Deer Meets Dog via the Universal Code

When a dog is afraid, he acts like a deer. Conversely, when a deer feels safe, she acts like a dog.

We can discern in the video the entire scope of behavior. First of all, all animals live by the same bios code, one which is predicated on emotion as a “force” of attraction.  Emotion is the universal operating system of animal consciousness. There aren’t different operating systems for different species just as there aren’t different bios codes for different computers. The Golden is non-plussed by the deer because she fits wholly into this emotional template, she’s wholly familiar to the dog because every frame of reference for him is the same. The deer fits into the flow of emotion he’s engaged as he trolls the bottom of the stream for rocks. He’s not judging that the deer is different from him, from humans, from other dogs. It all fits for him into one flow pattern. We will be misdirected if we judge behavior according to dogs as a separate species, a separate set of information, from deer, at the core level of the animal mind.

All behavior is a function of attraction and this video couldn’t make it more obvious. Because the deer can’t make direct and active contact with the dog, she then resorts to the zoomies, expressing the force of attraction through the locomotive rhythm; running here and there seemingly at random, but in truth according to a protocol which transfers force to other “objects of resistance” via laminar and turbulent transfers of momentum. When the Golden leaves we see the deer go to the place in the water where he had just been and she sniffs the surface of the water, ingesting by smell his essence and thereby completing the emotional circuitry of attraction. Meanwhile the Golden completes its emotional circuitry by finding an object-of-resistance he can almost ingest but can manage to accelerate (hence a transfer of momentum), a monster rock he fished out of the stream bed and then carries to “ground.” Teeth all the worse for wear but mission accomplished. The universal code is satisfied.

Published December 14, 2014 by Kevin Behan

11 responses to “Deer Meets Dog via the Universal Code”

  1. Wetnoseswarmhearts says:

    When you refer to “the entire scope of behavior”, do you mean the complete temperament/heart circle regarding active/reactive and direct/indirect? For example, the flighty relatively thinned boned deer seems very curious yet fearful, indirect and hectically active but extremely reactive. The bigger boned stable Golden appears unmoved toward the deer. The Golden does not look afraid or particularly curious but diverts attention. The dog acts directly by seeking and retrieving the huge rock then acting to move it a considerable distance. The dog becomes active direct towards an associated object, perhaps a midpoint.

  2. Wetnoseswarmhearts says:

    My aforementioned response cut off the paragraph recognizing that you primarily wrote about the flow of energy to ground or to bite. The turbulent and laminar movement meandering toward a point. My inquiry regards the relationship between the temperament/heart circle and the flow process to “the entire scope of behavior”. Both animals are naturally attracted to one another but the young fawn by nature manifests attraction differently than the mature Golden. Similarly, a young fine-boned Shiloh Shephard would probably manifest differently than a weighty adult Newfoundland.

  3. Rip says:

    I don’t see where the old Golden is remotely attracted to or interested in the deer. Maybe I’m missing somethig. But I do hear the point about a dog grounding its energy, as my dog will, when excited, seek to pick something off the ground and mouth it.

    Otherwise, I can only say that if this were my four-year-old GSD, and she saw a deer in a river, it would be another story and outcome altogether.

  4. Kevin Behan says:

    I think we can infer a state of attraction precisely because the dog doesn’t take any special note of a deer trying to play with it. According to the owner on the You Tube commentary they all take frequent walks together so I’m sure there is some interaction, it’s just in this particular scene the dog has bigger fish to pry. The main clue is that the dog has completely integrated the deer into its construct of reality, which in my view is synonymous with a collective group energy. It’s dealing with the deer exactly as if it is another person or dog. Nothing unusual for it whereas it was noteworthy to the human observer to justify filming. In my model, all emotion begins with attraction toward a preyful aspect. Now if the predatory aspect of the object-of-attraction can reflect that force of attraction back to the predator, and if the predator (the one who projected emotion) can absorb this and process it via its hunger circuitry, then the predator (projector) becomes sensual and a social connection with the projectee becomes possible. If however the prey animal cannot reflect it back, then the balance circuitry in the projector takes over and now output has to immediately equal input, hence the dog chases the deer to neutralize the intensity of being knocked off balance (acceleration). In this scenario we have a soft, rock-fixated Golden and a young deer so this particular projector/projectee combination enabled a process of elaboration. Nevertheless, in my model a deer-playing-dog and a deer-killing-dog are not contradictory impulses. The former is a process of elaboration, the latter is the collapse of a state of attraction into an instinct, the prey-making suite of reflexes being the instinct most able to discharge the intense sensations of when a very strong force of attraction collapses. This is the same dynamic by which every cat, if not at first killed by a dog, will ultimately end up running the dog. A process of elaboration will occur that softens the dog and the cat will gain emotional leverage and learn to use the dog to give itself pleasure.

  5. Darren says:

    The wording of the whole thing sounds very poetic and complicated to a lowly unintelligent ex military dog handler however the only thing I see is a dog with no prey drive whatsoever and therefore does not give 2 shades that there is a deer there. If you were to put a dog with a high prey drive there the outcome of this video would be completely different and probably wouldn’t be posted anyway.
    The dog actually doesn’t give a dam about the antics of the deer in the background and redirects his attention to finding the big ass rock from the stream bed.
    Get a dog with high prey drive and try this and then write up a poetic summary of events and I may be impressed 🙂

  6. Kevin Behan says:

    I appreciate your feedback. I assume you’re not familiar with my theory and perhaps you perceive that I’m trying to write poetry via a sentimental vision of nature. I’m not. I’m promulgating a model, to wit, emotion flows from predator to prey, or thermodynamically speaking, from high (predator) to low (prey) pressure. It’s that simple. However, if this flow of emotion can be reflected back to the “projector” from the “projectee;” which is what is going on within the deer relative to the dog, than this energy is captured rather than lost (as in one animal killing another or one animal escaping from the other), and then it becomes possible for a process of elaboration, a back and forth exchange of MOMENTUM, whereby a social system evolves into being. In this particular scene the golden is not reflecting back at the deer but rather investing in the rock. But according to the owner the deer frequently joins them on walks and they do indeed interact. Without a universal code there would be no platform by which two separate species could interact and communicate coherently. The raw beginning of elaboration you can see in the video below. Here is a dog with far more prey drive beginning the process of integration between predator and prey energy.

    http://www.wimp.com/dogchase/

    Because of the mechanical barrier of the fence, the deer is able to reflect the dog’s energy back to the dog that is putting out so much energy, and so gradually the dog evolves a social attraction to the deer because he gets to run in alignment and synchronization with the movements of the deer. The disposition of momentum is underwriting the phenomenon of emotion. Note also that the deer is attracted to the dog.

    If the low pressure (prey) can continually reflect emotion back to the high pressure (predator), than they can possibly integrate.

    In the eighties and nineties all my family dogs were GSD imports who manifested extreme prey drive and who had lived in kennels in Germany. For the first two weeks in my home they wanted to kill my cat having never lived with one. But about two months later, invariably the cat ran the dog. I didn’t train the dogs, I simply organized things so that at first the cat did not get killed and then at some point given the mutual state of attraction, the cat would begin to reflect back at the dogs and begin to sense the emotional leverage it possessed by being the object of attraction. Immutably the cat would run the dogs. It’s a universal principle of nature, emotion the basic code of animal consciousness.

    Below is lioness with fawn (I presume no shortage of prey drive here.)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZw-1BfHFKM

    So my thesis is very simple (although the natural way of life is far more sublime than the greatest of poems). The phenomenon of emotion runs according to a prey/predator dynamic, which inculcates a universal and mutual state of attraction that as it runs its course factors out into a complex ecosystem with a vast matrix of interconnections, one class of relationships is hunter relative to hunted, but it includes all the other classes of relationships as well, male to female, parent to offspring, peer to peer. It’s all the same underlying base code. Nothing could be simpler, or more intricate. If one ever finds themselves saying something like, “You’re so cute I could eat you up.” then they are directly experiencing a pure state of emotional attraction through the predator/prey dynamic.
    (BTW, any theory of behavior, for example the many drive theory or learning by reinforcement theory, should be able to account for why the deer is attracted to the dog. That makes no evolutionary sense according to current thinking. Also, it’s not accurate to say that the Golden has no prey drive. It has a “low prey threshold” so that it’s prey drive is channeled into rocks at the bottom of a stream bed. It is exhibiting a lot of prey drive in its desire to uproot and bring its “prey” “to ground.” So while Goldens prototypically have low prey drive wherein the hunter does the killing and the dog retrieves with a soft mouth, nevertheless it will work all day and overcome great resistance that would frustrate a high prey threshold dog. We need a systems logic to account for varied expressions of behavior rather than an individuated one which says things such as some dogs lack prey drive. I get the point and have no problem with it being a common vernacular, but the language is ultimately very limiting which is why the systems logic is never apprehended in any other analysis of behavior than the NDT model.)

  7. b... says:

    The multi-drive theory would surely explain that this Golden’s prey drive is outweighed by it’s rock drive.

    Appreciate that you’ve addressed the relationship between prey drive, prey threshold, and capacity to do work here.

    In order to understand the overall hunting behavior of the breed, is it accurate to say that a properly bred retriever would typically have high prey drive (or perhaps easier to understand if one just calls it “drive”, i.e., capacity to work/overcome resistance), low prey threshold (drawn and attuned to the finer vibration of smaller prey and easily deflected by greater predatory aspect), and high emotional capacity (ability to enfold and take direction from a human handler/hunting partner)?

  8. b... says:

    *oops, “its” not “it’s” above

  9. Kevin Behan says:

    Yes, the key factor is that the Golden is deflected onto the rock, it’s not avoiding the deer, it’s channeling deer energy to a midpoint. To sum up. There is only one Drive, the Drive-to-Make-Contact, which means a state of attraction in addition to some degree of force (summoned up from stress reserves) to sustain that state of attraction. Because all attractions are predicated on a preyful essence, in essence, there is only Prey Drive and so to say a dog lacks prey drive would be like saying some dogs like to breathe more than other dogs, when in fact it’s part of any animals’ very nature as an emotional being because the prey essence is at the root of all emotion. This is inarguable and that it is missed is why there is not yet a coherent model for the animal mind. But we can drill deeper as the next thing to understand is the Prey Threshold which is how much Resistance (size of prey, plus the degree of fight it will generate as it resists being accelerated) can the dog sustain and still feel an attraction to the preyful essence of the Object (thus hunger circuitry and arousal to the stress triggered by the Object of Resistance which in training circles is erroneously called “Fight Drive.”). So the Golden has a low prey threshold but still processes Resistance through its hunger circuitry which is why it finds itself deflected onto the rock at the bottom of the stream. It craves such a struggle. On the one hand many would say it lacks fight drive, but this isn’t true. Rather when it experiences Resistance it immediately goes into hunger and doesn’t have to regress through the emotional battery by way of an elaborate process of elaboration. It has been bred to immediately feel a soft mouth with a state of body tension, which in fact is how neonate puppies perceive resistance which is why it can be codified into a breed trait. (In other words it’s not created by selective breeding, selective breeding merely amplified what was already well established.) The Golden is thereby deflected onto a common object-of-attraction (midpoint) by which it can express its “fight drive” or better put, channel its stress reserves into a flow experience. In this state, it gives the human and the deer credit for its success with the rock, it is connecting indirectly with others via the Midpoint, similar to Golden running for toy when person comes in the house. The fact that the dog considers the deer in the water with it as a normal aspect of reality, should give us the clue that they don’t divide the world up perceptually as does the human intellect. There is only predatory energy, plus preyful energy, that is tied together along a gradient and via a midpoint into some state of Being. (BTW this is exactly how the sense-of-smell works which is why we are able to smell the volatile aspects of any exotic compound even if it has been manufactured in a lab and we haven’t specifically evolved the capacity to smell such a foreign element). The midpoint helps the dog reacquire it’s locomotive rhythm without directly having to “accelerate,” i.e. put into motion the Object of Resistance. (This is why dogs lift their legs and then align and synchronize around the O-R such as a tree or sign post given that it is now anointed with preyful essence, i.e. urine.) The disposition of Momentum organizes all animal behavior. Because of all of the above, the Golden has a high emotional capacity because the process of elaboration can continually evolve around a midpoint. It fully integrates the deer into the moment. This however is still not as high as a GSD with a High Prey Threshold channeled into herding/tending behavior because the process of elaboration can conduct far more resistance than what the Golden is capable of. Nevertheless, a Golden can retrieve birds all day long and this would constitute an expression of its fight drive, i.e. a sustained attraction to objects of resistance and capacity to take input from an intense “negative,” the shooter in the hunt or the herdsman for the GSD on the flock. So it’s the exact same Thermodynamic equation, it’s not accurate to say a GSD has more prey drive than a well bred Golden. It has a higher prey threshold. They are genetically attuned to a different vibration of prey animal, both have a very high emotional capacity but the process of elaboration is more developed in the GSD that is doing tending work or some other kind of high service such as Police.

  10. b... says:

    OK, that’s helpful to see all the pieces fitting together.  Still grasping for a slightly more linear distillation.  Having not come to such an understanding inductively, it exceeds my capacity for volume of novel concepts to maintain in focus at once.  Some contrast may help clarify.

    So, can it be said that…

    – Prey Drive accounts for the attraction. 
    >Is the basis for the entire interaction.

    – High Emotional Capacity provides strength of Hunger (over Balance), which accounts for maintained state of Drive vs. reversion to Instinct. 
    >Evidenced by arousal response (mouth on midpoint) vs. alarm/overload/stiffness response (fight/flight/paralysis).  Stress triggered by deer is channeled into flow vs. collapse.  Also, continued pressure elaborates into stronger engagement with midpoint (dog accelerates object-in-common, i.e., bite + carry).

    – Low Prey Threshold explains why dog is deflected onto midpoint vs. direct connection with object of attraction/resistance. The deer exceeds the dog’s prey threshold because it doesn’t fit in its mouth, like a bird would.

    – Breeding (selection for amplified neonate state) accounts for the soft mouth vs. firm grip (as with a GSD doing police work) or crushing bite (as with a ratter dispatching vermin).

    So… Prey Drive provides the attraction. Low Prey Threshold causes the attraction to be deflected from object of resistance (deer) onto midpoint (rock) to express “fight drive”. High Emotional Capacity allows the dog to channel continued pressure (stress triggered by object of resistance) into continued work (“fight drive”) and subsequently to give credit for flow to the negatives (deer, human).
    ??

    I was also trying to put my finger on what provides the fuel for work/overcoming resistance.  That is, what trait accounts for the ability to work harder or longer –  what might be seen as a variable level of drive (as in what’s referred to by “high-drive” or “fight drive”).  But I think I see here that the “fuel” is the dog’s stress reserves triggered by resistance, and the extent to which the dog can continue to channel that stress into work is a function of its emotional capacity, i.e. its capacity to stay in drive under continuous or increasing pressure without emotional collapse.  Does that sound right?

  11. Kevin Behan says:

    Excellent synthesis of my theory, much appreciated.

    b…
    So, can it be said that…
    – Prey Drive accounts for the attraction. >Is the basis for the entire interaction.

    KB: Yes, but to break it down; the basic state of attraction is the result of a whole body state of tension induced by hunger versus balance mandates. Hunger craves input/change, balance craves stasis and prefers “defined” inputs.

    Hunger —> < —Balance = Tension. Release from Tension equals Emotion. That which resolves Tension (so that the CNS allows an action predicated by hunger) is embodied by a Preyful Aspect. Emotion ----> Preyful Aspect (+)

    So emotion is always a positive state of attraction. Then when an expression of emotion meets with resistance as it always does, stress is produced and stored as a physical memory of the experience.

    Emotion ——- R ———> (+) = Stress

    When stress is subsequently triggered by an Object-of-Resistance, and if the emotional capacity is high enough, then it will add to the emotional current to produce Drive.

    Stress + Emotion = Drive

    b. .
    – High Emotional Capacity provides strength of Hunger (over Balance), which accounts for maintained state of Drive vs. reversion to Instinct. 

    KB: Yes, however, first hunger is stronger than balance (HUNGER/balance) and this then renders a high emotional capacity. Thus the infants of all species (infancy being the phase of life where hunger is prototypically stronger than balance) have higher emotional capacity and a stronger social disposition then the elders of their species. Whereas when balance is stronger than hunger (BALANCE/hunger) than instincts take over. A high capacity dog will weight the preyful aspect over the predatory aspect in an Object-of-Resistance so that it is aroused rather than inhibited by the resistance it encounters. Below is a process of elaboration between dogs (A) and (B) wherein emotion is reflected and absorbed back and forth in a state of high emotional capacity.

    1 (A) Projector ——-> (B) Projectee
    2 (A) Projectee < ——- (B) Projector 3 (A) Projector ——-> (B) Projectee
    4 (A) Projectee < ——- (B) Projector The higher the emotional capacity (HUNGER/balance) then the longer the process of elaboration can go on until it reaches a point of intensity that induces both individuals to align and synchronize their movements around a common and greater Object-of-Resistance in order to accelerate it by absorbing their stress loads. (A)——-> O-R ——->
    (B)——->

    b…
    >Evidenced by arousal response (mouth on midpoint) vs. alarm/overload/stiffness response (fight/flight/paralysis).  Stress triggered by deer is channeled into flow vs. collapse.  Also, continued pressure elaborates into stronger engagement with midpoint (dog accelerates object-in-common, i.e., bite + carry).

    KB: Yes, exactly right.

    b… – Low Prey Threshold explains why dog is deflected onto midpoint vs. direct connection with object of attraction/resistance. The deer exceeds the dog’s prey threshold because it doesn’t fit in its mouth, like a bird would.

    KB: Yes, exactly right.

    b..
    – Breeding (selection for amplified neonate state) accounts for the soft mouth vs. firm grip (as with a GSD doing police work) or crushing bite (as with a ratter dispatching vermin).

    KB: Actually, the firm, hard but not maximum crushing bite as in the calm carry, is the same as the soft mouth for the bird dog (or I should say, the equal/opposite). The killing bite of the terrier with all the thrashing is balance suddenly becoming stronger than hunger (BALANCE/hunger) at a peak state of intensity. In other words the process of elaboration collapses into the kill as things are no longer going fast enough once prey is in the mouth. The shaking of course would kill the prey as well as begin its dismemberment. But the dog is led to this because of the momentum not yet brought to terminus and still invested in the dog. (In contrast note the cat bringing the prey, paralyzed with the strength of the grip, yet still alive—-back to the den. This enables a further process of elaboration that brings the young into the formula. The prey is the midpoint that connects the adult to the predatory aspects of its offspring.)

    b….
    So… Prey Drive provides the attraction.

    KB: Technically emotion provides the attraction to the body, stress the attraction to the predatory aspect. High emotional capacity enables Drive which then marshals Stress to provide Force so as to overcome Resistance. So it’s correct to call it Prey Drive, but we can break it down into these constituents.

    b…
    Low Prey Threshold causes the attraction to be deflected from object of resistance (deer) onto midpoint (rock) to express “fight drive”. High Emotional Capacity allows the dog to channel continued pressure (stress triggered by object of resistance) into continued work (“fight drive”) and subsequently to give credit for flow to the negatives (deer, human).
    ??

    KB: Yes, exactly right. Because the Golden does have strong Fight Drive in the technical sense of the term, and because hunger is stronger than balance but its nerves are attuned to the vibration of the small prey so that when it is aroused, it is easily deflected. Thus the human is in position to turn this Drive into all manner of complex work so that the dog can overcome a level of complexity/resistance that would be the equivalent to any working police dog, it would just play out over the long term in not quite such an intense expression.

    b..
    I was also trying to put my finger on what provides the fuel for work/overcoming resistance.  That is, what trait accounts for the ability to work harder or longer –  what might be seen as a variable level of drive (as in what’s referred to by “high-drive” or “fight drive”).  But I think I see here that the “fuel” is the dog’s stress reserves triggered by resistance, and the extent to which the dog can continue to channel that stress into work is a function of its emotional capacity, i.e. its capacity to stay in drive under continuous or increasing pressure without emotional collapse.  Does that sound right?

    KB: Yes, the fuel is hunger/arousal to Resistance so that Stress is processed through a sensual body, rather than a sensitized one. In regard to traits, this illustrates the systems logic underneath behavior because a trait is the capacity to switch to the complementary phase of a wave, in other words, Dog B collects when Dog A projects, and then vice versa. Flipping from one trait to another is the same by way of Pavlovian imprinting as running at full speed, hence, intrinsically satisfying. The ability to make a trait-on-demand results from high emotional capacity due to hunger over balance and now the dog can execute its Drive-to-Make-Contact at whatever frequency of vibration (prey threshold) it has been selectively bred to have in the hunt. These are the options when Resistance hits a high intensity, collapse and then fight/flight, or arouse and then fight to penetrate to essence (direct/active typical of terrier orientation) or deflect for indirect/reactive approach (herding, gun dogs.)

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