You all know what a dog is right? If not, I’ll tell you…

A dog is a domesticated mammal that is often kept as a pet. They can be used for hunting, racing, guarding and in the police force. Dogs are closely related to wolves.


The word ‘dog’ can be used as an insult when said to a woman. It means she is physically unattractive.

e.g. Kelly is a dog, I wouldn’t go to the prom with her even if you paid me.

dog idioms and expressions

Here’s some idioms and expressions about dogs.

  • a pooch
    meaning – another name for a dog
    example – I’ve got to take the pooch for a walk, then I’ll come to yours.
  • as sick as a dog
    meaning – very ill
    example – We’re all as sick as a dog. Sasha caught a bug and passed it to the rest of the family.
  • call off the dogs
    meaning – stop someone behaving aggressively towards another person
    example – Call off the dogs Harry. He’s apologised, let that be the end of it.
  • dog eat dog world
    meaning – ruthless unethical behaviour used to become successful in the working world
    example – Being a banker is a dog-eat-dog world. I’m thinking of quitting for the simple life.
  • dog tired
    meaning – extremely tired
    example – I need a few days off. I’ve been working 70 hours a week, I’m dog tired.
  • dog’s dinner
    meaning – a complete mess
    example – The guy I hired made a dog’s dinner of the electrics. He definitely isn’t getting paid.
  • doggy bag
    meaning – leftover food gets put in a bag and taken home by someone
    example – Thanks for coming, I’ve made you a doggy bag. I won’t be able to eat all this food.
  • dressed up like the dog’s dinner
    meaning – wear clothes that are too flashy/pretentious for the occasion
    example – Ciara always dresses up like the dog’s dinner. No wonder everyone always stares at her.
  • face like a bulldog chewing a wasp
    meaning – a very ugly face
    example – Harley’s new girlfriend looks like a bulldog chewing a wasp.
  • fight like cat and dog
    meaning – argue and fight continuously
    example – Me and my brother fought like cat and dog when we were kids.
  • go to the dogs
    meaning – deteriorate, turn bad
    example – My town is going to the dogs. The crime rate has risen dramatically in recent years.
  • hair of the dog
    meaning – drink alcohol when you are hungover
    example – Give Mike a hair of the dog. That will make him feel better.
  • hound someone
    meaning – harass, bother, annoy
    example – The paparazzi continuously hound celebrities.
  • in the doghouse
    meaning – someone is angry/annoyed with you
    example – I bought my mum her favourite flowers, so I’m out of the doghouse.
  • man’s best friend
    meaning – a dog
    example – I was going to get a cat but decided on man’s best friend instead.
  • puppy love
    meaning – young, immature love
    example – My son is 11 and has a girlfriend, I’m hoping it’s just puppy love.
  • rain cats and dogs
    meaning – raining heavily
    example – It rained cats and dogs all week, I couldn’t hang out my washing.
  • see a man about a dog
    meaning – an excuse for leaving
    example – I’ll be back in a few minutes, I’ve got to see a man about a dog.
  • the dog’s bollocks
    meaning – describing something as brilliant, fantastic, excellent, the best etc.
    example – William thinks he’s the dog’s bolllocks at hockey. Adam is much better than him.
  • top dog
    meaning – the leader/dominant one/most powerful person
    example – If I get my promotion, I’ll be top dog.

dog idioms and expressions with pictures

Click on the pictures below to learn some common idioms and expressions with dogs. Each idiom includes the meaning and a real-life picture example.​

popular idioms - animal idioms - dog expressions and sayings
dog idioms - a pooch
dog sayings - as sick as a dog
dog idioms - call off the dogs
dog idioms - dog eat dog world
dog phrases - dog tired
dog phrases - doggy bag
dog phrases - dogs bollocks
dog phrases - dog's dinner
dog phrases - dressed up like the dog’s dinner
dog sayings - face like a bulldog chewing a wasp
dog sayings - fight like cat and dog
dog sayings - go to the dogs
dog expressions - hair of the dog
dog sayings - hound someone
dog expressions - in the dog house
dog expressions - man’s best friend
dog expressions - puppy love
dog expressions - rain cats and dogs
dog expressions - see a man about a dog
dog expressions - top dog

You can download a table of dog idioms and expressions below.

If you’ve enjoyed this page, don’t forget to check out some more animal idioms by clicking on the links below.