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illustration ofa person making a yoyo 'walk'
figure 1  


walk the dog. (yo yo) A yo yo trick in which the body of the yo yo rolls forward, as if on a leash like a dog.

The reason for this moniker is hardly a mystery; as you can plainly see in the illustration, the yo yo precedes the “walker” like a dog on a leash.

  • A hard smooth wooden, gym, or kitchen floor works best for this trick.
    1. Start by throwing a good spinner or sleeper. As the yo yo swings forward lightly let it touch down on the floor.
    2. Let the yo yo “walk” in front of you.
    3. Before it runs out of spin, give the string a small tug so the yo yo will return to your hand.




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short videoclip of an angler demonstrating how to walk the dog spacer
figure 2  

walk the dog. (fishing) A technique used by anglers to make a lure zigzag across the surface of the water.

“To ‘walk the dog,’ keep your rod tip down and make short (less than 1 foot) twitches with your rod tip while reeling at the same time. The lure will walk side to side as it moves toward you. Once again, vary the speed of your retrieve until you get bit.”reference 1

1. House, Sam, and Tim Baker. Aug 8 1996. Topwater Pointers. Sam & Tim's Fishing Page. Accessed Aug 6 2008 from http:// ~timbaker/ tw.html.
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figure 3  

walk the dog. (sex) 1. Have sex. 2. Masturbate. 3. “Well, you drive to the park late at night. You open your car doors and you just lay there. And whoever walks up to the car, it’s on.”reference 2

In his hit record of the same name Rufus Thomas promises us that “If you don't know how to do it, I can show you how to walk the dog.” His 1965 performance on American Band Stand is punctuated by whistles and yips. For all the innuendo, this enduring classic (covered by The Who, Aerosmith, and The Rolling Stones among others) provides no specifics.reference 3

After a reminder that “the [human] male sexual organ [is] one of the many slang meanings of the word ‘dog,’” Marjorie Garber confidently informs us that walking the dog is “a slang term for sex.”reference 4 It seems a believable definition, given the sexual overtones of dog references in 60s music (The Dog was said to be a lascivious dance that would prompt immoral thoughts and behaviors) and the use of “doggie style” to describe a position for sexual intercourse. However, examples are elusive. The host of the Baltimore radio show “The Love Zone” on 92Q, LaDawn Black, provided definition number three above, which sounds a lot like dogging or being a dogger. That is to say, it is more specific than Garber's description, which I infer references heterosexual intercourse in general. The Dictionary of Sexual Terms and Expressions’ definition—“jocular coinage for male masturbation”reference 5—seems to fit with the reference to dog as penis. However, I find it hard to imagine that Rufus Thomas was singing about how he was willing to demonstrate how to spank the monkey, to mix the animal metaphors.

Maybe it's just all tied up with the sexual connotations of dogs and, as Freud rememinds us, “that [a dog] is not ashamed of its sexual functions.”reference 6

2. Black, LaDawn, quoted in Simon, Matt. 2008. Meet Baltimore’s Sex and Love Guru. b, Jul 17. Accessed Aug 6 2008 2008 from http:// archives/ 2008/07/ meeting-baltimores-sex-guru/ #more-950.

3. Thomas, Rufus. 2000. Walking the Dog, written by R. Thomas. In The Stax Story. Stax.

4. Garber, Marjorie B. 1996. Dog Love. New York: Simon & Schuster. 142.

5. Walking the Dog. 2004. Dictionary of Sexual Terms and Expressions. Farlex. Accessed Aug 6 2008 from http:// Sex-Dictionary/ walking% 20the% 20dog.

6. Freud, Sigmund. 1961. Civilization and Its Discontents. New York: W.W. Norton. 55.

About the illustrations: Figure 1 is from Helane Zeiger's World on a String.reference 7 Permission pending.

7. Zeiger, Helane. 1979. World on a String: The How-to Yo-Yo Book. Chicago: Contemporary Books.

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zara puppy lure spacer
figure 4  
Figure 2 is an excerpt from a YouTube video of Scott Martin demonstrating how to walk the dog with a legendary Heddon Zara Spook lures in search of bass. Permission pending. Figure 4 is the X9225 Zara Puppy.
Figure 3: I really was not at all certain what should be depicted; surely no explicit image would be likely to be appropriate.
see also: we also walk dogs; dog (penis)
cf: doggie style; dogger; The Dog (dance)
Last updated: October 30, 2009
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