First of all, what do you want your drawing to look like. Is it meant to be a cartoon or simple drawing? Are you planning to sketch a portrait of your dog?
The difference comes down to the level of detail you want. Sketches are generally much more life-like, but cartoons tend to be easier to draw.
Step 2: Choose your tools
How to draw a dog will also depend on the tools you plan to use. If you’re drawing by hand, sketching with pencils can be easier as you can easily erase mistakes. They also allow you to create more detail in your design.
Pens, crayons and especially charcoals tend to be thicker than pencils. That means your lines will be thicker, and you’ll need to allow more space. Potentially you’ll need to make your dog a bit bigger compensate for the thicker outlines.
Alternatively, you can draw a dog using your computer. Consider general design programs such as Canva or art and drawing-specific apps and software for drawing your dog.
Step 3: Which breed do you want to draw
Given how different the breeds can be in size, shape and appearance, think about which breed you want to draw.
Some dogs, like the French bulldog, have large ears, which will be a prominent part of your drawing. Breeds with long coats may need more work to draw than short breeds; you also risk making them look fat rather than fluffy.
Conversely, poodles can be tricky to draw, because of their short curls.
If you’re a novice drawer, perhaps try a breed that’s easier to draw first. Then with practice, you can work your way up to your ideal breed to draw.
Step 4: How to draw a dog
Now you’re ready to explore the mechanics of how to draw a dog.
YouTube is a great, free library of video tutorials that take you through each step.
Some are general how-to guides on drawing a dog:
There are step-by-step guides for drawing particular breeds, such as this one on how to draw a German Shepherd puppy:
Or how about this one: draw a dog from writing the word ‘dog’ – it’s two dogs in one!
(The same also works when it comes to how to draw a cat!)
You can even use video tutorials to draw a realistic dog, if you have more time to put into your creation.
This one, for examples, demonstrates how to draw lifelike Labrador puppy:
Another great video is this one, which gives you a side-by-side comparison of how to draw a dog well compared with the mistakes that people tend to make when trying to draw a dog – and how those mistakes affect the finished drawing:
If that all sounds too hard, maybe forget trying to draw a dog and pull out your camera instead. That way, you get to play with the real thing!
Adam is the editor and co-founder of Paws N' All Press. An accomplished journalist, he has worked with many prominent Australian news media outlets as well as internationally. But first and foremost, he is a devoted animal lover with two dogs and a small flock of chickens, who wants to help every Aussie make informed decisions about their pet's health and happiness.