A lot of the time, dog owners are baffled when people mention their dog’s name, according to the dog men who make up The Dog Men, a new podcast series that takes on the subject.
But, the dogmen—who like to wear colorful hats, bejeweled glasses, and other dog-inspired outfits—are not all that mystified.
“I guess I’m like the weird one in the room.
I always get asked about my dog,” said Adam Hirsch, a New York City-based dog trainer who founded The Dogmen in 2012.
“It’s just like, ‘Oh, my dog.
Is it my dog?’
It’s like, well, I dunno, but it’s definitely a dog, so I guess that’s what I call it.”
(Hirsch’s own dog, a pit bull named Puss in a Blue, is a dog in his family.)
But when the topic of dog owners’ dog names comes up, Hirsch’s guests have a harder time getting their minds around what they’re talking about.
“Most of the times people are like, How did you even say that?” said Hirsch.
“The first time I ever heard that was when I was a kid.
And then it was like, Oh, I got it.”
It’s an understandable thought: Dog names are always in the eye of the beholder, and they can change depending on who is using them, or where they’re going.
“In some ways, I think a lot of people have this preconceived notion of what their dog is,” Hirsch said.
“Like, they think that you are the one who picked that name.
But if you look at the people who actually use them and talk to them, they’re all just like like, I just like my dog.”
But it’s not just the dog owners who have trouble understanding their dogs’ names, as well.
Some people think their dogs have a hard time identifying other dogs, while others feel like they have trouble seeing the difference between a dog’s personality and a human’s.
It’s a common question, but one that isn’t really addressed on the podcast.
“What do you do if you’re in a conversation with someone who is a human and they start talking about their dog and you’re like, What does my dog think of this?
What does he think of my dog?
And then you start asking about the dog and it’s like you’ve lost track of who is talking to whom,” Hinks said.
For example, one dog owner was so frustrated by this conversation that he asked for help explaining the difference.
“They’re just saying things like, My dog likes me,” the dog owner said.
But it turns out, it wasn’t just the conversation that was confusing.
The dog owner’s dog is also a human.
“My dog thinks my dog thinks I like him,” said the dog man.
“He is also an anthropomorphic dog,” he added.
Hirsch explained that while it’s true that most people’s dogs aren’t aware that they are human, there are certain traits that humans tend to display when interacting with dogs.
For instance, dogs tend to be less likely to bark when they’re being petted, and even when they are being held.
And some dogs may even be more friendly toward humans when they think they’re human, as opposed to when they see humans.
Dog men, who are mostly men, have been training their dogs to be more human in their interactions with humans for years.
They use their dogs as social guides and role models, Hinks explained.
But even though many dog owners have had positive experiences with their dogs, there’s still a wide gulf between how dogs perceive humans.
“If you go into the pet store and you see a human dog and the dog looks like a human, it’s just not like they’re interacting with a human,” said Hink.
“So we’re still trying to figure out how to make it a little bit more human.”
Hirsch and Hirsch believe that dog owners should be able to express their own dog’s humanity, and the Dog Men are trying to do just that.
The DogMen, who started out in New York in 2014, are part of the Dogmen Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of canine research and education.
The Foundation is an affiliate of the Animal Behavior Institute, a research organization focused on canine behavior.
“We’re just trying to bring some of these concepts and methods to bear in the field,” said Jason Kastner, a member of The Dogmens team.
The dogs in their podcast series talk about their experiences with people and dogs, but also about what they learned from them.
“This was really a conversation between a human being and a dog,” Kaster said.
In the podcast, the DogMen share stories about their dogs who’ve changed their minds about who