How to Draw a Dog Step by Step

This tutorial explains how to draw a dog from the side view in four steps going from a rough proportions sketch to a pencil shaded drawing. The dog in this example is a Husky but you can apply the same principals to drawing other dogs.

How to draw a dog step by step
How to draw a dog step by step example

You can see the drawing stages included in the tutorial in the preview image above.

If you are learning to draw and want to draw a dog the side view is a good place to start. It’s a fairly easy view to draw from and allows you to show most parts of the dog.

Step 1 – Make Construction Sketch of the Dog

Dog drawing proportions sketch
Dog drawing proportions sketch example

As with drawing just about anything you should start your drawing of the dog by first getting it’s overall proportions. Do an overall very light rough sketch of the shape of the dog. Only include the major parts such as the head (ears included), body, legs and tail. Leave out the smaller details for the next step.

You can use basic geometrical shapes where appropriate to help you get the proportions. For example the head is close to a circle and the ears are close to triangles.

Though the sketch stage may look very rough it’s probably the most important step in the drawing process. As you draw make sure that all of the dogs body parts are the right size in relation to one another.

If you start drawing everything separately or from the smaller details you may later find that different parts of the drawing are too big, too long or too short in comparison to one another. This may lead to you having to start over or having to erase a large part of your drawing.

Step 2 – Make an Outline Drawing

Outline dog drawing
Outline dog drawing example

Once you have completed the proportions sketch create an outline drawing and clean up the sketch/guidelines afterwards of the dog and add the details such as the eyes, nose, mouth and patter of the fur.

This step should be fairly simple as long as you correctly proportioned the dog in the previous step.

Step 3 – Begin Shading

Dog drawing shading directions
Dog drawing shading directions example

To make the dog’s fur look more believable apply the shading close to the directions of the actual fur growth.

Keep in mind that the longer fur such as the tail in this case will eventually start to hang down.

For more on different types of shading techniques see:

Shading Techniques and Stroke Types Drawing Tutorial

Step 4 – Fully Shade & Finish the Dog Drawing

Shaded dog drawing
Dog drawing shading example

Slowly apply more and more layers of shading darkening the fur where appropriate. Remember to apply your strokes in the direction of the fur.

Finally in some places where fur is likely to stick out you can erase the outline of the dog and draw some small strokes there to indicate fur. This can differ depending on the breed of the dog but for this particular example you can replace most of the outline. The fur on the snout, front of the head and front of the bottom half of the legs will be fairly short and smooth and can just be left as a line.


Drawing dogs and other animals can be fairly difficult if you find that you are having trouble you may want to look at photos of real dogs while following the drawing tips provided in this tutorial. You should also improve with practice if you continue drawing on a regular basis.

If you’ve found this dog drawing tutorial helpful share it with you friends.

For more tutorials on drawing animals also see: