Hunting is the Canine Nature

Little by little the NDT thesis is trickling into common understanding. Stanley Coren recently took note of the Mammoth Megasite interpretation by Pat Shipman and wrote a very good article in summation.

However this understanding of the canine mind I discovered simply by studying the behavior of dogs without reading human thoughts into their minds. From the vantage point of this immediate-moment manner of analysis that I began in the seventies, hunting as the basis of the emotional bond between humans and dogs became clear. And I arrived at this conclusion in contravention to the prevailing scientific consensus that dogs had been fundamentally altered by the hand of man, that submissiveness and docility was the key to the domesticated dog, and that to understand the animal mind one had to study specimens in the wild. What struck me in particular about Dr. Coren’s article was his concluding passage:

“Still, the idea that the little dog at my feet started off as a mammoth hunter is intriguing.”

           One needn’t travel to an exotic place to peer at gorillas to get closer to nature; it exists by our feet, great wonders of        nature–an important link between man and the wild kingdom. Don’t take dogs for granted; study them closely, and when they’re scratching at the back door, let them in, and let nature in with them.

“Natural Dog Training” 1992

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Published June 18, 2014 by Kevin Behan
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One response to “Hunting is the Canine Nature”

  1. Julie Forlizzo says:

    If dogs are not “intelligent” by reason, but are intelligent by feel, can one dog or breed of dog be more “intelligent” than another? I’m not referring to what a dog is bred to do better than another. Is there such a thing as not being intelligent in the nature of dogs? Many dog owners say their dog is TOO smart.

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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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