There’s not such a fine line between arrogance and humility. It is especially true when it comes to leaders. But not necessarily right when it comes to our friends, the Capricorn. These natural leaders are strong-willed but not known for being arrogant. But only a special kind of dog will mix well with a dominant leader like the Capricorn.
In this article, I’ll go over the dog breeds that are best suited to the specific traits of the Capricorn zodiac archetype. I’ll start with a bit of zodiac history, how the zodiac works, and I’ll even claim why we might want to revisit looking at astrology in our modern times.
First, we’ll just make sure we are both on the same page with a few key definitions:
Some Useful Definitions In This Article
- Astronomy – the scientific study of celestial objects and all phenomena which occurs outside of the Earth’s atmosphere
- Astrology – the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world
- Constellation – a group of stars forming a recognizable pattern that is typically named after the apparent form or figure the design resembles.
- Precession – the slow movement of the axis of a spinning body around another axis. In the case of Earth, the geographic north pole wanders around in a circle which takes about 26, 000 years to complete one cycle. Think of it like a top, a top never spins perfectly straight, but the tip can wander in circles.
- Zodiac – the belt of the sky within about eight degrees of the ecliptic and divided into twelve regions. The relative position of Earth to Sun and constellations determines your zodiac sign.
- Astrological Symbol: The Goat
- Element: Earth
- Dates: December 22 – January 19
- Planets: Saturn
- Characteristics: Strong-willed, ambitious, hard-working, determined, confident
How The Zodiac Works
Most of us are aware of what our ‘zodiac sign’ is, but did you know that there is no such thing as having a single ‘zodiac sign’? Let me explain. Take a look at the graphic I made just above this paragraph. I took the liberty of creating two circles. The outer circle, which shows a rough placement of the individual constellations surrounding the Earth. Keep in mind this is not to scale, nor is it in perfect alignment with reality. And of course, the stars are nowhere near that close, so the scale is way off.
Okay, so the concept of the zodiac is this. Notice the inner circle, with the bluish dot on it at about one o’clock position. That dot is supposed to be the Earth, and the circle is the orbit. As we travel around the Sun during the year, due to the changing position of our orbit as we barrel along, the background constellations appear to change position relative to the Sun.
It’s just the Earth flying along its orbit, but the result is the same. When we look at the Sun in the sky on any given day of the year, there will be constellations behind it, which we cannot see. Then, as the year progresses, these constellations which hide behind the Sun change as the perspective from Earth changes. Are you with me so far?
Let’s now imagine that each of these constellations was a person living in a house. So, we’ll call them houses. Next, imagine that these houses are on a plot of land, or property if you will. Now, imagine an imaginary fence separating these properties. That fence is what we call the cusp.
Jumping back to the picture above, we see that the Earth is in alignment with Cancer. The Earth is on the right, the Sun in the middle, and Capricorn on the left side of our zodiac ‘wheel.’ Notice that the approximate date is somewhere around the end of December or the beginning of January. Now, you may be wondering why the Earth looks like it’s in the ‘house’ of Cancer during December/January. Ah, wait my friend! It’s all about perspective!
So, imagine we were on the Earth in this picture, during January. If you looked up to the sky towards the Sun, the missing constellation (the one hiding behind the Sun) is Capricorn. Therefore, from the perspective of the Earth, during December/January, the Sun appears to be hanging out in the ‘house’ of Cancer. We can make a rule and sum this up as follows.
At any moment of the year, the position of the Sun relative to the Earth, from the perspective of Earth, dictates the house in which the Sun resides.
Clear as mud? Let’s jump back to the concept that you can’t have a single ‘zodiac’ sign for a moment. As I mentioned, and you are aware, we all know our zodiac sign. But, this isn’t our zodiac sign, per se. It is our Sun sign (of the zodiac). However, we’re missing a HUGE part of the concept of the zodiac. Only looking at your Sun sign is like only looking at the speed limit on the road and missing the traffic lights. You’ll blindly drive onward into traffic. Okay, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but you get the idea.
Roles Of Celestial Bodies In Our Lives
My point is that yes the Sun plays a major and integral role in our lives and thus the Sun sign should have significance, however, are the oceans not swayed by the Moon? The Moon has an immense effect on our physical lives every single day. It drives the tides and has even been shown to affect menstrual cycles amongst other things. So, if the Moon plays such a major role, why do we ignore our Moon sign? Wait, Moon sign? What?
That’s right, folks. The zodiac is an imaginary layout of the heavens to be able to communicate positions of the heavenly bodies at specific times. Thus, be able to equate the effects of these celestial bodies upon our lives, our consciousness, and so on. But, I’ll get more into that in a bit. Understand each of us has a zodiac sign for each of the celestial bodies in our solar system. With some careful research, you can find out just where all the planets were aligned at your birth and get a much greater understanding of the true meaning of the zodiac.
Speaking of meaning, let’s take a quick look at how the zodiac lines up, so we can assign houses and meanings to celestial alignments in the first place.
In western society, our concept of the zodiac uses the tropical zodiac. The alignment of the tropical zodiac is with the equinoctial points of our orbit. If you’re anything like me, then when you first read that word, you probably thought, what the heck is equinoctial? And it’s an excellent question to ask.
The equinoctial points are two points of our orbit when our spinning axis (remember it’s on a tilt) lines up with the center of the Sun. The center is the equator of the Sun, determined by the Sun’s spin, of course. These equinoctial points only occur at two points of the year on the Earth’s orbit. It allows us to use these two points to align the houses of the zodiac with our orbit. And that, my friends, is how the tropical zodiac aligns with the Earth.
Now, I know we want to look at the dogs that groove with Capricorn, but aren’t you curious how this zodiac thing came to pass, in the first place? I will indulge your curiosity for a moment and give you a very brief run-down of the history of the common western zodiac and how it came to be.
A Little Zodiac History (Western Zodiac)
The familiar western zodiac we know today is a culmination of three different concepts, or principles if you prefer to call them. These three concepts build upon one another to form the idea of the zodiac.
- Equating groups of stars with a person or thing (constellations).
- Mapping the celestial bodies and tracking their movements.
- Astrology – Tracking the movements of celestial bodies to determine (and thus believe that) the celestial bodies affect human affairs and the natural world.
The original idea of imagining groups of stars as pictures, or constellations as we call them today, dates back to as far back as 2,900 B.C. There’s a pretty strong case to say that the first group of initial constellations was dreamed up by the Sumerians, at about that period. How do we know this though? I’ll explain it.
The original group of constellations were all visible from the Northern Hemisphere. There were no constellations in the oldest records that showed the Southern Hemisphere. So, this tells us the first group of constellations originated from a perspective in the Northern Hemisphere.
The second evidence pointing to the Sumerians is the orientation of the constellations. Now, we know there is a slight wobble to our orbit. We know how the positions of the stars change over time. We also know that the original depictions of the constellations were all imagined as right side up.
No one was staring up at the sky upside down back in the day when they were dreaming up the constellations. If we take current positions of the constellations, and their orientations, and calculate their movements backwards through time we find something interesting. All the known original 48 constellations would all have been nice and neatly right side up and in alignment about 2,900 years ago. Not only that, but they would have only lined up nicely from a perspective of about 36.5 degrees latitude.
Now, we can take these facts and extrapolate that the civilization where constellations were created would have been the Sumerians, at about 2,900 BC at a latitude of 36.5 degrees.
Meaning Of Pictures In The Sky
The Sumerians were likely the first to depict constellations as images of people, creatures or things. However, they were not used for the same purpose as we use them for astrology. Originally, the Sumerian had created constellations to be able to teach and convey travel and direction to others. This was a fundamental aspect of everyday life back in Sumeria. Knowing the constellations was vital to travel. It wasn’t until the first millennium that people had enough time on their hands to imagine (or discover) how the celestial bodies may be playing a role in human affairs.
Now that you have a firm grasp of the history and workings of the zodiac, let’s dive into which dog breeds are best suited to our fine leaders, the Capricorns.
Capricorn Traits And Characteristics
Capricorns are natural leaders. They are strong-willed, determined and confident. Often successful, these individuals are born ready to lead the masses forward. So, what kind of dog would go best with this sort of powerful and dominant personality?
Dog Breeds That Are Strong-Willed And Determined
One of the characteristics of the Capricorn which is quite dominant is their determined and strong-willed nature. Oftentimes a person who is determined and strong-willed will want to have people who are similarly determined in their lives. A strong-willed person may get tired of dealing with a weak-willed personality all the time. For that reason, I’ve chosen several breeds that share a similar determined and strong-willed characteristic.
Rottweilers are big, intimidating dogs. They look mean and they know it. If you’ve ever spent any amount of time with a Rotty, you’ll know they make a grand statement. I’ve had Rottweilers literally try to push me out of their way. They are very strong-willed and so, they take the number one spot for a strong-willed and determined dog breed. Quite a match for many, but a comfort of similarity for an equally determined Capricorn. The Rottweiler is an excellent choice for any Capricorn with the leadership, determination and strong-willed nature that Capricorn is known for.
I once had a good friend with a Husky. I remember he was an avid cyclist, and that’s probably a good thing when it comes to taking a Husky out for a run. These dogs just want to go and go and go. They are seemingly without an end to their energy when they get running. And if you think it stops there, just go look at some of the videos on YouTube with the Husky having a tantrum for not getting what they want. Talk about strong-willed! Take a look.
Saarloos Wolf Dog
The Saarloos is a rare breed. But, they are beautiful, intelligent and of course, strong-willed. These dogs were created by mixing German Shepherds with Grey Wolves. They retain a lot of the wolves’ nature, being an avid hunter, highly intelligent, graceful, and confident. Their determined nature can be difficult to work with unless you’re good at training dogs. However, they may not be quite as bad as our Husky friends who, as you likely saw, really like to get their way and even talk back when they advised of doing something that doesn’t interest them.
There are two sorts of Akitas: The American Akita and the Japanese Akita Inu. Here I am referring specifically to the Akita Inu. These assertive dogs are quite strong-willed and a bit possessive. That is most certainly the case when it comes to their food. Don’t ever try to get between an Akita and their food dish. This strong-willed nature has earned the Akita Inu position four on our top 5 most determined and strong-willed dog breeds list for the Capricorn archetype.
Jack Russell Terrier
Have you ever had a Jack Russell? Well, I have, so speaking from experience, I can tell you these mini bulls in a china shop are not only strong-willed and determined, you might even say they are a bit stubborn. Let me tell you a funny story.
Back when I was young, living at home with my parents, we had several pets. My dad was a veterinarian with the Federal Government of Canada, working with viruses and things like rabies, mad cow disease, tuberculosis, and those sorts of nasties. He also had a love of birds and exotic pets in general.
We had maybe 200 birds in a greenhouse and aviaries inside our home. It was a bit crazy. To justify my dad’s hobby of breeding these exotic birds, he allowed me to get pretty much any exotic pet I wanted and taught me a huge amount about animal husbandry. I got into tons of fish, reptiles, amphibians, and even had an agouti. Here’s where the story turns to the Jack Russell Terrier.
The agouti is a large rodent from the rain forests of Central and South America. They are pretty big, about the size of a normal cat. And they can run. They look like a giant rat with almost deer-like legs. They are blindingly fast runners.
One day, when cleaning my agouti cage, it got out and decided to go on an adventure around the house. Well, with two cats and a Jack Russell, you can imagine I wanted to catch my agouti as fast as humanly possible because I knew my Jack Russell would be attempting to do the same.
The agouti naturally got the attention of my dog. The agouti burst into ludicrous speed and ran down the hall of the house, towards a closed bathroom door. The dog ran in hot pursuit. I stood there without anything I could do but yell for the dog to stop. No such luck with a determined Jack Russell.
As the agouti approached the closed door, all I could think was, oh my goodness, he’s going to slam right into the door, and the dog will get him. But, just then, the agouti launches up into the air, does a wall climb/run like an expert parkour athlete. The agouti ran up the door and did a 180-degree turn at about 5’ up. Then he ran back down the door and jumped over the dog and ran in the opposite direction.
My Jack Russell, not having a clue what just happened, was still running full-tilt into the bathroom door. The door shut, remember? Well, he smashes into the door with a crash never before witnessed by humankind before, and I luckily grabbed my agouti as it flew past me. I put him back in his cage and wished I had caught all that on film. I can only hope you can envision the hilarity of how the situation played out. Maybe you had to be there. Moving right along.
Dog Breeds That Are Ambitious And Hard-Working
As I was mentioning with the strong-willed and determined dog breeds above, a determined individual like the Capricorn may want to have around those who display similar characteristics. That’s why I’ve selected dog breeds here, which are ambitious and hard-working. So that they may share similar qualities with their Capricorn counterpart. Here are a few breeds that excel at being ambitious (wanting to please their human) and are also hard-working, like the Capricorn.
Retrievers, in particular the Golden Retriever, takes the number one spot for being ambitious. These dogs are happy and natural pleasers. They love to do whatever they can to make their human happy. They may not have the stamina of the Collie or the Shepherds, but these dogs make a fantastic and ambitious companion none-the-less.
Like the Golden, the Labrador Retriever is another people pleaser. They love to be loved and love to please. That means if you have something you need them to learn or do, they are more than willing to do everything they can to achieve the goal ambitiously. Not only are these dogs great for Capricorn, but they are also great with people of all types. That’s why the Retriever family is so popular in homes worldwide. They are just great dogs.
Border Collies are working dogs. They love to work. Their intelligent minds love the stimulation of going to the task. And, they are not only ambitious about it, but I think Border Collie’s are actually proud when they’ve completed a task. It’s almost like this breed, over so many others, truly understands taking pride in your work. With that in mind, a truly discerning Capricorn will appreciate the work ethic of these fine dogs.
Like the Border Collie, the Australian Shepherd was bred to work. Again, a highly intelligent dog breed, these dogs require an adequate amount of stimulation to stay out of trouble and truly satisfy their need for mental and physical exercise. And working is a great way for these dogs to blow off that steam. They are full of energy and ambitiousness to fulfill their given tasks. These combine to form a hard-working dog that will love nothing more than to tend to a flock for you or do whatever other chores you manage to train them to do. This can include just throwing a ball for them. However, your arm might fall off before the Australian Shepherd tires. A fantastic dog for the active Capricorn.
Boxers are a great, fun and cute ball of energy and ambitiousness. They are athletic and have intelligence to match their energy. That being said, like the Australian Shepherd, their keen minds need fulfillment. This can make the dogs highly ambitious and hard-working when given tasks to fulfill. They love the praise that follows and may also understand the meaning of taking pride in their work, similar to the Border Collie in that respect. The Boxer is a fantastic dog breed that suits Capricorn well, but will likely be well suited for many of the zodiac archetypes given their versatility as a breed.
Dog Breeds That Are Confident
The other outstanding quality of the Capricorn is their confidence. Capricorn, as mentioned, are natural leaders. They are confident and yet not typically arrogant, which is what you would expect from a natural-born leader, isn’t it? But, a true leader, like the Capricorn, would embrace those qualities of determination, ambition and confidence in the appropriate proportion. That’s what makes a leader a great leader, the application of balance.
Confidence is a natural ability for these dog breeds. And that’s a must if they are to be in tune with their Capricorn human counterparts. Here are some dog breeds that have taken confidence and confidently mastered it.
Poodles are a funny dog, in my opinion. The narrow head and face give them the look that there may not be much going on upstairs, so to speak. At least that’s what I thought until I met my first Poodle. These dogs are ridiculously intelligent. This intelligence is something that I think they might be at least partially aware of. It allows the dog to have confidence, like they are always in the know. Almost like they know what’s going on so they can just strut confidently about. At least, that’s the impression I got from a Poodle.
Another highly intelligent, and confident dog breed is the German Shepherd. These dogs are well-liked around the world and make such great working dogs that they are often utilized by police services in many countries. The German Shepherd, like the Australian Shepherd, is a fantastic and intelligent working class dog. With that in mind, they require an adequate amount of stimulation to keep their keen mind sharp and focused. This intelligence again gives the breed an air of confidence. They are big, powerful, highly intelligent dogs and they might just know it. A fantastic breed that makes a great addition to the family, as long as you have the time to devote to proper training and maintaining adequate mental and physical stimulation and exercise.
The Mastiff is known as a large breed dog. Many of the larger breeds are quite confident, no doubt due to their size, and the Mastiff is no exception. They are generally quite calm and relaxed, similar to the Golden Retriever in that respect. The Mastiff is also excellent with children. Contrary to their large size and almost lion-like appearance, the Mastiff is a relaxed and confident dog breed that does well with Capricorns and those with children. These facts make the Mastiff an excellent companion and a wise choice in breed for any Capricorn.
While we’re discussing larger dogs with confidence, I can’t help but think the Great Dane belongs here on this list. The Great Dane is large but is quite often very sweet, compassionate to others emotions and exudes a confidence about them. They remind me of the classic bartender archetype. The confident one who is there for you, to hear your woes (and serve you drinks with pride). That’s the Great Dane. I might just name one Sammy if I had one. (Cheers reference in case I wasn’t being obvious). Great Danes make great additions to the family. And they also make wonderful companions for Capricorns.
Dobermann (aka Doberman Pinscher)
The Doberman Pinscher, or just Dobermann, as referred to in Europe, is a keen, intelligent, and confident guard dog. They are athletic and highly perceptive. These dogs make excellent guard dogs due to this heightened perception. The Doberman Pinscher is intelligent, too, as mentioned. Like with any highly intelligent animal, the proper exercise and stimulation of both mind and body to keep them out of trouble are essential. The discerning Capricorn will appreciate the strength, determination, and confidence of the Doberman Pinscher. A well-suited dog breed for any person who can train and offer them an appropriate amount of mental and physical stimulation and training.
The top three breeds that I believe, based upon the research, would best suit a Capricorn are a Rottweiler, Golden Retriever, and Poodle. These breeds display qualities in line with those shared by their Capricorn human counterparts. They would all make excellent compadre’s to the discerning Capricorn person. However, these dog breeds are so very fantastic that they would likely do well with many more than just the Capricorn. Don’t you agree? Let me know in the comments if you agree about these pooches.
- Main Image By DarkWorkX. Thank you Pixabay.
- Barrett, David, The Encyclopedia of Prediction, Acropolis Books, Bookmart Ltd, Leicestershire, United Kingdom, 1992.
- Coile, D. Caroline, Ph.D., Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds, Barron’s Educational Series, Hauppauge, New York, United States of America, 2015.
- Principles and practice, Astrology, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrology#Principles_and_practice, Accessed April 20, 2020.
- Zodiac, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zodiac, Accessed April 20, 2020.
These are some excellent books on the subjects of astrology, stars & constellations, and of course some superb dog breed books as well.
Ancient Astrology in Theory and Practice: A Manual of Traditional Techniques, Volume I: Assessing Planetary Condition (Amazon Link) by Demetra George. This is an excellent book. Well worth the read, I must say. It has a plethora of interesting information regarding the history of astrology in ancient civilizations. Very cool stuff.
Next, I also recommend Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds (Amazon Link) by D. Caroline Coile Ph. D. I use this book all the time as a quick reference when looking for fast facts on different dog breeds. Great book, although slightly opinionated at moments, well worth it for a fast fact-finder sort of reference.
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