If You Can Train Your Dog, You Can Train Your Guy

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If You Can Train Your Dog, You Can Train Your Guy
How to talk to men so they will listen.

Think before you speak. Saying what you mean and mean what you say. Don't tell a dog 'Come' when you really want him to go outside. Don't say you're 'fine' when you're (clearly) not. Not only does it keep you from feeling any better and make us feel worse, it makes it more difficult for us to trust that you're being straight with us.

Make eye contact. All animals read intentions through body language and eye contact. Dogs sense fear. They also sense honesty and compassion. The same is true for the hu-dog. Eye contact demonstrates honesty and truthfulness. Without eye contact, your point is likely to not be received. Look your hu-dog in the eyes and make your point clearly and concisely. But in the same way that unwavering eye contact can appear aggressive to a dog, extended eye contact can make the hu-dog becomes uncomfortable or cause him to glass over and let his mind drift. If you stare him down and ramble, he will pull away, or think "now is a good time to move in for a kiss." Anything to avoid this intimate conversation.

Keep it simple, stupid! The old political adage works well here. Use short concise phrases that are easy to understand. Speak with confidence and don't waver on your point. A dog responds better to "Fetch!" than he does to "Go get it!" And a hu-dog will respond to: "I need you to leave work on time on Tuesday so we can have a full night together. When you linger at work, I feel like you aren't excited to come home to me and that hurts." It's clear and to the point! But if you try to spill everything that is on your mind, (ie, "You don't make time for us, I know you're busy and things come up, like last week when my aunt called, and I know you hate her but I need you to be nicer to my family even if you don't like them because I don't want to have to defend you to them, and when I don't see you after work…" NO! BAD! BAD COMMUNICATOR! We hu-dog's won't know what we the point of this conversation is anymore ( your aunt? I don't hate your aunt? Why are you defending me?) And when we get confused, we want to run away.

A point on why dogs run away Each time a dog gets out and explores the world, he gets rewarded. He is stimulated with something new. The center for dog studies recommends two major ways to keep your dog—or in this case, your hu-dog—from straying. 1. Ensure he's happy, safe and conformable. Give yourself a space where you can be just relax. 2. Stimulate him when you're home, so that next door doesn't seem so interesting.

Finally, let your dog bark a little! Stop talking. Communication is 50% talking and 50% listening. It is about making your point, letting your feelings out, and then listening to how your hu-dog interprets what you're saying and how he answers. Dr. Gerri Forsberg puts it succinctly, "If your motives are wanting to understand people and accept them for who they are then communication will be easier. But if you set out to convince them that your way is the right way, then that isn't communication. And that's not love."

And ultimately, what we all want is to give and get love from our pet or partner. The difference between a dog and a hu-dog is that you have to listen to the hu-dog. A newspaper across the butt doesn't really do it for us (unless you're into that sort of thing). If you just bark commands and don't listen with the same passion with which you speak, your hu-dog may run away in the middle of the night. And once they run away, it can be almost impossible to get them out of your neighbor's garbage.

Remember, just as we can't tell exactly what is going on the mind of a dog, you won't know exactly what's going on in the mind of your hu-dog. Whatever he says, if it's honest, comes from the world as he sees it, just as your words can only reflect your view of reality. If you think this is a good guy, try understand his point of view even if it sounds silly or odd to you. You want us to try to understand you, even when you're talking crazy, right? On the other hand, if you don't trust your dog, and think he really is a bad-dog, then there is only one thing to do: Take him to the pound and get yourself a hu-dog with better breeding.