- A feral child who lives as a dog, outside human society.
- (often humorous) A dog, treated as if a child of the owner.
1993 December 15, “PICKY DOGS NEED YULE TREATS, TOO”, in The Charlotte Observer:
- Remove the pan and slice cookies into bars or squares, depending on the mouth size of your dog-child.
2004 March 13, “Best Irish Blessing Is An Irish Dog”, in Free Lance-Star:
- Never tell my dog-child Vivien that she is not Irish. She says she is Irish and we believe her. Being well-mannered, nicely reared humans, we would never contradict her.
2005, The Latham letter, volume 26-29, Latham Foundation:
- By drawing parallels between child development and dog development, Ms. King allows us, the human parent, to better understand why our "dog-children" do what they do.
2009 May 21, “Pet parents and the dog children that bite them”, in Deseret News, alt Lake City, UT:
- […] more than ever, many of those conversations require me to interject for the sake of clarification: "Wait, are you talking about your human child or your dog child?"
2011 August 26, “Today is National Dog Day”, in Columbus Ledger-Enquirer:
- To honor my dog-child, here's a little doggy profile. Feel free to fill it out about your four-legged kid in the comments!