Idiom:  work like a dog

A small dog is curled up sleeping. It's an ironic way to depict the idiom


Idiom:  work like a dog

  • to work very hard

Note:  As illustrated in the picture above, many of us find this idiom quite ironic since many dogs today are pampered family members who do little, if any, work and sleep many hours during the day. Of course, rescue dogs, guard dogs, service dogs, police dogs, bomb sniffing dogs, etc., work extremely hard and often under difficult conditions.

Example sentences

— You need a vacation—you've been working like a dog for the past six months.

— If you want to be a lawyer, be prepared to work like a dog day after day.

— I didn't study at all during the semester so now I'm working like a dog to try to finish all the material and pass my exams.

— One of the biggest myths is that we have to work like a dog to make good money. Those who work the hardest are usually the poorest.

— While I worked like a dog all day, my dogs slept on the couch and played with each other.

— We were working like a dog all day pulling weeds in our garden so I'm exhausted.

— My father works like a dog everyday. We make him take a break on holidays.

— This tractor has worked like a dog for almost a decade but it's time to get a new one.

— Do you ever take a break? Your productivity can't be great when you continuously work like a dog all day and every day.

— The last director worked us like a dog but spent all his time on vacation.

— I'll do any career that won't work me like a dog. I rarely saw my parents growing up because they were always working.

 My mom worked like a dog her whole life doing domestic work and saving every penny so we could go to college and have a better life.


  • burn the midnight oil
  • burn the candle at both ends
  • do double duty
  • keep your nose to the grindstone
  • toil away
  • work day and night

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