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8 Dog Proverbs and Sayings

Updated on July 14, 2013

Bizarre Dog Proverbs

I have one of those calendars that you pick up from markets stalls about dogs. We try to have a calendar about animals every year, last year it was penguins, before that it was Whippet dogs and this years is about dogs in art. At the bottom of every months picture is a quote from someone about dogs. I found that dog quotes are everywhere - the net is littered with sites about dog quotes, facts and sayings. I also found a number of excellent hubs about dog quotes, sayings and facts (see the links below).

There are not as many sites about dog proverbs though. This could be because unlike many quotes, proverbs don't seem to be primarily observations about the characteristics of dogs.  The proverbs seem to offer insight into the people they come from. I think proverbs by nature reflect a cultural leaning or peculiarity. For me, that is what makes these odd proverbs so interesting.

Proverb #1

"The dog's kennel is not the place to keep a sausage." Danish Proverb

I think this demonstrates that the Danes are capable of extremely dry humour! 


Dogs at Amazon!

Speak!: The Best Quips, Quotes, and Anecdotes for Dog Lovers
Speak!: The Best Quips, Quotes, and Anecdotes for Dog Lovers

This humorous and heartwarming collection of bon mots, memorable quips, and touching stories looks at man's best friend through the words of celebrities, historical figures, and politicians who all share one thing in common: They're head-over-heels in love with their dogs. From Franz Kafka to Dave Barry, Abraham Lincoln to Picasso, Sir Isaac Newton to David Letterman, Speak! brings together authors, performers, philosophers, and presidents to sing the praises of their beloved canine companions.


Proverb #2

"A dog that steals sells its body".  Western Kenyan Proverb

I wonder if this means that dishonestly will not be tolerated even in dogs? 


Proverb #3

"When the old dog barks it is time to watch".  Latin Proverb

This demonstrates the age old use of dogs as watchdogs.  The Romans also understood that a more experienced dog is likely to be better at its job.  


Proverb #4

"The greatest love is a mother's; then a dog's; then a sweetheart's". Polish Proverb

Shows that the Poles have a keen grasp of both human and canine nature.


Proverb #5

"A house without either a cat or a dog is the house of a scoundrel". Portuguese Proverb

The Portuguese, like many people, seem to have an inherent mistrust of those who do not associate with animals. The gist of it seems to be that people who cannot relate to cats and dogs could also be suspected of not being able to relate to people properly.


Dog Stuff at Amazon

A Dog's Tale (1904)
A Dog's Tale (1904)

Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in 1835. He gained national attention as a humorist in 1865 with the publication of "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," but was acknowledged as a great writer by the literary establishment with The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn (1885). In 1880, Twain began promoting and financing the ill-fated Paige typesetter, an invention designed to make the printing process fully automatic.


Proverb #6

"A dog that intends to bite does not bear its teeth".  Turkish Proverb

A sinister little proverb about being sneaky and not warning your enemy.  


Proverb #7

"Three things it is best to avoid: a strange dog, a flood and a man who thinks he is wise".  Welsh Proverb

Another demonstration of dry humour!


Proverb #8

"If you play with the dog, he will lick your face". Vietnamese Proverb

Perhaps this is indicative of conditions in many countries where dog diseases are not as well controlled as they are in other places?  


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    • Mel Jay profile image

      Mel Jay 6 years ago from Australia

      Thanks Alastar! Much appreciated as always - Mel

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Yeah, what does the second proverb mean Aw, doggie #3 is something. Proverb 4, spot on! You ever heard the saying Mel Jay: Want a real friend, get a dog. I take issue with that one occasionally. #5 is true to a good extent. Great pics, good proverbs and fun Hub!

    • Mel Jay profile image

      Mel Jay 7 years ago from Australia

      Thanks Cloverleaf! I had fun doing this one - it was a good excuse to look at lots of great dog pictures :) Cheers - Mel

    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 7 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hi Mel Jay. This hub is so cute! I had no idea there were so many proverbs about dogs.


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