Don't keep a dog and bark yourself


      • discourage someone
        To discourage someone from doing a task or activity that they have asked someone else to do

      • do something for oneself
        To do something that one has asked someone else to do, especially if it is a simple or menial task

      • waste resources
        To waste resources by doing something oneself instead of delegating it to someone else who could do it more efficiently

    Examples of Don't keep a dog and bark yourself

    • John constantly complains about his neighbor's barking dog, but in reality, he is just as guilty. He often wakes up the neighborhood with his own loud barking during early morning workouts. This idiom perfectly applies to John's situation - he should either get rid of the dog or stop barking himself.

      The expression "Don't keep a dog and bark yourself" is a figurative way of stating that someone should not criticize others for a behavior that they themselves exhibit. Essentially, it suggests that one should not complain about other people's faults when they have similar or even greater faults themselves. In John's case, he is asking others to deal with his neighbor's barking dog while neglecting the fact that he is doing the exact same thing. The idiom encourages us to look at our own behavior before pointing out the flaws of others.

    • Sarah complained constantly about her neighbor's barking dog, but whenever Sarah's own dog saw a stranger, it would start howling and barking loudly. Sarah's friend joked, "Sarah, you need to stop keeping a dog and barking yourself!"

      This idiom means that a person should not criticize others for something they themselves do. Sarah was being hypocritical by complaining about her neighbor's dog while her own dog made loud noises too. Her friend's comment highlights this double standard.

    • The CEO of the company regularly berated his employees for being lazy and not working hard enough. However, he was often seen taking long break and playing video games during work hours. His employees muttered, "Hey boss, don't keep a dog and bark yourself!"

      Again, this idiom is used to point out that someone is being hypocritical. The CEO expected his employees to be productive and hardworking, but he did not lead by example. His behavior contradicted his expectations from his employees, which made them call him out on his hypocrisy.

    • Some politicians frequently accused their opponents of being corrupt and accepting bribes, but it was later revealed that they themselves had accepted bribes. Outraged citizens declared, "These politicians really need to learn not to keep a dog and bark themselves!"

      This idiom is used to criticize someone for being hypocritical in a serious situation. The politicians' accusations against their opponents lost all credibility when it was found out that they too had accepted bribes. This case highlights the importance of practicing what one preaches.

    • Dave claimed that he was an authority on healthy living and would frequently lecture his friends on the benefits of a vegetarian diet. However, Dave was secretly a meat-lover and often indulged in bacon and steak. His friends teased him, "Dave, you're really starting to sound like a vegetarian who keeps a dog and barks himself!"

      This idiom can be used when someone contradicts their own beliefs. Dave's actions betrayed his words, which caused his friends to poke fun at him. His hypocrisy left him open to ridicule and criticism, which highlights the importance of being true to one's values.

    • The CEO promised to lead the company with decisive action, but he has been indecisive and micromanaging every detail, which is like don't keep a dog and bark yourself.

      In this context, the CEO's behavior is contradictory - he has hired others to do the work, but then he is constantly telling them what to do and second-guessing their decisions. This is similar to having a dog and then barking the same commands as the dog, which is inefficient and unnecessary. It is better for the CEO to trust his team and provide guidance when needed, rather than doing everything himself.


    Overall, the idiom "don't keep a dog and bark yourself" is used to discourage someone from doing a task or activity that they have already asked someone else to do. It can also refer to taking on a task that someone else could easily do, thus wasting resources and time. It is also used to highlight the idea of doing something for oneself instead of delegating it to someone else, especially if it is a simple or menial task.

    Origin of "Don't keep a dog and bark yourself"

    The origin of this idiom is thought to come from the old English saying "why keep a dog and bark yourself?" which dates back to the 16th century. This saying was often used in reference to women who would take on tasks that their husbands could easily do, thus wasting their own energy and resources.

    The idiom gained popularity in the 19th century and has been used in various forms since then. Some sources suggest that it may have also originated from the practice of keeping a dog to guard one's property, but then taking on the task of guarding the property oneself instead of letting the dog do its job.

    Overall, the idiom serves as a reminder to not waste time and resources by taking on tasks that others can do, and to delegate tasks appropriately. It also highlights the importance of valuing one's own time and energy, rather than doing everything oneself.