First Structured Interaction With Strong-Natured Dog

In this video I introduce the extremely high prey “instinct” sable GSD to Huuney. Note that both dogs are restrained on/lead and this is so I can control what happens. Why do I need to control what happens? Because I’m afraid they might fight. Does this fear travel down the lead? No, because it doesn’t work that way so it’s okay to mechanically construct a scenario in honor of your fear and to take necessary precautions for the dog’s safety. I’ve done a lot of ground work to put both dogs in position to succeed here, and since I am very confident that dogs are social by nature, I know that sooner or later they will be able to connect with each other. And because I’m working from a model, I can watch what’s happening as indicators of success and thus can be guided to success in an objective step-by-step process. What’s going to happen is not up to me, I’m simply going to go by the model, all of which has been apprehended over the last decades by feel, then followed by thoughts so that it can be verbally articulated and disseminated.
In the beginning Huuney is jumping excitedly at the GSD, but she has a soft facial expression, her hind end is supple so there is a smooth flow of emotional current running through her body and she’s licking her lips, hence, she’s “tasting” the dog’s preyful essence from physical memory in her emotional battery and thus, she feels grounded. This means to me that whatever the dog does (of course up to a point of inflicting some degree of pain, and ultimately this can become very high resistance threshold indeed) will not make her feel “destabilized.” The GSD makes some very quick counter-moves as Huuney “lunges” toward him and just to be on the safe side I pull him off a couple of times. I do this because I have not yet observed the GSD make “traits on demand” to complement what Huuney is doing. (I want to emphasize that this dogs screams like a banshee when he sees another dog with hyper-manic-stimulated prey INSTINCT behaviors. He even attacked my neighbor’s harmless lab when let loose on a long/lead, which many aggressive dogs will not do, but I was able to pull him off. Yesterday he played with the lab which allows me to bump him up to a heavy hitter, i.e. Huuney.)
In the second approach we see the GSD begin to make a trait, i.e. he softens dramatically by deflecting his head side to side, and his tail is high and wagging loosely, like kelp on the ocean floor. I let Huuney get a good nasal ingestion and then allow the GSD to go head-to-head with her, and we can see Huuney become very soft in her eyes and completely still. This is the loading moment of tension and Huuney can feel the GSD’s volatility and is patiently waiting for the “collapse” which she perceives as the infusion of new energy rather than the upsetting trigger of old physical memories of fights she’s been in. The collapse then happens with what’s typically called play solicitation in the GSD but this became an “invitation to play” only because the GSD feels fully grounded into Huuney, and since she already feels that way to him, she reciprocates by flipping polarity and laying down to complement his highly active state. She’s reactive and direct (laying down and fixatedly looking at his eyes), he’s active and indirect (up and bouncy and deflecting his head to the side), thus they can fit together in that moment of high, high energy transfer.
Because the GSD feels fully grounded into Huuney, and lets go of his reserve energy, this recapitulates the physical memories of puppyhood and so his puppy mind takes over and in this emotional state, he cannot bite hard, but with a soft mouth. The indication that he feels and has released his “self” (sense of physical center-of-gravity) into Huuney is that he is trying to grip her neck (the point of maximum physical leverage) and roll his heart over her neck and ultimately her shoulder region, so this biomechanical alignment between them will ultimately result in their physical connection of heart-to-heart. In other words, they are both subliminally referencing their hearts and their bodies are trying to connect in an emotional state of “nuclear fusion.” This is prey drive (steady state energy transfer) as opposed to prey instinct (load/overload prey instinct).
Because the GSD male isn’t neutered, now his sexuality, which to date has given him more energy than he was able to channel, and also had attracted the attacks of other dogs (due to the societal judgment against male energy) and thus was in a limited way of seeing things the source of the problem, now is working for him, so that no matter what Huuney does, it merely makes him feel even more aroused and enlivened through his hunger circuitry. Thus the profound smelling and no noise is being made by either dogs since they are so grounded into each other, i.e. sexually aligned and emotionally syncopated.

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Published September 5, 2011 by Kevin Behan
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One response to “First Structured Interaction With Strong-Natured Dog”

  1. Angelique Lee says:

    Thanks Kevin, this was really great commentary with the video. I still need to get out to see you with Miss Baker, but we are a bit landlocked right now, maybe in October.

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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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