Objects, and the process of Objectification as a Function of Emotional Conductivity

“Movement is the only way we have of interacting with the world, whether foraging for food or attracting a waiter’s attention. Indeed, all communication, including speech, sign language, gestures and writing, is mediated via the motor system.”

Daniel Wolpert Phd.


To repeat, full emotional conductivity is moving without restriction. This kind of movement is characterized by two distinct beats wherein all four feet are off the ground and the individual is quite literally suspended in mid-air, one beat being all four legs fully extended, the other beat being all four legs fully collected. Physical memory supplies this feeling as a dog’s measure as to whether or not it is engaging successfully in any particular circumstance. (This manner of analysis is consistent with the Constructal law. Objects of attraction compel an organism to move, and to move with greater and greater ease. Thus as we shall see in subsequent posts, objects of attraction that resist movement, will create a higher, social motive to incorporate them into the configuration as an improvement of flow.)


Therefore given the above, how does an object come into an animal’s mind? The process of objectification is a function of emotional conductivity. Objects arise into conscious awareness and are categorized as a function of flow relative to resistance. First and foremost an object is a source of resistance in regards to the locomotive impulse. We might imagine consciousness as a river and objects that register in the mind are like rocks in the riverbed, they resist the flow and cause turbulence, i.e. displace consciousness via balance and hunger systems, and this then requires the individual to seek a return to equilibrium.



In the first instant of perception, the apprehension of change creates internal turbulence, i.e. displacement of the body/mind.


The Central Nervous System then engages to construe an object as an attractor for this displaced energy. It formulates this based on the triggering of physical memory from the experience of resistance that is then projected onto the object.





It is extremely urgent from the dogs point of view to find an object as a focal point (even when the resistance comes from a source that has no object) because when the  balance/hunger continuum is displaced, the dog perceives this sense of disequilibrium as if an external force is acting on its body. If it can objectify the force, it can then deal with it.



Seizing an object with its jaws thus appears as its best means for neutralizing that force. This is the basis of the ingestive response and why objects induce a state of attraction as a form of compulsion. Furthermore, the propulsive force of the dog’s own muscles that would carry it to the object of attraction are perceived as being the degree of force acting on its body.

A simple object of attraction has two polarities, a point of access (-) and a preyful aspect (+).





The point of access is a break in the continuum, the simplest example being a flaw in the shell of a nut which of course proves the easiest way to access its meat. This negative, or interruption in the continuum of the object, is perceived as the source of the force acting on the dog’s body and this will draw the dog’s attention to this “loci.” The loci reflects, virtually, the feeling of force back at the dog.


Due to the locomotive impulse as the basis of all mental organization, the next question becomes can the object be moved, can an object of “emotional mass” be accelerated? And the primary metric for ease of acceleration is whether or not the object fits into the mouth. Grabbing something in the jaws represents terminus of the force acting on the dog and represents the easiest way to incorporate said object into the locomotive impulse.





An object that fits in the mouth is highly conductive because it can be easily accelerated, i.e. its resistance converted to flow. Other factors that make an object emotionally relevant beyond its capacity to simply displace the body/mind, are characteristics I label “preyful aspects,” taste, texture, compressibility and sensual properties such as a bulbous form. Note that circular, curved objects are easiest to move, the invention of the wheel therefore being inevitable under the influence of the principle of emotional conductivity and the Constructal law. Preyful aspects absorb the projection of emotion and conduct its movement. Predatory aspects (-) represent access to preyful aspects (+) because these are construed as the source of the force destabilizing the body/mind continuum and therefore represent terminus.

{As an aside, what I find interesting is how the phenomenon of objectification parallels “object-oriented programming” in computer science. According to Wikipedia in O-O programming “objects have data fields, attributes that describe the object and these objects are associated with procedures known as methods.” In my model, likewise objects are construed by the animal’s emotional mind so as to innately inform the individual how to incorporate them into improvements of the configuration.}


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Published August 13, 2013 by Kevin Behan
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7 responses to “Objects, and the process of Objectification as a Function of Emotional Conductivity”

  1. wetnosewarmhearts says:

    Kevin, From your writings, it seems like we are putting our canine partners under considerable stress when we ask them to spend multiple hours on lead, frequently, indoors. Research indicates the same, i.e., therapy type dogs are stressed. When working, these dogs get little chance to move, strict obedience demanded, and people, their audience, infuse a lot of energy by petting, hugging, holding etc. At points, the dogs tend to dissociate, appear sad, or direct negative energy outwards. Of course, this is highly undesirable for all concerned.

    Remembering the Just-In-time training in Indianapolis, we experimented with several ways to help the dogs move energy during free time: pushing; down as grounding; bite the tug; chase and grab the rope; objectifying the issue as ‘high place’… I would label this “K-9 Debriefing” to mirror the mandatory “Debriefing” with human personnel. Would you kindly give me your thoughts on additional “Debriefing” ways per NDT. Also, I am a bit confused about the difference between the purpose of the pre-deployment “handler walks around their dog and touches the head” versus the post-deployment “Debriefing” energy release. Please clarify.

  2. kbehan says:

    Because motion is constrained indoors, the tendency towards stress rises greatly because the dog has difficulty perceiving an avenue for flow. In humans we even call it “cabin fever” and this despite the fact we can watch TV, read books, can open doors and go out whenever we decide to. The circling exercise creates a pattern for the dog that the movement of humans is part of a cycle (the circle implying the return of the handler) and to be still at the center of that circle. Stillness is what wills the return of the handler. So it builds an emotional attraction to the handler, gives the dog the impression that the activity of its handler implies their return, stillness being the operative state, and then there is a big dose of flow. It’s a more refined way to pattern the dog that indoor compression need not mean absence of flow.

  3. Larry says:

    I’m not sure if this is relevant to this discussion, but I’ve had a recent development in the behavior of my 3 yr old pointer/hound mix. Normally fairly sedate while indoors, recently while lying supposedly content on the couch, she starts to growl and get agitated. At first I thought it was maybe an animal outside that she was sensing or smelling, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. She has issues with other dogs, and difficult to control when outside around stimuli (bikes,skateboarders,etc) I’m at a loss to understand why this indoor behavior has reared it’s ugly head. I’ve been pushing with her for several weeks, with some success, but still haven’t seen a huge change in her reaction to other distractions, and especially dogs.

  4. Josh D says:

    Kevin – is the circle exercise you refer to putting the dog in a down-stay and then walking around it in a circle (inducing flow) returning to its side before release? If not can you elaborate?



  5. kbehan says:

    Yes, but it’s the very first step with working on lead and lots of physical contact to imprint the circle more viscerally, and to supple the dog’s neck/cheek to the handler’s side as the point of contact with the handler.

  6. kbehan says:

    Growling and going after skateboards are both a vibration of DIS, (deep inner stress). So this stuck energy is coming to the surface since your dog is becoming more comfortable through the pushing exercise with giving you her DIS because she needs to release that energy in order to overcome the resistance offered by the pushing. The growling reflects an error in the dog’s early imprint when it was taught that it couldn’t give all her energy to her owner. When she is on the couch, she has instinctive permission to vent her fear, thus it’s starting to happen. It was always there, it’s just now at the surface.

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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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