Signs for DOG

A drawing of DOG
Credit: Drawing by ASL-speaking coda at age 4.
ASL signs for DOG

Definition: A domesticated carnivorous mammal that typically has a long snout, an acute sense of smell, and a barking, howling, or whining voice.

Etymology: This ASL sign may look like a snap to a naive eye but it's actually a fingerspelled loan derived from the three letters "D-O-G".

Variation: Dominant palm tapping on the thigh. This is kind of obsolete or simply less used. It's often used with babies for easier production.

Learner tip: You don't need to sign the combination of fingerspelled loan #DOG and tapping on the leg (as in a compound word) as commonly seen in non-native signers. This is the signature of hearing accent. :) Although, this doesn't really apply to parentese with baby when Deaf parent uses both ASL variations (not the compound of it).


Related signs: BARK, PUPPY, PET, PET-FRIENDLY, ANIMAL.

Pet friend or sometimes foe (okay, opposite word): CAT.

Printable ASL Printable ASL for DOG
Usage/Grammar

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Language learning, language play, etc.

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Some word entries have one of some tidbits in this section, such as minimal pairs of sign words, rhymes, etc. usually related to or associated with its word entry.

Written ASL

[Note: ASL writing is not an official standard. This sign language writing remains in a state of open space to allow room for experiment, evolution, and improvement.]

ASL writing for DOG

Written/contributed by Adrean Clark.

Written ASL for DOG

Experimental writing digits, 2015 or 2016 (the little circle system by Jolanta).

Deaf Culture and tidbits

Sign with dogs

Dog Tricks: Deaf owners (and sometimes hearing signers) of dogs speak ASL with their dogs in the same way hearing owners speak English with their dogs.

The video (2020) by Jayme Eyben demonstrated some commands in ASL with his cute dog, Winry.

Baby signing DOG

Watch how a child acquires the ASL sign DOG in a time lapse from baby to kindergarten age, including fingerspelling the word and signing the lexicalized loan.

Interesting to watch how the brain processes differently for fingerspelling (equivalent to writing letter by letter) and fingerspelled loans (equivalent to whole words, not letter by letter).

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For best result, enter a short word in the search box, then select the alphetical letter (and page number if needed), and click on the blue link.

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Don't forget to click "All" back when you search another word with a different initial letter.

If you cannot find (perhaps overlook) a word but you can still see a list of links, then keep looking until the links disappear! Sharpening your eye or maybe refine your alphabetical index skill. :)

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Grammar: ASL has its own grammar and structure in sentences that works differently from English. For plurals, verb inflections, word order, etc., learn grammar in the "ASL Learn" section. For search in the dictionary, use the present-time verbs and base words. If you look for "said", look up the word "say". Likewise, if you look for an adjective word, try the noun or vice versa. E.g. The ASL signs for French and France are the same. If you look for a plural word, use a singular word.

Inflection: Many ASL words, especially verbs, in the dictionary are a "base"; be aware that many of them are grammatically inflectable within ASL sentences. Some entries have sentence examples.

Variation: Some ASL signs have regional (and generational) variations across North America. Some common variations are included as much as possible, but for specifically local variations, interact with your local community to learn their local variations.

Contextual meaning: Some ASL signs in the dictionary may not mean the same in different contexts and/or ASL sentences. You will see some examples in video sentences.

ASL is very much alive and indefinitely constructable as any spoken language. The best way to use ASL right is to immerse in daily language interactions and conversations with Deaf/Ameslan people (or ASLians).