strain at the leash

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strain at the leash

To try to take action, especially when faced with obstacles. The phrase alludes to a dog pulling at its leash because it wants to walk at a different pace or in a different direction than its owner. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Ever since she got her driver's license, my daughter has been straining at the leash for more freedom.
See also: leash, strain

strain at the leash

 
1. Lit. [for a dog] to pull very hard on its leash. It's hard to walk Fido, because he is always straining at the leash. I wish that this dog would not strain at the leash. It's very hard on me.
2. Fig. [for a person] to want to move ahead with things, aggressively and independently. She wants to fix things right away. She is straining at the leash to get started. Paul is straining at the leash to get on the job.
See also: leash, strain

be straining at the leash

If someone is straining at the leash, they are very eager to do things. Note: A `leash' is a long thin piece of leather or chain, which you attach to a dog's collar so that you can keep the dog under control. The players all know that there are plenty of youngsters straining at the leash to take their places if they don't perform.
See also: leash, strain