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Don't keep a dog and bark yourself.

Posted by Masakim on August 18, 2003

In Reply to: Don't keep a dog and bark yourself. posted by David Hitchin on August 18, 2003

: Don't keep a dog and bark yourself.
: The meaning as given as "Once one way of doing something is established a second isn't necessary." but I and others have understood it as meaning that if you have someone that you have delegated work to you don't also do it yourself"

Why keep a dog and bark yourself?
Why pay someone to work then do the task youself?
There is no point in going to the expense of buying and feeding a guard dog, if you are always on the look out for intruders yourself. The proverb was included in John Ray's collection of ENGLISH PROVERBS : "What? Keep a dog and bark myself? That is, must I keep servants, and do my work myself?" But an earlier literary appearance was in Brian Melbancke's PHILOTIMUS.
Usage: Can be condescending: scorning menial tasks that others are paid to perform.
From _Dictionary of Proverbs and their Origins_ by Linda & Roger Flavell
It is small reason you shoud kepe a dog, and barke your selfe. (Melblancke, _Philotimus_, 1583)
"Good Miss, stir the Fire." ... "Indeed your Ladyship could have stirr'd it much better." ... "I won't keep a Dog and bark myself." (J. Swift, _Polite Conversation_, 1738)