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Men are Dogs

February 5, 2013

Men are dogs is a colloquialism normally used as an insult toward the male gender, usually in reference to a male behavior deemed inappropriate by the female using the phrase. Perhaps it was in reference to a sexual proposition, or leaving the dish next to the sink without rinsing it first. The reason doesn’t really matter, because like all insults, it relies on the party’s agreement to the contextual relevance of the metaphor being used to purposefully get under their skin. Or to put it simply; you have to think less of dogs for this to actually work… and who doesn’t like dogs? Terrible people, that’s who. The same kind of terrible people that attempt to draw parallels to animals to illustrate that you are equally beneath them. Again though, this relies on your agreement to the metaphor, and you won’t be find me listed amongst those that treat this as an insult. Because as far as the food chain in concerned; we’re far from the top.

I get the idea, dogs are messy creatures. Most of them don’t bathe themselves, they sometimes eat the feces of other dogs, they drink out the toilet, they go the bathroom on your carpets, they shed, they find random things to hump and they can be a hand full to deal with at times. All of these things are true (and some even for many humans); but that doesn’t make them “bad”. Nor does it even begin to scratch the surface on all the wonderful properties dogs possess… their wide variety of breed (some of which are highly regarded [1]), the unique coloring each has, the impressing evolutionary adaptation to multiple environments, a strong work ethic and desire to please, come in a variety of shapes and sizes, emulate their respective owners as a sign of family, a strong loyal streak and various personalities with various levels of quirks. I’m not sure how anyone could take any of that as insulting.

Indeed, I am not insulted by the remark that all men are dogs. But I am saddened by it, because beyond the physical and behavioral characteristics we happen to share, there exists a great commonality in our social standing, acceptance and treatment. This leads us to a greater understand of what affects both specie from ill conceived expectations and the lack of all responsibility for those who temporarily adopt us not for our best interests, but their selfish motivations.

If you spend any amount of time with professional dog trainers, you may hear the phrase; “There are no bad dogs, just bad owners.”[2] Having trained several myself, and currently maintain an ever loving, sometimes all too forgiving, but steady hand with two canines of what is sometimes considered one of the most stubborn breeds today; I can confirm the statement. One of the most important things you can do for your dog is socialize them with other dogs and people in general. Through this process, you begin to see how dogs are treated differently by different people and how it affects their dispositions and well being. Just like society, member who are treated better tend to do better all around while those who are treated poorly suffer various consequences (an argument modern Political Feminism likes to employ).

Many trainers go on to write books on dogs and how to train them. Some are good with useful advice (such as consistency in approach), others are terrible and borderline abusive to your animal (like sticking their faces in their own feces). So too, do some women go on the write books about men. Some good with useful advice and some that blatantly tell you not to tell mental health professionals that you are utilizing its rules because they treat other human beings like animals, devoid of all consciousness and emotion [3]. Even dogs have thoughts and feelings, even if on a more instinctual level.

We’re going to ignore for a moment that it’s questionable to peruse your local book store for manuals on how to control the opposite sex while we examine exactly why these things are so poorly thought and impractical…

The first is that they treat the dog like a servant, not a member of the family. Dogs have a mind of their own; they think, learn and feel. They aren’t some contraption you can take out when it pleases you then tuck away when you’re not in the mood to deal with the responsibility of taking care of them. They need affection as much as they need food and shelter. Should you find yourself resenting your canine companion because you’d rather be doing something else, do them a favor and give them to someone who cares; because obviously you don’t.

They sell robotic dogs that run on batteries. If a toy is all you want, get one of those. If you want something that works on your time and only your time, there are many battery powered devices that can service your needs. They are cheaper in the long run, but if you want any companionship and reciprocity, you’ll have to do better than small talk with the cashier at your local Radio Shack.

The second; that they think all dogs can be trained the same way. While there are general ideas which remain constant, such as remaining firm and/or consistent in your training, it would be foolish to ignore the differences of breeding [4]. You cannot handle a Rottweiler the same way you can a Corgi. Some dogs needs more exercise than others, more activity, which in turns places a greater burden of responsibility on you. If you are not prepared, willing and capable, then you should not own any animal, much less a dog that takes actual effort.

Let us also not give credence to the notion that some breeds are worse than others. Buying into the media bias that some dogs have a poor disposition is as bigoted as anything similar with the human race. Pitbulls are a sweet and loving dog [5], but a few piss poor owners got headlines and now people cross the street when even a puppy on a lease comes walking up the sidewalk and insurance companies want to charge you more because they don’t trust an animal who is ruled by instinct, not conscience.

The third; that negative reinforcement is better than positive reinforcement. Any half decent dog trainer will chastise any owner that attempts to train their dog through negativity. You don’t punish dogs by withholding food or swatting them on the nose with a rolled up newspaper. Dog trainers use positive reinforcement, because any psychologist will probably tell you that behavior is often reinforced through its reaction and positive reinforcement is the best way to go [6]. A dog learns new tricks by the use of treats; which are given to them after they successfully complete a task as instructed.

Can we begin to see a picture forming here? Here’s an example of two dogs…

Dog A. He is treated like a slave. He is a burden his owners have to bare. They tolerate him based solely on the brief utility he can provide. They treat him like every other dog. They withhold food from him when he misbehaves and they punish him with minor physical violence. He barely gets to see the outside save for his bathroom time and he is never socialized with other dogs. He is caged nearly all hours of the day, never bathed and constantly ignored.

Dog B. He is treated like a member of the family. He is provided with constant attention and affection. His family plays with him and rewards him with activities and additional socialization to other humans and fellow canines at the dog park. They reward him with treats for good behavior and only utilize a stern “no” when he does something wrong. He get’s regular vet checkups and is kept well groomed.

Of the two dogs, which one do you think will be well adjusted? Who’s the happier dog? Who’s the happier family? Is it any wonder why some men become well adjusted members of society and some men find themselves in jail?

Speaking of the pound, we have a population crisis in both slammers [7]. How is it that people are so quick to abandon their dogs for the reason they can fend for themselves and it would be an otherwise inconvenience to continue to burden yourself with the responsibility of caring for an animal you choose to take into your life? So too does our society give less to men [8] as we are deemed more capable of navigating the horrors of roaming the streets amongst our fellow castaways. Where are the more well off to take an adorable stray off the street to feed and to care for in exchange for a little warmth in bed on those cold nights? Busy bedding the more attractive street urchins no doubt.

And to those protesting this insidious social injustice in moral outrage, inquiring to know how they can help, don’t be too quick to join the forces that claim to be serving the best interests of the incarcerated. PETA, claiming to have the best interests of all animal kind in mind, is responsible for the euthanasia of the majority of those it reports to save [9]. Out of the frying pan into the fire as they say; there is little hope for the down trodden dog beyond the selfless act of kindness from a complete stranger, who they hope will be more responsible than the last one so the perpetual cycle no longer persists. Is it any wonder that Feminism, that reports to have men’s interest in mind, is responsible for taking funding away from their job opportunities [10], wants harsher punishments judged upon men [11]and actively suggests curtailing the population for better management among other questionable actions [12]; is treated with as much scrutiny and skepticism as PETA?

What hope is there for man and dog? When society can’t figure out how they want them to act, punish them for not understanding said demands, and those that fight such injustice show Kevorkian mercy? They must rely on each other, for dog is a man’s best friend.

[1] http://www.royal.gov.uk/TheRoyalHousehold/RoyalAnimals/Familypets.aspx

[2] http://www.amazon.com/No-Bad-Dogs-Woodhouse-Way/dp/0671541854/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359762676&sr=1-1&keywords=there+are+no+bad+dogs

[3] http://www.amazon.com/All-Rules-Time-tested-Secrets-Capturing/dp/0446618799/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359762740&sr=1-1&keywords=the+rules

[4] http://www.ao.net/~holmanh/CoppBioBases/CoppBioBases.htm

[5] http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/features/pit-bulls-safety

[6] http://allpsych.com/psychology101/reinforcement.html

[7] http://www.aclu.org/safe-communities-fair-sentences/prison-crisis and http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/pet_overpopulation/

[8] http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF00754410?LI=true

[9] http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/03/petas-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-history-of-killing-animals/254130/

[10] http://www.creators.com/opinion/phyllis-schlafly/the-feminists-demand-and-receive.html

[11] http://www.cotwa.info/2012/05/barbaric-it-is-worth-risk-to-punish.html

[12] http://radicalhub.com/2011/10/04/radical-feminism-in-the-21st-century/

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