Dog Training the American Male on National Dog Day

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My friend, L.A. Knight sent me a reminder that today is National Dog Day. I didn't know there was such a thing, but as the author of the comedic novel, Dog Training the American Male (to be released on Sept 13 from A&M Publishers) Knight has immersed himself in the concept that a behavioral and genetic link exists between men and dogs.

"There's a reason dog is man's best-friend and not women's best-friend. Men relate to their canines. Take the test and tell me there's not doggy DNA in our Y chromosome."

The TEST: Have you ever...

1. Peed on a tree?
2. Howled when happy?
3. Dug a hole at the beach?
4. Examined what you felt was an outstanding bowel movement?
5. Begged for a treat?
6. Gotten yelled at for unknowingly dragging mud in the house?
7. Dry-humped a woman's leg?
8. Passed gas liberally?
9. Gotten yelled at for sleeping all day on the sofa?
10. When you were a young pup, did you love fetching a ball?

The last one hit home. As a teen, I loved fielding grounders and pop-ups. And while I can't recall ever howling for joy, one might argue a dog's howl is compatible to a guy whooping it up in victory.

Knight wasn't through. "This is more than just clever word play, Alten. These shared pleasures are indicative of a common primal mindset. Furthermore, while men engage in most of these doggy-do's, women absolutely do not."

"Women aren't exactly equipped to pee on trees," I retorted.

"True, but it's a behavior that is second nature to men."

"I dug holes in the sand for my kids to play in."

"Yes, but did your wife ever take her fair turn at it? And when you were a kid, do you ever remember your mom digging a hole for you?"

He had a point.

"Be honest, Alten - have you ever experienced the joy of releasing a perfectly formed log in the toilet and you just had to check it out? Would a woman ever engage in that behavior?"

I was starting to be swayed. "Okay, Knight, I'll agree: Men and dogs are simple creatures that enjoy life's simple pleasures - pleasures that probably gross out most women."

"It's more than that. Think back to when you were a teen. At the peak of puberty were you more like your girlfriend... or a dog in heat?"

Game, set and match. "Okay, Knight, you win. Men are like dogs and we love it. What's the point?"

"The point is that women love dogs as much as men...provided they are properly trained. And here's the rub: Like a dog, most guys want to be trained--

--depending of course, on the treat."