Christian dog lovers are not going to find much to encourage them in the Bible. They are not normally found in a good light. Cat lovers are worse off for cats are not even mentioned at all. Isaiah speaks of “dumb dogs, they cannot bark” [56:10].
There are many kinds of dog – sheep, sled, hunting, seeing eye, and, of course, domestic pets. This chapter is speaking of watchdogs. Dogs with their superior sense of hearing and smell make excellent watchdogs. But in Isaiah, they picture “watchmen” – every Christian, especially church officers, ministers and pastors.
Jude 4 speaks of those “certain men” who are “crept in unawares” who want to destroy the church. That can only happen if the “dogs” are “dumb”and do not bark out a warning. A watchdog is a wise investment, but if a prowler comes and the dog is asleep the owner is robbed twice – of property stolen and the price of the dog!
Why is the dog dumb? Was he afraid of the prowler? Did he not want to disturb the peace by raucous barking? Perhaps he was too comfortable, well-fed, and afraid of losing his privileges. Christians must be strong and bark out a warning against apostasy. The hymn exhorts us, “stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross.