How to Draw a Cartoon Dog

Easy, step by step Cartoon Dog drawing tutorial
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"How much is that doggie in the window?
The one with the waggly tail.
How much is that doggie in the window?
I do hope that doggie's for sale."
- "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window," song by Patti Page

Both children and adults are delighted by the companionship and antics of canines. As perhaps the first animals to be truly domesticated, dogs have played a role in human society for thousands of years.

This is evident in relics of the past. For example, statues and paintings from ancient Egypt depict Anubis, a god with the head of a dog. In the ancient Greek epic The Odyssey, Odysseus' dog Argos warmly greets him after he returns home after a 20-year voyage.

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From the Middle Ages onward, dogs were often included in paintings to symbolize "loyalty, fidelity, faithfulness, watchfulness, and love." Some have been immortalized in literature or film. The dog in this drawing guide, for example, resembles The Pokey Little Puppy, a children's book favorite throughout the twentieth century. Dogs appear in anime cartoons, as Looney Tunes characters, and even in live action films like Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Homeward Bound, Snow Dogs, or the Air Bud and Buddies series.

You, too, can draw a playful cartoon dog. Follow the step-by-step instructions in this easy drawing tutorial

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Simple Dog, Simple Cat, and Cartoon Cat.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Cartoon Dog

Cartoon Dog drawing - step 1
How to Draw Cartoon Dog: Step 1

1. Begin by drawing a circle. This will become the dog’s face.

Cartoon Dog drawing - step 2
How to Draw Cartoon Dog: Step 2

2. Draw a second circle, not touching the first. This will help you to sketch the dog’s body.

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Cartoon Dog drawing - step 3
How to Draw Cartoon Dog: Step 3

3. Extend a pair of curved lines from the circle of the head. Allow them to meet at a gentle point. This will become the dog’s nose.

Cartoon Dog drawing - step 4
How to Draw Cartoon Dog: Step 4

4. Connect the circles using curved lines, outlining the body.

Cartoon Dog drawing - step 5
How to Draw Cartoon Dog: Step 5

5. Draw curved lines to guide you in sketching the legs.

Cartoon Dog drawing - step 6
How to Draw Cartoon Dog: Step 6

6. From the hips, extend a pair of curved lines upward. Allow them to meet at a point, enclosing the puppy’s tail.

Cartoon Dog drawing - step 7
How to Draw Cartoon Dog: Step 7

7. Flesh out the canine’s legs. Around each of the guide lines, draw a pair of curved lines, sketching the front and back of each leg.

Cartoon Dog drawing - step 8
How to Draw Cartoon Dog: Step 8

8. Erase the guide lines from the dog’s body, leaving a clean outline. Then, draw the feet or paws, using curved lines to sketch the incomplete semicircular shapes.

Cartoon Dog drawing - step 9
How to Draw Cartoon Dog: Step 9

9. Draw a rounded, inverted triangle on the dog’s snout, erasing as necessary. This is the dog’s nose.

Cartoon Dog drawing - step 10
How to Draw Cartoon Dog: Step 10

10. Erase the guide lines of the dog’s mouth. Then, use curved lines to draw the upper lip, lower lip, and the contour at the corner of the mouth.

Cartoon Dog drawing - step 11
How to Draw Cartoon Dog: Step 11

11. Use curved lines to outline the narrow triangle of the open mouth. Use curved lines to indicate the tongue and teeth. Shade the open mouth behind them.

Cartoon Dog drawing - step 12
How to Draw Cartoon Dog: Step 12

12. Draw an oval within the shape of the nose, and shade around it. Use curved lines to draw a shape around the mouth.

Cartoon Dog drawing - step 13
How to Draw Cartoon Dog: Step 13

13. Draw curved lines along the belly and across the tip of the tail.

Cartoon Dog drawing - step 14
How to Draw Cartoon Dog: Step 14

14. Band the ankles with curved lines. Draw additional curved lines at the tips of the feet to distinguish the toes.

Cartoon Dog drawing - step 15
How to Draw Cartoon Dog: Step 15

15. Draw the dog’s ears. Use overlapping curved lines to outline the incomplete heart shapes.

Cartoon Dog drawing - step 16
How to Draw Cartoon Dog: Step 16

16. Use curved lines to outline a spot around the pup’s ear.

Cartoon Dog drawing - step 17
How to Draw Cartoon Dog: Step 17

17. Outline the half-oval shape of the eye using curved lines. Draw a curved line across the eye, forming the pupil. Inside it, draw two small circles and shade around them. Use curved lines to outline the eyebrow, triangular and pointed on one end. Draw a thick curve from the front of the face, indicating the lashes of the hidden eye.

Cartoon Dog drawing - step 18
How to Draw Cartoon Dog: Step 18

18. Use curved lines to enclose the irregular shape of a spot on the dog’s back.

Cartoon Dog drawing - step 19
How to Draw Cartoon Dog: Step 19

Cartoon Dog drawing - step 20
How to Draw Cartoon Dog: Step 20

20. Color your playful cartoon puppy. Dogs come in many, many colors, including white, cream, black, grey, brown, tan, reddish, or even bluish-grey!

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