Find out What is the Year of the Dog- pin image of paper Cut Chinese Zodiac Dog

2018 is the “Year of the Dog”. As a dog lover, I was wondering exactly what that meant (every year is Year of the Dog at Talent Hounds).

I learned that for thousands of years in Chinese astrology, a twelve-year cycle has been used. Each year is related to a Chinese zodiac animal in a fixed order of twelve animals.  After twelve years, it returns to the first (the Rat).

The eleventh animal in the cycle is the Dog (after the Rooster, and before the Pig).

The Chinese and other predominantly eastern calendars are based on a lunar cycle. Chinese New Year is marked on the 23rd day of the 12th month in the Chinese lunar calendar each year and in 2018, this Year of the Dog started on Chinese New Year February 16, 2018 and goes until February 4th, 2019.



One account of the history of the cycle is that the order of the animals was determined by their order of arrival in the so-called Great Race across a river to meet the Jade Emperor. The Dog finished the race second last in spite of being a strong swimmer because the Dog stopped to play along the way. The poor Cat did not finish at all, apparently betrayed by the winning Rat.

Dog is man’s good friend who can understand the human’s spirit and obey its master, whether he is wealthy or not. The Chinese regard it as an auspicious animal. If a dog happens to come to a house, it symbolizes the coming of fortune. The invincible God Erlang in Chinese legend used a loyal wolfhound to help him capture monsters. Pugs were bred by the Chinese – see their history here.

This Dog is one of the 12 Chinese zodiac portrayed in the Kowloon Walled City Park in Kowloon City, Hong Kong.

This Dog is one of the 12 Chinese zodiac portrayed in the Kowloon Walled City Park in Kowloon City, Hong Kong.

Are You a “Dog”?

If you were born in a Dog year (1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018), you are considered a Dog.

  • Lucky numbers: 3, 4, 9
  • Lucky colors: red, green, and purple
  • Lucky flowers: rose, cymbidium orchids

People born in the Year of the Dog are usually independent, sincere, loyal and decisive according to Chinese zodiac analysis. They are not afraid of difficulties in daily life. They generally get along well with other people.

  • Strengths: Valiant, loyal, responsible, clever, courageous, lively
  • Weaknesses: Sensitive, conservative, stubborn, emotional

Five Types of Dog; Which One Are You?

In Chinese culture, the theory of Five Elements rests on the notion that all phenomena in the universe from cosmic cycles to the interaction between internal organs, politics and medicine, are the products of the movement and mutation of five qualities: Metal (Gold), Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth. Each zodiac sign is associated with one of the five elements, for example, a Wood Dog or an Earth Dog each come once in a 60-year cycle. 2018 is an Earth Dog Year.

Type of DogYear of BirthCharacteristics
Wood Dog1934, 1994Sincere, reliable, considerate, understanding, and patient
Fire Dog1946, 2006Intelligent, hardworking, and sincere
Earth Dog1958, 2018Communicative, serious, and responsible in work
Gold Dog1910, 1970Conservative, desirable, cautious, and always ready to help others
Water Dog1922, 1982Brave and self-centered, even seemingly selfish; well-versed in dealing with financial issues

Famous Dogs

Famous people born in a Year of the Dog include Donald Trump, Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, Bill Clinton, Herbert Hoover, Golda Meir, Voltaire, Marcel Proust, George Gershwin, Jane Goodall, Socrates, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Dame Judi Dench, Sophia Loren, Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Steven Spielberg, both Prince William and Kate Middleton, Justin Bieber, Mother Teresa. Michael Jackson, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Anna Paquin, Brad Renfro, Ellen DeGeneres, Heather Graham, Jessica Biel, Kelly Clarkson, Kirsten Dunst, LeAnn Rimes, Leelee Sobieski, Queen Latifah, Ryan Cabrera, Shirley McLaine, Susan Sarandon, Thora Birch, Uma Thurman, Dakota Fanning, Moises Arias, Andre Agassi, Confucius, Sun Quan (King of Wu in China’s Three Kingdoms Period 220 – 280), Li Yuan (the first emperor of the Tang Dynasty 618 – 907), and Zhou Enlai (the first Premier of PRC).

Let us know your story or animal in the comments.

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  • What a fun post! I knew it was year of the dog, but I’d never heard about the theory of Five Elements. My first niece will be born next month, so I guess she’ll be an Earth Dog! Those characteristics sound pretty good to me.

  • I always wondered what the Year of the Dog was all about and now I know. I like the year of the Horse too 🙂

  • Interesting post, this is the best explanation of the Chinese Zodiac I’ve read. I was born in the year of the Ox. Not very glamorous, LOL!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  • Love this, now I am disappointed that I was not born in the year of the dog! 🙂 I have always been curious about this but never thought to research it – thank you for the info!

  • We are 1 monkey (Dad) and a Cow (mom) and me? I’m a dragon!! I wonder what it means if a Dog is a dog?

  • I always love learning more about things. While I knew a little about the year of the dogs (and the Chinese New Year) I didn’t realize that there were different types of dogs (wood, fire, earth, gold, and water.)

  • I WISH I was born in the Year of the Dog! 🙂
    Great post.

  • Hmm I never knew the story behind the year of the dog (or any of the animals) for that matter. This is interesting to know. If dogs entering the home is a sign of fortune to come, I wonder what cats mean in the Asian culture? I’ve heard that the reason there are statues of (cats) lions in places like Las Vegas,NV is because in Asian culture it’s supposed to be symbolic of good fortune/wealth. Apparently a large percentage of high rollers in Vegas happen to be of Asian heritage. Interesting stuff.

  • Great post and I am not a dog LOL. I love learning so this was a great lesson for me and I am really grateful for it.

  • Great job! I wrote a similar article but you know what, I like yours better! BOL!
    I am a Rooster darn it. I want to be a dog!

  • Mr. N was born in the year of the rat. Which is an odd sign for a terrier! I’m not sure which element he is.

  • Nope, we’re not the year of the dog. We looked it up once but forgot. This was a fun post.

  • Oohhh… Did you see what Year-of-the-Dog peeps have as lucky flowers? Peep #1 is wishin’ SHE was born in the Year of the Dog, too. purrs

  • I’m not a dog, but now I’m going to look up where I am on the Chinese zodiac. I didn’t know there were different types of a dog, either. Interesting and fun post!

  • I did not know this story and I didn’t know there’s more than one type of of dog in Chineses
    astrology. Intesting. Oh, and I am a goat.