Reinterpreting “Calming Signals”

On Dog Star Daily Rachel Friedman has posted a video in order to explain calming signals. The dogs are really cute so it’s fun to watch.

First of all, there is no intention in a dog to calm another dog. Watch the video and see if you can see the universal “force” of attraction, the two dogs then becoming a mirror to each other (like-is-attracted-to-like—–but only opposites-can-connect). Which dog is at the Predator pole, which dog is at the prey pole (emotion ALWAYS flows in this direction)? Which sense allows them to acquire an emotional ground and connect? What happens to the energy in the jaws of the dog at the predator pole? What part of its body does it first get displaced to in order to make contact when the dogs begin to get really excited, and then where next in that dog’s body does the energy get channeled into?  What is the dog at the predator pole trying to do when it feels safe to make full contact? In this vein can you see how sexuality/sensuality allows the Predator/Prey emotional dynamic to evolve into playfulness?

Now if we were to next ask what is each dog feeling so that their interaction is organized in this way, we would arrive at the true meaning of “calming signals.” Resolving this question elucidates the universal principle of emotional conductivity that serves as a template for all animal interactions, no matter the species, no matter the context.



Want to Learn More about Natural Dog Training?

Join the exclusive and interactive group that will allow you to ask questions and take part in discussions with the founder of the Natural Dog Training method, Kevin Behan.

Join over 65 Natural Dog trainers and owners, discussing hundreds of dog training topics with photos and videos!

We will cover such topics as natural puppy rearing, and how to properly develop your dog's drive and use it to create an emotional bond and achieve obedience as a result.

Create Your Account Today!

Published September 14, 2012 by Kevin Behan
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

8 responses to “Reinterpreting “Calming Signals””

  1. Annie says:

    Kevin, this is the first time in all of my dog years that I have heard of this term, “calming signals”…..I watched this video as well as a couple of related ones on YouTube, in which the narrator insisted that when 2 dogs were “playing rough”, that one of them had the ability to “calm down” the other one and avoid a fight. Interesting, that the emotional spin continues to thwart some people’s understanding of energy.

  2. wetnoseswarmhearts says:

    Response as pre-Apprenticeship Quiz attempt. The universal “force” of attraction is E•motion. Initially, the dogs bouncy motion and muzzle expression are similar, they are attracted to one another but that is not connection. Then, they appear to ping and pong back and forth by equal but opposite direction head turns, mirroring. After several head turns, the smaller dog licks it lips and begins to taste the other dog’s presence. The opening of the predator dog’s jaw is an effort to take in the other dog. The little dog seems to initially be in the predator role but by the end of the clip they have both taken turns at prey and predator. They flip. The paws on the body ground the energy, like what you discussed about how wild animals try to put out fire (energy) by jumping on the embers. I am uncertain about which part of the body is the energy initially displaced to but I saw that they make nose to nose contact. When the connection is safe, the predator (+) dog’s nose goes near the hind end (-) of the dog in the prey role. There is a predator/prey roll on the ground that appears very sensual or re-sensualizing. Opposites, prey and predator, connect.

    The dogs’ “calming signals” are to get in sync with one another, overcoming resistance to get pipeline flow moving.

  3. john says:

    to me that clip looked like the russel was energized in his lower body region, while the other mutt was still all in his head and was overloaded by the russel,

  4. wetnoseswarmhearts says:

    Hi John, You may be absolutely correct. It is a little difficult to tell exactly what was happening as we only saw clips and missed the connecting moments. There certainly was a lot of energy as you mention.

    At one moment, I thought that the Jack Russel glanced back at the small dog as though he, the Russel, was in the prey role.

    After writing last night, I wondered if the nose-to-nose moment might have been a tasting of each others’ saliva. We saw that type of tasting at Camp Atterbury.

    It will be interesting to see Kevin’s commentary.

  5. kbehan says:

    Right, both animals in any interaction are responding according to how their slice of the emotional spectrum (which evolves to complement or mirror their counterpart) makes them feel. They have no idea of calming the other party. Rather they are learning to move their own body so that the other being’s body will be induced to act in a way that returns pleasure to them. It’s an auto tuning/feedback dynamic by which the principle of emotional conductivity organizes the many into the one, and we can also add that this is also according to the Constructal law.

  6. kbehan says:

    Yes exactly right. The two dogs were immediately becoming a mirror to each other with the Russell being more sensually aroused and so taking the lead in becoming the mirror to the other one. Eventually he knocked the one off balance, but because they had smelled and became connected, and of course there’s a long history of play together, the other one “fell” into a state of sensual arousal and was swept along. We can see the energy channel away from the dog’s jaws and into his front feed, when he pops the bubble of space the other one was trying to maintain, and then the energy sluiced into a sensual whole body state with some hubba hubba coming up.

  7. kbehan says:

    That’s right. Then due to his forward but sensual approach, he knocked the other one into an interaction.

Leave a Reply

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.
%d bloggers like this: