Don't keep a dog and bark yourself
What's the meaning of the phrase 'Don't keep a dog and bark yourself'?
The proverbial saying 'don't keep a dog and bark yourself' is advice that you should not pay someone to do a task and then do it yourself.
What's the origin of the phrase 'Don't keep a dog and bark yourself'?
The earliest citation of 'don't keep a dog and bark yourself' that I can find is Brian Melbancke's novel Philotimus: the Warre Betwixt Nature and Fortune, 1583:
"It is smal reason you should kepe a dog, and barke your selfe."
Melbancke, whose name is a variant of the more common 'Milbank', used the name of Philotimus, a noted 4th century Greek physician, for the title of his work. Rather fittingly in the context of 'don't keep a dog...', Philotimus was a dogmatist, that is. a thinker who bases his philosophy on belief rather than evidence. As it turns out, Philotimus had little option but to choose dogmatism, as several of his beliefs, for example, his opinion that the heart and brain are useless organs, would be difficult to obtain evidence for.
See also: the List of Proverbs.