• Some dogs like to work, like cattle dogs, sheep dogs, firehouse dogs (dalmatians), etc. In fact, probably all dogs had one job or another at some point in time. Even the Pekinese is romoured to have been bred to keep the emperor's feet warm. Since dogs are working all of the time, I suppose that's where the expression originated. I might be wrong, though, I'm just stabbing at this one.
  • Working real hard to the extreme
  • Most dogs I know do nothing than sleep.
  • I know that in the 19th century dogs were trained to turn wheels for several hours to heat up, ie cook food. These were known as turnspit dogs. It sounds like it was an exhausting task. There were two dogs to split the labor. I believe this is where the saying "Every dog has its day originated. Today the breed "Glen of Imaal Terrier ancestry was turnspit dog.

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