Questions for the New Year
In the interest of organization until we work out the organization of comments situation, we can follow up on other threads with this post. Thank you.
CR: Images, I think that is an important key to dog behaviour if it is true.. what kind of images do you think dogs can hold in their consciousness, and how do they fit into the chain of attraction, collapse thereof, etc...
KB: I’m presuming that they are straight images in accord with the visual processes of dogs, like we can hold an image in our mind, but again in accord with the particulars of canine vision.
CR: if we “rehearse” certain responses to stimuli with our dogs, i.e. mom gets tense on the leash because she sees another dog, dog gets aggressive, but when rehearsing in the back yard, the dog can be trained to seek eye contact to momma tensing on the leash, instead of focussing aggression on the other dog…
would that be OK in order to get them away from red zone behaviour (my dogs do not have red zone but I guess those behaviours seem to be the ones that requires the most work by the handler to integrate our dogs smoothly into our lives..hence CMs focus on them I guess)
will that change the emotion, or are we just “intimidating” them so they give up temporarily, but when the emotional battery is full, there is no avoiding red zone ?
KB: The problem with eye contact is that while distracting, it’s still part of the intensity syndrome. Barking on command is far more relaxing as it gives the dog a safe way to express its fear, also pushing in for hard physical contact is grounding, and ultimately, having a bite toy in mouth as way to fully absorb fight/drive with owner. Ultimately however the goal is to shift dog from visual orientation to nasal. This reflects that its body is becoming sensual and in this mode (magnetic) it can feel how to connect with another dog. I’ll write a lot on aggression when I get a chance, but for now let me say that sociability evolves through a precise protocol and the owner can be the template for this evolution so that the dog’s emotional capacity increases. This should happen before trying to solve the “red zone” or “missile-lock” problem. Just having a dog around other dogs is not necessarily socializing if the dog’s emotional capacity isn’t evolved enough.
CR: so there is fear of collapse (in dogs?) and also fear as a result of collapse of attraction ? does aggression in dogs (biting etc, the stuff that makes them red zone) come about as a result of this fear ? or is it more of a Fixed Action Pattern, (fight.flight, procreation, etc.) as described by Jean Donaldson, apparently not as predictably ascribable to dogs as to species that have continuously lived in the wild.
do you even believe in the existence of FIxed Action Patterns in dogs, or is it just that it looks similar to other species’ FAPs and is basically not the same?
KB: There is only one fear, the fear of falling. The collapse of emotional attraction piggybacks on this experience so that the animal mind has a means of evaluating what’s going on. So when a state of emotion collapses, and if the resulting sensation is more than the emotional capacity of the individual animal can handle, then an instinctual fixed action pattern takes over, or also a habit in more complex beings, and this locks the individual into its network niche role. If on the other hand, the dog’s state of arousal is high enough due to a high emotional capacity, this sensation merely increases the state of hunger and then we have a dog flipping polarity so that the collapse of balance increases arousal, and then this “magnetic field” collapses increasing the strength of the electrical displacement, this collapses again into the magnetic and it continues to propagate on and on exactly like a light wave at which point the dog feels the midpoint with object of attraction in its heart. This is why we say of beings in such a state that they are enLIGHTened.
CR: Which study of dogs and energy are you referring to that shows how dogs cannot experience negative emotions?
KB: There are no such studies, it's my opinion. It doesn’t make sense to me that there is such a thing as a “negative” emotion, just as there is no such thing as a negative gravity. My study of animals indicates to me that emotion as a networked intelligence is the most logical interpretation of behavior. And this then means that emotion can only be understood as energy, that it is a “force” of attraction, that an animal is only attracted to that which it wants, and that it doesn’t want anything that doesn’t make it feel good. Therefore there is only positive emotion (which is why young children are so literal and apprehend in terms of that which is concrete rather than abstract, i.e. time as a function of physical distance to be covered, and why they are more grounded by ice cream than creamed spinach.) and since every feeling is predicated on emotion, a true feeling can only be good. The instincts and/or thoughts that become attached to emotion and feelings are responsible for what we experience and interpret as a negative emotion or a bad feeling. This is why it’s so critical to me to make such distinctions otherwise we are completely misinterpreting the nature of emotion (fear is not emotion, it is the collapse of emotion) and the nature of animals, and sooner or later that will translate into an incorrect approach.
CR: Alistair Scott writes about his dog’s accidental pregnancy, (Tracks Through Alaska). he had to take her puppies away. as a result, she clearly is not her usual perky self, so one could say “depressed”.
what about dogs who do not eat for long periods, and are not perky, responsive to the stimuli they usually respond to, when they lose a doggie house mate or human companion.
KB: I have boarded tens of thousands of dogs and I found it interesting that it was only a certain temperament type that manifested so called depression, pining away and even what some would call grief. They manifest these states however because they feel ungrounded whereas the dogs with strong sexual/drive make-ups always had fun in the boarding context and wolfed their food down and so on. So (in the kennel) when things aren’t familiar to them and because they have sensitive temperaments so that they can’t apprehend any preyful features in their new setting with its high rate of change, their physical memories of being disconnected are brought to the surface and these are affiliated in their body/mind as emotional battery with being corrected. Thus they appear depressed as if they are missing their owner. (With the mother dog above, it did indeed project its e-cog into her puppies and so was unplugged from her “self.” So while it’s not accurate to call it grief per se, what I’m saying is even more sublime because it means the complex state of what we call grief, which is a state of emotional attraction underlying a feeling of suspension- - yearning - - that is then attached to an instinct, the collapse of the above, that is then attached to a thought, i.e. that person/being is never coming back, and then this then can become a reverberating process with a debilitating life of its own.)
My own dogs have never grieved or missed a beat when a beloved companion died. We must remember that it's only in our mind that they are gone. If the dog carries the feeling in its heart as triggered by physical memory of the other dog, then in its mind the other dog isn't gone. It's always present.
Back to temperament types, when I started my own kennel in 1981, I built a big play yard to excite the prey-making attitudes of these more sensitive types and sure enough, the vast majority began to play and have fun, started wolfing down their food and became much easier to handle. However the interesting part was that when they went home, often their owners called to complain because these types very often became problematic. They wondered if something bad had happened to them while in my kennel. But what had actually happened was that the dog had come out of its shell in my kennel by becoming free to play, bite and bark and be a dog again and so when it went home, it didn’t want to go back into its old box. The owners were the ones who had put all the “shame” into the dog that it had overcome in the kennel and didn't want to yoke up again at home. But its human reflex not to see the true source of what’s going on emotionally.