Have you ever heard the idiom “perro ladrador, poco mordedor” in Spanish?

Perro ladrador, poco mordedor” is a nice idiom that we can find in other languages, so it will be particularly easy to use. Adding some idiomatic expression to your vocabulary is also a great idea to be able to speak with natives, understand them and use some authentic ways to say.

Starting from the Intermediate level, we try to introduce idioms and make students work on them and practise with different activities: it’s important to get confident with them and use them spontaneously when speaking!

When can you use this idiom?

If you translate this idiom, you might easily catch its meaning: it means that a dog who barks doesn’t bite, so it corresponds to the English “barking dogs never bite”. Normally we use it when someone is very irascible, always says angry statements or regularly threatens others but never acts accordingly to that. Therefore, even if it sounds intimidating, it’s not dangerous.

From a different point of view, this idiom means that we need to be careful with people that are always silent, as at some point they might bite!

Now have a look at some examples!

Spanish English
Aunque la oigas gritar siempre, la madre de Paquito no es mala. Perro ladrador, poco mordedor. Even if you hear Paquito’s mother shouting all the time, she is not bad. Barking dogs never bite.
El jefe tiene mal genio, pero ya sabes… Perro ladrador, poco mordedor The boss is an impulsive person but you know… Barking dogs never bite.
Siempre amenazan con echarnos de este bar cuando cantamos, pero nunca lo hacen. Perro ladrador, poco mordedor.  They always threaten us to throw us away from this bar when we sing, but they never do that. Barking dogs never bite..

Do you use a similar expression in your language? Try to think of some examples in Spanish and share them with your friends!

If you want to learn more Spanish idioms, go through our Pinterest board or have a look at our online resources.