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Dogs, Additional Subthemes

Subthemes: Origins of Word, Books and Shows, Records, Expressions

The subthemes of Dogs discussed above came to mind from a poem about a dear dog, a painting with a solo dog walking on a bridge, a song of a beloved dog and his emotional effect years after death, and a movie with a dramatic scene of bloodhounds. Here are a few more subthemes that don’t link so directly to any of the four works of art.

Origins of Word: The Old English word docgena or dogga was originally recorded around 1100 or slightly earlier, but rather than apply to all canines, it was the name of a large breed of dog. The Origins of “dog” as a general term starts in the 1500s and 1600s, when the French used the word dogue, while the Germans and Dutch had the word dogge. The word “dog” gradually began to be used for all canines, or at least all domesticated canines. We do know that Princess Elizabeth of Great Britain said in 1550, “As a dog may hath a day, so may I perchance have time to declare it in deeds.”

Books and Shows: Many books star a dog. Here are a few notables: Lassie Come-Home by Eric Knight, Call of the Wild and White Fang by Jack London, Old Yeller by Fred Gipson, Jonathan Unleashed by Meg Rogoff, A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron, and the incomparable Marley & Me by John Grogan. Movie adaptations have appeared based on the popular dog books. And who can forget Toto?

Records: Paw your way through these superlatives related to Dogs.

Tallest – Zeus was a Great Dane from Otsego, Michigan, United States, named the “world’s tallest dog” by the 2012 and 2013 Guinness Book of World Records. Standing on his hind legs, Zeus stretched 7 feet 5 inches, and was 3 feet 8 inches from his foot to his withers. Wikipedia

Smallest – a Yorkshire terrier owned by Arthur Marples of Blackburn, England. The teeny dog stood 2.5 inches high, stretched 3.5 inches from nose to butt, and weighed four ounces. Life with Dogs

Heaviest – Per the Guinness Book of World Records, Zorba, an English Mastiff, reached a weight of 343 pounds.

Longest tongue – Brandy a boxer from rolled his tongue out 17 inches. Life with Dogs

Rarest – The Norwegian Lundehund might hold this honor. Originating from the islands off the Norwegian coast, this crimson-coated canine was developed to hunt Puffin birds along the coastal cliffs, the dogs evolved traits for scaling rocky cliffs: six toes on each front paw, adjustable ears, and a neck so flexible that it can crane backwards to touch the spine. PetPlan

Most Expensive – A Tibetan mastiff, when a Chinese businessman bought a 1-year-old for $1.9 million. The Hill

Oldest – Max, a beagle-Dachshund-terrier who lived to be 29 years and 9 months old. Life with Dogs

Biggest vocabulary – Chaser, a Border Collie, recognized more than 1,000 words. Life with Dogs

Most unusual breed name – Xoloitzcuintle, a hairless Mexican pooch, whose name comes from the Aztec god of fire and lightning, Xolotl, and itzcuīntli, which means “dog” in Nahuatl. (https://remezcla.com/lists/culture/5-facts-know-xoloitzcuintle-national-love-pet-day/)

Expressions: Here is a small pack of figurative expressions (67) related to Dogs. They come primarily from Symbolism and Metaphor, Owlcation, DogTime, and Rover.com.

a dog with two tails (ecstatic)
a dog’s life (unhappy and uncomfortable way to live)
bark is worse than his bite (an angry, yelling person who is harmless)
barking up the wrong tree (trying to solve a problem the wrong way)
bite the hand that feeds you (turn on your benefactor)
bought a pup (someone has been deceived)
call your dogs off (tell someone to “back off” or stop bullying)
clean as a hound’s tooth (blemish free and honest)
dog and bone (Cockney slang for telephone)
dog and pony show (an elaborate presentation to gain approval for something)
dog collars (stand up collars on some men’s shirts)
dog days of summer (hottest weeks; when Sirius, the Dog Star, rises and sets with the sun)
dog eat dog world (fierce competition)
dog in the manger (hinders others from benefitting in some way,. even though they do not want or need it)
dog in the night-time (someone who unwittingly involves themselves in a crime)
dog my cats (Oh my!)
dog paddle (swim vertically, with little paddle motions of the hands)
dog tired (completely exhausted)
dog whistle (something said in coded language so only cognoscenti can understand it)
dog’s breakfast (pottage)
dog-eared (a worn or well used book)
dogfight (combat between fighter jets, or a skirmish more generally)
doggy bag (in restaurants, a container to take home uneaten food)
dogs body (someone who does all the work)
dogs of war (unleashed destruction and havoc)
double dog dare (“I absolutely dare you.")
every dog has its day (everyone has at least one moment of glory)
fox in the hen house (put a person in charge who can exploit the situation for his own gain)
get along like cats and dogs (fight all the time)
give a dog a bad name (innocent action is inappropriately cited as proof of their ill intent)
glory hound (someone obsessively seeking fortune and fame)
gone to the dogs (deteriorated badly)
hair of the dog (an alcoholic beverage drunk to try to cure a hangover)
hang-dog air (a shame-faced expression)
he’s a wolf (Don Juan, or worse)
hellhound (a demon in the form of a dog)
hot dogging (grandstand for an audience, show off and revel in front of others)
hound dog’s eye (very sad)
houndstooth (a pattern of broken or jagged checks)
in a dog’s age (a long time)
in the doghouse (being punished)
junk yard dog (a person who is tenacious, frightening, vicious)
keep a dog and bark yourself (hire someone to do something, then do it yourself)
keep on a tight leash on (control someone closely)
lazy as a dog (someone is extremely indolent)
let the dog see the rabbit (let a person work as they have the skills to do it well)
love me love my dog (accept everything about the one you love, even their faults and weaknesses)
my dogs are barking (my feet hurt)
puppy dog eyes (an appealing cute gaze to try and win favor)
puppy love (the infatuations of adolescents)
raining cats and dogs (pouring rain)
rock hound (a geologist who studies the earth’s origin, structure, and composition)
run with the big dogs (capable of competing with the best)
see a man about a dog (use the bathroom)
shaggy dog story (a tale that can be funny but usually lasts too long)
sick as a dog (extremely ill)
slept like a dog (soundly)
tail between his legs (defeated, dejected, slinking back seeking forgiveness)
tail wagging the dog (a small part controls the whole of something)
that dog won’t hunt (something won’t work, forget it)
the dog’s bollocks (nonsense)
three dog night (very cold)
throw to the dogs (leave someone in danger to fend for themselves)
underdog (at a disadvantage and likely to lose a contest)
wolf down food (eat too quickly and too much)
wolf in sheep’s clothes (an enemy disguised or acting like a friend)
work like a dog (labor hard and long)

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