dog in the hunt

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dog + in + the + hunt


dog in the hunt (plural dogs in the hunt)

  1. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see dog,‎ hunt.
  2. (idiomatic) Something that may lead to gain, depending on the outcome; a position for which to campaign or cheer..
    A national political party is unlikely to feel it has a particular dog in the hunt for a typical small town mayoral race; in many cases the local candidates do not even campaign with a party affiliation.
    • 2005, Alan R. Andreasen, Social marketing in the 21st century[1], →ISBN, page 50:
      The ideal solution is to find individuals or agencies without what is often called "a dog in the hunt." Governmental monitoring organizations...and the World Health Organization (WHO), are probably the most reliable sources of raw data [for this issue]

Usage notes[edit]

  • Often used erroneously to indicate that one has no stake in the outcome. As such this is a bastardization of two Southern idioms: "no dog in the fight," and "that dog won't hunt.” (The latter indicates something is a bad idea or prone to fail.) Use of the phrase "no dog in the hunt" when one wishes to indicate they have no "dog in the fight" will generate funny glances from any Southerners who overhear it.


See also[edit]