Barking up the wrong tree

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Dog treeing

"Barking up the wrong tree" is an idiomatic expression in English, which is used to suggest a mistaken emphasis in a specific context. The phrase is an allusion to the mistake made by dogs when they believe they have chased a prey up a tree, but the game may have escaped by leaping from one tree to another. The phrase means to mistake one's object, or to pursue the wrong course to obtain it.