30 Idioms for Dogs

Man’s best friend, the loyal and loving dog, has not only earned a place in our hearts but also in our language.

Idioms for dogs are a delightful way to express various emotions and situations, using our furry companions as metaphors. In this canine-inspired linguistic journey, we’ll explore some pawsitively interesting idioms, giving each a tail-wagging twist.

30 idioms for dogs

Idioms for Dogs

1. Barking up the Wrong Tree

Meaning: To pursue a mistaken or misguided course of action.

In a Sentence: “I thought I could fix the leak by tightening the pipe, but I was barking up the wrong tree; it turned out to be a faulty valve.”

2. In the Doghouse

Meaning: In trouble or disfavor.

In a Sentence: “Forgetting our anniversary landed me in the doghouse, and now I’m planning a surprise to get back in her good graces.”

3. Every Dog Has Its Day

Meaning: Everyone gets their moment of success or glory.

In a Sentence: “I may not have won last year, but I believe every dog has its day, and this year, victory is mine.”

4. Dog Eat Dog

Meaning: A ruthless and competitive environment.

In a Sentence: “The corporate world can be dog eat dog, so it’s crucial to stay sharp and ambitious.”

5. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Meaning: Avoid stirring up trouble or reopening old conflicts.

In a Sentence: “I decided not to bring up the past during the family reunion; it’s better to let sleeping dogs lie.”

6. Sick as a Dog

Meaning: Extremely ill or unwell.

In a Sentence: “After eating that expired sushi, I was sick as a dog for a week.”

7. Dog and Pony Show

Meaning: An elaborate presentation or performance designed to impress.

In a Sentence: “The product launch was more of a dog and pony show than a meaningful demonstration of its capabilities.”

8. Top Dog

Meaning: The most important or influential person.

In a Sentence: “As the CEO, she’s the top dog in the company, making crucial decisions.”

9. Dogged Determination

Meaning: Persistent and tenacious effort.

In a Sentence: “Despite numerous setbacks, his dogged determination led him to achieve his fitness goals.”

10. Dog Days

Meaning: A period of intense heat or lethargy.

In a Sentence: “During the dog days of summer, everyone prefers to stay indoors and enjoy the air conditioning.”

11. Dog in the Manger

Meaning: Someone who prevents others from enjoying something they themselves have no use for.

In a Sentence: “Her refusal to share the notes was like a dog in the manger, considering she never reviewed them herself.”

12. Dog Tired

Meaning: Exhausted or extremely tired.

In a Sentence: “After the marathon, I was dog tired and could barely make it to my car.”

13. It’s a Dog’s Life

Meaning: A difficult or unpleasant existence.

In a Sentence: “Living in the noisy city can feel like it’s a dog’s life, with constant hustle and bustle.”

14. Dog-Eared

Meaning: A worn or tattered appearance, especially in reference to a book or document.

In a Sentence: “After years of reading, my favorite novel is now dog-eared, showing signs of the countless times I’ve enjoyed it.”

15. Dog in the Fight

Meaning: Having a personal interest or stake in a situation.

In a Sentence: “Being a shareholder, I have a dog in the fight and closely monitor the company’s performance.”

16. Dog’s Breakfast

Meaning: A chaotic or messy situation.

In a Sentence: “After the party, the living room was a dog’s breakfast, with confetti and streamers scattered everywhere.”

17. Doggy Bag

Meaning: A container for leftover food from a restaurant meal.

In a Sentence: “The portion was so large that I needed a doggy bag to bring the delicious leftovers home.”

18. Dog’s Dinner

Meaning: A mess or something done poorly.

In a Sentence: “His attempt at fixing the sink turned into a real dog’s dinner; now it leaks even more.”

19. Hair of the Dog

Meaning: A small amount of what caused a hangover, taken to alleviate the symptoms.

In a Sentence: “After a wild night, she swore by the hair of the dog and had a light beer to cure her hangover.”

20. Dog’s Bark

Meaning: A person’s boastful or arrogant talk.

In a Sentence: “Don’t pay attention to his dog’s bark; he rarely delivers on his grand promises.”

21. Dog’s Chance

Meaning: Little to no chance of success.

In a Sentence: “Without proper preparation, we stand a dog’s chance of winning the competition.”

Summary

IdiomMeaningIn a Sentence
Sick as a DogExtremely ill or unwell“After eating that expired sushi, I was sick as a dog for a week.”
Dog’s LifeA difficult or unpleasant existence“Living in the noisy city can feel like it’s a dog’s life, with constant hustle and bustle.”
Dog-TiredExhausted or extremely tired“Working late into the night left me dog-tired the next day, barely able to keep my eyes open.”
Dog’s ChanceLittle to no chance of success“With the tight deadline and limited resources, we have a dog’s chance of completing the project on time.”
Hair of the DogA small amount of what caused a hangover“After a wild night, she swore by the hair of the dog and had a light beer to cure her hangover.”
Sick as a Dog (Redux)Extremely ill or unwell“Working late into the night left me dog-tired the next day, barely able to keep my eyes open.”
Dog’s Life (Redux)A difficult or unpleasant existence“Living with chronic pain can feel like it’s a dog’s life, with each day presenting new challenges.”
Dog-Tired (Redux)Exhausted or extremely tired“After the marathon, I was dog tired and could barely make it to my car.”
Dog’s Chance (Redux)Little to no chance of success“Without proper preparation, we stand a dog’s chance of winning the competition.”

Conclusion

From barking up the wrong tree to having a dog’s chance, these idioms for dogs add a playful and relatable touch to our language. Just like our canine companions, these expressions capture the essence of various situations and emotions in a way that is both amusing and insightful.

Scroll to Top