Proverb – Pamplona, Spain

Proverb-Barking Dog

“Perro Ladrador, poco mordedor”

“Barking dog, bites little”

“The dog that barks a lot usually bites too little.”

Pablo told me that he learned this proverb from his mother when he was just a child. He learned in his hometown of Pamplona, Spain although it was used elsewhere throughout the country. This proverb is very famous in Spain and many teachers and students say it within schools too. He said this proverb is often said whenever there is an argument between people. He said it explains how usually, the person in the argument that raises their voice the fastest will not start an actual fight. Instead, they are just trying to sound tougher than they actually are by arguing in a powerful voice. A good example of when to use this proverb, he said, is whenever a friend or someone you know is trying to act tough, although you know they aren’t. He says his mother uses this whenever he tries to talk back to her, because she knows that she is in charge of him.

Pablo agrees with the proverb because it shows how individuals use arguing to make them appear to be someone they are not. Most people that have convincing arguments do not need to raise their voices to get their point across. The ones who don’t, however, feel as if they need to yell in order to make people believe them. The people who argue consistently are obnoxious as they do not have any real aggression inside of him. He said that people who are the fighting type do not have to raise their voices to intimidate their opponent. Instead, their physical aggression and appearance is proof enough. Pablo likes to use this saying whenever someone is trying to be someone he or she is not, because usually, the person who yells the loudest doesn’t have any proof to back it up.

I agree with Pablo’s interpretation of the argument and do believe that it represents hypocrites. If someone is trying to bark the loudest in order to prove his point, that means that he is unsure of his argument and believes that a convincing voice will make others believe him. Therefore, the person has no argument and is a hypocrite as he tries to make him appear tougher than he really is. I think that you can use this argument daily as there are many people that try to convince others to believe them simply through their voices. This proverb represents the friends who say all they can before the fight erupts, but quietly sneak way when it actually happens.