1. - To track or trail persistently

The standard use of the word 'dogging' is to describe the relentless pursuit of someone or something as in 'dogging someone's footseps' and obviously derives from the use of dogs in hunting. As in;

Britney Spears' broke restaurant is still dogging her 1
Dogging The Politicians: Campaign Keeps Up The Pressure As Election Nears 2
Racial issues keep dogging Republicans 3

See also the Webster 1913 definition of dog.

2. - A peculiarly British leisure pursuit

Within the British Isles the word dogging has quite a different connotation and refers to a particular kind of outdoor sexual exhibitionism.

Now ever since Henry Ford popularised the idea of personal motorised transport, the motor car has been called into action as a substitute bedroom. In the absence of any other available private room in which to physically express their love, couples would drive to a car-park in some suitably secluded location and proceed to do, well, what comes naturally in such situations.

Inevitably such locations would soon acquire a local reputation as aLovers' Lane and just as inevitably gentlemen of a certain persuasion were often to be found skulking in the bushes or whatever, attempting to catch a glimpse of whatever shenanigans were going on behind the steamed up windows.

Such things are, no doubt, the same the world over.

What seems to be peculiarly British however, is that it soon became apparent that certain couples quite liked the idea of being seen in flagrante delicto and actively encouraged an audience. Moreover some even encouraged audience participation. That's 'dogging'.

This particular variant of what is generally known as swinging, apparently became popular in the early 1970's, but remained an essentially underground activity. Dogging has only come of age with the invention of the Internet. It has now become possible for keen 'doggers' to share details of particularly promising locations and to permit enthusiastic couples and voyeurs to arrange clandestine meetings, all hidden behind the relative anonymity that the dear old world wide web provides.

And given the general state of the British weather one can only admire their dedication to the cause in the face of adverse circumstances.

Quite why this particular activity is called dogging is anybody's guess.

One theory one is that it is because the aforementioned audience would 'dog' as in persistently track, the couples' every move in an effort to keep track of their activities. The other is that it relates to dog walking, that is, the standard cover story for our voyeuristic gentleman out on his evening stroll. As in "I was just out walking the dog, honestly constable." Or "darling", as appropriate to the circumstances.

Pick whichever one you fancy really.

3. - A peculiarly Australian work practice

If you're Australian you can obtain something called the National Certificate of Competency for Dogging. Rather disappointingly this has nothing to do with acquisition of the necessary skills to perform sexual intercourse in the back of a Mini Metro, or how to select the best vantage point when faced with the challenge of a Land Rover Discovery.

Rather the Australian 'dogging' is something to with the building trade and appears to involve the use of hand signals when manouevering structural steel beams with a crane. Or something like that. The precise definition is as follows;

Dogging is the application of slinging techniques including the selection and/or inspection of lifting gear, or the directing of a crane/hoist operator in the movement of a load when the load is out of the operator's view. This applies to single crane lifts only.


For ordinary dogging, online dictionary sources such as;
WordNet 1.6, Princeton University 1997
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Houghton Mifflin Company.
3www.sptimes.com/News/063001/State/ Racial_issues_keep_do.shtml

For British Dogging see;
www.uk-stars.com/dogging_guide/uk_doggers.htm Obviously, as soon as my researches were complete, I made my excuses and left.

For Australian Dogging see;
but don't expect to be entertained.