I didn’t attend either the conference linked below or log onto its streamed content
but Eric Brad wrote a good overview of his experiences there–
Since I’m familiar with the work of the various speakers I feel qualified to make the following comments. From my point of view the take away (from Eric’s article) is that attendees heard what they expected to hear, dogs think just like us and a dog’s capacity to adapt to humans is a function of high order cognition, such as a theory-of-mind (ToM). But here’s what was not taken into consideration.
While I understand the reasoning of the high-cognition ToM folks and why it enjoys a ready appeal, adherents of the ToM approach mistakenly think they are positively arguing for the humane treatment of animals because they believe they are demonstrating that intelligence wise, animals are more human-like than has previously been thought. But even were this true, it would still be the weakest argument for the humane treatment of animals. We should treat animals humanely simply as an expression of our own humanity and which itself has evolved from our primal animal faculty, emotional projection. In other words, animals reflect our nature. Whereas attributing high order cognition as a basis for humane treatment is a back-handed compliment. It’s really saying that because animals think more like us than we thought, this is why they deserve to be treated humanely. Whereas my argument is that because we are more like animals than we thought, we should treat them humanely even were animals to lack any human attributes whatsoever, just as we should have reverence for the earth simply for the sake of being a good steward. Humanity, it’s in our nature, and it’s the law.
(Example below of prey-predator module evolving into sexual module)
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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.|