Jip, Dora Spenlow's dog, is a symbol for Dora herself. Jip learns to do impressive tricks that include standing on his hindlegs, but he can never be taught to stop walking across tables or chewing up books. This is likely because Dora spoils him, insisting that he have mutton chops every day and buying him a pagoda to live in. Like Jip, Dora is pretty and charming but completely lacking in practical domestic skills and resists David’s attempts to teach her to do basic things like budget finances or cook. Jip's descent into old age similarly parallels Dora's declining health; significantly, he dies on the same night that she does.
Jip Quotes in David Copperfield
Finding at last, however, that, although I had been all this time a very porcupine or hedgehog, bristling all over with determination, I had effected nothing, it began to occur to me that perhaps Dora's mind was already formed.
"I am afraid it would have been better, if we had only loved each other as a boy and girl, and forgotten it. I have begun to think I was not fit to be a wife.
[…] If I had been more fit to be married, I might have made you more so, too. Besides you are very clever, and I never was."
"We have been very happy, my sweet Dora."
"I was very happy, very. But, as years went on, my dear boy would have wearied of his child-wife. She would have been less and less a companion for him. He would have been more and more sensible of what was wanting in his home. She wouldn't have improved. It is better as it is."