Put on the dog: to behave in an elegant or extravagant manner
In doing some research, I came across something that said “putting on the dog” came from a colonial custom of making shoes or gloves out of dog skin. However, it has also been suggested as far back as 1865 that the newly rich displayed their wealth by keeping pampered lapdogs. Wherever it comes from, I think it is a dandy term, and I love to hear old people utter this phrase. I’m going to find excuses to use it in my own vocabulary.Another cute phrase that means about the same thing is "Putting On The Ritz". You may remember the early 80's song by Taco, but it was done much earlier by the likes of Bing Crosby and others. I have included a link to a cute Youtube video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAZhHXsknd8
"Putting On The Ritz" was used in the 1920's, and named from the fancy Ritz hotels.