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quotations about dogs

Dogs quote

The dog was created especially for children. He is the god of frolic.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.


Dogs want to be people. That's what their lives are about. They don't like being a dog. They're with people all the time, they want to graduate. My dog would sit there all day, he would watch me walk by, he would think to himself, "I could do that! He's not that good."

JERRY SEINFELD, stand-up routine

The meeting in the open of two dogs, strangers to each other, is one of the most painful, thrilling, and pregnant of all conceivabale encounters; it is surrounded by an atmosphere of the last canniness, presided over by a constraint for which I have no preciser name; they simply cannot pass each other, their mutual embarrassment is frightful to behold.

THOMAS MANN, "A Man and His Dog," Stories of Three Decades

There are some dogs which, when you meet them, remind you that, despite thousands of years of manmade evolution, every dog is still only two meals away from being a wolf.


When the forefinger of twilight begins to smudge the clear-drawn lines of the Big City there is inaugurated an hour devoted to one of the most melancholy sights of urban life. Out from the towering flat crags and apartment peaks of the cliff dwellers of New York steals an army of beings that were once men. Even yet they go upright upon two limbs and retain human form and speech; but you will observe that they are behind animals in progress. Each of these beings follows a dog, to which he is fastened by an artificial ligament. These men are all victims to Circe. Not willingly do they become flunkeys to Fido, bell boys to bull terriers, and toddlers after Towzer. Modern Circe, instead of turning them into animals, has kindly left the difference of a six-foot leash between them. Every one of those dogmen has been either cajoled, bribed, or commanded by his own particular Circe to take the dear household pet out for an airing. By their faces and manner you can tell that the dogmen are bound in a hopeless enchantment. Never will there come even a dog-catcher Ulysses to remove the spell.

O. HENRY, "Ulysses and the Dogman"

If your dog doesn't like someone, you probably shouldn't either.

What I like about a dog it stops people getting after you, they're not going to come round in the night. But they make the place stink because I might want to stay out a few days and when I get back I might want to stay in a few days and a dog can become a tyrant to you.


Dogs invite us not only to share their joy but also to live in the moment, where we are neither proceeding from nor moving toward, where the enchantment of the past and future cannot distract us, where a freedom from practical desire and a cessation of our usual ceaseless action allows us to recognize the truth of our existence, the reality of our world and purpose--if we dare.

DEAN KOONTZ, Brother Odd

And so of dogs 't were wrong to dogmatize
Without discrimination or degree;
For one may see, with half a pair of eyes,
That they have characters as well as we.

JOHN GODFREY SAXE, "Tale of a Dog"

The dog may have a spirit, as well as his brutal master:
A spirit to live in happiness; for why should he be robbed of his existence?
Hath he not a conscience of evil, a glimmer of moral sense,
Love and hatred, courage and fear, and visible shame and pride?

MARTIN FARQUHAR TUPPER, Proverbial Philosophy

Poor dog! I've a strange feeling about the dumb things as if they wanted to speak, and it was a trouble to 'em because they couldn't. I can't help being sorry for the dogs always, though perhaps there's no need. But they may well have more in them than they know how to make us understand, for we can't say half what we feel, with all our words.


It's a dangerous dog that doesn't bark.

KOBO ABE, The Woman in the Dunes

The more boys I meet, the more I love my dog.

Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas.


One need only look at the open, friendly face of any dog to find evidence of their affable nature; dogs are fundamentally social creatures. They see the big picture. They appreciate togetherness. They care about others.


Dogs are easy. If their tails are up and their eyes are soft, you're in.


Dogs are voiceless ... a critical part of having dogs is emotional responsibility: learning how to understand them and, when necessary, to speak and act on their behalf.

JON KATZ, The New Work of Dogs

I love a good dog--a good house dog that guards the premises and has an honest bark and loves my children. I love him because he loves me.

BILL ARP, Wallace's Monthly, May 1884

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.

ROGER CARAS, attributed, All Dogs are Angels at Heart

Dogs are just wolves in sheep's clothing.

STANLEY COREN, Why Does My Dog Act That Way?

Dogs are stupid. Harsh words, but often proved true. They obsess over excrement, roll in manure and rotting carcasses, drink out of toilets, and perform demeaning pet tricks for measly biscuits. Their cheerful personalities have everything to do with their being blissfully ignorant, which explains why we're so drawn to them. Dogs to all sorts of stupid things and yet never get embarrassed or feel ashamed. We should be so lucky.

BILL BUCKLEY, back cover, Dogs are Stupid

Dogs are everything we wish we were.


Dogs are miracles with paws.

SUSAN KENNEDY, attributed, All Dogs are Angels at Heart

Dogs quote

Dogs are obsessed with being happy.

JAMES THURBER, attributed, Dogs Don't Bite When a Growl Will Do

Dogs are like their owners. If you get an uptight owner, you have an uptight dog. If you have an assertive owner, half drunk who thinks he owns the whole track, the dog will be the same. If you see that kind of person, he doesn't own a miniature Poodle.

JIM HEATH, Your Dog is Watching You

Dogs are like a gift, a grace undeserved, that releases us into an economy of abundance, where the economic laws of scarcity and therefore competition no longer apply and where instead we feel ourselves the beneficiaries of a wealth that is actualized only as we give it away, and in giving we see something we could not see before.

STEPHEN H. WEBB, On God and Dogs

A dog comes to you and lives with you in your own house, but you do not therefore own her, as you do not own the rain, or the trees, or the laws which pertain to them.... A dog can never tell you what she knows from the smells of the world, but you know, watching her, that you know almost nothing.

MARY OLIVER, "Her Grave," New and Selected Poems, vol. 1

The dog has got more fun out of Man than Man has got out of the dog, for the clearly demonstrable reason that Man is the more laughable of the two animals.

JAMES THURBER, introduction, The Fireside Book of Dog Stories

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