If a dog doesn’t love to bite, then it needs to bite and a dog that guards something (food/resting place/body region/owner’s attention) is how that dog gets the opportunity to express that last .01%. It’s not that it wants the food/toy/resting place/attention etc., but that it needs these things in order to be granted instinctual permission to let out its last .01%. The dog then gets locked into that addictive load/overload means of energy transfer. So because the Westy is always holding back and is so strong in its personality (note the front paws pumping action), I use the food to bring that energy to the surface and get it channeled into biting the rope toy, which simultaneously softens the guarding of resource trigger. In this video I begin by triggering the Westy. On his own he can’t solve dog near his food bowl when he’s really hungry. But he can solve me by barking and biting what I want him to bite. So he’s learning that there is something more intense than another dog, i.e. me and the rope toy. And then I use the processing dynamic of barking, and go back and forth between the bite toy, the bark, contacting, etc in order to smooth out the intense overwhelming spike of dog near food bowl that historically has swamped his emotional capacity. The dog is learning to process the charge into a want, in other words, this intense rate of change and compression renders more and more energy and this feels good. We want a dog to learn that compression does not mean collapse, it means more energy. The number one want is energy and a dog recognizes new energy by old energy (unresolved emotion) becoming resolved emotion.
(Notice that Cousy can immediately sense that he’s holding that last bit back and she doesn’t want to stick her wet nose into that hot socket. But fortunately we can count on a lab’s hunger to override survival.)