For thousands of years, humans have used astrology to gain deeper insight into their personalities and emotions, but does the movement of the heavenly bodies also influence the behavior of our dogs?
“Astrology affects everyone and everything one way or another,” said writer and astrologer Matthew Currie. “If anything, astrology works better on dogs than people. Dogs do a worse job of hiding their true selves.”
Of course all dogs – and all humans – are individuals. Currie compares astrology to the hand you get dealt when you’re playing poker.
“The more you understand, the more likely you are to win with what you’ve been dealt,” he said. “You can screw up at poker with a great hand if you don’t know what you’re doing.”
Learn more about astrology for dogs, and how to use your pup’s sign to uncover training tips, below.
Understanding Your Dog’s Sun Sign
Like humans, a dog’s sun sign (say, Libra or Aquarius) is determined by the date of her birth. Understanding the personality quirks of each sign will help you strengthen the bond between your pup and your family.
Capricorn, December 22 – January 19
Capricorn dogs crave stability and order. They aren’t very open to new people or new situations. These dogs may have an older look about them. They like to be comfortable and prefer finer food to kibble, said Amira Celon, a pet psychic medium and astrologer at AmiraCelon.com.
“A Capricorn dog might love walking and being outside,” said Celon. “Their legs are quite strong when they’re young, but when they get older they may have problems with their hips and legs.”
To help your older Capricorn canine stay active and comfortable, engage her in water sports, said Shelby Semel of Shelby Semel Dog Training in New York City.
“Just like with humans, swimming is a great option for dogs with hip issues,” she said.
Aquarius, January 20 – February 18
“Aquarius dogs are very unusual and very quirky,” said Celon. They might have strange habits, unique tastes or even an exotic appearance.
They’re very smart and outgoing, and may tend to get fixated on new objects in their environment. Be careful as these independent-minded dogs might stray from home, said Currie.
To keep Aquarius dogs close to home, start teaching them the “come” command in quiet and controlled spaces, like contained backyards or small rooms, said Semel. Gradually work up to environments with more distractions, or areas where there’s greater distance between you and the pup. When in doubt, a long lead is a great backup, she said.
Pisces, February 19 – March 20
Pisces dogs are sweet and nurturing. They also tend to get fixated on new objects. “Pisces dogs have vivid imaginations,” said Currie.
They love water and the outdoors and may also have a strong sixth sense. “A Pisces dog is good at picking up the energies of people and other dogs,” said Celon.
If your Pisces pup gets obsessed with new objects, teach them a “leave it” cue, said Semel. Just make sure your reward is strong; they’re not going to turn away from a shiny object for a mere pat on the head.
“You need to become more fun than the bird, or the squirrel, or whatever they’re fixated on,” Semel said.
Aries, March 21 – April 19
Aries dogs are outgoing and dominating. Their intense personalities, which sometimes can be perceived as aggressive, make them great guard dogs. But be forewarned they have a tendency to run off and are often quite stubborn, said Currie.
“A general complaint about Aries dogs is that they are not afraid enough of strangers and potential hazards,” he said.
These dogs should be enrolled in training at an early age, said Semel. They might also be strong candidates for intermediate and advanced training classes.
“We can’t teach them to be scared of traffic,” she said. “But we can teach them to have a really good ‘stay,’ ‘wait’ and ‘heel.’”
Taurus, April 20 – May 20
Taurus dogs love treats and tend to be couch potatoes. They might also have slightly obsessive tendencies or fixations, said Celon.
“They’re quite lazy,” she said. “They like food and sleep a lot. They’re also a bit flirty.”
Keep your lazy pup’s training sessions short and sweet so they’re always wanting a little more, said Semel.
Gemini, May 21 – June 20
Gemini dogs are usually pretty bright and social. “But they tend to be a little too bright and social for their own good,” Currie said.
They learn tricks easily and love to communicate with humans and other dogs. They’re noisy, and may be known as barkers or yippers, he said.
Work with a trainer to find out what causes your Gemini dog’s noisiness, said Semel. If they’re truly just trying to get attention, you may be able to keep them in line by walking out of the room when they’re being extra loud.
But make sure it’s not a stressor or pain causing the barking, she said.
Cancer, June 21 – July 22
Cancer dogs are usually very affectionate and clingy and may also be avid conversationalists. They like their routines, even more so than other dogs, and love being around water, said Celon.
“Cancer dogs are very attached to their owners,” Celon said. “They’re also very sweet natured, very loving and very loyal.”
But be careful with their diet, she said, as they may have sensitive stomachs.
Semel said it’s best to work with water-loving dogs in shallow, calm waters. You can also use water toys to teach them how to fetch in the pool
Leo, July 23 – August 22
Leo dogs are the kings of the castle, said Celon, and they want everyone to know it. They’re happy, playful and perhaps a little vain about their appearance. These are proud pups who like to strike a pose.
“Think about Madonna; that’s a very Leo type of energy,” said Celon.
High energy dogs are great candidates for training, said Semel, as the mental stimulation wears them out.
Virgo, August 23 – September 22
Virgo dogs are pretty bright, but they can get stuck in their ways. You’ll have to work hard to get a Virgo dog to unlearn a bad habit, Currie said.
Bad habits, like jumping on guests, are learned because the dog received some sort of reinforcement for the behavior in the past, said Semel. You’ll have to identify why the dog thinks it’s okay to do what she does, and then give her a less desired reaction in the future. In the example of jumping on guests, you may ask your company to turn away when the dog tries to give them a hug.
Once that’s mastered, Virgo pups’ calm demeanor makes them good service or therapy dogs. They’re helpers who like to work with police teams, children and the blind, Celon said.
Libra, September 23 – October 22
Libra dogs are very social. They like meeting new people and new dogs, and are very easy to train. But watch out; they can also be manipulative, Currie said.
“They like doing new things,” said Celon. “But they could also get bored really easily.”
This just means they’re smart, said Semel. Buy them interactive toys that keep them engaged when you can’t.
Scorpio, October 23 – November 21
Scorpio dogs can be moody. They’re very attached to their owners and often need a little more reassurance and comforting than other dogs of the zodiac. Once you appease their insecurities, they’ll be your best friends, said Currie.
“They’re fiercely loyal, fiercely protective and fiercely everything, which is fine until you’re trying to get them in the carrier to bring them to the vet and they realize what you’re up to,” he said.
If your Scorpio dog is overly protective, you’ll need to work with a highly qualified trainer, said Semel.
Sagittarius, November 22 – December 21
Sagittarius dogs are very cheerful, adventurous and outgoing. They love exploring and make for excellent travel companions. Dogs of this sign might be athletic and competitive, said Celon, and are usually good at hunting and sports.
But be careful when traveling with your Sagittarius dog as they have a tendency to run away.
“Don’t take it personally,” said Currie. “They just smelled pizza somewhere nearby and wanted to check it out.”
Keep these dogs on long leads and be highly alert when they’re off-leash, said Semel.
What If I Don’t Know My Dog’s Sign?
Don’t worry if you don’t know the exact date of your dog’s birth. You can still make predictions on how she’s affected by the movement of the moon.
“The moon is a major regulator of our moods,” said Currie.
For the next month, note how your dog is behaving along with the sign of the moon. If your dog is acting particularly agitated when the moon is in Taurus, for example, you can reasonably predict that the dog will behave the same next time the moon hits the bull (Taurus) sign.
“If you know the dog is agitated whenever the moon is in a water sign – Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces – you know not to schedule any awkward trips to the vet on those days,” said Currie.
Helen Anne Travis is a freelance writer based in Tampa, FL. She also writes for CNN, The Guardian and The Globe and Mail.