Can someone please explain why the phrase "going to the dogs" is a negative thing? Dogs are smart and loyal. Dogs exhibit unconditional love. They provide eyes for those who can not see, companionship for the lonely, help find lost people and detect drugs and bring smiles to sick kids in hospital. With a wag of the tail, a dog can make everything feel so much better. All of which makes me think that if something is going to the dogs it just took a very distinct turn for the better. If you can ignore the bum sniffing, shoe chewing and occasional leg humping, humans could learn a lot from dogs.