Idioms: Barking up the Wrong Tree

barking dog

Bark up the Wrong Tree (v.): Looking in the wrong place

The police were barking up the wrong tree when they searched the suspect’s home. 

This saying is from James Kirke Paulding’s Westward Ho! from 1832. The phrase is an allusion to hunting dogs barking at the bottom of trees where they mistakenly think their prey is hiding.

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