I suspect that there might be many other reasons why dogs aren’t well-liked in Abrahamic religions, beyond what most followers would realise if we take dogs’ association with witchcraft and sensuality into account. It’s not just dirtiness but also dogs’ apparently inherent moodiness that makes it a bad fit for Abrahamic devotion and piety so a more obedient animal has to take its place.
Unsurprisingly, churches historically not only violently warded off dogs (which Orthodox churches still do today) but also associated them with witchcraft which would’ve been more common than most people would realise. In fact according to two books, they even outnumber cats in animal witchcraft accusations. These could be mistaken or something but oddly confirms Koranic and Biblical disdain, sometimes mild suspicion of them.
This was especially prevalent in the Renaissance at least when it came to the many surviving demonology reports at the time when printing was becoming more commonplace outside of East Asia. (I also suspect these beliefs were even older, also in line with dogs being hated for their association with paganism once Christianity arrived in Europe.)
Unsurprisingly, some surviving Francophone demonology reports remember dogs’ close association with Hecate who’s also linked with witchcraft. (The same book also described dogs as terrestrial demons as well as reports of witches turning into dogs themselves.) Another, Discours des Spirits, describes the Devil as alternating between cat and dog forms and some texts agree however with sorcerers and demons in general.
Such beliefs survive in some Ghanaian, Zambian, Ugandan, Congolese and Cameroonian Pentecostal churches which would’ve given a better idea of how prevalent and serious they were in Early Modern France (some parts of Belgium too) and England (their would-be colonisers). Some of them are also the same places where dogs are associated with promiscuity, which magnifies their suspicion and even disdain.
Now here are excerpts:
The cults of the dog – Page 383
M. Oldfield Howey – 1972 – Snippet view
… following allusion to witches who, when shape-shifting, at times took canine form: “Thus Witches, Possest, even their deaths deluded, say They haue been wolues, and dogs.” (Act V, last scene). This alleged faculty of metamorphosis identifies the witches with the Daughters of Diana, and it seems probable that animal masks and skins were worn by the members of the cult when they performed the ritual of the Coven, even as was the practice in ancient Greece, where the same power …
The moon: myth, magic, and fact – Page 93
Diana Brueton – 1998 – Snippet view – More editions
This fearsome old creature was originally the ancient Greek goddess of witchcraft, but later came to be associated with the Moon and other Moon goddesses. The Romans depicted her enthroned in triple form, with three hands and three pairs of arms, holding daggers, whips and torches, and with serpents at her feet. She was also shown with howling dogs, probably because dogs howl at the Moon, and she is often invoked by magicians and witches for her underworld connections.
The Witchcraft World – Page 26
Geoffrey Leslie Simons – 1974 – Snippet view – More editions
Jerome Cardan wrote of witches in his De Rerum Varietae (1557) and noted: ‘They [witches] adore the ludi Dominant [the Lady of the Games] and sacrifice to her as a god.’ The Lady was Diana and the games were … was often identified with Diana and Artemis. She was also regarded in ancient Greece as a goddess of witchcraft. … Hecate was often shown accompanied by howling dogs, possibly because dogs are often seen howling at the moon. The ancient Gnostic philosophers …