Dog idioms

Here is a list of idiomatic expressions using the word dog.

As crooked as a dog’s hind leg

If somebody is as crooked as a dog’s hind leg, they are very dishonest.

  • You can’t trust him. He is as crooked as a dog’s hind leg.

As sick as a dog

If somebody is as sick as a dog, they are very sick.

  • I was as sick as a dog when I reached home last night.

It is better to be a live dog than a dead lion

This is from the Bible.

  • I was really angry with him, but I chose not to fight. After all, it is better to be a live dog than a dead lion.

Dog and pony show

A dog and pony show is something that marketers organize to impress customers.


This expression is used to refer to a situation where people are ready to hurt each other to get what they want.

  • In the dog-eat-dog world of consumer electronics, it simply isn’t easy for a startup company to break even.

Dog in the manger

Used to refer to a person who wouldn’t let others do what he himself wouldn’t do.

  • My landlady is a dog in the manger. She would never invite anyone into her home. She wouldn’t let me either.

Every dog has his day

Everybody will get an opportunity to prove their mettle.

  • Don’t lose heart. Every dog has his day. You, too, will get an opportunity someday.

Fight like cats and dogs

They were fighting like cats and dogs all the time they were together.

Go to the dogs

When a business goes to the dogs, it fails.

  • Thousands of people lost their jobs when the company went to the dogs.