A Desperate Dog Leaps the Wall-狗急跳墙 (gǒu jí tiào qiáng)

Friday, November 10, 2023

"狗急跳墙" (gǒu jí tiào qiáng) is a Chinese idiom that vividly illustrates the idea that when someone is in a desperate situation, they may resort to extreme or unexpected actions. In this article, we will explore the meaning of this idiom, share an enlightening story, and discuss how it applies to modern life.

The Story of 狗急跳墙 (gǒu jí tiào qiáng)

Once in a peaceful village, there lived a mischievous dog named Max. Max was known for his playful antics, but one day, he found himself in a tricky situation. He had chased a cat up a tree, but now he couldn't figure out how to get down. As Max sat on a high branch, yelping for help, the villagers gathered below. They tried to coax him down with treats and kind words, but Max was too frightened to move. It seemed as though he was stuck up there for good. But desperation can make one resourceful. Max, despite being a dog, found the courage to make a daring leap from the tree. To everyone's surprise, he landed safely on his paws. The idiom "狗急跳墙" (gǒu jí tiào qiáng) perfectly captured this moment when Max's desperation led to an 意外的 (yì wài de) unexpected and bold action.

意外的 (yì wài de), adj, unexpected


  1. The unexpected rain caught us off guard. 
    Yìwài de yǔ ràng wǒmen cuòshǒubùjí.
  2. Meeting an old friend was an unexpected surprise. 
    Yù dào lǎo péngyǒu shì yī gè yìwài de jīngxǐ.


The story of "狗急跳墙" teaches us that even in dire circumstances, individuals can summon the courage to take risks and overcome challenges. It serves as a reminder that when push comes to shove, people (and even 狗 (gǒu) dogs) can surprise us with their resourcefulness and determination.

(gǒu), noun, dog


  1. I have a dog. 
    Wǒ yǒu yī zhī gǒu.
  2. The dog is running. 
    Gǒu zài pǎo.

Meaning of the Idiom

"狗急跳墙" translates to "When a dog is desperate, it will jump over the wall." It means that in desperate situations, people or animals may take drastic actions they wouldn't consider under normal circumstances.

Modern Application

In today's world, "狗急跳墙" reminds us that when faced with adversity, we might need to step out of our comfort zones and take bold steps to find solutions. It can be applied to situations like overcoming obstacles in one's career or making significant life changes when circumstances become challenging.

Key Sentences:

  1. When the cat cornered the dog, it had to "cornered like a rat" to escape.
    Dāng māo jiāng gǒu bī dào juélù shí, gǒu bùdébù "gǒu jí tiào qiáng" táo pǎo.
  2. With exams approaching, students sometimes resort to "cornered like a rat" tactics to cram all night.
    Kǎoshì línjìn, xuéshengmen yǒushí cǎiqǔ "gǒu jí tiào qiáng" de cèlüè tōngxiāo fùxí.
  3. When the deadline was near, he had to "cornered like a rat" to finish his project on time.
    Jiézhǐ rìqī línjìn, tā bìxū "gǒu jí tiào qiáng" yǐ ànshí wánchéng xiàngmù.

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