What Does It Mean? 15 Common Dog Idioms

Top of the mornin’ to ya! I am dressed for a tea and ready to hit the ground running for today’s blog. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’ve been reading Taylor King’s “What Does It Mean?” blog series and was inspired to put my own spin on it!

We use phrases like “a penny for your thoughts,” “hot potato,” and “back to the drawing board” every day…fancy humans call them idioms. As I thought about it, I came to the realization that there are a lot of idioms out there talking about PUPS!!! Take a look below to learn what these common doggo “idioms” REALLY mean…

Common Dog Idioms

  • Barking up the wrong tree: Looking in the wrong place or accusing the wrong person
  • Bite off more than you can chew: Taking on a task that is WAY too big or hard
  • Curiosity killed the cat (sorry, I couldn’t resist): Being too inquisitive can lead to trouble
  • Let sleeping dogs lie: Don’t disturb a situation; it’ll only lead to trouble

(Hey, are y’all sensing some weird “trouble” theme?)

  • Let the cat out of the bag: To share a secret
  • On the ball (tennis ball?): When someone understands the situation well
  • As clean as a hound’s tooth (I have some pearly whites myself): Very clean
  • Sick as a dog: Extremely ill
  • His bark is worse than his bite: His words are scarier/more intimidating than his actions
  • Better to be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion (this one really got me thinking): It is better to be the leader of a small group than to follow one well-known leader
  • Call off the dogs: Stop threatening, chasing, or hounding someone
  • Dog and pony show (huh?): A fancy or elaborate display that’s meant to market something or impress people
  • Top Dog: The most important person in an organization
  • Fight like cats and dogs (I get it): To argue ferociously with someone
  • Every dog has his day: Everyone will have his chance or turn

I really could keep going, but I’ll stop here for now! Did you learn a new idiom to use in a conversation today?


I’m just happy knowing I’ll always be “man’s best friend!”




Bradi Bear Blog, Taylor King Blog

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