33 Delightful Dog Tattoo Ideas for Men & Women in 2023
They say that dogs are man’s best friend, so it doesn’t surprise us that people get their four-legged companions etched on their skin forever. Besides memorial tattoos, people also get these fluffy pals inked as a symbol of devotion and loyalty. Sometimes, individuals just really like hounds, and they make for a great addition to anyone’s tattoo collection.
Before you go and get your own dog tattoo, let us help guide you in choosing the perfect piece of ink. Below we’ll show you the cutest, sweetest, and most adorable dog tattoos of 2023. You’ll surely be inspired with the perfect idea of which tattoo style to get, as well as where to get tattooed on your body.
With that said, let’s begin.
Geometric Black and Gray Dog Forearm Tattoo
Geometric tattoos are enjoyed by many as they not only create a sense of balance and symmetry but can also incorporate almost any design into them, such as the one above. Wispy lines add flow to the design while also drawing your eyes to the centerpiece, the precious pup portrait. The placement is ideal, as forearms are easy to work with, and you can add as much detail to them as you wish because there is so much space.
Small Black and Gray Realism Dog Portrait Tattoo
We appreciate how the artist perfectly captured this Boarder Collie looking lovingly at his owner. The texture in his soft, fluffy fur is so well executed that we feel like we can almost reach out and stroke it. The artist left a lot of open skin, which gives the impression of white fur, without packing a ton of white ink into the piece.
The position of the dog is subtle, and we can assume the client chose this spot as this tattoo is just for them!
Illustrative Black and Gray Small Dog Tattoo
Sometimes you want something simple that fully embodies your idea. The artist did a wonderful job customizing this illustrative pooch tattoo by using both bold and fine sketchy lines and minimal shading to capture the client’s vision.
Placing this piece on the side of the leg was a brilliant choice as it’s a nice flat area to tattoo, and the client will be able to show off their new ink easily.
Sketch Dog Tattoo With Splash of Color
As you can see, the forearm is a great spot to place larger tattoos. The artist uses whip shading and lines to emphasize the various shadows that make up the dog’s face while also using negative spacing, splashes of color, and ink splotches to bring this piece together.
We really enjoy the artist’s take on a furry friend’s portrait.
Micro-Realistic Wizard Dog Tattoo
For all you Harry Potter fans, this rendition of a Gryffindor pup is a lovely addition to anyone’s ink collection.
The soft shading in the face contrasts with the black in the cloak, making the cute poodle’s face stick out.
Based in Melbourne, Australia, the Korean artist really made this one look like a sticker on the client’s upper arm, we adore it!
Soft Watercolor Shiba Inu Portrait Tattoo
The artist hit the nail on the head with this soft watercolor portrait tattoo of the Japanese Shiba Inu breed. Using bright colors accentuates the sketchy style, while the whip shading adds the final touches to make this piece pop.
The forearm is the perfect placement for the shape and size of this tattoo, and we have a feeling the client is going to be showing this off to everyone.
Single-Needle Pet Portrait Tattoos on Lower Leg
This cute single-needle pet portrait tattoo by San Francisco artist Jia captures these furry friends’ expressions perfectly.
The soft shading makes this piece look like it was copied and pasted onto the client’s skin.
We love how the flowers are placed in such a way that they encompass the tattoo, and the positioning above the ankle suits the shape and size of this beautiful piece.
Minimalist Dog in the Stars
This tattoo has been beautifully simplified, and yet still keeps the essence of the dog happily running through the stars. Only black ink has been used, and only a small amount of dotwork shading on the back legs and the little spots. The design fits the placement on the arm perfectly, as it does not warp or wrap around.
Adorable Color Realism Puppy Tattoo
You can tell that the client really loves their pup by the precious crown adorning his head. The highlights in the eyes and crown truly bring this tattoo to life.
As with most realistic tattoos, the lack of solid lines and wispy color blending and shading stay true to the style of the tattoo.
Choosing the back of the lower arm was ideal for the shape and proportions of this charming piece.
Happy Shiba Inu Micro Tattoo
This is a beautiful, delicate micro-realistic portrait of a very happy Shiba dog. The artist used great contrast with the darker eyes, nose, and mouth, as well as the light, fluffy fur. The forearm is perfect for this design as it is flat, and there is a lot of empty space around it, which makes it stand out in itself.
Cheerful French Bulldog Ankle Tattoo
This artist is known for their pleasing micro-realistic pet portraits. The attention to detail in such a small tattoo is amazing. Not only did the artist perfectly capture the texture of the fur with subtle shading, but the white highlights in the nose and mouth add that wet look you’d expect to see in real life.
Putting this tattoo on the ankle was a great choice, as there is enough space around it to add more.
Dotwork Schnauzer Tattoo on Woman’s Arm
The positioning of this tattoo on the upper arm reaching down to create a half sleeve is just fantastic. As a dotwork piece, the use of pepper shading to create the various gradients adds texture to this tattoo and contrasts well with the solid black used in the nose, heart, and eyes. Those white highlights in the eyes give it that little extra spark, while the branches and leaves around the portrait frame this piece wonderfully.
Neo Traditional Pomeranian Tattoo With Flowers and Berries
Neo traditional is a style that generally avoids bright and vibrant colors, focusing on more natural shapes and color palettes. The artist kept true to the style, and the varying line thickness accentuates each element of the tattoo while also bringing the entire piece together. Don’t those flowers on its head remind you of a tiara? Absolutely beautiful.
Floral Watercolor Dog Tattoo
Watercolor is the perfect style for anyone looking to keep things soft and feminine.
The color palette blends well, while the dark green adds contrast, almost framing the dogs and bringing the entire piece together.
Since this isn’t a small tattoo, the placement on the calf was a wise decision. The tattoo artist truly brought these furry friends to life.
Small Realistic Smiling Pup Portrait
Coming straight out of Korea is another gorgeous micro-realistic tattoo of the happiest smiling doggo. The artist truly embodies this pup in great detail, the markings on his paws and the way his fur has been done in such a manner that it looks like you could run your fingers through it is truly incredible. If you look closely enough, you’ll see a white highlight in his tooth, which adds even more detail to this already breathtaking tattoo.
The placement on the leg was a good decision as it’s easy to show off and also a really nice area to work with, there’s still enough space that the client can add more if they wanted to.
Abstract Dotwork Dog Portrait Tattoo
This tattoo style is slightly harder to define because there are so many different elements at play. It’s clear that the artist took inspiration from geometric, dotwork, abstract, and realism which is why this tattoo is so unique. We love the detail in the moon and sky in the background, but what sticks out the most is the precious furry friend.
The placement for the size of this tattoo was a superb choice, as it flows with the shape of her arm flawlessly. Fur is quite a tricky thing to get right, but the artist nailed it, not to mention the amazing dotwork.
Beautiful Color Realism German Shepherd Tattoo
Color realism takes the entire style of realism to a whole new level. This tattoo of a handsome German Shepherd stands out not only because it has been done really well, but once again, the attention to detail is something we can’t ignore. The reflection in his eyes and the light source acting as an almost spotlight add great character to this piece. Using white ink to highlight the tips of his fur was a brilliant act of artistry and helped bring him to the foreground.
Tiny Dog Wearing a Bandana Tattoo
By now, it might be obvious that people like micro-realism, especially when getting a portrait done of their pets. The Argentinian artist truly displays amazing technique, showcasing his ability to bring a tattoo to life. Adding a splash of color by incorporating the red bandana is genius as it breaks away from the black and white.
The position of this tattoo was well thought out as the inner forearm is a great place to get inked, there’s plenty of space, and since it’s an area that’s turned inwards, it makes for a great spot to get something personal, such as your four-legged best friend.
Conceptual Black and Gray Fineline French Bulldog Tattoo
A mashup of fineline, sketch, black and gray, and realism, this conceptual French Bulldog tattoo is perfect for anyone that wants something a little different from your usual realistic pet portrait.
The French artist’s clean lines join up flawlessly with the black and gray, so your eyes never stray away from the fact that this is essentially a portrait.
Placed on the inner bicep, once again, a great area to get ink that is personal as the inner bicep faces inward, pointing towards the body.
Black and Gray Micro Balloon Dog Tattoo
Black and Gray tattoos are where an artist really showcases their shading skills. What we love about this one, in particular, is the fact that it looks like it’s made out of chrome.
The artist used their gray wash skillfully and added the reflection within the tattoo, giving it a realistic balloon effect. Regarding the placement, this area is great for small tattoos and is an easy place to show off when wearing something short.
Graphic Dotwork Yorkie Tattoo on Woman’s Forearm
Choosing the forearm for this tattoo was a fantastic decision, especially a half sleeve. What’s really awesome about this piece is the fact that it’s not only a portrait but also incorporates elements like a paw print, making this quite a meaningful tattoo.
The pepper shading and open spaces are what make this tattoo pop, the subtle shading in the face contrasts with the darker shading in the ear, bringing the face to the foreground. Adding that hint of color to the collar was a charming touch.
Traditional Style Dog and Rose Tattoo
Traditional tattoos use bold outlines, simple shading, and a basic color palette, much like what olden-day sailors would get. This take on a traditional memorial pet portrait melts our hearts, just look at that face.
The lines are bold and clean, while the color is packed solidly, what we really enjoy is the halo created by the red in the background. There’s also this perfect contrast between warm Autumn and cool Winter colors.
Puppy in a Costume Sketch Tattoo
How cute is this one? True to the style of sketch tattoos, this piece is not meant to be perceived as perfect. The crayon-like use of the colors is quite unique, especially in contrast with the almost realistic shading in the face. Once again, we appreciate the artist’s use of highlights as they add that extra bit of character to an already charismatic tattoo.
Watercolor Splash Micro-Realistic Labrador Tattoo
The colors in this tattoo are absolutely stunning, and the addition of the little splash droplets stays true to the watercolor style. Tattooing the portrait on the inner bicep means that he’ll always be right next to his owner’s heart, and we cannot get enough of how cute that is.
We’re sure that if this four-legged friend could speak, he would tell his owner how much he loves his portrait.
Tiny Realistic Australian Shepherd Portrait Tattoo
The inspiration for this stunning micro-realism pet portrait came from a photo the client provided the artist.
What sticks out the most is the pink added to the nose and upper lip, which stays true to the original picture.
The white highlights emphasize the pup’s features, and the soft wispy strokes in the shading really bring out the texture of the fur. Using a diamond to frame it was a good idea because the shape fits this area nicely.
Three Charming Micro-Realistic Dog Tattoos
Micro-realism is a pretty style of tattooing and a wonderful way to celebrate your pet, but there’s something about color realism that adds distinction to a portrait.
The way Fresia breathed life into these with the soft shading and feathering makes them look like they were drawn on.
Putting them on the inside of the forearm was, again, a lovely way to incorporate a more personal meaning, as they will always be close to the client’s body.
Tiny Color Realism Basset Hounds Tattoo
Jia’s talent for micro-realism is noteworthy, she did an amazing job personifying these cute Basset Hounds. Their quirky expressions would make anyone smile.
The San Fransico-based artist used her white highlights well, giving each dog the illusion of it having its own spotlight.
We’re sure the client loves their new additions as much as we do, looking at these pups’ adorable faces reminds us why we call them our best friends.
Pretty Roses and a Puppy in a Costume Tattoo
Tattooing this on the ankle was a superb choice, the shape of it flows well with the small size of the client’s leg and fills the space nicely.
The color palette for this micro-realism tattoo is very feminine, which works well with the roses and butterfly.
Korean artist, Songe, is known for her love of dainty flower tattoos, so, if you ever find yourself in Seoul, go and check her out.
Dog Giving a High-Five Fineline Tattoo
This tattoo can be considered both minimalism and fineline, the German artist showed off her steady hand with these clean lines. As simple as this piece is, there is a lot of personality showing through with the cartoonish way it’s been done. Many people enjoy putting fineline tattoos on the inside of their arms, and this one, in particular, fits flawlessly.
Black and Gray Shepherd Tattoo on Forearm
If you love black and gray work, then this Polish artist definitely has the skills you’re looking for. Her tattoos are soft and elegant and always flow so well with the area they are tattooed.
We love the placement, and how it doesn’t take up all the space on the forearm, there are still open spaces if the client decides they want to add more to their arm.
Color Realistic French Bulldog in a Circle Tattoo
Is this not the most handsome French Bulldog you’ve ever seen? The Korean artist stayed true to the original photo provided by the client, even keeping to the same shades of brown for both the fur and the collar.
We love the pepper shading in the ears and how they emphasize the creases, a defining feature of the French Bulldog.
The positioning choice on the inside of the wrist makes it easy to look at whenever the client misses their furry best friend.
Realistic Puppy Portrait With Script and Hearts Tattoo
The Argentinian artist captures this cutie in such a simple yet elegant way. Fresia is known for her micro-realism and watercolor tattoos, and we think she did an amazing job with this portrait.
The sketched hearts add personality to this piece, revealing that the client obviously adores their furry friend. Adding the pup’s name to this tattoo was also a fabulous idea, as it takes the piece to a more personal level.
Again, placing something that means a lot to you on the inside of the arm allows it to be closer to your body, we love that the client chose this area.
Fineline Lady and the Tramp Disney-Inspired Leg Tattoo
We’ve reached the end of our list, and who doesn’t enjoy a classic Disney tattoo? The UK-based artist, Laura Boanas, is known for her cute style of tattooing, drawing a lot of inspiration from Kawaii art styles.
This linework piece is stunning, the lines are fine, clean, and packed solidly. The best thing about this tattoo is the fact that the client could add color if they want to at a later stage.
There is enough space to add more, essentially this piece could turn into an entire Disney-themed leg sleeve.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of dog tattoos and found the inspiration for your next piece!