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 sayings and idioms

Here’s some dog-themed idioms and their meanings. I’ve even throw a picture example for you pleasure.

popular idioms - animal idioms - dog expressions and sayings

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.

dog idioms - a pooch

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.

dog sayings - as sick as a dog

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 idioms - call off the dogs

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 idioms - dog eat dog world

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 phrases - 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.

dog phrases - dog's dinner

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.

dog phrases - doggy bag

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.

dog phrases - dressed up like the dog’s dinner

face like a bulldog chewing a wasp

meaning – a very ugly face
example – Harley’s new girlfriend looks like a bulldog chewing a wasp.

dog sayings - face 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.

dog sayings - fight like cat and dog

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.

dog sayings - go to the dogs

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.

dog expressions - hair of the dog

hound someone

meaning – harass, bother, annoy
example – The paparazzi continuously hound celebrities.

dog sayings - hound someone

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.

dog expressions - in the dog house

man’s best friend

meaning – a dog
example – I was going to get a cat but decided on man’s best friend instead.

dog expressions - man’s best friend

puppy love

meaning – young, immature love
example – My son is 11 and has a girlfriend, I’m hoping it’s just puppy love.

dog expressions - puppy love

rain cats and dogs

meaning – raining heavily
example – It rained cats and dogs all week, I couldn’t hang out my washing.

dog expressions - rain cats and dogs

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.

dog expressions - 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.

dog phrases - dogs bollocks

top dog

meaning – the leader/dominant one/most powerful person
example – If I get my promotion, I’ll be top 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.