As symbols, both the Dog and Rat have got a raw deal in popular western culture. However in Chinese astrology, it is a good thing to be born in the Year of the Dog and especially the Year of the Rat. The ancient Chinese sages believed that humans carrying these zodiac signs each made a worthy personality and the two even shared a good love compatibility quotient, despite certain intrinsic differences.
High points of Rat-Dog love match
On the fact of it the Rat-Dog pair seems beset by personality differences. The Rat is shrewd and cunning while the Dog holds honor and righteousness in high regard. The former is practical, curious and extremely popular in his/her own social circuit while the latter is sometimes misunderstood and even disliked because of his/her obstinacy and critical nature. And yet curiously enough in the Rat-Dog match, these inherent differences have great potential to work in support of each other rather than to contradict one another. Thought the Dog is usually easy enough to get along with, when things seem to go wrong he/she becomes extremely anxious and fretful. At such times the Dog’s worrying nature kicks in and pessimism takes over. As his/her partner the Rat, who is clever, fun and quick-witted, can step in and pick the Dog's mood right back up again. If there is any character in the Chinese zodiac who can cope with the Dog's pessimism and irrational fears, it is the Rat. He/she loves any sort of challenge and will likely consider the Dog's temperamental nature to be interesting and stimulating. On his/her part, the Dog will bring depth and meaning to the relationship. By far the most distinctive characteristic of this astrological sign and one which is well symbolized by the animal counterpart is a natural protective instinct. The Dog is very caring by nature but at the same time he/she can be quite fierce in their attempts to protect those that they consider their personal responsibility. In fact, the ancient Chinese sages considered the Dog as the Giver of Life since they are prepared to sacrifice their own dreams, ambitions and desires for the sake of others, particularly for those they love. Thus while the Rat will bring about variety and light-heartedness in the relationship, the Dog will ensure that is firmly anchored in a sense of devotion and responsibility.
Then again both the Rat and Dog are highly intelligent in nature though the form of their intelligence may differ. The Rat’s is more a practical and resourceful one, geared to self-improvement and overcoming obstacles in daily life. On the other hand, the Dog’s intellectual preoccupations are more philosophical and humanitarian in nature. And yet since they both like to be with involved with and bring about an exchange of thoughts, ideas and communication, the love match will be highly compatible on the intellectual front. A sign as mentally nimble and ingenious as a Rat needs a personal life that is challenging to the mind as well; a Dog too with all his/her sense of justice and duty could not be satisfied with a companion who lives only on the physical level.
Challenges to the Rat-Dog love match
While the pair’s different personality traits have the potential to complement each other in a relationship, this can also be a source of misunderstanding and friction. The prime source of conflict between the Rat and Dog may lie in their inability to agree on what are the important things of life. For a Rat it is important to use all his/her powers of resourcefulness and ingenuity for personal success, even if this means pulling a fast one on a rival or opponent; the Dog on the other hand is driven by a keen sense of justice and fairplay and is often a champion of the underdog. As such, the Dog may not think highly of the Rat’s philosophy of the supremacy of personal goals and even less of the Rat’s tendency to sometimes employ dubious means to achieve them. In fact the Dog can be quite outspoken against what it perceives as injustice or absence of fairplay. At such times he/she may not only be difficult to put up with, even by the generally easy-going Rat, but may hurt a partner with sharp and biting words.
Then again, the Dog is known to be an emotionally insecure character. When the Dog is happy and peaceful, there is no one more fun and enjoyable to be with; however as soon as circumstances change for the worse, there is a profound effect on his/her mood and the Dog can become anxious, irritable and nervy. In order to rise above their own pessimistic natures, they need constant encouragement and support from loved ones and when they feel these lacking, they are often prone to straying in personal relationships; when feeling unloved or neglected, the Dog can look for appreciation elsewhere and one thing can quickly lead to another. The Rat on the whole is caring and generous to those it holds dear. However the Dog’s infidelity can deeply hurt the Rat’s ego which is many times the animal’s size and goaded by the thought of being cheated can even opt out of the relationship. Thus if this pair is not strongly tied to each other by love and trust, it may suffer from a lack of stability.