Everybody knows that dog is man's best friend. In Spanish, however, dogs are much more than that! There are tons of expressions in Spanish that use dogs as their protagonists. Find out what our 10 favourite ones are.

Shot of dog with its head out the window of a car.
10 awesome Spanish expressions with dogs

1. Ser un perro faldero

If someone calls you a perro faldero, don’t take it as a compliment. Basically, you are chasing skirts, doing whatever people ask of you. In English, this translates to “lapdog”.

Luís obtuvo un acenso en su trabajo actuando como perro faldero del jefe.
Luis got a promotion at work acting like his boss’s lapdog.

2. Estar como el perro y el gato

There’s an expression in English that’s “to fight like cats and dogs”. It’s the same in Spanish. If you are like cat and dog, you don’t get along or fight all the time.

No quiero ir al cumple de Anna porque estará su novio. Están como el perro y el gato.
I don’t want to go to Anna’s birthday because her boyfriend will be there. They fight like cats and dogs.

A dog and a cat on a yellow couch looking like they will fight.
Estan como el perro y el gato. They just don't get along.

3. Al perro que duerme, no lo despiertes

“Never wake a sleeping dog”. Great advice from this Spanish expression that warns us against getting into situations or dealing with issues that are bound to cause us problems.

Silvia, sabes que de ese tema no debemos de hablar. Al perro que duerme, no lo despiertes.
Silvia, you know that we shouldn’t talk about that subject. Don’t wake a sleeping dog.

4. Perro ladrador, poco mordedor / perro que ladra no muerde

A barking dog rarely bites is what this Spanish expression translates to. Someone who talks a lot or threatens to do something, but never manages to pull through is “all bark and no bite” as we say in English.

- Mi jefe me dijo que si no acabo hoy el proyecto, me despedirá.
- No te preocupes. Perro que ladra no muerde.

-My boss told me if I don’t finish the project today, he will fire me.
-Don’t worry. He’s all bark and no bite.

little dog bearing teeth.
Some dogs/people bark but don't bite.

5. Por/con dinero baila el perro

Money is such a powerful thing that apparently even dogs will do anything for it – including dance. This Spanish expression shows that nothing will happen or make someone do anything unless there’s money involved.

- ¿Me podrías ir a comprar unas cervezas para la fiesta?
- Con dinero baila el perro.

-Could you go buy me some beers for the party?
-Show me the money.

6. A otro perro con ese hueso

When someone tells an obvious lie or something that you find hard to believe, you can say “go to another dog with that bone”. It’s similar to saying “yeah right” or “give me a break”.

- Lavaré los platos esta noche.
- ¡A otro perro con ese hueso! Lávalos ahora.

I’ll wash the dishes tonight.
Give me a break! Wash them now.

Woman on phone with look of disbelief.
A otro perro con ese hueso. Get outta here! I know that's a lie.

7. A perro flaco todo son pulgas / a todo perro flaco se le pegan las pulgas

Imagine a day where everything that can go wrong does. You wake up late, put your shirt on backwards, miss the bus to work and lose a bit client. Here’s an expression that sums it up perfectly. In English, we say, “when it rains it pours”. In Spanish, the expression is a bit more graphic – a skinny dog (usually on the street) that kind find anything to eat or a proper place to sleep, get it even worse by getting fleas. Poor guy!

Gerardo perdió su trabajo y encima lo dejó su novia. A perro flaco todo son pulgas.
Gerardo lost his job and on top of that, his girlfriend left him. When it rains it pours.

8. Más raro que un perro verde

A green dog is super weird, right? That’s where this Spanish expression comes in. It simply means to be very strange, weird or different.

¡Esa cajera era más rara que un perro verde!
That cashier was so strange!

Person with long hair covering face and sunglasses over it.
Rosa is weirder than a green dog. Rosa is very weird!

9. Estar de un humor de perros

Although when you think of dogs they’re generally happy and wagging their tails, in Spanish to be “in a dog’s mood” means to be in a bad mood.

No hables a Victor. Está de un humor de perros después de sacar una mala nota en su exámen.
Don’t talk to Victor. He’s in a bad mood after getting a bad mark on his exam.

10. Hacer un día de perros

It’s a shame that dogs get such a bad rap sometimes. When it’s a “dog’s day” the weather is bad.

Ibamos a salir esta noche pero hace un día de perros y ya no nos apetece.
We were going to go out tonight, but the weather is terrible and we don’t feel like it anymore.

Rain on a black umbrella against a green background.
A dog's day means the weather is horrible.
April 21st, 2020

Posted in Learn Spanish

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