All posts under Canine Expressions

Put a Dog off the Scent

Everyone knows that dogs have one of the best senses of smell

They can track down a criminal through the hardest conditions

Smelling out bombs and detecting a fiend

Dogs are the best at detecting a lead.

So this expression is quite easy to see

As a way to express how stealthy a person can be.

If someone is sly and very conniving

They can best prove it by doing more than just lying

They can out fox a dog’s most well honed sense.

It is with great focus a dog will chase a scent

Knowing exactly where a person went

But not if that person finds some other means

Of hiding their smell or repaving the smell

In most cases it won’t work (living honestly works well).

For those who are more criminally minded

They had best find reliable ways to avoid being found,

Because there is no nose as evolved as the nose of a hound.

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It’s a Dogs Life

This little expression is cause for wide-spread debate

Because what it meant at the time of it’s making

Dog’s lives were quite tough

But now it seems they live easy enough.

Older generations opt for the first,

While the younger set laugh at the idea ‘til they burst.


It is true that when the expression first was born

Dogs lived a life that seemed all ease to scorn.

They worked like they were, that is to say dogs

Through any condition, snow, sleet, or in fogs.

Left to exist in such a cold heartless way

The expression meant life was hard, a steep price to pay.


But now if you look around at the lives that they lead

It is impossible to think life is rough, neigh impossible indeed.

The change occurred when dogs became mostly companions

Acting as friends, no longer our champions.

Now most dogs sleep all day and most of the night

Such a rough life for a human is out of sight.


As the dog’s existence has changed for the leisure

The expression has morphed to portray their existence.

No longer constant workers, they sleep soundly at home

Sort of like four-legged royalty sleeping on low throne.

This goes to show that most things will change

As time goes by nothing stays the same.

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Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

If you have ever tried to wake a sleeping dog

You probably have the wrong idea of where this came from.

It does not mean to give your dog a break

It is something else entirely, mostly for your sake.


If you let sleeping dogs lie

Then you don’t seek out trouble.

There’s no point in stirring up trouble today

Because if you do there will be a high price to pay.


And the origin of this odd little quote

Is another famous English author

Though he said it a bit different, Chaucer was the source

So in that context you must think, of course.


Dogs were a very integral part of our lives,

Serving as guards and protectors when we had less protection

And went on adventures, traveling dirt roads for days.

Through all of this movement out dogs would always stay.


So if someone were to wake the dog in the camp

Or at another persons home,

Dogs were more aggressive, more protectively inclined

And this is why waking a dog was something you always declined.

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Gone to the Dogs

Getting the best of our food is not the lot of our friends

Overly eager they will take any table scraps

Nothing too good for at least for a sniff and a lick

Even the greens that make the best behaved kid sick.


To the dogs they say

Oh that seems about right


The dog is not invited to share the food at our table

Hounding us from a distance

Eyes begging as if they are about to become unstable.


Dogs are at the bottom of the household food chain

Once something is past our interest it goes to them

Getting anything from the tables the highlight of their day

So it’s easy to see what “gone to the dogs” means to say.

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Fight Like Cat and Dog

If two animals are known to hate to relate

It would be cats and dogs, the pets we love most

Which if you give pause says something unflattering of us

As of we condoned and to this rivalry we okay constant host.


Upon closer observation of our two closest furry friends

They tend to get along with general indifference.

Sure dogs want to sniff them but cats make it clear

If you want to be friends your nose should never lift my rear.


The occasional spats issues are bound to arise

If you watch people you know about cabin fever

So two pets having fights should be no surprise

Who can be locked in a building and feel it so easy to survive?


The rivalry while unfair is not entirely unearned.

Cats and dogs in nature seem ill at ease

Whenever they are in close proximity

This is truly when cats and dogs seem like they’re at true enmity.


So the saying lives on because of the occasional spats.

Might as well people fight like children

It is a more apropos description,

Than to sully the names of our beloved dogs and cats.

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Every Dog Has Its Day

This one is entirely unique

Because its a quote, something only an actor would speak.


Richard III from famous Shakeapeare

A play of muder, suspicion, and fear.


In the play the saying is perverse

But today it’s come to mean the reverse.


No matter how old Shakespeare meant it

Today’s it is hope, not a touch of resentment.


With phrases like top and under dog

We’ve come to expect all dogs will have at least one victorious slog.


And since we relate so closely to our friend

It seems natural to have hope through an expression if them.

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When you look at a husky, Dalmatian, or lab

It’s difficult to fathom where this expression came from

But looking it time there clear reason and rime

Because people road hordes but dogs ran on their own paws

A day on the hunt was far more tiring for one with good cause.


Just stop to think about how people and dogs have lived.

Dogs adapt to do as their told

And people choose to use dogs to their full potential

That usually means they have the dogs do more work

While the person thinks, the manual labor they shirk.


Sled dogs work together while the person yells mush.

Greyhounds race round as people watch at first in a hush

Beagles are sent out on the chase whole people road  into the fray

Dogs do the brunt of the work so it’s easy to say

A person looks dog-tired at the end of a long day.

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Dirty Dog

People and pups don’t agree on what makes a good smell.

While many dogs love to be in water

They love rolling in dirt and mud just as well.


They run through forests without a hint of care.

Breaking through bramble and tramping over streams

Looking to get extra dirty it seems.


They don’t mind eating whatever they find,

Be it living, dead, food, it other

Roll in it and as yours it is now defind.


Wash you dog again and again, but likely you’ll find by week’s end

That dog is as filthy as if he’s never been bathed

And once again it is to bath time you must send.


That part of the expression is easy enough.

But how did it come to mean cheating?

Those who cheat play dirty, it’s how they win their stuff.

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Call off the Dogs

Dogs are tenacious, single-minded, and firm

A dog who really knows her stuff makes her move

With the utmost certainty and dedication

She has no other thought you can discern.


When a dog like that is released

You’ll find it nearly impossible to stop her

Unless you are her master.

Only the master’s voice will make her motions cease.


So strong is the desire to follow through

When those dogs’ main job is guarding

It puts the perceived intruder in a precarious position

The grip of fear can leave them not knowing what to do.


This is where the phrase first derived.

People protecting their homes

Would release their hounds

Even if it meant the intruder would not survive.


Upon surrender the dogs would be called to heel,

Meaning they would be stopped in their tracks.

But it can also mean to get a dig under control

Especially if it is a few extra sniffs the dog is looking to steal.

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Bring a Dog to Heel

Dogs are remarkably good at the things they know so well

But it is the early days that proof the hardest for tricks.

An excited pup runs ‘round like a broken carousel,

Attention they lack, meaning at first nothing you teach sticks.


And that is the origin from whence this strange phrase derives

There’s not a thing a pup does upon a person’s command.

You might was well try to tame the dark, desolate night skies

For as much obedience as you will get on demand.


After plenty of training and careful dedication

The pup will begin to obey and to do as he’s told.

The pup’s mood is as if he’s on calming medication,

And you will no longer need so often the pup to scold.


As an adult the dog will act at your slightest appeal

And that is the only way you can bring a dog to heel

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