The Art of "Beware of Dog" Signs

There's a humorous "Beware of Dog" sign in my neighborhood, and it got me thinking about the genre of "Beware of Dog" signs. I did some research to see how many different styles of these dog signs I could find. As you'll see below, it ranges from simple, to threatening and menacing, sometimes violent and bloody, and also downright silly and funny.


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I pass by this sign pictured below in my neighborhood on a regular basis, and every time I go by it makes me laugh. Do you get it? There's a sense of inherent threat, that if you go into this person's yard, you're going to encounter a dog and it's not going to be pleasant, so just stay on the outside of this fence. I've never actually seen the dog at this location, so I have no idea how fierce it is, but I think that helps feed my imagination and makes the sign that much more effective.

funny Beware of Dog sign in Bloomfield, NJ

While all three of these signs below are different, they share common color schemes: black, white, red and yellow, which makes them very bold and very noticable. The image of a snarling dog only puts the final touch on this message that one should not trespass on this person's property.

3 examples of basic Beware of Dog signs

Here's three more Beware of Dog signs, each one simplified with a stark color scheme of black, white and red, and each one with a threatening, snarling, vicious dog pictured in the middle. The artistic intention here is clear: show the danger element of entering this dog's space, and warn the visitor of negative consequences should one decide to trespass.

3 examples of threatening Beware of Dog signs

The idea of threatening Beware of Dog signs makes sense, so then what is the thinking behind these next three, gentle-looking dogs? They don't exactly give me pause, or worry me enough to leave the area. Did the artists who made these signs fail in creating an effective message? The one on the far right looks to me like he aims to please in the hope of getting a doggie treat.

3 examples of friendly Beware of Dog signs



Now we're starting to see some humor. We've got a cartoon dog with an eye patch and a cigar who looks like he belongs on an episode of "Tom and Jerry;" a mentally-unstable German Shepherd with a gun (or so the owner wants us to believe), and a third, slobbering dog who presents no warning other than the fact that he's a "bad dog."

3 examples of humorous Beware of Dog signs

Here's a set of black-and-yellow style Beware of Dog signs. I guess the idea is that black and yellow are used in traffic signs and tend to catch the attention of the passer-by, so the same style is used here. We've also got two attack-style images that send the message with the graphics as much or more than the words; and two more humorous versions.

Beware of Dog signs that show danger and humor

I think this is an effective trio of signs (below) that work well together: the first one warns that "tresspassers will suffer" (although they spelled trespassers wrong), and the next two show some real suffering: bites in the rear, spilling blood (center), and ripping off limbs (right). I think I can understand these messages pretty easily.

attack dog Beware of Dog signs

Our last batch of "Beware of Dog" signs goes the more-artistic route, including paintings and cut-metal sculpture. We like how "Danger Dog" has a tongue-wagging smile and looks quite happy to see us. If you see any fun or interesting "Beware of Dog" signs, send us a picture!

artistic Beware of Dog signs