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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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.