Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Why Men Are Like Dogs

(DISCLAIMER: This post applies to no man in particular, and yet, all men.
I say this in the spirit of love, and yet, at times, slight frustration).

I just got off of the phone with a friend who had a few complaints regarding her boyfriend. Now let me preface this by saying that her boyfriend is wonderful; she loves him very, very deeply. He’s kind and considerate; passionate and loving, but all of this said, he’s still a man. You can only expect so much from them. In their defense, we’re crazy, so they don’t always process exactly what we want. It’s like getting a new puppy. They are cute, cuddly, and adorable, and full of potential to be your best friend; you just have to train them first. You can’t just buy a puppy and start yelling at it to roll over; you have to teach them what that means. You also have to demonstrate that they will get a reward when they do.

Dog ex.: Roll over = get doggie treat

Man ex.: Remember my birthday = get laid

It’s really that simple. You just have to condition men in the same way that you condition dogs. (Sounds like I need to read up on Pavlov to make the perfect boyfriend) Dogs aren’t born knowing how to roll over. It’s not in their nature to live in houses and have to discern where they can and can’t shit; we do this to them. If we’re going to make them shit outside, we’re going to have to be tolerant when they mess up. It’s the same way with men: they aren’t born with any inherent knowledge about women, and it’s unnatural to ask them to understand things like monogamy, calling to check in at night, and putting the toilet seat down. So we have to train them.

The following is a selection from a puppy and dog obedience training site. Notice that if you insert “your boyfriend” or “your man” in the place of “your dog,” the selection still makes sense…

Obedience Training is one of the best things you can do for your dog or puppy man ... and yourself. Obedience training doesn't solve all behavior problems, but it is the foundation for solving just about any problem. Training opens up a line of communication between you and your dog man. Effective communication is necessary to instruct your dog man about what you want him to do. You can teach him anything from 'stay' (don't bolt out the door) to 'sit' (don't jump up on the visitors) to 'off' (don't chew the furniture). These are potential problems with men as well…

Dogs men are social animals and without proper training, they will behave like animals. They will soil your house, destroy your belongings, bark excessively, dig holes in your yard, fight other dogs men and even bite you. Seriously. They will. Nearly all behavior problems are perfectly normal canine male activities that occur at the wrong time or place or are directed at the wrong thing. For example, the dog man will eliminate on the carpet instead of outside; the dog man will bark all night long instead of just when a stranger is prowling around outside; or the dog man will chew furniture instead of his own toys. Ok, at least the last one has some truth. The key to preventing or treating behavior problems is learning to teach the dog man to redirect his natural behavior to outlets that are acceptable in the domestic setting. Brilliant.

Obedience training is also an easy way to establish the social hierarchy. When your dog man obeys a simple request of 'come here, sit,' he is showing compliance and respect for you. It is NOT necessary to establish yourself as top dog or leader of the pack by using extreme measures such as the so-called alpha roll-over. You CAN teach your dog man his subordinate role by teaching him to show submission to you in a paw raise (shake hands), roll over or hand lick (give a kiss). Most dogs men love performing these tricks (obedience commands) for you which also pleasantly acknowledge that you are in charge.

See? This primer on how to train a dog can work brilliantly when applied to men as well…I have a feeling this is just the first in a series of many posts regarding this theory…



Matt Collins said...

Okay, this will be a long comment.

they aren’t born with any inherent knowledge about women
I have to argue this one, we do have some inherent knowledge, just many guys ignore that part of their brain out of laziness.

it’s unnatural to ask them to understand things like monogamy
Really? Seems pretty simple to me. Whoever these guys are that you've been hanging out with have watching SpikeTV too much or something.
calling to check in at night, and putting the toilet seat down
Seriously, where are you finding these guys? If you find a man with a good brain and a good heart, most of this stuff should come naturally to him.

You CAN teach your dog man his subordinate role by teaching him to show submission to you in a paw raise (shake hands), roll over or hand lick (give a kiss). Most dogs men love performing these tricks (obedience commands) for you which also pleasantly acknowledge that you are in charge.
While training him to be subordinate and/or obedient might get these desired behaviors, you're not going to wind up with a keeper that way. A good man can do all this on his own and will choose to... most of the time.

Sorry for the long rebuttal. I just felt the male persuasion should be represented and that I should give you some hope that there are men out there that don't act like untrained animals.

On a sidenote, a simple hug or something might be more suitable for him remembering your birthday; save the good stuff for the really big things.

Cultural Subterfuge said...

I'm loving your comment. I suppose that my frustration happens when women (myself included, ok, especially myself) expect men to be mind readers, and we set ourselves up for disappointment because, plain and simple, you guys aren't.

I want a guy to bring me flowers to show me he was thinking about me. It's not about the flowers. If I have to ask him to buy me flowers, I've completely negated the point. If I wanted the flowers, I would've bought them myself. What I want is for someone to be kind enough to think about doing something nice for me, without me having to ask for it. Flowers are that metaphor. Jewelry works too, but it's not about the money, it's about the thought. I'm sure there are girls out there that are looking to find a sugar daddy to supplement their expensive habit of material consumption. These women are perfectly happy to demand gifts from their significant others. I'm not looking for an opportunity to exploit someone for my own material gain. Plus, buying me stuff if I ask for it is the easy way out. This takes no thought. It's just money.

For any guy that wants to know how to really make me happy: Show me how much you like me through your actions - gift-giving being just one of many options that are available. I also like peanut butter sandwiches that have been smushed in my lunch by my juice box.

And no, I don't want someone subordinate to me. I would be bored. I would walk all over him - because I could. I'm kinda fiery, and I need someone who's not afraid of that, and will call me on my bullshit.

And as far as trading sex for remembering birthdays, for the last six years, I've been involved with a man to some degree on every birthday (not the same one or anything), and I've never once had to give it up...


Al Dente said...

Something I've noticed over the years is that there are two kinds of marriages.

Man in charge: abusive, unhappy, often short lived.

Woman in charge: cooperative, happy and usually a keeper.

Most men would never admit it to each other but their wives are in charge. Their wives usually get the last word in arguments and when push comes to shove husbands will bend to the will of their wives. Most of them wouldn't want it any other way.

Us men are simple creatures while women's emotional needs are far more complex. For men, trying to please a woman is often like trying to play a game with rules we will never understand. We do need training. Demand what you want and need and we will learn. This whole "if he loves you he will just know" only sets him up for failure.

There is an old saying, men give love to get sex and women give sex to get love. While it is a gross simplification the gist of it is true.

My wife keeps me on a pretty short leash and I only adore her more for it. There is a lot of comfort knowing your place and what is expected of you.

Mike Wilson said...

I love reading pieces like this.

All relationships boil down to reciprocity. Game theory tells us that any if not all games converge to an equilibrium condition where both players have matched their strategies to one another such that they get an optimal benefit with respect to incurred cost. Put simply the reason he does't exceed your expectations is because you don't exceed his. Now you may not be able to compare his needs and yours like for like but in terms of perceived utility he is just matching your play. If you would like a better relationship then it is very simple, leave the relationship you are in and start your new relationship giving your all and stay there, he will mirror you.

Sonic said...

i found this quite amusing but just to let you know you say nothing that has not been mentioned already.

I guess you are a kind of a woman that prefers 'dog' like personality in men and only came in contact with such. There is nothing wrong with that.

Some men i know might take an offense of this comparison, which complements a number of the macho-chauvinistic articles written by some guys (which i often dont particularly agree with).

I always found it funny how most guys follow every whim of their girlfriend, or even a woman that leads them on and gives them false hopes.

A mistake that most guys make is they that they stick around. Letting her go is often the most sensible, logical and right thing to do. There is so much fish in the see!


pirategrace said...

If I could have taught my first husband the relationship skills that my new husband has, my first husband and I might still be together. Some men just seem to know instinctively that a good relationship has reciprocal appreciation, attention, and affection. Fortunately, the second time, I found a man who innately understands this, and who reciprocates on all of these points, without being asked, and it is wonderful! Can these things be learned, I wonder? Interesting post, thank you.

Equality said...

A silent agreement between most husbands and wives is that the wife may rule the household and family affairs as long as she respects him as main breadwinner and decision maker. By comparing men with dogs you show so much disrespect for men and I hope that wives will not let this affect their silent agreement with their husbands. My daughter has a good permanent job, while her husband works at home for his own computer-based company and is doing most of the household. Therefore, he rules the things at home. I could not believe that FemDom is so sexist until I read this post. Both men and women can be brainwashed and studies suggest women better. Of course, men have to learn what women want, but the writers of this post have to learn what men want. I think that this lack of knowledge and sensitivity is a main reason that FemDom will not reach it's goals.

Spencer Bailey said...

Alright, here we go:
Calling all men ( me included ) dogs is very offensive. The equivalent of calling all women bitches. As far as the gift giving goes, when your birthday or other significant day comes around, someone like me would ask what you want. The usual response is " oh nothing... You decide!" Then when we buy you something you don't appreciate, by accident, you get upset but don't tell us. Every time you do so, it makes us frustrated because you asked for anything and 'anything' was delivered. We get things from women on our birthdays that we may not like but what we DONT do is overreact to it. It makes us realize : "hey, I could just go out and buy something for myself anyway, it's not her fault . Women need to realize that men don't know everything in the universe and can't do everything in the universe. Also, in response to the toilet seat statement, when I get yelled at for not putting it down, I think : isn't that just like flipping the coin on effort? Sure women put the seat down but only for their own benefit. Well that's exactly why we keep it up; for our own benefit. So maybe if women were to put the seat back up after using it, we would start putting it down, in return.