(one's) bark is worse than (one's) bite

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(one's) bark is worse than (one's) bite

One's actions will not be nearly as severe as his or her words imply. Don't worry about John's threats. His bark is worse than his bite.
See also: bark, bite, worse
References in periodicals archive ?
His bark is worse than his bite and he genuinely cares that people have a fair deal, even though he doesn't make a show of being emotional or involved.
But owner Diane Humble, from Mahon in Cork city, said: "He's going deaf, he's getting old, he's castrated and his bark is worse than his bite.
Little Walter caresses the song's famous hook so softly that one gets the feeling that perhaps his bark is worse than his bite.