Jayward Thinking and Self-Defeating Logic Loops

One of the reasons the energy argument I’m making on this website strikes some as stupendous is because unless one can articulate the distinction between emotion and instinct, and between a feeling and a thought, then one doesn’t know what emotion is or what a feeling is, which means the terms will be used loosely and lead to contradictions. Complex, socially adaptive and time-deferred and coherent behavior will reflexively be attributed to thoughts.

For example in Billy’s statement — “The first domesticated dog’s would have responded much the same way dog’s do now, and that is mostly from a hierarchical pack mindset. All it has to do with feelings, is where the dog feels it fits into the pack.”—is blending feeling and thinking into one thing. If a dog feels its way into some kind of order then it cannot be thinking and therefore this can’t be a pack that is headed by a leader. So is it feeling or is it thinking its way into its place within the pack? Is it overriding a feeling in deference to a thought, if so then what about the instinct component? Is it overriding the feeling plus an instinct with a thought? That would mean you can’t say dogs are pack animals according to a dominance/submissive instinct because with the injection of thoughts into the formula the pivotal issue now becomes whether the dog or wolf is thinking about overriding an instinct or not, and in that case therefore thoughts are preeminent over instinct. So if Billy is arguing that it’s thinking about the prospects of achieving dominance relative to settling for submissiveness, and then choosing between these alternatives, then why can’t a group of dogs or wolves all choose to be submissive like African Wild Hunting dogs? Why can’t they choose to be neither, is dominance and submission all they can think about? In these thought-centric models we’re presented with endless self-contradictory logic loops. The biggest one being the use of the term energy everywhere in the discussion on dogs on the web, be it pack theory or positive camp, but which apparently no one actually believes.

The presumption that Billy is working from, and yet without a critical examination of this assumption, is that there is not a universal operating system to animal consciousness, which would be odd in the natural scheme of things because for example we find photosynthesis is the universal operating system of all green plants, a pretty broad range of diverse life forms occupying all environmental niches, and we find that all genes of every organism are composed from the same two pairs of amino acids, and here we are on the internet communicating because all computers no matter their make or model run on the same binary digital system. So if Billy believes in making an argument for animal behavior based on evolution by way of common descent, then he is going to have a tough time coming up with a consistent model for animal and human consciousness without a universal operating system because that is the only possibility logically consistent with the fundamental tenet of modern evolution by way of common descent. This logical shortcoming is why in modern behaviorism/biology there isn’t a coherent explanation for sexuality, personality or the nature of emotion, it’s constantly tripping over its thought-centric interpretations of behavior since it hasn’t critically examined the notion it has taken as self-evident that there isn’t a universal operating system of animal consciousness.
On the other hand a coherent model is immediately available in an energy theory. While I don’t claim to be an expert with any animal other than the dog, the topic of all animal behavior is germane to any discussion of dogs because I’m maintaining that there is a universal operating system to animal consciousness, the human animal as well, with dogs being the easiest specimen to examine in this regard because dogs go more by feel, less by instinct (and not at all by thinking) than any other animal. This lends to an innate capacity for adaptability because dogs are able to devolve complex situations to their primal emotional values (via the neotony/sexuality phenomena) of predator relative to prey, and therefore they are able to generate coherent responses in real time and in perfect context to the emotional nuance of any group dynamic they find themselves in. In other words, they operate more generally from the universal operating system of animal consciousness which gives them a greater emotional capacity to communicate and connect with the widest array of other species and under a very high rate of change (and thus only the dog has proliferated in every aspect of human life and civilization.)

In an energy model, all behavior is a function of attraction and always proceeds from predator to prey, from that which projects emotion to that which can absorb it, be it a Robin on a worm, a horse eating grass, two lovers, a mother and her baby (“You’re so cute I could EAT you up.”) or two blue jays looking at each other. It’s impossible to have an emotional response to something without occupying either the predator or the preyful polarity, and all you have to do is examine the intuitive use of language to see this operating system functioning within the highest reaches of the human intellect. One cannot hold a conversation without alternating between projecting and absorbing energy.
Every animal has a predatory aspect relative to a preyful aspect, just as every atom has a ratio of a negative charge relative to a positive charge. A bunny rabbit is in the overall what we call a prey animal, but it still has a predatory aspect (just ask Jimmy Carter). So blue jays have both a predatory aspect relative to a preyful aspect.

Billy states that predatory energy is only concerned with procurement of food — ” The blue jay has NO predatory “energy” unless it is actually in the act of seeking food.” — this is an illogical statement if one has ever worked a protection or police dog. The strongest urge is to bite, not to eat. Dogs don’t chase cars in the hopes of eating one and neither do wolves kill the moose with the intention of eating it. To grasp the overarching importance of the prey drive one might want to reexamine the nature of sexuality, it’s too ribald a discussion for these pages but it sure looks like prey-making to me. Consider that the oldest relationship between living things on earth isn’t parent/offspring, male/female, peer to peer, but predator to prey, as in an amoeba, protozoa, bacterium, or virus making prey on other amoeba, protozoa, bacterium and ingesting something. Again if your argument is based on the evolution of animal consciousness by way of common descent, you might want to consider that the predator/prey dynamic is the only logical overarching template for all subsequent relationships that then evolved from simple organisms to complex ones, such as parent/offspring, male/female, peer-to-peer.

Billy said: “Corvids (such as Jays) use tools to solve problems, acting like a hawk would be a very useful tool.”
I’ll venture an opinion on tool use in birds in a later article, but consider the logic of what you’re saying. If a jay can use tools to solve problems by way of thinking, and can mimic a hawk to scare off its fellow jays in a strategy of subterfuge, how do you keep that thinking genie in its bottle? The only logical response is that the thinking, problem solving bird is constrained by its anatomy and physiology so that it can’t think its way outside its niche box because of physical constraints. But that argument immediately contravenes the central tenet of evolutionary biology that every component of the system has to pull its weight or else it’s discarded due to an unnecessary drain on its resources and ultimately losing out to its competitors. According to mainstream evolutionary theory, if the organism can’t expand its niche by developing an adaptation, then it doesn’t need the adaptation. In the eighties the evolutionary mantra of mainstream science was the big brain, the big brain, the big brain: and also all the dog experts and scientists were looking for the genes for aggression. (Natural Dog Training is the only model not predicated on gene-centric theories, anticipating epigentics) But now modern biology confronted with the problem that bigger brained species than homo-sapiens (Boskopf and possibly Neanderthal) went out of existence, are postulating the evolutionary advantage of the lesser sized brain over the bigger brain since it’s less a drain on physiological resources. It’s constantly contradicting itself because it has no model for animal consciousness when it should be saying, “Uh-Oh, if birds with a brain the size of a walnut are using tools, maybe the use of tools is a no-brainer. Maybe Birds aren’t actually “solving problems” in the way the human intellect reflexively thinks of such instances. Maybe we’re seeing what we think we should see just as one it sure did seem self-evident that the sun goes around the earth.
Prey drive IS the most important thing to a dog, it’s why we call them “canines” after the teeth for holding onto the prey. The purpose of sociability is to facilitate the hunt, not companionship. No other interpretation of the canine nature can encompass the phenomenon of canine evolution, the domestication of the dog, the nature of canine service in the employ of man, the adaptability of the modern pet dog to the emotional nuance of its family so as to render companionship. Natural Dog Training is an intellectually rigorous synthesis of the evidence and the criticisms of NDT and an energy model are never substantive, merely declarative. To substantively critique this energy model one must define emotion, sexuality, neotony, personality, drive, sociability, evolution, domestication, consciousness in a straight line synthesis of the evidence.

Dog training has indeed changed over the centuries. The domestic dog evolved through the hunt. Then the modern dog training industry in the sixties lost sight of it, and now all training systems are migrating back to the prey drive while simultaneously resisting the logical conclusion of what this reveals. A self-defeating logic loop.

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Published August 22, 2010 by Kevin Behan
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13 responses to “Jayward Thinking and Self-Defeating Logic Loops”

  1. christine randolph says:


    lately the skull shape of dogs has been discussed a lot in the media….

    it seems to me as though it would help to talk about something more measurable like trainability when dogs’ thoughts feelings instincts and so on and so forth are such a mystery.

  2. Heather says:

    I feel VERY slow on the uptake, but I just realized that dogs, wolves, etc. are not “taught” to hunt, they do not even know that they are hunting, right? I hope not, because I am really tired from fighting with my brain right now, and I don’t think dogs are using their energy that way.

  3. christine randolph says:

    this is the thing. a human can say: i am hunting. i have just hunted. I am hungry but i do not feel like hunting, not even in the refrigerator. my ancestors hunted tens of thousands of years ago. with wolves as seen on pictoglyphs in many parts of the world.

    a dog, scientists might think, cannot say that. cannot make statements about themselves. this is the theory-of-mind conundrum.
    because dogs do not have the same way of communicating via language, we do not really know if they can have thoughts about themselves to assess their own situation. we think NOT because they are not at that place in evolution.
    with dogs, there is a different circuitry at work. maybe the hunger circuitry etc. as per Kevin…i.e. the more hungry they are, the more inclined they are to hunt.

    but they most likely do not know that about themselves. they do not think, oh if I do not get something to eat in the next 24 hours I am REALLY going to want to hunt.

    I think dogs also fight with their brains
    apparently they do displacement behaviours which are behaviours inadequate to the situation, when 2 equally strong stimuli “confuse” a dog/animal.

  4. Donnie_O says:

    @Heather: When I think about learning-by-feel, the first thing that comes to my mind is learning how to ride a bike. I don’t recall ever once thinking about the rate that I pedalled at, grip pressure on the handlebars or anything else. I just did whatever felt right and kept energy moving. It was a completely emotional way of learning and even though that entire lesson was never mental I’ve never forgotten it. This is similar to how I think dogs learn hunting behaviours: through chasing their mother around for milk and playing with each other.

  5. christine randolph says:


  6. Christine says:

    I have a scar on my chin as a reminder of falling off and landing, chin first, on the handle bar. Had to have stitches for that one! Of course, I was trying to ride the bike with a flat tire and made a sharp turn, which I obviously wasn’t able to maneuver‼ LOL

  7. Christine says:

    @Donnie_0…that’s actually a very apt analogy and I think it fits well. I’ve often pondered the challenge of explaining how wolves learn to hunt by feel not by intellect and your illustration works beautifully! I’ll let you know the results when I get to use it…

  8. Adam says:

    I keep going over in my head the argument stated in the 6th paragraph…”how do you keep that thinking genie in its bottle? The only logical response is that the thinking, problem solving bird is constrained by its anatomy and physiology so that it can’t think its way outside its niche box because of physical constraints. But that argument immediately contravenes the central tenet of evolutionary biology that every component of the system has to pull its weight or else it’s discarded” I think I need a more concrete example. So in the case of the dog, when you say…”how do you keep that thinking genie in its bottle,” you are saying that if a dog is capable of concepts, cognitive schemas, etc., then why can it not talk, for example. The obvious answer…oh it is limited by its anatomy, its vocal apparatus. But then this contradicts evolutionary theory because if its brain supports the ability to speak, then its vocal apparatus as it is now would have been discarded or improved to match its cognitive abilities? But then I was thinking…well nature wouldn’t necessarily select for a vocal apparatus that enabled speech. Not having the vocal apparatus to speak wouldn’t disable a dog from being able to survive. It’s not like the example from science class of the giraffe with the longer neck being selected because other giraffes unable to reach the leaves would die. The shorter necked giraffes are “discarded” because they have low survivability. But it does not seem like a weak vocal apparatus would so clearly eliminate a dog from surviving and propagating.
    It might not make any sense, but I’m trying to wrap my mind around your initial statement. A hypothetical evolutionary example would help me to better understand. Thanks.

  9. kbehan says:

    Thanks for the question. My main argument isn’t that dogs can’t think because they can’t talk and that nature doesn’t waste evolutionary resources on useless adaptations, (which of course is ultimately true, but who can claim to see enough of the big picture accounting process to say what is useful versus useless from a long enough perspective) although you’re right that this is the critique by way of parody that is generally made of my argument (as in dogs can’t think because dogs can’t fly jumbo jets). I’m sure someone might argue that a dog’s bark, whine and whimper is enough functionality to justify committing developmental resources to the evolution of inner thoughts without having to go so far as to talk. But again I would counter that these make more sense as expressions of energy, that then trigger syncopating actions in objects of attention.
    My main argument is that the interpretation that animals think is illogical. First of all, it requires that behavior is inherently random and that complex capacities emerge without precedent. Therefore this means that animals aren’t connected, which should be true if we’re going to believe that animals evolved by way of common descent. Secondly this gene-centric view means that survival and reproductive mandates are the most powerful influences on behavior and both of these are easily shown to be false, 1) dogs do everything in a circle and so there is an organizing template to behavior. 2) There is one fundamental Drive, i.e. the Drive-To-Make-Contact (this generates complexity through the principle of emotional conductivity) and we can see in dogs that this is far more powerful a motivation than survival or reproduction.
    Also, if animals could think, then evolutionary processes would fall apart as animals would no longer be constrained to environmental niches, as man for example isn’t (from the short-term perspective).
    Finally, since it is human reflex to attribute thoughts to intelligent behavior (but what is actually complex adaptive sociability) we should be immediately suspicious of this current trend to personify animal behavior.
    A good hypothetical example which I might have mentioned earlier is the fact that deer can’t evolve to look up for danger.

  10. Adam says:

    Thank you. Two other questions that have arose recently. They may have been covered previously but I’m not sure where on this site. Firstly, the mainstream interpretation of “lip-licking” in a wolf pack is that the “lickee” regurgitates food in order to provide for its young. This means-end reasoning is far-fetched, so what is it exactly that induces the wolf to throw up its food. The older wolf feels compression from the young up in its face and this makes him/her feel nauseous? I’ve been in situations with people “up in my face” and one definitely feels it in their stomach. But why not lash out to stop him/herself from the “feeling of falling?” In other words, why does the charged situation result in vomitting instead of a fight? My other question that I may have asked before…almost unanimously I see dogs going into a sit, but doing it very deliberately. I think it occurs often when the situation changes, or an additional factor comes into play, and my interpretation is they sit as a solution…it makes them feel better or something. Like I recently walked past a bunch of strays and knelt down at a distance. One of them came over to me rather easily, and the other…clearly wanted to, but felt that he couldn’t and did this very deliberate sit. It seemed so meaningful to me. What’s going on here?

    Oh and what do you mean by the deer can’t evolve to look up for danger. I’ve definitely seen deer look up when sensing something different.

  11. christine randolph says:

    niche or not, if we really get global warming or cooling for whatever reason co2 or volcanic eruptions or a meteorite i bet the dogs of this planet are a lot happier living around the equator/at the poles than 4 billion people unless someone starts building comfy habitats for humans there. and some sort of climate change profilactic infrastructure

  12. kbehan says:

    1) We must consider the regurgitation phenomenon in terms of a group mind. The emotional attraction between wolves (or any animal) is predicated on the phenomenon of emotional projection, i.e. the projection of the “self” (the emotional center-of-gravity) into the object of affection. This then triggers physical memories, the stronger the hunger involvement, the softer the memory and the animal then perceives the preyful essence of what it is attracted to rather than just focusing on the form. This allows it to have a new experience. Whereas the stronger the balance engagement, the more the animal focuses on the predatory aspect and in this case goes by the form of the thing and thereby merely relives the past. (The act of smelling softens the perception of the form into a perception of the essence which is why dogs are driven to smell the mouths and tears of other dogs as they warily keep an eye on its eyes.)
    So the adult wolves project without reserve into the cubs because at the infant phase of their life, the cubs are much more preyful than predatory and the adults can’t hold their “self” back. And therefore because of this complete emotional projection, as they leave the den, the adults feel an increasing pull toward the cubs they leave behind just as if they are attached by an elastic cord. This then closes a valve so that what they may kill on the hunt doesn’t pass from their stomachs into the intestines for full digestion. Their stomach churns as the food is predigested an internal source of distress, which they associate with the powerful emotional pull they feel toward the cubs. So they feel pulled to return to the den to relieve this distress, which is plainly visible on their expressions as they are confronted by the mobbing cubs getting in their face. However they are emotionally paralyzed by the prey-like cubs acting predator like and they can’t lash out because the cubs being so prey-like are pure expressions of their “self.” They feel compelled to vomit as they want to push out this internal distress toward what they are simultaneously most attracted to, the cubs. Since the prey controls the predator, the cubs are in control of the adults, the adults are not consciously feeding the cubs, even though they will hustle back with the grub.
    2) The sit happens as if the dog is pondering the situation, because you are observing the mirroring phenomenon. The dog is feeling attracted and perceiving your essence (hunger circuitry which softens its body and especially the rump), but not enough confidence to go forward and so is “flipping polarity” and stabilizing its “self” by pushing its butt to the ground, which is also an indirect means of making contact with you. It’s feeling connected to you by sitting because it has already projected its “self” into your form and sitting makes it easier for it to hold on to its attraction to you due to the intensity of the situation with which it’s not fully comfortable. Meanwhile it’s also acting as a mirror, i.e. emotional counterbalance, to the other dog which is actively expressing its feeling of attraction by going to you and making contact in a direct manner. The dog is FEELING (not figuring out) how to be a mirror within this complex dynamic and when we understand how this complex behavior is an expression of the group mind ends up being far more meaningful that were we to project our thoughts into what’s going on and merely end up seeing the dog sitting as an act of rational deliberation.
    3) When on the lookout for predators, deer scan the near and the far horizon, but not the high horizon, and even though they may look up for low hanging fruit. They cannot evolve to do so because then the predators that drop down from trees would not be able to eat, and since the predator is the heart of the ecosystem, this would violate network protocols for evolution.

  13. Chris says:

    Thank you for the explanation of the dog sitting. Ty has done what I’ve always called a military type sit since he was a pup and I never understood it. Thanks to NDT I don’t see if so often these days but great to understand what it means.

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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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