Flip Flopping Polarities

In response to Annie’s question about Luke and Huuney, yes, Luke can be a great flip/flopper. I used to say flipping polarities for both front-to-back spinning ← → and top-to-bottom ↓ ↑ rolling over, but I’ve added “flopping” to make the distinction between the two because while they are related they are indeed separate phenomenon. And yes Huuney was shaking off tension and this was in order to loosen up her shoulders so that she could get back to flipping and flopping. She was choosing to relax her shoulders.  The dog’s body/mind is composed of four quadrants of a circle, flipping and flopping (← → ↓ ↑ ) occurs when they feel connected with their surroundings as the four quadrants of their body/mind is now feeling integrated with their surroundings. Therefore, when encountering a complex object of resistance (such as another dog) and it is putting out the ← forward thrust vibe, then they flip polarity and display the reverse thrusts vibe ← and this means they can both fit into the same frame of reference. (← ←). And if the complex object of resistance is putting out the ↑ upward thrust vibe, then they can complement with the flopping over vibe ↓ and again this means they can fit into the same frame of reference (↓ ↑). Whereas these two conditions (→ ←) or (↑ ↑) don’t complement each other this increases tension and that can lead to “sparking,” i.e. arcing-across-the-gap.  Also if both are (← →), or, (↓ ↓) from the network point of view this is no good BECAUSE NO WORK WILL GET DONE, i.e. they are too afraid or flaccid to be able to turn resistance into new energy and this leads to its own class of dysfunction that is functional as it will push the dog toward sparking and making resistance in some other area. (This is why there is so much anxiety aggression and separation issues going on in dogdom today.)

Now, when a dog wants something, his shoulder muscles tense up as the simple mechanical response required to overcome the resistance between himself and what he wants, this provides the UPWARD thrust (↑ maintains equilibrium) to get from point A to B so as to make contact with the object of desire. But then when the dog arrives at the point of making contact, if the dog can’t soften his shoulders so as to complement a “complex object of resistance” (i.e. another dog) and if that other dog also has a high degree of shoulder tension, (which is highly likely given that it had to brace itself as it sees a dog running toward it) then sparks may fly because the increased tension of UP meeting UP overwhelms the dogs’ sense of what’s happening within itself. In an UP-to-UP encounter all the dog can feel is electrostatic-like pressure of head-on-head which is derived from the physical memory of its physical center-of-gravity traveling to its jaws/mouth as it seizes an object that it has projected its physical center-of-gravity into in order to catch it. In other words, imagine the intensity of a dog racing toward and then catching a Frisbee (it projected its p-cog into object and then fit it back into its mouth) and then carry this intensity forward and place it into the sensations of a head-to-head confrontation. THE TWO ARE THE SAME (however the Frisbee is conducting the intensity because the dog can grip it with full force in the same frame of reference) and so when the two dogs can’t fit together because there isn’t any flipping and/or flopping going on, it feels this intense pressure stuck in its muzzle and this conundrum is then associated with the feeling of a locked up front quarters. This is a problem because the shoulder muscles serve as a hinge for the dog to flip and/or flop and if they’re tight, then the dog can’t adapt to the complex object of attraction and the intensity of the resistance of the situation. (However, many dogs after an initial spark then feel relaxed and sociability ensues but this is mostly only true for dogs with a weaker nature. They then come to associate tension with the buildup and the collapse into sociability and so they become reliably social because they can get out of tense situations because they carry the imprint that tension-leads-to-softness. However dogs with a strong nature, when they spark, it is of volcanic proportions and they then get addicted to tension as a means of getting to the eventual overload and relief, and then no matter what happens, even if they lose the fight, they do feel relief and that’s all they can learn.)

A dog can choose to soften any part of its body if that satisfies the flow dynamic (↑↓).  ITS MIND THEN FOLLOWS. Everyone is concentrating on what’s in the dog’s brain, when we should be concentrating on what’s happening in its anatomy, in particular, the locked up forequarters!!!! The shoulder assembly is a virtual valve that converts an electrostatic frame of reference to a magnetic one. The virtual Heart as the master valve is the key to sociability.

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Published July 8, 2011 by Kevin Behan
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13 responses to “Flip Flopping Polarities”

  1. Alwynne says:

    Hi Kevin, thanks so much for these articles–they have really helped me understand what you mean by working on a dog’s ability to be soft in order to help it deal with other dogs. I tested things out with Cholula, and sure enough, when we are out and about on the street or in the front yard, while she will now pretty reliably push and eat food and is even doing pretty well with the heel training–and all of this has helped so much us navigate dog encounters–I cannot soften her shoulders or push her onto her back. In fact, when I try to massage, it’s easy to see the tension running straight through her ears and head to her shoulders. In the house, where she will play with her toy, I got her to chase me for the toy and then she was willing to let me push her over and give her a good stroking. The back yard is an intermediate area, where we do a lot of our initial training, but even there, she did not want to flop over for me. Can you suggest steps to take to get your dog to be willing to soften and drop for a massage after pushing or other work in order to help them learn this ability to flip more easily?

  2. kbehan says:

    With “problem” dogs, deep down is the fear valve in the deep gut and this is closed due to the vibration of panic. This vibration radiates outward as the intensity in a dog’s personality and is also manifest in the locked up shoulder muscles in every day action. When Cholula encounters her trigger, this panic then comes out in a focused expression and the panic is released with the rigidity of the “upward thrust” (locked up shoulder assembly) transferring the force of the rear end into forward momentum (think of it like a pole vault) so that the dog can surmount a barrier of resistance. So after that panic discharge, this is the best opportunity for softening the shoulders. Sometimes I play bite with my hands with a dog to get them “mad” at me, or do really, really vigorous pushing/hard body contact (be very careful), or we scramble over some difficult climbing rocks together to soften the balance problem, or we do some fence fighting together so I can praise them intensely and channel that into an acceptable bite object. There are a number of ways. First, however, do a lot of belly rubbing and deep massage indoors. Then while dog is enjoying your touch, have family member approach and make sweety pie talk, and see if you can train the dog that your soft touch is more pleasurable than their intense personality. If you do enough of this, that physical memory will become more readily available before and after you encounter a dog on the street. See if you can arrange for neighbor of “that dog” to be outside in its yard when you’re ready to try this out after laying down the above foundation. The main point is that the dog’s personality is a “panic scam,” it’s not cognitive, it’s how the dog has learned to cope with its present situation given its physical memory of emotional experience.

  3. AZStu says:

    I have been having good success with a down/stay while other dogs are around and have been working on softening her in intense moments through vigorous contact.Once I got over the fear that she wouldn’t bite me in intense moments as long as I didn’t take the contact too far, I feel things have improved. I have been working on putting her in a down while she is high energy and then stalking her while encouraging her to bark at me as I approach, then looming over her while she barks (sometimes holding a treat or toy) which induces her to flip over on her back then I ask her to bark at me while on her back which has progressed from —> sneeze—-> paw the air wildly—-> squirm —-> bark. From this polarity, I’ll release her to play tug or fetch. Has anyone else worked on this combination? Would be interested to here any thoughts. I have also done a variation of this but instead of barking, she grips the toy in her mouth through the routine.

  4. kbehan says:

    As far as I know you are sailing into uncharted waters, but I like your Magellan spirit. The roll over on back posture can be very energizing to dogs and so I do take advantage of that to induce a soft dog to want to bite a toy as way of getting the juices moving, but thereafter I desist as I want the dog to learn that passivity in the face of hostility can reflect the fear of aggressor right back at aggressor, i.e. emotional jujitsu. So I like that position to be on the soft and calm side, I don’t want to adrenalize the dog in this situation and so I don’t go for the bark. But who knows, this could be a good way to get a soft dog to begin to bark. I also use the down/stay as a way of teaching a problem barker not to bark, so that’s another reason I don’t do that. Also, you may find the dog “volunteering” this behavior when the intensity of a down/stay situation gets really high so then it could come back to haunt you. And finally, it’s easy to go from soft to intense, and much harder to go from intense to soft, so I keep what I do on that cycle. But you may be on the way to finding a new passageway to the West so I like your creativity.

  5. AZStu says:

    Haha, I like your appraisal. Then I will keep on doing what I’m doing for the sake of charting new waters. I mostly just adapt what I read in NDT books/blogs/ and forums in an endlessly varying experiment to get her happily flip polarities with sometimes dismal results. As far as barking on her back, it was a very difficult behavior for her to elicit, the energy was getting stuck and forcing her to spring on her feet. I felt that it was a good thing to encourage because I envisioned the bark as creating a “force” that would push her top-line into the ground while she was energized but relaxed and in a vulnerable position.She has been squirming a lot more on the ground of late, I think in proportion to the charge she acquires during a down stay as well as her choosing to “shake it off” ( any term for this? I like the new addition of “flip-flop” to the NDT lexicon. ) more. An interesting thing that has happened is that the request for her to relieve herself has dovetailed to include this squirming which shows that they are both grounding behaviors. I hadn’t thought about the “volunteering” potential, will have to mull it over and keep an eye on the behaviors that surround the barking. A heartfelt thanks for providing all your hard-earned knowledge and fostering the NDT online community.

  6. Ben says:

    I recently introduced Nelly to my sister’s newly adopted puppy named Forest. He is a 6 mo old neutered male (no idea what breeds!). I introduced them with NDT methods — first met through a fence where the puppy had free reign to come and go, and I tugged and pushed with Nelly until she was at a level that would not overwhelm him. Once they synchronized some through the fence, we took them for a short walk and then straight into the backyard where they romped around.

    Here is a video of their 3rd or 4th play session together: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVandnb5MU4

    It’s cool to see her collapse her front end to entice him to play more, and it’s also fascinating to me how much he can tug and rip at her jowls without so much as a peep from her. She really seemed to love it when he had her by the neck! Notice too how she “body checks” him and bumps her backside against his. This coming from a dog that normally hyperventilates and panics around other dogs.. it was cool to see how emotionally flexible she can be in the right setting. I like to think some of our NDT training has helped 🙂

  7. kbehan says:

    Whole lot of rub-a-dubbing going on. Nellie is discovering that it feels better to receive than to give. She’s mastering how to use a dog to bring pleasure to her “self” by being soft and preyful, just as she was as a young puppy. This is why it hurts-so-good. BTW, I think we can give you and NDT credit for Nellie becoming re-sensualized rather than desensitized. Keep On Pushing!

  8. Lacey says:

    Ben that is awesome! Oh my gosh! Look at Nelly all happy and healthy. The day Lou plays with a dog like that I will whoop for joy so loud that Kevin will hear me at his house 🙂 I think you are feeling the satisfaction of overcoming a big obstacle – you’ve been NDT’ed. 🙂

  9. Christine says:

    Loved the vid clip Ben…this looks a lot like how my Duncan and Diva play together; Duncan is always the one in the down polarity and grinning like a fool! ♥

  10. Christine says:

    Just came across this and found it fascinating. http://www.flowpower.com/What%20is%20Synchronicity.htm
    Does synchronicity have anything to do with the “subliminal beams” that you’ve mentioned; one directed outward and one directed inward?
    Just curious…

  11. kbehan says:

    I think that some of the extraordinary things occur when the two nervous systems (Central and Enteric) achieve an internal state of resonance with the surroundings, and this involves the subliminal and external focal beams, that there can be these quantum entanglements that can then inform a feeling with such deep understanding. Good stuff, it’s more than we’ve ever imagined.

  12. Christine says:

    The Universe is endlessly interesting (for lack of a better word) and your theories have opened up a whole new perspective for me to explore. The topics you discuss, your viewpoints and the books you have written, all add a deeper level of understanding for me. I see the interconnectedness of life in ways that I had never before considered, at least not intellectually. I’ve always done the research behind your theories, just to assure myself that you are not just another nut-job! lol You haven’t disappointed yet ~ smiling.

    All this new information has set my feet on a new journey and is opening up so many new doors for me to explore. Just wanted you to know the good affects you have on others, people as well as their canine companions 😀

    One of these days I’ll muster up the energy to mosey on over to Vermont so we can chat it up live and in person, when I have the time available to make the trip in a leisurely fashion without having to rush-there and rush-back for work. You have been warned! hehehe

  13. kbehan says:

    Thanks Christine, I’m just going to keep pushing to make the theory more accessible, in the meantime I appreciate your positive feedback.

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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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