As mentioned earlier Gary Wilkes is a thoughtful writer on dogs and is willing to make definitive statements. Since some of these statements touch on my theory, I like to expound on these topics since I can contrast my model with a gene-centric interpretation as offered by Wilkes. We will find that gene-centric theories are recursive and always end up in self-contradicting logic loops.
This is what he has to say on the matter:
“Why do some dogs roll in dead things and poop? Because that is a behavior observed in canids. THAT is the explanation. Unless you have a way-back machine and can observe a function of this, you are simply blowing smoke when you offer an explanation.”
“SOME canids do this. That means it’s not as dominant a gene as noses, ears, four legs, tails or eyeballs. Not ALL canids do this. It’s likely a vestigial behavior that may or may not have had a purpose at one time, but didn’t limit the survival of those who possessed it. You can ‘maybe’ all you want, but there isn’t any need to explain it beyond this.”
KB: In other words if a gene-centric theory can’t explain something, then there is no need for an explanation.
Note that geologists don’t have a “way-back machine” and yet they are able to formulate informed explanations on past events based on what they can indeed know of geological processes they study in the present. Now the behavioral processes in the present, and can which help us make informed explanations on why dogs do what they do, are emotional processes. But unfortunately the gene-centric theorists are formulating explanations based solely on natural selection of genes, instincts and human conceptualizations of nature. They will even insert human thoughts into the mind of a dog (or any animal) in order to make the explanation seem complete. At least Wilkes is bold enough to indicate where he has reach an explanatory limit. But his premise that the explanatory possibilities have been exhausted is incorrect.
Wilkes on Emotion:
“There is no consensus. Without specific definitions, logical analysis is impossible. To say that all aggression is ‘fear based’ requires a solid definition of fear – yet none exists. The same is true of words like ’emotion’. The experts never bothered to explain the biological function of those things. …………
One of the things that are both incredibly important and poorly understood is ’emotion’. They are commonly thought of as ‘causative’ agents, but we then act as if they are not. If that sounds confusing, it’s because emotions have never been explained well enough.”
KB The most important component of animal behavior is emotion and yet behavioral sciences and those who think in depth about dogs have been busy constructing theories and explanations while admitting they don’t understand emotion, the most important fundamental of the animal mind and behavior.
Emotion is the confluence of physiology and neurology in service to locomotion. It is not fundamentally about survival of the individual or the species, but of establishing a networked consciousness through collectivized movements. This not only ensures survival but enables a trans-species communication that adds new energy to the system. Dogs are the exemplars of this emotional phenomenon which is how they flourish in tandem with humans.
Emotion as energy runs to ground just as all energies in nature run to ground. A “preyful aspect” which is anything to do with a body and even fresh snow, dew or the bio-musk of disturbed earth, is an emotional ground. When a dog experiences resistance to movement, this registers as tension in the tips of his shoulder blades and so ALL dogs roll on their backs to ground out this tension, and some seek out more vivid grounds (poop, blood, carrion, etc.) to release their muscular tension being held in the forequarters. The most important thing is to understand that the network is more elemental than genes. There is no gene or set of genes that encode for the V formation that geese fly in. Given their body plan it’s the only way they can cover great distances. Their locomotive rhythm causes them to network.
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Books about Natural Dog Training by Kevin BehanIn 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.|