Idiom of the Week: “Gone to the dogs”

by Laurie Laurendeau on February 22, 2012

Idioms are short phrases or expressions that we use in the English language to express a thought in a more interesting manner.  Examples of idioms might include “in a pickle”, or “it’s raining cats and dogs”.  Children who struggle with reading comprehension often read quite literally what is on the page, and then the true meaning of the sentence can be lost.  Teaching your child a new idiom each week will help improve his/her ability to “read between the lines” in both oral speech and in written texts.  Have fun trying to use the idiom each week in everyday life!

IDIOM: “Gone to the dogs”

DEFINITION:  Something that has gone badly wrong, deteriorated.

EXAMPLES:  1. Have you seen your old neighborhood?  It’s really gone to the dogs.

2. The beach is a real mess – it’s really gone to the dogs.

ACTIVITY: Have your child draw a picture of a group of dogs in a situation that has “gone to the dogs”.  For example, a group of dogs at a dirty beach.


  • As always, playing math games at home is a great way to reinforce math skills learned in school.
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