Dogs Sleeping On The Bed

What could be cozier, a dog snuggled deep into the comforter on a raw winter’s night, warming the bed, groaning and sighing with drowsy contentment while the cold winter wind bites and whips against the bedroom window?

When my father and I floated the Cains River in New Brunswick, Canada during the last run of salmon in late October, the nights dropped down to zero. At dawn it was brutal to forsake a warm down sleeping bag, stir the coals in the pit just beyond our open face lean-to, and then shuffle down to the river to break the ice for fresh water. These were “three dog nights” to be sure, but we only had one, Rommel, our family German shepherd and each evening before bed the trick was to induce Rommel to one’s sleeping bag as he too began to look for a cozy place to settle down for the night. Each breakfast I plied Rommel with a share of my morning bacon, at lunch a corner of my sandwich and I capped off the day with a heavily buttered dinner biscuit; but alas my father and our guides had their bids in as well and each morning I awoke to fresh snow on my bag while Rommel was curled up on my father’s bedding warming his corner of our wilderness hovel. As things turned out, Rommel was the most well adjusted dog I’ve ever known and these yearly indulgences had absolutely no ill effect over the course of his long and happy life. So why then don’t I recommend sleeping with a dog on the bed at home?

Putting aside the incredible degree of dirt, sand and grime that a dog can track onto the bed and under the covers, I’ll present my overall case after first making an important observation. For one thing, Rommel never got up on any furniture or bed in our house and he never showed any inkling for; or longing glances at, the sofa when we sat around watching TV, and this was well before the era of plush dog beds. In fact I can’t even remember if he even had a bed, he probably made do with whatever patch of carpet was available. And this brings me to the main distinction: our river trip was characterized by constant motion, we were never officially settled in anywhere, every couple of days we broke camp and were always on the move, our constant focus being on the river, the salmon; the woods for hunting forays. The air was always charged with the excitement of the impending journey, in every sense of the word we were a group on the hunt. Whereas a domestic household is, energetically speaking, static and therefore since we were on the hunt the sleeping bag never became a “charged” place and this I believe makes a world of difference.

For example, by way of contrast my family in the nineties took our vacations at a camp on a lake in Maine. In late August it got pretty cold in the camp at night and I began to feel sorry for our little Papillon on his bed, as comfy as it was, that was positioned at the side of my bunk. So one chilly evening I invited him up to spend the night at the foot of my sleeping bag. The next morning when my kids came down from the loft to give me a good-morning-hug, “Pepe” growled at them. Now he was a very small dog that we obtained at one year of age and until then hadn’t lived with kids, and he was always afraid that one of the kids’ friends would try to pick him up, but it was the first time he had ever growled at a child. So, that was the end of Pepes’ bed privileges and for the rest of the vacation he slept at ground level on his own bed and he had absolutely no issue with the kids stepping over him each morning on their way to greet me.

Now bearing in mind that 9 out of 10 dogs that sleep on a bed will probably never manifest a serious behavioral issue for so doing; (they will manifest something, but probably only some minor annoyance that will then mistakenly be assigned as a quirk of their personality) and given that I deal with the 1 out of 10, or more precisely the 1 out of 10 of these, i.e. the proverbial 1 out of a 100, and so have a rather skewed slice of the continuum, why not let a dog sleep in the bed?

Nature is not random. Everything has a vibration. Every stimulus, situation, context or incidence of change has a pitch, a note, a tone, in other words, a specific energetic value as the net aggregate of its various variables. A dog’s sense of its place likewise is defined in terms of this specific energetic value and a dog needs a sense of place to itself just as we need a sense of time to ourselves IN ORDER TO FEEL CONNECTED. In other words, nature prefers assigned seating because feelings and thus actions can’t be synchronized when everyone ”vibrates” at the same frequency.

What do I mean by “vibration?” Perhaps you remember sand lot baseball when after sides had been picked, the next step was to determine which team went to bat first. The two captains squared off and beginning at the base of a bat, in a sequence of grabs they worked their way to the top until they ran out of room. The last one able to wrap their hand around the bat won the face off. Both teams can’t be at the bat at the same time and so one kid “out-vibrated” the other. This is how nature and our nervous system works, always trying to “out-vibrate,” (i.e. increase the pitch) another in order to avoid stasis and the dreaded lack of “momentum” which is anathema to the animal mind. For example, a bunch of people start clapping in unison and we observe that the beat constantly accelerates until it terminates in a climactic spasm. This is also why musicians play faster in a live performance as opposed to when they lay down tracks in a studio. We are hardwired this way because nature abhors a vacuum and it abhors a vacuum because in a vacuum everything is the same, and in living systems energy can’t move if everything vibrates at the same intensity.

I haven’t been able to find the study on line, but I remember reading a fascinating study in the eighties of a biology project studying wolf howling. The team would drive out on logging roads into the Minnesota wilderness and record wolves howling. They then isolated each individual note and on a subsequent night, broadcast one of these notes back into the group howl. They were surprised when the next sounds they heard from the night were of the wolves fighting. In other words, two notes the same aren’t music but are friction and this triggers an alarm, like two planes at the same altitude. Thus whenever an organism with a nervous system is confronted with environmental stasis it will feel “accelerated,” like the intensity one feels when a conversation lags into an awkward moment of silence. In such conversational gaps we vibrate (small talk, personality displays) in order to maintain a sense of movement, and this external vibration gives others an opening wherein they can sync up with us.

So in our mind, our dog on our bed is lying there in a state of blissful repose, a benign scene of egalitarian rapture, “Kumbaya,” one-for-all, all-for- one, my best Bub. But in reality its nervous system is vibrating in order to be a little more intense than its owner. This is why many dogs when you move around them as they lay, hold their breath, open their eyes, many dogs emit a low growl. (I shudder to think how many kids each year get bitten and mauled for violating this cardinal rule of instinct.) Occupying this specific pitch is how the majority of dogs sense their connection to their owner. However, for the rest of the day and this is a huge issue with problem dogs, the owner is constantly out vibrating the dog by being the one driving the car, opening the bag of dog food, opening the door to the great outdoors. And all the while the dog’s nervous system must “vibrate” at a more intense pitch than the owner (barking, personality displays, whining, jumping up, nipping at the other dogs) doing these things so that it can differentiate itself and thereby still feel connected to the owner since a very important line of demarcation and thus grounds for differentiation is being erased by virtue of both parties occupying the same vertical plane on the same contiguous platform all night long. (On the other hand, only by flipping polarity within an overarching waveform are both individuals able to process more and more energy without having to out “vibe” the other. The group is the source of harmony, not the pack and this should be the dog’s definition of connectedness to its owner.)

The wave form as the basis of social structure, and the high emotional capacity as the basis of canine adaptability, is why dogs are responsive and galvanized by verbal sing/song praise tone and cadence. THE PURPOSE OF SOCIABILITY IS NOT COMPANIONSHIP, it is to move energy. Companionship follows from here, not the other way around. This innate drive in the heart of every living being for structure has been crudely approximated and grossly mischaracterized as a pecking order or a dominance hierarchy simply because no other model has been apparent in order to account for this universal phenomenon for order. These days in canine circles there is vague talk about wolf packs as a family dynamic, but this is just punting the intellectual football down the road, it doesn’t really say anything and begs even bigger questions. Social order can far more accurately be likened to a musical group. If everyone in the choir or orchestra sang or played the exact same note, for the same duration, with no modulation to break up the instinctive mechanism that motivates a singer to increase their intensity in order to be heard above the others, there wouldn’t be any harmony, it would be monochromatic, bruising to the ear and would certainly fail to move the audience; in other words, it wouldn’t be able to conduct energy.

Energy moves as a wave and the movement of energy is the one and only motivation in animal behavior. So to have a happy, well adjusted, calm and obedient canine as companion, one’s dog must be eager to flip polarity from one intensity value to another in service to the feeling of flow. This is the heart of the group dynamic, not “friendliness.” So even if a dog doesn’t manifest an overt problem, I believe they are calmer and happier when they know their place, and are eager to give it up in a flash when flow beckons.

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Published January 27, 2011 by Kevin Behan
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41 responses to “Dogs Sleeping On The Bed”

  1. Adam says:

    I can’t seem to figure this out. So the dog is attracted to its sleeping owner, climbs up to share the bed with him/her. The owner’s vibrating at a certain intensity. Now the dog is in close proximity to the owner and feels resulting tension. Why does he differentiate up to a higher “pitch?” I mean, why not downgrade to make that match? Also I’m not clear what this vibration is or feels like. If it is akin to the awkward lapse in a conversation, then I cannot imagine an animal sleeping during that. It seems like a stressful state of being…how can a dog vibrate intensely, but sleep calmly?

    My dog is a classic aggressor, growler when disturbed on the bed. This has always intrigued me. I assumed though that it had to do with me putting such a hot charge on furniture from his younger training days. My parents and I would yell at him for jumping up on the couch, bed, etc. and shoo him off. Energetically I was saying “this is important or…this is the good stuff” right?
    I also assumed that his growling was the result of being accidentally stepped on or shocked out of sleep at some point, and now he feels accelerated because of that physical memory.

  2. Adam says:

    “the owner is constantly out vibrating the dog by being the one driving the car, opening the bag of dog food, opening the door to the great outdoors”

    I also am having trouble with this. Why/how does the dog perceive an owner doing these things as “out vibrating” him.

  3. kbehan says:

    The dog perceives these as ungrounded disturbances, hence, the dog generates more and more personality, or internalizes more and more stress as a function of its attraction to its owner. Imagine as a youngster being in a classroom with a pesky kid that’s always raising his hand and blurting out the answers to the teacher in order to be the center of attention. It feels out of context and then this emotional charge carries over to when you deal with the kid out of class. So when the owner is being direct/active, the dog is impelled to externalize/internalize this disturbance which registers in its system as ungrounded energy.

  4. kbehan says:

    It takes energy to resolve unresolved emotion, and so the nervous system will always increase in intensity in order to create friction, which then keeps things in motion and makes the acquisition of energy possible. So the dog is “calmly” sleeping not because it feels awkward, but because it’s adopting a slightly more tense state than it would be otherwise because it’s concerned with maintaining that degree of connection. It’s akin to an animal seemingly in a deep sleep but of course, there’s always one eye open. I’ve worked with a lot of dogs fixated on being the center of attention and highly aggressive and their owners report as the dog starts to become grounded, that it’s beginning to sleep deeply for the first time.

  5. Crystal says:

    “with no modulation to break up the instinctive mechanism that motivates a singer to increase their intensity in order to be heard above the others, there wouldn’t be any harmony”

    Kevin, I’m not sure what you mean by this.

    My dogs are not allowed on the furniture and they do not sleep on the bed at night BUT they will nap beside me as I read in my bed quite frequently. Neither dog will growl or fuss if a kid comes in to join us, though Bea did once a long time ago. The dogs will move over to make way for said kid and then re-snuggle into us, most often on the other side of me.

    So are we good? Would short spurts like this cause problems over time?

  6. kbehan says:

    You are good if… one else in household has problem with dog on the bed, and if dogs aren’t putting into action some aspect of an unresolved emotional charge. In other words, I have found that what we hold back from others, or hold back from ourselves, is what we invest in our animals above and beyond what they truly want from us.

  7. Adam says:

    “It takes energy to resolve unresolved emotion, and so the nervous system will always increase in intensity in order to create friction, which then keeps things in motion and makes the acquisition of energy possible”

    Still not clear. So the dog has unresolved emotion. Then he’s in a socially tense situation like bedtime. Then his nervous system creates friction…in anticipation of conflict/release of tension? Is this like the experience of someone with social anxiety? And if so, isn’t it about releaseing not acquiring energy?

  8. Christine says:

    @Adam…I believe the onus for the unresolved emotion would be on the human(s) in the equation. As Kevin said, “what we hold back from others…is what we invest in our animals above and beyond what they truly want from us.”

    So then, Kevin, what is it that dogs truly want from us? Just curious what you read this as…bottom line kinda thing.

  9. kbehan says:

    It takes energy, by which I mean that objects of resistance trigger unresolved emotion relevant to the intensity of the situation, and the fear at the root of the unresolved emotion which was why it was acquired in the first place, now must be converted back into desire (thus invoking the hunger circuitry because that was the root of the initial attraction) in order to muster enough energy to address this object of resistance. So when confronted with stasis, the nervous system will vibrate more intensely than an object of resistance in order to get movement, i.e. dogs whine/bark when they want something but are blocked. If enough friction is generated this upsets the existing frame of reference which is static, and thus can potentially activate the hunger circuitry ( and if the moment is conductive enough, along with this the physical memory of flow from earliest moments of life.) So the dog sees an object of resistance and by being aligned with his peers, he feels a release from stress, which he perceives as potential energy and so he hungers for object of resistance, and this increased group focus on prey forces the object of resistance into motion, and thereby the wolves have an opportunity.
    Therefore when everyone is in the bed, the dog can’t just think we’re all friends and that’s nice, rather its nervous system is deep down vibrating at a higher pitch then its resting humans and this then becomes the dog’s definition of sensing connection to its owner. But then during the active times of the day, the owner is unavoidably vibrating more intensely as when driving a car for example. They then leave the car and the dog increases its vibration by getting into the drivers’ seat. It always rises, can’t lower, because stasis is death and friction is primitive means of getting things back into motion.

  10. kbehan says:

    I trust that after you read my book, it will be clear that resolving our unresolved emotion is what dogs really want. Given that emotion is the medium for a group consciousness, this is how they sense their purpose and then companionship, affection and all the good stuff follows.

  11. Christine says:

    A succinct refresher, thank you. Amazon says my copy won’t be delivered until March… 🙁

  12. Rosie says:

    So, is this right? If a dog gets up on the bed (without being asked/told to) they are looking for a way to connect with their owner? They want to get on the bed as a way of creating tension, which then has to be resolved either by the owner, or through problem behaviour?

    So, dogs that do voluntarily jump on the bed are deliberately creating tension (which they then resolve) because they are not getting enough tension-release with their owner? Essentially they are not getting to shift enough energy with the owner?

  13. kbehan says:

    Yes very well said. That degree of tension is how they feel connected to their owner, and the problem is that it is based on stasis and so can’t handle a high rate of change, this is why the dog resists being moved, he’s not really supple. For example, I can supple a dog and virtually mop the floor with the dog as he loves the physical disturbance, but when they’re holed up in their place, there’s a protective shell about the space, which makes sense when we regard that in the wild an animal has to sleep with one eye open. Then if the dog is of the brittle/fearful/reactive variety so that it growls when disturbed, this then becomes the organizing principle of its consciousness because it gets to download its charge.

  14. Christine says:

    So this is one of those “Aha” moments for me. I clearly see why Bodie doesn’t move now. He’s the one who started early on jumping up on my bed uninvited. He was my only dog at the time; I can’t remember how long I’d had him (my recollection, fuzzy tho it be, is that it was the 2nd winter I’d had him). He’d always slept on the floor beside my bed and then, I woke up one morning and there he was on my bed with me! I’d been sick with bronchitis or some such and hadn’t been sleeping well. I thought at the time he was just trying to comfort me…huh. He’s definitely not the brittle/fearful/reactive type as he never growls (that would be Duncan).

  15. Donnie_O says:

    Before I started crating Jinxsie, she would sometimes jump on the couch next to me if she wanted to go out. Now if she’s out of her crate and needs to go out often she’ll bring me a toy. Is this progress?

  16. kbehan says:

    Interesting, she’s objectifying the problem. This can now become the “group trigger” the goal around which to align and overcome your resistance. Good doggy!

  17. Lacey says:

    I just got an email from Amazon stating that my book has been shipped!! So excited!

    Side note: I have three painters working in my house this week and there is essentially no barking. Lou is staying put on his box and sniffing the air when they walk by my office. 🙂

  18. christine randolph says:

    I guess the problem with setting boundaries for pet dogs (bed furniture kitchen counter etc) who share our space is, that we have to work with our intuition and for many of us, this intuition has not been honed by experience as Kevin’s has. However, I think as a rule of thumb it is a very good idea to reinforce rules about boundaries if a dog shows an increase in undesirable behaviours…

  19. Rosie says:

    I wasn’t sure where to post this, but guessed it might fit here. If my back is sore I sometimes lie flat on the floor on my back. When I do so, one of my dogs always comes and lies at my head, in a straight line with me so we are touching head to head like dominoes. My other dog sometimes, but not always, comes over, but she lies against my side pressing into me. I assume this is reflecting access to me?

  20. kbehan says:

    Yes, every behavior is a function of attraction, and the feeling of connection is a state of alignment within this state of attraction, so this reveals how your two dogs embody two specific ways of aligning with you, and this is made most plain when you are on the ground and at your most “grounded” (most aware of your body via sore back) and available because your head is lowered to the ground. Whereas when you are upright then their personalities will be at two different states of “vibration” as a means of being in sync.

  21. Rosie says:

    Ok, I’m not sure I’ve got it. I think the dog at my head is attracted to me, but is less resolved. Lying at my head creates more energy, which must then be resolved. The dog at my side is more resolved and thus creates less energy by choosing to lie at my side?
    But I think I’m missing something about the pertinence of the head?

  22. kbehan says:

    I’m sure it would prove revealing why each dog complements you in a particular way when you are laying down, but I’m just commenting in the overall how this demonstrates on a physical level of expression, that all other aspects of their consciousness are also states of alignment as well. For example, their personalities are more elaborate expressions of this. For example, the dog that is closer to your head may be more needy and more concerned about getting your attention and furthermore, this may be the dog with which you identify the most closely. The other dog might be more about the flow and being aligned with you is gratifying enough. This would be a first means of approaching how to decipher it.

  23. Claire says:

    Eh…what? I don’t get this at all. Resonating energy at different levels? In conflict with the owners energy? How about we just look at it from a dogs point of view, in a dogs world, and realise that dogs live in packs and operate with a pack mentality, therefore it is up to us to understand this and help the dog live in our world by using the dogs psychology? Having a dog on your bed or sofa, is the dog saying it wants to be in the same space as the leader. It’s our job to teach it nicely, that no…’s position is lower, therefore on the floor. It’s all about understanding dog behaviour, not so much the vibrating energy being aligned.

  24. kbehan says:

    Perhaps you could expand on the psychology of a pack mentality. For example, what component of the behavior of dog-on-bed is instinctual reflex and what part is psychological? And in this pack mentality, is the fundamental category of owner that of a leader/follower or are there other categories as well? In such a psychology can a thought override an instinct?

  25. kbehan says:

    I don’t know if Claire is going to follow up further with a detailed critique, but I would invite anyone who believes in a pack mentality to jump in and explicate its psychology for us so that we can put this energy business to rest.

  26. amcquinn says:

    Hey Kevin,

    I’m reviewing your well-written article to quote you (fully referenced to your source of course) with regards to a blog article I’m forming on “The Anatomy Of The Bully” in human terms. The interesting thing about the essence of truth is how it always translates into various mediums, with less than a blip on the landscape, provided we have the organizing lens to transport it’s essence effectively. As a further illustration of your point, it is interesting to me that when you harness sound from a stage and transmit it through speakers at a rock concert positioning the tweeters and woofers slightly towards the center of the audience, the sound frequencies will eventually cross each other creating a “dead zone.” At this point, there is no perceived sound. The transmitted energies, cancel each other other out. In fact, the sound board is usually situated slightly behind or in front of this “point zero” in order to prevent some poor soul from purchasing a ticket for a vacuum of no sound! As you so astutely quote, “nature abhors a vacuum.”

    This is why, in homeopathic medicine, the Physician can not use the exact similitude of the disease agent without producing an undesired “aggravation” in the way of counter-symptoms in the patients. To cure a disease state (vibrational energy) the remedy (also a harnessed vibration) must be slightly attenuated, or stronger, in order to effect an energetic cure outright. It follows your aggressor/prey model quite nicely, I’m thinking and I’m looking forward to conceptualizing it into an article about kids and curative medicine. In my new book, I illustrate the same between the male and female principle and the arrival at sexual health or orgastic potency. Kicking and screaming, my research has me laying down the sword to acquiesce to your leadership in the mind through cognition, while I tow the line in spiritual wisdom through the function of coition. Turns out were just very fancy thinking pups with a flare for the aggressor/prey model after all! Fun stuff!

    On a side note, we’re living in the wilds of New Brunswick, now, kayaking, fishing and hunting with great zeal. Come visit with your Beloved if you feel inclined … we’d love to have you. Bring your sleeping bags!

  27. Joanne says:

    A related question to the discussion about sleeping on the bed and energy of the owner.

    “a dog needs a sense of place to itself just as we need a sense of time to ourselves IN ORDER TO FEEL CONNECTED. In other words, nature prefers assigned seating because feelings and thus actions can’t be synchronized when everyone ”vibrates” at the same frequency.”

    Does this then mean that a dog is better sleeping in a separate room in addition to not sleeping on the owners bed? Also what about households where there are more than one dog, should they be encourage to sleep separately from each other?

  28. kbehan says:

    If the owner likes the dog or dogs in their room, then that is fine. It’s the actual resting place that needs to be differentiated. As for multiple dogs, they will seek their own level so I’ve never found it to be an issue. I think they naturally gravitate to the “feng shui” that best suits them.

  29. Adam Silverman says:

    I was wondering what the training regimen would be for a dog that is currently sleeping on the bed, and furthermore, gets growly when one attempts to remove him from the bed. I remember in your first book you said something about tieing out the dog to the bed post, so that he eventually settles into the “right pitch?” Do you recommend something similar to this?

  30. kbehan says:

    Yes, first secure the dog to where you want him to sleep and this will address one aspect of the problem by creating a new preference over time. But it doesn’t cure the growling, it merely means that the dog is no longer ingesting something that is toxic to his system. It also bypasses the Up/Down training in futility regime, i.e. the dog gets up on the bed, the owner makes him get down, the dog gets up when the owner isn’t around, the owner makes dog get down when finally discovered, and on and on and on. The fundamental problem still remains, there is still energy being held back from the owner (as evidenced by the growling), and this has to be brought to the surface and channeled into Drive so that it can run to resolution and no longer serve as a block between dog and owner. This brings us to pushing, push/pull of war, and then the calming of any other triggers such as vet visits, nail trimming, dog aggression, noise phobia or whatever it happens to be.

  31. joanne says:

    This question may be too long for a blog – so apologies in advance if inappropriate.

    I have a situation that the bed discussion might help with. My two hounds often sleep on the sofa together – although one Logan (nervous) quite often ‘bosses’ the other Jack (sensitive) about. There have been a couple of nights in the least few weeks when I have been awakened by the sensitive one, Jack, whining gently but still lying on the sofa. He has come off the sofa reluctantly when I’ve gone over to see what is up, as if, (and I may be imagining it) he didn’t want to alert the other dog- who does growl at him quite often (presumably this is energy held back – from me or the other dog?). Jack came to sit near me but continued whining. I tried to get him leave the room, but that meant going past Logan. He was reluctant to do this, and only could be persuaded to leave the room when I opened the patio door and he realised he could get out a different way, much more animated/relieved.

    A bit of backgound might be useful – the nervous dog I got as a rescue about 3 years old a couple of years ago, having had Jack from a puppy. I brought home a puppy in October and the first night, although the puppy was not allowed to go near him, Logan sat in the corner drooling and shaking – very stressed. No idea why. Over the next few days we kept an eye on them and didn’t allow too much interaction. The pup was never left with the bigger dogs on their own. Then over the next few weeks, Logan would play with the pup but not let Jack near him, growling if he came near the pup. Now the pup is 9 months old and Logan is very growly with Jack – Jack is on tenderhooks and and avoids Logan when he feels Logan is edgey, he’s also growly at the puppy at times. I will let the pup play with Jack and keep Logan out of the way , which Logan will accept but something is driving Logan to want to intervene. The reason for mentioning the background is that I am wondering if there is something in the dynamics that is going on between the 3 dogs. Jack has also developed some skin complaint over the last few months where he chews at his rump to create bare patches – I feel this may have emotional roots and may also be related to the dynamics?

    I would be interested in your thoughts?

  32. Adam Silverman says:

    when you say ingesting something toxic, you’re referring to the internalized energy or stress caused by two beings in close proximity? Like two magnets of like polarity pushed together? And this is adaptive because it fuels the pack with stress required to defeat large prey animals.
    It’s funny because thinking about my own growly dog sleeping at the foot of the bed…when he moves in the night and I am awake it does arouse some anxiety and a bit of paralysis in me about what he is going to do next. I become tentative as I do not want my movement to induce growling or possibly a bite. Haha, my behavior is just like his. I may not be growling, but I am frozen with one eye open, just like he is when i move. I’m reliving a sort of physical memory of past conflict.

  33. kbehan says:

    When a dog sees another dog (or any complex object of resistance) it involuntarily projects its p-cog into its form. (in other words the resistance value inherent in the form of the thing triggers physical memory, the center point of which is the individual’s physical center of gravity. The reason this is adaptive and necessary is because it thereby divines center mass. This is exactly how a dog works itself to the exact midpoint of a heavy stick or rope toy). Now if the moment is conductive enough, then these physical memories of stress are converted into pleasure hormones/neurochemicals and the dog becomes the mirror (i.e. emotional counterbalance) to the object of its attraction because it can “let go” of its last .01% of physical memory (Deep Inner Stress) and thereby enter a state of emotional suspension (feeling of weightlessness/resonance.) Now whatever the object of attraction does feels good and physical memory as emotional ballast is making a feeling, i.e. new energy. Whereas if the dogs don’t get to a state of resonance, then the movements aren’t in sync and are apprehended as toxic (i.e. over-stimulation of balance circuitry rendering fear sensations.) So yes if two dogs come together and can’t smoothly “ground out” each others’ emotional current, then the pressure is perceived as toxic (electrostatics). If they can ground each other out, then the pressure is a feeling of arousal (magnetism) and continues to elaborate through sexual/sensual into social.
    If you’ve ever singed your finger on the hot wires of a toaster as you try to extract a piece of toast that is stuck, and then on another occasion stick your hand in the toaster and brush across wires that on this occasion are ice cold, you will still recoil in shock because the intensity of the cold sensation is perceived as the intensity of the red hot coil due to the affects of physical memory that has been stored and catalogued according to intensity values. As you stick your fingers into the toaster you will feel a bristle from these same affects and this is what a dog that is growling is feeling in its muzzle. This is also what you are feeling when you’re afraid of disturbing the dog. The dog’s growl is perceived as an electrostatic charge about to leap the gap and it makes our proximal body part tingle with sensations. How can I say that dog and human are the same in these energy states? Because no other explanation is logical.

  34. Adam Silverman says:

    “The reason this is adaptive and necessary is because it thereby divines center mass. This is exactly how a dog works itself to the exact midpoint of a heavy stick or rope toy).” I don’t understand how it divines center mass, or this example you provide. A dog feels that an object of attraction is in its own body, so that the objects movements induce the feeling of the dog’s own p-cog moving. Does this allow the dog to then better perceive how big the object is, or where it is going to move?
    And I just can’t wrap my mind around why/how the pleasurable experience of a conductive moment creates this mirror/counterbalance effect.

  35. kbehan says:

    Yes it does allow the dog to perceive where the object of attraction is going to move, however size in a dog’s mind is a function of resistance, rather than as a quality of one things’ bigness relative to another things quality of bigness. The center mass is divined precisely because the projection of the p-cog is experienced internally. So when the external object of attraction moves, the “projector” will feel moved in whatever direction it’s moving, and then will want to move in counterbalance to maintain equilibrium and so in this way it becomes acutely aware of its own center mass until it can pinpoint the object of attraction’s center mass. (This is what a basketball player is doing when sizing up his opponent dribbling down court. If he can sync up their respective center masses and motion, then he may be able to block their movement or intercept the ball.) If after this, it still feels in sync and in flow, then it is “digesting” the essence of the object of attraction and feels a pull toward it. Divining center mass is critical in the hunt because it informs the predator where to bite the prey as a purchase point for maximum physical leverage.

  36. Adam Silverman says:

    The dog counterbalances to maintain equilibrium. So if the dog has projected into another dog, and that dog moves away from him, he will feel the need to follow? And conversely, if the other dog approaches him, he will sort of take up the preyful polarity as a counterbalance? I’m trying to feel what it feels like.
    I like the clarification about mass though. Obviously the dog can’t conceive of mass as a quality of bigness, because that requires a theory of mind. So the resistance is the mass, the higher the resistance, the heavier the object of attraction feels. So does this explain the misinterpreted dominance/submission relationship when a particularly hardened/heavy dog approaches another dog, and the second dog just kind of rolls over?
    Also…when you say “if the moment is conductive enough,” this means if the moment is preyful enough right?

  37. Adam Silverman says:

    Also, is eye contact from the object of attraction onto the dog, required for this phenomenon of emotional projection?

  38. Skip Skipper says:

    We don’t allow our 2 dogs (Sierra 9 yr old female Great Dane/boxer, Sur 3 yr old male Mastif/pit) to sleep with us, however we have been letting them get up on our bed for a few minutes when we wake up. We also let them lay on the couch with us when we watch TV or read. My wife was eating a slice of pizza on the couch the other night and for the first time ever Sierra let out a brief low growl when Sur passed in front of her ( Sierra was up on the couch with my wife) Sierra’s normal resting place during the day has always been on the couch. My question is will I make it worse (adding stress) by changing the rules and constantly making her get off the couch. I’ve been doing the pushing and tug with both dogs for about 3 months. Sierra does well with the pushing but not so much with the tug. Sur does both well. Also we are moving to a new house in 9 days and lots of our stuff is in boxes around the house. My other question is should I just wait to make the changes when we get to the new house? Thanks

  39. Skip Skipper says:

    Sorry just remembered what my other questions were. How or should I keep them off the couch during the day when we’re not home. Do they feel some type of charge to the couch even when we are not sitting there? Thanks

  40. kbehan says:

    Yes, they feel the charge even when you’re not there, although degree of compression could be a lot less. In the beginning when you leave, just keep them off mechanically by confining them or putting stuff on couch, closing doors etc.. I would suggest not to invite on bed or couch when you’re there and you can start sooner rather than later. Interesting that Sur who does the better tug/push, didn’t growl but Sierra did. Good luck with your move.

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Books about Natural Dog Training by Kevin Behan

In Your Dog Is Your Mirror, dog trainer Kevin Behan proposes a radical new model for understanding canine behavior: a dog’s behavior and emotion, indeed its very cognition, are driven by our emotion. The dog doesn’t respond to what the owner thinks, says, or does; it responds to what the owner feels. And in this way, dogs can actually put people back in touch with their own emotions. Behan demonstrates that dogs and humans are connected more profoundly than has ever been imagined — by heart — and that this approach to dog cognition can help us understand many of dogs’ most inscrutable behaviors. This groundbreaking, provocative book opens the door to a whole new understanding between species, and perhaps a whole new understanding of ourselves.
  Natural Dog Training is about how dogs see the world and what this means in regards to training. The first part of this book presents a new theory for the social behavior of canines, featuring the drive to hunt, not the pack instincts, as seminal to canine behavior. The second part reinterprets how dogs actually learn. The third section presents exercises and handling techniques to put this theory into practice with a puppy. The final section sets forth a training program with a special emphasis on coming when called.
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