"Dog Problems" was the second song on The Format's album of the same name. It chronicles a day in the life of Nate Ruess - represented in the music video by an Oobi hand puppet...
don't you dare speak for someone you don't know.
they'll feel it in the back of their throat.
we know i cant construct a poem,
cause' words, like girls get bored and run
c'est la vie, i say i've got so many better things
i've got nothing,
you should see me,
i smoke myself to sleep.

and blame postmodern things i cant relate,
like summer camp and coastal states.
like alcohol and coffee beans.
dance floors and magazines.
i think its safe to say
"i've only got myself to blame"
but boys in swooping haircuts are bringing me down,
taking pictures of themselves, oh.

boys in swooping haircuts you know who you are.

and so i walk the web in search of love,
but always seem to end up stuck.
i'm finding flaws in everyone.
i've reached the point where all i want,
is to sleep around in hopes that i will catch back up.
we are parallel lines,
were running in circles,
we're never meant to cross.

i'm at a loss, you were my tangerine,
my pussycat, my trampoline
now all i get are wincing cheeks,
and dog problems, i signed a lease.
thinking my heart belonged at 93rd and park
instead i broke a girls heart,
and flew back to phoenix
to finish the year as it started.

can you hear me?
are you listening?
this is the sound of my heart breaking.
and i hope its entertaining,
cause' for me its a bitch.
was it worth it?
when you slept with him?
did you get it all out of your system?

i am over that
hope you dont get up
i couldnt breathe
caught me on the cross
i didnt know
i couldnt give up

B is for believing you'd always be here for me.
E is for everything, even when we'd see it though.
C, C is for seeing through you, you are a fake,
which brings me to A because, because, you always run away.

i never finish phrases,
i misspell,
open arms are prison cells.
when i said, "i hate what i've become"
i lied, i hated who was
so when you start to wonder 'bout the strain in my throat,
then don't you ever, no never, ever, speak for someone you don't know.


Lyrics submitted by enfilade

Dog Problems song meanings
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72 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentThe Becca and Because thing is easy to explain. At the start of the song he starts with, "we know i cant construct a poem,
    cause' words, like girls get bored and run". Hes talking about what he goes over later in the song with

    B is for believing you'd always be here for me.
    E is for everything, even when we'd see it though.
    C, C is for seeing through you, you are a fake,
    which brings me to A because, because, you always run away.

    and then

    i never finish phrases,
    i misspell,

    He was writing out a poem of why he shouldnt be with her/hates her and as he was writing it out with the word
    B.E.C........ He thought about it and noticed he should have just spelt out BECCA insted of because. Hence why he can't write poetry and never finishs phrases he misspells.
    AMDdeckeron December 20, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song is about a hand. Pertending to be a mouth.
    hippy_dentiston December 29, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"This song is about a hand. Pretending to be a mouth. "

    ..does no one else think this is hilarious?
    brennananon November 13, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentDamn, isn't Nate epic?
    Simone212on February 18, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIndeed Shejust. MySpace.

    I don't know what it is about this song. I love it. It's such an upbeat song, but it's about something horrid.

    Basically, I think it's about a relationship gone bad. They were all lovey dovey, they had a nice life, and she fucked around.

    He hated what she did to him, but he couldn't possibly hate her, because he still loved her. She was his tangerine, his pussycat, his trampoline. And he wants to get past her, but he just can't, no matter what he does.

    So, he gets past her in the form of a poem. B is for... & so on. He finally builds up enough hatred to really truly hate her, and he yells about it.
    PaperStreeton July 06, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentdid any of you know it spells Becca? so... we have a Becca. a Janet. and a Tiffany in Pick me Up right?
    frumstickon July 23, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHe spells out "BECA"

    He's going to spell out "BECAUSE" but stops and says "i never finish phrases..."
    jtshenaniganson July 26, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDamn that Nate... he's such a trickster... haha.
    KTonBroadwayon August 30, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentalso, THANK YOU, AMDdecker
    finally someone actually articulates it.
    as for the people who think that, "oh because nate said this, means its true.!!" get a life.
    how fun would it be if someone poured their life out on cd via well thought out metaphors and then went around just blabbing about what 'he really meant'?
    ..not very fun, thats how fun.
    brennananon November 13, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's Becca. Her name was Becca. He was spelling because wrong and spelling it like Beccause...
    tuneouton May 24, 2008   Link

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