Dogmatic Logo
The Canine in Conversation
contents page back to last page visited reload this page prior page in site next page in site
looped animation of a man rolling a round stone up an incline only to have it roll back down again
figure 1  


dogged. (adjective) Having the pertinacity of a dog; silently obstinate, unyielding.reference 1

As with the phrases “work like a dog” and “lazy as a dog,” this term raises some interesting questions about the qualities humans project on dogs. Do we really think of dogs as “silently obstinate”? Are dogs dogged?

The adverbial form is doggedly, though this might be used more generally to modify any verb to add the implication that the action was done simply in the manner of a dog.



1. Whitney, William Dwight and Benjamin E. Smith. 1914. The Century dictionary and cyclopedia; with a new atlas of the world. New York: Century Co. Accessed from: http:// century/

a man with a sour expression on his face
figure 2  

dogged. (verb) Having the meaner qualities of a dog, malicious, mean, contemptible, surly, or, as a verb, put down,reference 2 as in “She dogged me.”

a small dog urinating on a larger one's hind leg
figure 3  

2. Urban Dictionary.Com. Tucows, Inc., Feb 22 2005 . Accessed Feb 22 2005 from



About the illustrations: Figure 1: Sisyphus was condemned by the gods to ceaselessly roll a rock to the top of a mountain, after which the stone would fall back of its own weight. While I gather that he had little choice in the matter, the image still seems a fitting one for doggedness. This little animation can be found on numerous sites on the internet. No doubt some ingenious artist out there would like to claim credit, if not royalties.

Figure 2 shows a man with what is meant to be a mean expression on his face. Perhaps, though, Figure 3 is more apt, showing, as it does, the little dog urinating on the larger one. While the big dog looks angry and even mean, it is the smaller one who is executing the put-down. © 2008 Jupiterimages Corporation.

see also: dog out; dog (follow)
: lazy as a dog; work like a dog
Last updated: July 5, 2008
by Alec MacLeod 2001-2008  Dogmatic Technologies Oakland Creative Commons unless otherwise expressly stated, all original material of whatever nature created by Alec MacLeod and included in The Canine in Conversation and any related pages, is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Please read the Terms of Use Agreement by Alec MacLeod Dogmatic Technologies