil Das Sep 24 at 14:58
  • Dogs are asoucha (ritually unclean). They are not allowed in temples, and a ritual has to be done if a dog enters one. Even Muslims don't allow dogs in mosques, and have to bathe if they touch a dog before entering mosque. There are many such rules that other religions have borrowed from Hinduism. – ram Sep 27 at 8:59
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While in the Indo-European traditions , gods were associated with Wolves often submitted to them and not dogs is quite understandable: Wolves represents the undomable instincts that needs to be submitted under an authority.

But in Hinduism it plays different roles. In Hindu mythology, the dog is the most inauspicious of animals, to be kept away from wedding altars and holy sites. A howling dog becomes a harbinger of bad luck. Infact, even the sight of a dog is considered to bring bad luck.Why is it so? Dogs are such lovable creatures, obedient and affectionate. Even in the Rig Veda, the role of a dog as a protector, is acknowledged when Indra sends the mother of dogs, Sarama, in search of missing cows.

In narratives, dogs are associated with death which is why Sarama’s children, the Sarameya, are the companions of Yama, god of death. They are associated not with civilization but with the wilderness which is why they are associated with mendicants, like Dattatreya. The dog is the mount of Bhairava, the fearsome form of Shiva. A dog is considered so inauspicious that in the Mahabharata, Yudhishtira is not allowed to enter heaven with the dog.

The dog is a territorial animal. For the dog, even the master is territory that it will not share. Even when domesticated with all needs fulfilled, the dog needs to mark its territory by raising its legs and spraying its urine. Threaten this territory and the dog will turn on you. This behavior, the ancients realized, is not something to be celebrated in human beings.

Human beings are also territorial. Territory gives us our sense of identity and validation. It is the context that establishes who we are. A industrialist’s identity comes from the industries he owns; a bureaucrat’s identity comes from the position he holds; a politician’s identity comes from the power he holds in the party and the assembly. Any threat to the context that gives him identity, and he will react much in the same way a dog barks. We feel that if we lose our territory (not just physical but also intellectual and emotional) we will lose our identity. That frightens us. We become dogs — wagging tails when territory is reinforced, barking when territory is threatened, whining when territory is unacknowledged. At the root of dog-like behavior is fear, bhaya, fear of invalidation.

He who helps us overpower this fear is Bhairava. This form of Shiva terrifies us because it mocks our primal territorial instinct. In temples such as Kal Bhairav in Delhi and Varanasi, Bhairava is worshipped with alcohol. Alcohol clouds judgment.From a clouded judgment comes this warped understanding that from territory comes identity. The industrialist forgets that even if he clings and fights for his territory, one day Yama, the god of death, and his Sarameyas, will take him away from his territory. So it will be with the politician and the bureaucrat and the writer and the artist.

Our material, intellectual and emotional territories that we jealously guard, whose loss makes us insecure, is no different from the bone of a dog. We cling and fight over it, until the day we die. And when we die and our bodies reach the crematorium, we find there an inebriated Bhairava seated on a dog laughing at us for a life wasted in a futile pursuit.

Source https://devdutt.com/articles/kal-bhairavaes-dog/

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