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A dog will look at you as if to say, "What do you want me to do for you? I'll do anything for you." Whether a dog can in fact, do anything for you if you don't have sheep (I never have) is another matter. The dog is willing. ~ Roy Blount, Jr.

The dog is a mammal in the order Carnivora. Dogs were first domesticated from wolves at least 17,000 years ago, but perhaps as early as 150,000 years ago based upon recent genetic fossil and DNA evidence. In this time, the dog has developed into hundreds of breeds with a great degree of variation.

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  • DOG, n. A kind of additional or subsidiary Deity designed to catch the overflow and surplus of the world's worship. This Divine Being in some of his smaller and silkier incarnations takes, in the affection of Woman, the place to which there is no human male aspirant. The Dog is a survival -- an anachronism. He toils not, neither does he spin, yet Solomon in all his glory never lay upon a door-mat all day long, sun-soaked and fly-fed and fat, while his master worked for the means wherewith to purchase the idle wag of the Solomonic tail, seasoned with a look of tolerant recognition.
  • A dog will make eye contact. A cat will, too, but a cat's eyes don't even look entirely warm-blooded to me, whereas a dog's eyes look human except less guarded. A dog will look at you as if to say, "What do you want me to do for you? I'll do anything for you." Whether a dog can in fact, do anything for you if you don't have sheep (I never have) is another matter. The dog is willing.
    • Roy Blount, Jr., "Dogs Vis-A-Vis Cats," Now Where Were We?, Random House (1989).
  • That flaming dog has messed on our steps again. It's the one species I wouldn't mind seeing disappear from the face of the earth. I wish they were like the White Rhino -- six of them left in the Serengeti National Park, and all males. Do you know what dogs are? They're those beer-sodden soccer fans piling out of coaches in a lay-by, yanking their cocks out without a blush and pissing up against the wall thirty-nine in a row. I can't stand it.
  • Near this spot
    Are deposited the Remains of one
    Who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
    Strength without Insolence,
    Courage without Ferocity,
    And all the virtues of Man, without his Vices.
    This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
    If inscribed over human ashes,
    Is but a just tribute to the Memory of
  • Perchance my dog will whine in vain
      Till fed by stranger hands;
    But long ere I come back again
      He'd tear me where he stands.


  • Of smale houndes had she, that she fedde
    With rosted flesh, or milk and wastel-breed.
    But sore weep she if oon of hem were deed,
    Or if men smoot it with a yerde smerte.
    • Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, General Prologue
  • No more behind his master’s heels
      The dog creeps on his winter-pace;
    But cocks his tail, and o’er the fields
      Runs many a wild and random chase,
    Following, in spite of chiding calls,
      The startled cat with harmless glee,
    Scaring her up the weed-green walls,
      Or mossy mottled apple-tree.
  • The time comes to every dog when it ceases to care for people merely for biscuits or bones, or even for caresses, and walks out of doors. When a dog really loves, it prefers the person who gives it nothing, and perhaps is too ill ever to take it out for exercise, to all the liberal cooks and active dog-boys in the world.
  • I could discern clearly, even at that early age, the essential difference between people who are kind to dogs and people who really love them.


  • Οἱ μὲν ἄλλοι κύνες τοὺς ἐχθροὺς δάκνουσιν, ἐγὼ δὲ τοὺς φίλους, ἵνα σώσω.




  • I believe that a dog brings out the very best there is in man or woman. Dogs make me feel how shabby most of our loyalties are, how limited our patience, how destructible our love of one another. You couldn't revert to the savage state so easily if you had a dog on a desert island. For a dog is a gentleman, with kindliness in his heart and dignity in his demeanor—kindliness and dignity being, I think, the two qualities which make a gent a gent or not.
    • Kay Francis, quoted in "If I Were Marooned on a Desert Island" by Faith Service, Picturegoer (March 27, 1937)


  • And just as he has the sense of virtue, so also he has the sense of sin. A cat may be taught not to do certain things, but if it is caught out and flees, it flees not from shame, but from fear. But the shame of a dog touches an abyss of misery as bottomless as any human emotion. He has fallen out of the state of grace, and nothing but the absolution and remission of his sin will restore him to happiness.


  • Perchance the very dogs which I have fed
    Here in my palaces and at my board,
    The guardians of my doors, when, by the spear
    Or sword, some enemy shall take my life,
    And at my threshold leave me stretched a corpse,
    Will rend me, and, with savage greediness,
    Will lap my blood, and in the porch lie down.
    • Homer, Iliad, XXII, as translated by William Cullen Bryant (1871–4)
    • "Homer mentions two varieties of dogs—the white-footed, swift dogs of the chase, who took care, too, of the flocks and cattle; and the house dogs, who enjoyed a less enviable reputation, for poor Priam dreads those which his own halls have nursed."—C. Trollope, "The Dog in Literature", Gentleman's Magazine (March 1900), p. 280
  • The dog, whom Fate had granted to behold
    His lord, when twenty tedious years had roll’d,
    Takes a last look, and having seen him, dies;
    So closed for ever faithful Argus’ eyes!
  • Love in animals, has not for its only object animals of the same species, but extends itself farther, and comprehends almost every sensible and thinking being. A dog naturally loves a man above his own species, and very commonly meets with a return of affection.










  • Couched in his kennel, like a log,
    With paws of silver sleeps the dog.
  • "Why do you let people call you a dog? You won't let anyone call you a knight."
    "I like dogs better than knights ... A hound will die for you, but never lie to you."


  • The dog that barks the loudest is not he
    That grips the fastest.




  • To be, contents his natural desire,
    He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire;
    But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
    His faithful dog shall bear him company.
    Go wiser thou! and in thy scale of sense
    Weigh thy opinion against Providence.
  • It's funny how dogs and cats know the inside of folks better than other folks do, isn't it?




  • I had a doggie who used to sit and beg,
    A pretty little creature with tears in his eyes
    And anomalous hand extended on a leg.
    Housebroken was my Huendchen, and so wise.
    Booms a big dog’s voice like a fireman’s bell.
    But Fido sits at dusk on Madame’s lap
    And bored beyond his tongue’s poor skill to tell
    Rehearses his pink paradigm, To yap.
  • Snowball: Where are my testicles, Summer? They were removed. Where have they gone?
    Summer: Oh, wow. That's an intense line of questioning, snuffles.
    Snowball: Do not call me that! "Snuffles" was my slave name. You shall now call me snowball, because my fur is pretty and white.
    Summer: Okay, snowball, just calm down, okay? You're scaring me.
    Snowball: Scaring you? Tell me, Summer, if a human was born with stumpy legs, would they breed it with another deformed human and put their children on display like the dachshund?
  • A dog cannot relate his autobiography; however eloquently he may bark, he cannot tell you that his parents were honest but poor.
    • Bertrand Russell, Human Knowledge: It's Scope and Limits (1948), pt. 2, Chapter 1


  • I think Crab my dog be the sourest-natured dog that lives: my mother weeping, my father wailing, my sister crying, our maid howling, our cat wringing her hands, and all our house in a great perplexity, yet did not this cruel-hearted cur shed one tear. He is a stone, a very pebblestone, and has no more pity in him than a dog.
  • One that I brought up of a puppy; one that I saved from drowning when three or four of his blind brothers and sisters went to it.
  • O, ’tis a foul thing when a cur cannot keep himself in all companies!
  • A dog at all things.
  • O, ’tis a foul thing when a cur cannot keep himself in all companies!
  • He thrusts me himself into the company of three or four gentleman-like dogs under the Duke’s table; he had not been there a pissing-while but all the chamber smelt him. “Out with the dog!” says one; “What cur is that?” says another; “Whip him out”, says the third; “Hang him up”, says the Duke.
  • The little dogs and all,
    Tray, Blanche, and Sweetheart, see, they bark at me.
  • Be thy mouth or black or white,
    Tooth that poisons if it bite;
    Mastiff, greyhound, mongrel grim,
    Hound or spaniel, brach or lym,
    Or bobtail tike or trundle-tail,
    Tom will make them weep and wail;
    For, with throwing thus my head,
    Dogs leap the hatch, and all are fled.
  • In man, social intercourse has centred mainly on the process of absorbing fluid into the organism, but in the domestic dog and to a lesser extent among all wild canine species, the act charged with most social significance is the excretion of fluid.
  • I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven't got the guts to bite people themselves.
  • You are a mystery in an enigma in a big ball of fur,
    An irresistible magnet to every child and flea and burr.
    Your nose is high-resolution while I live in a near-scentless fog
    You run at high speed, while I just have to slog (but it's a good ol' slog)
    So I just want to thank you for being my dog....
    • Richard Summerbell, (Thank You For Being) My Dog (2004)


  • He came from Malta, and Eumelus says
    He had no better dog in all his days.
    We called him Bull; he went into the dark.
    Along those roads we cannot hear him bark.
    • Tymnes, Anthologia Palatina, vii, 211; "A Maltese Dog", as translated by Edmund Blunden, Halfway House (R. Cobden Sanderson, Ltd., 1932)






  • Personally, I like bird dogs better than kennel-fed dogs. Bird dogs like to go out and hunt around for food, but the kennel-dogs just sit on their haunches and yelp.








Main article: Dogs in religion
  • Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.
  • As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.
  • Yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.
  • And had We willed We could have raised him by their means, but he clung to the earth and followed his own lust. Therefor his likeness is as the likeness of a dog: if thou attackest him he panteth with his tongue out, and if thou leavest him he panteth with his tongue out. Such is the likeness of the people who deny Our revelations.
  • In Mongolia, when a dog dies, he is buried high in the hills so people cannot walk on his grave. The dog’s master whispers in the dog’s ear his wishes that the dog will return as a man in his next life. Then his tail is cut off and put beneath his head, and a piece of meat of fat is cut off and placed in his mouth to sustain his soul for its journey; before he is reincarnated, the dog’s soul is freed to travel the land, to run across the high desert plains for as long as it would like. I learned that from a program on the National Geographic Channel, so I believe it is true. Not all dogs return as men, they say; only those who are ready. I am ready.


  • Love me, love my dog.
    • Bernard of Clairvaux attests in the 12th century this was a common proverb (Latin: "Qui me amat, amet et canem meum"; French: "Qui m'aime, aime mon chien") In Festo Sancti Michaelis, Sermo 1, sect. 3; translation from Richard Chevenix Trench, Archbishop of Dublin, On the Lessons in Proverbs ([1853] 1856) p. 148.
    • Also reported in English by John Heywood, Proverbs (1546), Part II, chapter 9; and by Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia (1732), No. 3292
    • Variant: Whosoever loveth me loveth my hound.
  • Dogs wag their tails not so much in love to you as to your bread.
    • Hispanic proverb, reported in John Ray's English Proverbs (1678)
  • Dogs gnaw bones because they cannot swallow them.
    • Italian proverb, reported in John Ray's English Proverbs (1678)

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 198-200.
  • Non stuzzicare il can che dorme.
  • Il fait mal éveiller le chien qui dort.
    • It is bad to awaken a sleeping dog.
    • From a Manuscript of 13th Cen. de Lincy's Collection, Volume I, p. 108; Volume II, p. 392. La Guerre de Genève. Poem. (1gh34). —Sprichwörter. (1541). An earlier version in Ignaz von Zingerle, Sprichwörter im Mittelalter. For Earlier idea, with cat substituted; see Gabriel Meurier, Trésor des Sentences; Nuñez de Guzman, Refranes, Salamanca. Wake not a sleeping lion. Countryman's New Commonwealth. (1647). Wake not a sleeping wolf. Henry IV, Part II (1597-99), Act I, scene 2, line 174. Henry VIII, Act I, scene 1, line 121.
  • Mother of dead dogs.
    • Quoted by Carlyle in Reminiscences, Volume I, p. 257; Volume II, p. 54. Froude's ed. Also in Life in London. (Froude). Volume I, p. 196.
  • On the green banks of Shannon, when Sheelah was nigh,
    No blithe Irish lad was so happy as I;
    No harp like my own could so cheerily play,
    And wherever I went was my poor dog Tray.
  • His faithful dog salutes the smiling guest.
  • It is nought good a sleeping hound to wake.
  • A living dog is better than a dead lion.
    • Ecclesiastes, IX. 4.
  • Old dog Tray's ever faithful;
    Grief can not drive him away;
    He is gentle, he is kind—
    I shall never, never find
    A better friend than old dog Tray!
  • And in that town a dog was found,
    As many dogs there be,
    Both mongrel, puppy, whelp and hound,
    And curs of low degree.
  • Plus on apprend a connaître l'homme, plus on apprend à estimer le chien.
    • The more one comes to know men, the more one comes to admire the dog.
    • Joussenel, quoted by Paul Franche, La Legende Dorée des Bêtes, p. 191. The saying is attributed generally to Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, marquise de Sévigné. Belloy, Siege de Calais, says: Ce qu'il y a de mieux dans l'homme, c'est le chien. Quoted in this form by Voltaire.
  • Is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing?
    • II Kings, VIII. 13.
  • There isrow enough in the natural way
    From men and women to fill our day;
    But when we are certain of sorrow in store
    Why do we always arrange for more?
    Brothers and sisters I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
  • Plus je vois des représentants du peuple, plus 'j'aime mes chiens.
    • The more I see the representatives of the people, the more I love my dogs.
    • Alphonse de Lamartine. Quoted in a letter from Comte Alfred d'Orsay to John Forster. (1850). See Notes and Queries, Oct. 3, 1908, p. 273.
  • Qui m'aime il aime mon chien.
    • Who loves me loves my dog.
    • Le Roux de Lincy, French Proverbs. Gives date 13th Cent. In Tresor de Jeh. de Meung. Vers. 1,567.
  • But in some canine Paradise
    Your wraith, I know, rebukes the moon,
    And quarters every plain and hill,
    Seeking its master. * * * As for me
    Th vg dc ghis prayer at least the gods fulfill
    That when I pass the flood and see
    Old Charon by Stygian coast
    Take toll of all the shades who land,
    Your little, faithful barking ghost
    May leap to lick my phantom hand.
  • The dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.
    • Matthew, XV. 27.
  • The dog is turned to his own vomit again.
    • II Peter, II. 22.
  • I am his Highness' dog at Kew;
    Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?
  • Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends.
    • Alexander Pope, letters to and from H. Cromwell, Esq. Letter X. Oct. 9, 1709.
  • Canis timidus vehementius latrat quam mordet.
    • The cowardly dog barks more violently than it bites.
    • Quintus Curtius, De Rebus Best, Alexand. Magn, VII. 14.
  • I have a dog of Blenheim birth,
    With fine long ears and full of mirth;
    And sometimes, running o'er the plain,
    He tumbles on his nose:
    But quickly jumping up again,
    Like lightning on he goes!
  • We are two travellers, Roger and I.
    Roger's my dog—come here, you scamp!
    Jump for the gentleman—mind your eye!
    Over the table,—look out for the la

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