Road Dog is an expression among best friends.
It is indeed meaning best friend; your dawg you can go on a road trip with anytime.
However, there exists a grimmer aspect to the phrase, as homeless men are also sometimes referred to as a “Road Dog” since they are abandoned on the road of life, similar to unwanted canine companions all across the world.
Dog or dawg as a friend entered the English dictionary in the 1970’s, when the cartoon “Deputy Dawg” was aired in Georgia.
It is extremely prevalent in southern and black communities, though it is currently used and encountered all across America, further promoted by hip hop culture.
It is after the 70’s that the term “Road Dog” was born, to refer to best friends, one can trust anytime, be it at home or on the road.
The term “Road dawg” became widely embraced in the following decades, and it has been a given title to several music albums as well as a hip hop group, that was active between 1993 and 2002.
Urban Dictionary first defined the expression in 2003, with bunches of other interpretations uploaded since that time.
The term’s association with homeless men also stuck, as it was even used in the title of a book by Timothy D. Pippert; “Road Dogs and Loners: Family Relationships Among Homeless Men.”
- Urban Dictionary – Road Dogs