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graphic of a graph with a falling trajectory of the line and a dog jumping down the line
figure 1  


dog. (business) Category made popular by the Boston Consultancy Group for businesses that have both low growth potential and low market share.

The Boston Matrix is a “means of analysing and categorizing the performance of business units in large diversified firms by reference to market share and growth rates. It was developed by the Boston Consultancy Group (BCG), a leading firm of strategic consultants.” Dogs are one of the four main matrices (along with other animals such as “cash cows”). The Oxford Dictionary of Business offers this description: a “combination of low growth rate and market share is typical of these businesses and products, which operate in mature markets. [Investment] firms frequently face strategic decisions regarding whether to continue to support dogs or to implement a divestment strategy.”



1. A Dictionary of Business. 1996. Oxford paperback reference. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.

About the illustration: The image of the falling graph line is not entirely accurate, since “dogs” do grow, simply more slowly than some investors would like. Still, while that may be the case, the perception in the corporate world remains that slow growth might as well be no growth or even shrinkage. Illustration by the author.
cf: cats and dogs Last updated: June 21, 2008
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