native roads

Dog Man

Let’s be clear, the Dog Man isn’t a werewolf. But I keep seeing “reports” of this cryptid and since it is wolf related, I’m going to talk about it. The Dog Man seems to be a cryptid like the North American Sasquatch. It’s a creature that is around six or seven foot tall with the “body of a man” a “head of a wolf,” with “surprising blue eyes.” It can carry prey with its forearms and walks digitgrade or on their toe pads. The Dog Man doesn’t change forms and it can’t change people. It mostly seems to frighten people. Some have even claimed that the dog man is slightly telepathic.

A common theory is that the dog man lives underground. The first exposure I had to this cryptid was in the Paranormal Witness episode called “The Pack.” A family in Maine claims that their house was surrounded by large dog or wolf like creatures that terrorized them one night. These dog or wolf like creatures were seven foot tall and stood on hind legs. They left huge tracks in the dirt. Of course, all their evidence has been lost. However, a few days before the dog men came, the family dog had found a large perfectly round hole at the base of a tree that led underground. The family believes that the dog men were telling them to keep away from their den. Other theories include that the dog men live in natural cave systems and travel through old abandoned mines. (If this really was the case, miners might have some disturbing stories, but I’ve never heard of any.)

Like the Sasquatch no one can get a good picture of it or a good description. (Don’t worry about the Sasquatch, according to the Paranormal Intelligence Agency the aliens are coming to collect them, since the aliens left them in the first place.) The Dog Man has its own “expert” in Linda S. Godfrey who wrote the book “The Beast of Bray Road.” A website dedicated to cataloguing Dog Man sightings and its own radio show.

The origins or at least popularity of the Dog Man start in the not too distant past, 1987. Steve Cook was asked by a “morning DJ guy” for a song for April Fool’s Day. He wrote a song called “the Legend” about a Dog Man. Stories vary on whether or not he knew about the local folk lore of the Michigan Dog Man at the time. He says no. Others say yes. But in 1987 the stories about the Dog Man made their way out of small towns and into the public consciousness and people started talking about the sightings.

The original known sighting was by Michigan lumberjacks back in 1887, though there may have been earlier sightings as well, but the Michigan sighting is the most well known. In the Michigan Dog Man story, the dog man shows up every ten years. This is hard to prove since other reported sightings are 1961, 1993, 1994 and so on.

Finding real origin stories for a bunch of folk lore bits and pieces is difficult. These Dog Man creatures are definitely American in origin. Several theories have been put forth. That Dog Man are a group of Native Skin Walkers that long ago got trapped between forms. If you go out into Nature and are peaceful and respect Nature and you run into a Dog Man, the Dog Man may scare you but not harm you. But if you are angry and don’t respect Nature, the Dog Man will attack you.

Others think that the Dog Man are of Aztec origin given some Aztec descendants believe their ancestors came from the North (Wisconsin). The Dog man is the basis for the god Xolotl, the Aztec god of death and the underworld that had a man’s body and a dog’s head.

Whether or not the dog man is actually real or people’s imaginations running after an April Fool’s Day joke isn’t my place to say. Of all the reports given, while people have been scared to death, no one has been seriously harmed. The dog man is an interesting foot note to wolf cryptozoological lore.