barking up the wrong tree

The phrase “barking up the wrong tree” has its origins in hunting dogs chasing prey up trees. If the dogs bark up the wrong tree, they are mistakenly focusing on a tree where the prey is not located.

The idiom is used to describe a situation where someone is pursuing a mistaken or misguided course of action, often by directing their attention or criticism towards the wrong person or thing.


  • If you think I stole your phone, you’re barking up the wrong tree. I was in a meeting the entire time it went missing.
  • The reporter was barking up the wrong tree when she accused the wrong person of embezzlement.
  • If you’re trying to get Sarah to change her mind about the project, you’re barking up the wrong tree. She’s already made up her mind.
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Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at Camford Publishing
Founder of On the Horizon (camford publishing)and The Technology Source, and professor of education at North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Dr. Morrison is author and co-author of over 200 publications focusing on educational planning and using information technology tools.Dr. Morrison has delivered numerous conference presentations and workshops for associations such as EDUCAUSE, AAHE, the College Board and others.He has served as a planning consultant to a number of colleges, universities, university systems, community colleges, educational agencies and public agencies such as the U.S. Department of Labor, and Department of the Army.His consulting activities focus on assisting organizations to integrate information technology tools in teaching and management.

The title of his Speech is “The Future of Distance Learning.” Professor Morrison will describe the driving forces that will affect education and distance learning in this decade and will focus on the implications of these forces for education and distance learning
Dr. James Morrison
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