The Evolvability of Dogs

An important article, linked below, gives us strong genetic correlation between wolves and the domestic dog. This is important because currently there is a movement in the modern behavioral marketplace to disassociate dogs from wolves, for example; the comment is often made that they are separate species since dogs evolved as scavengers of refuse in dumps around ancient villages and do not manifest pack-like social structure when roaming freely. For one thing, this serves a “political” agenda because it helps modern behaviorism to reinforce its argument against the dominance school of thought which has regained ground in recent years due to Cesar Millan. For many proponents of the positive school if dogs can be shown to not be wild or at least not closely related to wolves, then dog development and behavior is best explained by modern learning theory rather than via a dominance/submissive instinctual makeup. Since Natural Dog Training doesn’t believe that there is any such thing as a thought of dominance or submission in the mind of an animal, it’s therefore not susceptible to a line of reasoning that ends up throwing the poor baby out with her proverbial bathwater for there is indeed a primordial template around which canines socially organize. My argument is that one can’t understand the dog without considering the nature of the prey the wolf evolved to hunt, to wit, a physically superior animal that the wolf evolved to hunt by feel, and that the signature of this template is ever present in absolutely every aspect of a dog’s behavior, most especially how a dog is emotionally responsive to human beings and thereby adaptive to human civilization. The article linked below, shows that there is indeed a strong genetic correlation between domestic dogs and wolves and which accounts for the incredible degree of the domestic dogs’ morphological variability with so many body shapes, sizes, and thus an incredible range of functionality.
The article credits two kinds of mutations in addition to transcription errors (which traditionally have been seen as the engine of natural selection) as the source of the canine species unique capacity to evolve. These are “insertional mutations” and “slippage mutations”; and which the author points out makes the canine species to be highly evolvable. That these new kinds of mutations are still considered to be by way of a random process is the aspect of the thesis I would challenge. In my model, emotion is the operating system of consciousness and it precedes biological forms. These “mutations” suggest to me a means by which the network could distribute genes within a litter, and thus a mechanism by extension to account for the variety of breeds, so that each specific component of the neonatal mind, the mechanism which turns energy into consciousness by reducing a frame of reference to the primordial traits of predator relative to prey, one aspect or another is highlighted in each particular individual of a litter. So the distribution of genes is not by a random process of errors in transcription, but has a “slippage” factor so that it can be malleable according to an energetic template. In other words, the temperamental flaw of each individual will be synced up with the temperamental flaws of its litter mates, just as if they are occupying different cardinal points on a compass face. So because emotionally dogs can readily devolve and then re-evolve in sympatico with what they’re attracted to (i.e. “flip polarities”) this emotional capacity to retain a neonatal mind into adulthood, is simultaneously accompanied by the the great genetic variability that makes dogs highly evolvable. In my view, this genetic capacity is directly related to emotional capacity as opposed to “mutations” according to random influences.

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Published October 6, 2010 by Kevin Behan
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44 responses to “The Evolvability of Dogs”

  1. Christine says:

    I’ve been thinking about this topic recently Kevin and would like to add my thoughts…Your model makes good sense to me and harmonizes, as near as I can tell, with the Bible’s description of creation. In Genesis 1 it simply states that Jehovah God created each “according to it’s kind”. In a similar fashion, in Genesis 7 God directed Noah to collect representative members of each “kind” to be taken into the ark.

    Each “kind” has the genetic potential for great variety, which brings us to the subject of dogs and the great variety they reflect. And the fact that there are many similarities in the structure of living things (hearkening back to The Brain Series episodes)makes good sense as there is only one Designer! And so all interfertile varieties would comprise a “kind” (i.e. humans and canines).

    One final thought, since energy IS the origin of the raw material from which the universe is made…where, might you ask, did that energy come from? Turn your attention once again to the Bible’s simple and forthright statement found at Isaiah 40:26 “…Who has created all these things?…Due to the abundance of dynamic energy, he (Jehovah God) also being vigorous in power, not one of them (stars) is missing.” In other words, Jehovah is the Source of all the “dynamic energy” that was needed to create the universe.

    Besides, the Bible also says “…the scene of the world is changing…”, which can be interpreted literally and metaphorically. The earth and all life on it is in a constant and fluid state of flux, as is the universe. Evolution as a vehicle for change (not Darwinian evolution) is part of the overall design of the universe. It was never meant to be static. And I say…AMEN‼ I wouldn’t have it any other way!☺♥

  2. kbehan says:

    As I construct my theory I take pains to separate two questions; how does behavior work (in my view as a function of energy running to ground) versus why does behavior work this way? I’m not asking what is the source of the energy (in terms of the development for the model) because if I did I would short circuit the development of the model. It’s vital not to conflate the two questions (why is the sky blue versus how is the sky blue) as does modern behavioral science because this ends up substituting human reason for an immediate-moment process. Modern behavioral science ends up inserting a reason for behavior (genes replicating for the sake of replication) into the processes of behavior and then sees what it expects to see and that’s the end of the inquiry. Why do dogs bristle and growl at other dogs? To maximize genetic fitness. Why does behavior work this way? To maximize genetic fitness. They end up with a foregone conclusion. On the other hand physicists, no matter their individual faith simply ask; what is an electron doing here and now as a separate question from what is the source of the electron? The immediate-moment question of process keeps the inquiry going to deeper and deeper levels of understanding.

  3. Christine says:

    Understood…I was just sayin’…☺

  4. kbehan says:

    I’m glad you understand, personally, I’m flattered if you find correlation within Holy Scripture, thanks.

  5. Christine says:

    The fact that your process for working out your model is linear (follows one tangent) works for me; but the other question, Why?, is as intriguing for me. I can work that one out on my own. I just like how you think about things and the conclusions you come to; it just makes sense to me and I can ‘see’ how it all works (once I grope my way through the fog to a clear patch that is LOL). I would never have looked at Quantum Mechanics if I hadn’t happened upon your website and it’s that, more than anything, that really makes things gel for me, spiritually speaking. I have an inquiring mind (though not a strong intellect, or at least, not quick) and I want to know things. Very often the ‘stodginess’of some people is like a wet blanket on all my fun! This helps…food for my soul and a carrot of sorts to keep me moving so I don’t get stuck in the mud and ruts.

  6. Hi, Kevin,

    I thought you’d like this article.

    Here’s an easier link: NPR Article on Canine Evolution

    By the way, I saw a new book by Desmond Morris which says there are over a thousand different dog breeds..


  7. kbehan says:

    Thanks for the link, 1,000 and counting, excellent.

  8. kbehan says:

    My personal belief is that there is a Divine Energy emanating from an Entity beyond my comprehension so I’m patient to let it be revealed to me in its own course. In the meantime my job is to become as conscious as I can of what I am feeling. I believe Love is the universal energy but that it does work here on planet earth and my mission in life seems to be articulating that, for which I must stay focused on the immediate-moment and the nuts and bolts of the emotional mechanism. My study of animals reveals to me that nature conforms to the power of desire, and so I believe the universe works according to this as well. If I ask the right question, eventually the answer comes. Hope is a four letter word, we want to have faith in our nature. Keep On Pushing!

  9. Christine says:

    Then we are in agreement. Love is God’s dominant quality. In fact, 1 John 4:8 says that “God IS love”. No where does the Bible identify God so intimately with any other quality. He is a God of power who exercises justice and shows mercy but He IS love.

    However, I emphatically disagree that he is a formless, incomprehensible entity. Among my earliest memories from my childhood are those focused on being personally acquainted with God. I even had a clear picture in my mind’s eye of what he might look like (not, as you might think, as a wise old man with a white beard). I’ve never doubted for a nanosecond that he was real and close to me. I’d even pretend I was preaching from a pulpit! Funny thing is, I always thought church was a place for old lady’s and didn’t especially enjoy being there, too static for me and stuffy. My family were Protestant and not overly religious so it’s not something that was instilled in me by my parents; it’s just always been there and has a life of its own. It wasn’t until my 16th year that I embarked on my spiritual journey and began a systematic study of the Bible, on my own, apart from my family (my mom even cautioned me that I wouldn’t like it as it would be too strict for me; I’ve said before that I was an obstreperous child and that followed me into my teenage years and has accompanied me into adulthood!LOL) But I digress…I could go on but I’ll stop now…we were talking about dogs and all things canine after all♥ My second passion.

  10. Donnie_O says:

    I have to say, when I first read these last few posts,I was pretty angry. As a born and raised Catholic-turned Atheist-turned Pantheist, I felt a lot of resentment that this discussion had to turn Biblical. I still feel a lot of discomfort about it because to me the christian god is the biggest dominance trainer of them all. In its 2000 years of existence christianity has more often been the source of unfulfilled desire, submission through force, guilt and fear than it has been about love, freedom or the celebration and resolution of desire.

    Talk about triggering the emotional battery!

    So right now I’m trying to focus on the intent behind this discussion. Maybe “God” is Love, but not in the sense that Love flows from a physical entity so much as it’s a force (Emotion) that is all around us. It is something we all feel but can’t easily be explained, so the human intellect objectified the concept by turning “Love” into a physical entity (a god).

  11. Christine says:

    @Donnie…I don’t understand your anger…is it directed at me? If so, why? Because I expressed my belief that God does in fact exist? Or are you angry that I believe in God? Again, if so, why? Am I supposed to believe as you do or am I not allowed to express my own personal beliefs? I don’t require an explanation, although it would be nice. Perhaps this site is not the place to have such a discussion. But then, here is where many have expressed their personal beliefs about many things and dynamic discussions have ensued. Some left me quite dizzy and I wished an end to them but I was never angry at the people involved or by the views they expressed. I guess I’d like to understand why you choose to be angered by this discussion and not any of the previous discussions…just sayin’ 🙂 Peace, Brother‼♥

  12. Donnie_O says:


    I don’t know if you read my post past the “anger” part, but I was not implying that you or anyone else on this site should not express their personal beliefs or believe the same things I do.

    In referring to triggering emotional battery I was alluding to my reaction to the discussion turning religious. My experiences with religion have been generally negative and I believe that organised religion is at it’s core a system of oppression. I’m sure you’re aware that many, many bad things have been justified as “god’s will” or “doing god’s work”. However, I am aware that this is my baggage, and there are many people (such as yourself) who find comfort and solace in their faith. This is why I chose, at the end of my post, to try and offer my own take on how “god”, “love” and “emotion” intersect. Absolutely nothing in this post was directed at you.

  13. Christine says:

    Ooops…so sorry, Donnie. I do tend to be a little defensive and certainly have no intention of offending anyone’s sensibilities. Evidently my emotional battery was triggered as well‼ 🙂

    I did, in fact, read the rest of your post. It’s a shame I didn’t focus on that part; I do regret my hasty reply.

    I fully understand why people are turned off by religion, especially organized religion. Because, as you so aptly pointed out, of their willingness to oppress and justify horrific warfare, genocide, etc., as being “God’s will”. I find it so very sad that people are so ready, willing and able to blame God and deny his existence based on the reprehensible conduct of many adherents.

    I personally have experienced, as you have pointed out, the aspect of “the christian god being the biggest dominance trainer of them all…submission through force, guilt and fear” Only I would like to point out that the christian god is not the God of the Bible. There is a difference; a HUGE difference that is missed by too many people because they, unfortunately, do not bother to do their own research. It’s easier to blame God and believe he doesn’t exist; it also is more convenient because then they are not beholden to the moral principles set out in the Bible.

    As to the force, guilt and fear aspects, according to the Bible we are free moral agents. Deuteronomy 30:19,20 says, “…I have put life and death before you…” and goes on to point out that there are consequences to our decisions. Consider this: how did God handle Adam & Eve’s rebellion? Were guilt or fear used to coerce them to serve God?

    The fact is that many religions misrepresent the God of the Bible and then use their power more like a weapon than a source of healing. There will be an accounting for such misappropriations. Ecclesiastes 12:14 “For the true God himself will bring every sort of work into the judgment in relation to every hidden thing, as to whether it is good or bad.”

    I could go on. There is much to say in defense of my Heavenly Father, Jehovah. It wounds me to think that so many people actually believe all those lies about him and I want to shine a little light on that darkness. 🙂 Thank You so much for allowing me to indulge in my passion‼♥

  14. kbehan says:

    Well done. I believe we are susceptible to becoming charged over matters of religion and politics because such issues are rooted into our physical center of gravity, the locus of sensations related to powerlessness and also the germ of the feeling related to awe. Something massive falling is powerlessness, something massive rising is awesome. This I believe is the basis of how the human intellect gleans from our animal mind a template with which to account for the phenomenon of change.

  15. Christine says:

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” – Nelson Mandela, inaugural address, written by Marianne Williamson

    Why then, sensai, do we fear to be all that we can be? Is it related in any way to our p-cog, as you mentioned, and do we then somehow become unbalanced because it is just too massive to conceptualize or understand intellectually? Perhaps this would be a good Stump the Chump question.

    I’m working my way out of the box I’m in but there are so many blocks to dissolve and I get so tired…yet I cannot stop and rest. I hold the above quote in my heart of hearts; it moves me forward and gives me courage. And as always, Jehovah sustains me in my struggles Psalm 55:22

  16. Donnie_O says:


    I accept your apology. Religious discussions are bound to be heated because of the reasons previously mentioned. I will say this though: not basing one’s moral principles on the bible (which have been translated and reinterpreted thousands of times over) does not mean one has no moral principles. I try to live my life by a few simple tenets: 1) do no harm; 2) you don’t have to fuck people over to get ahead; 3) we’re all in this together, and; 4) everyone has a right to self defense. I follow these principles not because I believe in god, but because I believe in our interconnectedness.

    It occurred to me through this discussion that our human intellect is not something separate from the animal mind but a verbal manifestation of what’s going on in our animal mind. We talk about the need to “digest” pieces of information, and as Kevin has mentioned before about a baby “looking so good I could eat you”. If you were to ask a person why they use these phrases I’m sure they’d give a very convoluted answer.

  17. Christine says:

    Donnie, I’m truly glad we’ve sorted that out. To continue our conversation re: Moral Principle or Lack Thereof…And yet another foible of imperfect human thinking. You assume by my reference to “the moral principles set out in the Bible” that I am making a judgement that those who do not believe in God are without morals; such is not the case. Humanity has in common a conscience and there are many societies without the Bible that still have a moral code, it’s encoded in our very being by The Creator. We can’t help but be moral in some, if not many, aspects of our lives with or without the Bible’s influence. My point was that many/most prefer not to be held accountable for those moral principles that they choose to live without or just ignore. It’s that simple. We prefer to pick and choose. We have that right as free moral agents. However, we will be held accountable, like it or not. We can gnash our teeth and cry foul all we like but that won’t change what is.

    I also would like to address another comment in one of your previous posts as I find it intriguing: “So right now I’m trying to focus on the intent behind this discussion. Maybe “God” is Love, but not in the sense that Love flows from a physical entity so much as it’s a force (Emotion) that is all around us. It is something we all feel but can’t easily be explained, so the human intellect objectified the concept by turning “Love” into a physical entity (a god).” I can appreciate your thought process here. Love is a powerful force that we all feel and you’re right in that it is not easily explained. I would, however, like to clarify that Jehovah God is not a “physical entity”; he is a spiritual entity occupying a particular space. It’s a popular philosophic ‘slight of hand’ to pretend that we made God up. Nothing could be further from the truth! Let me refer you to a quote by Pierre-Paul Grasse, “Natural order was not invented by the human mind or set up by certain perceptive powers…The existence of order presupposes the existence of organizing intelligence (what Keven refers to as networked intelligence). Such intelligence can be non other than God’s.” We did not create God in our image (mythologies do that) but Jehovah created us in his image (Gen 1:26). But our mirror is cracked by imperfection so we are not an accurate reflection of Him.

    I do like your thought that Love is a force. I’d like to explore this as it is a force that binds us all together. I often wonder what part Dark Matter and Dark Energy play; where they fit. Perhaps this could be objectified as Love or not. Is there anything more you care to share Donnie on this topic?

  18. kbehan says:

    The belief that external authority is superior to internal guidance is the source of all intellectually inspired fear.

  19. Christine says:

    The mistake is in believing that the ‘superior external authority’ is other people. Our individual, internal guidance is superior because it is ours. There’s nothing wrong or improper about trusting ourselves and our inner voice…if that were stronger, children would not be as susceptible to sexual abuse. However, there is a superior external authority that we SHOULD listen to: “Isaiah 30: 21 “And your own ears will hear a word behind you saying: “This is the way. Walk in it, you people, in case you people should go to the right or in case you should go to the left.” The Bible is not a lie just because religious authority twists it to fit their own personal agenda. The Truth is in there and it will out. It is my hope that as many people as possible will recognize that Truth while their is time and door is open. After all, humanity, at it’s core, is good. We have to be as we were created in the image of The Divine One, Jehovah.

  20. kbehan says:

    I look at it this way: If there is an omnipotent Divine Entity, then this Spark is present in all things and therefore the internal voice would be the clearest channel. External inputs that amplify the internal core would be helpful, but in the final analysis a “true feeling” would prove ones’ highest source of authority. So to return the discussion to Planet Dog we can see how the average dog owner is conflicted about external voices of authority saying this in contravention to that, instead of learning to trust in the good nature of dogs and their own capacity to apprehend this.

  21. Christine says:

    Okay, so what, again, is your definition of a “true feeling”? BTW, I like Planet Dog just fine. (The Spark would be the Life Force and yes it is in all things but The Source still is Jehovah God Psalm 36:9)
    The external inputs that come from the Divine Entity don’t just amplify, they strengthen. But only when the ‘true feeling’ is in harmony with the Divine Will. After all, Father Knows Best!
    Just so I’m clear…because dogs are not burdened with cognitive thought processes they get the internal voice…it’s how they operate. We, being burdened with a cognitive thought process that is currently not working at perfect pitch, do not get the internal voice. Dogs are currently the clearest channel that we have access to. Whether it’s Divine Providence or happenstance I dare not say but I’m liking it.
    I think a piece of the “imperfection puzzle” is that we mistakenly believe that intellectual thought is the highest authority and perhaps this has something to do with why we are disconnected from the ‘universal networked intelligence’.
    Kevin, I think it would be great fun to have a sit-down discussion regarding wolf behavior and understanding what’s really going on in NDT terms. Of course, I’m thinking of the Ambassador Pack at the IWC; my other favorite site to visit. I am enthralled by what they do and how well they care of their stewardship.

  22. kbehan says:

    When dogs are “in their body,” (subliminal attention referencing via hunger circuitry) then eventually all motion averages out into a feeling of suspension centered in their heart, from whence they have now evolved the faculty to resonate with their surroundings. So this is a “true feeling.” (Whereas if they are “in their head” i.e. the subliminal beam of attention is referencing the vestibular balance mechanism, then habits/instincts are running the show.) So in other words, not everything going on in the body/mind during an emotional experience is one contiguous thing which we might call guilt, fear, grief, threatened, etc., etc.. but rather are an amalgam of nerve energy, sensations, reflexes (thoughts in the case of humans) plus pure emotion and possibly a true feeling. So the key is to parse it all apart and identify each component in order to come up with meaningful distinctions and thereby definitions. And yes indeed, of all the components that can deny, repress and obviate the conduction of pure emotion into a true feeling is an intellectual thought. And then on the other hand, when the intellect precisely articulates a state of suspension and resonance into a true expression of language, that allows the feeling to elaborate to a very high plane. This is why I believe human beings have an appreciation of beauty, it allows us to articulate a feeling of resonance into a full intellectual expression of network consciousness.
    Christine, if you would like to post some pictures of wolves doing something, or better yet videos, and perhaps accompanied by a mainstream interpretation, then I could interject an NDT interpretation of what’s going on from the perspective of network-consciousness.

  23. Christine says:

    That would be so fine‼ I’ll see what I can do…I don’t know if this will work or not but I’m giving it a shot!

  24. Christine says:

    Third times a charm?…..

  25. Christine says:

    Once again…if this doesn’t work I’m gonna have to go get help!

  26. christine randolph says:
    wolf video from last saturday

  27. Christine says:

    Thank You, Christine! I guess my computer is too old and/or too slow…could you try posting the video from June 26th? There’s a good discussion of wolf behavior as it’s happening and some interesting behaviors. I thought this one would be a good example for Kevin to work from.♥

  28. Heather says:

    I agree that we’re in this together here on earth and that’s the main thing (and call me crazy, but I am certain that an intelligent designer would have a sense of humor and put the Internet to good use.)

    Without the hard sciences, there are no answers, and there aren’t even any really interesting questions.

  29. Christine says:

    @Heather…AGREED‼ I was never a good student in school but I’m much better at it now. I’m assuming by the ‘hard sciences’ you mean astronomy, biology, physics, etc. I’m a ‘late comer’ so to speak but have always had a fascination for the universe and all it’s mysteries (I was brought up on Star Trek, The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone, etc.) There is so much about the earth that’s fascinating and it seems the deeper you delve into nature (animals, plants, ecosystems, etc.) the questions seem to abound and become never ending. And the universe is ever expanding so who knows what’s out there being formed and designed to satisfy our ‘inquiring minds’ and further pique our curiosity and interest. It’s mind boggling‼♥ I’ll never understand why/how people can think that living forever would be boring…quit the contrary; it’s what we are designed for. ☺

  30. christine randolph says:

    IWC June 26

    it might be rock hard science but it is not rocket science….

    you just cut and paste the link from youtube into this post.

    the problem with hard science is that once hard science has answered a question it becomes a lot less interesting to think about the potential answers…

    Once science has established something, it also often seems to become subject to manipulation, i.e. if certain people do not like the answer science gives them they will keep it from the general public and/or try to misinterpret the results.

    i.e. the glaciers in the himalayas are NOT melting but some people would like them to (in order to keep their carbon credit economy going..?) so they publish scientific articles which ignore the statistics

    and if someone points out their mistake they print a minuscule retraction somewhere obscure like The Economist.

    just imagine if we knew for sure what happens after we die, what life would be like. If it is really wonderful everyone would commit suicide, if it is really bad people would go crazy for medical cures and cryogenic embalming etc etc. the planet would be even more of a madhouse than it already is…

    Sometimes we really want to know a certain thing but at the same time…
    its like people only using 20 % of their brains and often one wishes that they did not even use that….

    (the utilization of “certain” brains having the disastrous effects it occasionally has…)

  31. Heather says:

    haha, Christine R.

    With science there is always another question, and I don’t think even if we were all Einsteins we could ever want for mysteries to solve.

    But I agree that there is also the “be careful what you wish for” saying that I imagine applies to scientists too. Like planning for drought when there is a tsunami offshore.

  32. Christine says:

    @Christine R…I know it’s a simple cut/paste operation but just can’t get there from here‼ 🙁 I also, for some odd obscure reason, could not reinstall FlashPlayer onto my computer but when I downloaded Google Chrome, which has flash as a component, it worked without a hitch…go figure!
    And I do agree with you girls that print can, and quite often is, manipulated to suite agendas.
    What if it turns out that death is the end…period. No heaven, no hell (as taught by most churches in Christendom, that is). What then? Do we simply live our lives as best we can and hope that our little corner of the world is a little better by our having been here? Why then do we long for more? Why is it, out of all creation, we are the only species who contemplate immortality and strive for it? And I do believe that Kevin is on the right track as far as animals not having a cognitive thought process; that makes solid sense to me. Why is the human animal unique and why are we here? An accident of evolution, as Darwin would have us believe? I hope not! I want more and I need a better answer than that, one that makes good sense. There is much in the religion’s of Christendom that I heartily disagree with and so much of it’s dogma makes little sense…the hate mongering, blessings on war and it’s machinery, the political maneuvering’s engaged in by priests and ministers, none of it makes any sense when they preach a god of love and mercy. If we are created in his image how could we possibly think another race is inferior or that God would want nations pitted against each other in rivalry.
    But I digress…sorry…
    Hey Kevin, when/if you have a spare moment, check out the links Christine R posted. They are videos of wolves at the IWC. I’m keenly interested in how your observations compare. Looking forward to it!♥

  33. Heather says:

    Did the videos change from day to day? I watched part yesterday but today seems to be a different video. Are these wolves related?

    On the first video, the moose head one, I was thinking that the wolves were orienting around that moose head as a coordinated group (if I have my terminology right, projecting their e-cogs onto it), feeling what the others were feeling but behaving via their own temperament (as it may have evolved/manifested as described above, distributed traits within a litter).

    The second one, talking about the arthritic white wolf, it just seemed as if the other wolves were trying to get some energy to move in the white wolf but couldn’t get that “wave form” going so they were left with extra energy and ran off with the others to dissipate it then came back to try again with the white wolf.

    As opposed to displaying distinct pack behaviors according to their “place” in the pack as the commenter was explaining. That would explain why the lower-ranking wolves were doing stuff that normally only the higher ranking wolves would do, which the commenter didn’t really explain except to say they were dominance behaviors.

  34. Heather says:

    What if it turns out that death is the end, that is *the* question I think.

    I have come to look at it as heaven or hell on earth, that is a choice for the individual to make in the immediate moment (some would say the “you” has to die each moment to be conscious, and that consciousness has no beginning or end, it is a circle, going around it producing a wave form). Then there is no need to contemplate the ever-after. That’s the theory at least.

    But it does get back to dogs, because they certainly aren’t contemplating themselves this way, so they can show us the way.

  35. Christine says:

    I like that Heather…”it does get back to dogs, because they certainly aren’t contemplating themselves this way, so they can show us the way.” Or we can figure it out for ourselves if we just pay attention bc dogs in fact can’t “show us the way” as they don’t even know they are doing this! For me, that’s the beauty of it; they don’t think at all. They are present and accounted for period; no thought required just enjoy the ride and be yourself. I agree with Kevin in that thoughts can and do throw us off but there will come a time when our hearts and minds work together in perfect harmony; of that I am certain.
    RE: Wolf videos…they are posted once a week, usually on Friday/Saturday. Christine R posted 2 different weeks bc I requested it. I have a hard time putting NDT thinking into play while watching so it’s good for me to hear your thoughts; then I’ll be able to ‘see’ NDT in play more clearly. At least, that’s my hope! 🙂

  36. Christine says:

    Also, regarding the Wolf Pack being related. There are 3 separate subspecies represented so there are 3 separate sets of siblings: Shadow/Malik, Maya/Grizzer and Aidan/Denali. If you go to their website and view the individual logs for each wolf, you’ll see how they have all grown up together and become an integrated pack. One day I hope to be able to go there for a visit and participate in a few of their programs. Talk about soul-satisfying‼♥☺

  37. Heather says:

    I also should add while there is an opening to get into religion a little without overwhelming the discussion on dogs (and I post this as a DISCLAIMER so that others may skip over my metaphysical posts in the future if desired) that I do believe in a Magnificent Intelligence.

    It was a question I struggled with most of my life, and most especially after my kids were born life-threateningly early and survived while other babies all around them died. I could not fathom a God who would hand out and withhold “miracles.” Though that didn’t stop me from asking. And as a scientist I had no faith, only evidence, so I would never expect others to have faith.

    After much recent soul-searching about this issue (and losing a LOT because of it, most ironically time with my kids, who are my very reason for being) I now believe that everyone has a purpose. That the purpose may include dying. This dying may be physical, it may be metaphysical, but it is not random, it is by Supreme Design, and it is not the End. I also believe in non-killing, lest anyone think I am saying people take dying into one’s own hands, that could not be FURTHER from the truth, I am talking ONLY about what I believe with respect to God and his Plan.

    I do, however, believe that all of this can be seen by understanding the nature of our own (via animal) consciousness. So our only job as individuals here on earth is to “keep on pushing” so to speak.

  38. Christine says:

    I am grateful that religion (for me it’s more a matter of spirituality) and one’s individual beliefs attached to faith, or lack thereof, can be talked about openly here and without acrimony and/or recrimination! *phew* It’s such a relief for me to be able to express myself freely; I’ve never been good at keeping anything inside as I seem to have this incredible drive to ‘out’ everything that’s in my head/heart (and sometimes I ‘out’ myself before I’m aware the thought has entered my head 🙁 )
    In the course of developing my own spirituality, and by doing a great amount of my own personal research, I have come to the realization that death was never a part of God’s Purpose for mankind. [I say Purpose specifically bc, while we imperfect humans ‘plan’, outside forces can interrupt and foil our best laid plans. However, with the Magnificent Intelligence there is no way to thwart his Purpose; everything He desires will take place as surely as water evaporates and rain falls (Isaiah 55:10,11)]
    In Kevin’s NDT Model of Energy, it’s all about Desire and whoever has the biggest Desire wins; therefore, since there is no Desire bigger than our Creator’s then he wins hands down every time! And his Desire is, not only for humans to live forever, but for the entire universe to be in sync, harmony, of the same mind, in the group mind. Like ‘parallel gaiting’ in the wolf world. There is so much in Kevin’s energy model that resonates in me and harmonizes with my spiritual beliefs. It really is a vindication of Jehovah’s Goodness and Perfect Justice. You’ll see‼♥

  39. Christine says:

    Let me also add that I’m in agreement with Heather in that I do not intend to overwhelm our canine conversations (they bring me too much pleasure) with my thoughts/feelings on spirituality and am perfectly content if any/all wish to bypass my comments re: faith. 🙂

  40. christine randolph says:

    @ Christine G. you have to open a new tab, get the youtube site up, then cut and paste into the first tab that has the naturaldogtraining site on it. or if that is what you are already trying, I do not know…

    @ C and H.
    You guys are cool !

    I think if we die and THAT IS IT, then if that fact were known to everyone there would be lots more hedonism and also wealthy people trying to buy themselves more time on earth etc. a bit like if the afterlife is BAD.
    also more suicide. Because many people are suffering so badly that only the thought of ruining their afterlife by suicide is keeping them from it.

    I think dying could be an important part of the process and also the fact of NOT KNOWING is a very integral part of the human condition in which animals can likely not participate since their fear of dying is forgotten as soon as the scary situation is over.

    Also they are not moral bound when they kill something (to eat it) because they do not live their lifes mystified by the final fact of death.

    Us who do often neglect our responsibility for easing any other sentient being’s path to death…for whatever reason… so animals like children can show us how to be responsible and respectful of life, if the belief in a higher being helps, so be it.

    I do not particularly need this belief but definitely am constantly aware of the mystery that this life poses to the human intellect.

  41. Christine says:

    @Christine R – yea, that’s what I’ve been doing and it’s just not working…I kept posting air… 🙁 I’ll have to check with one of our techno geeks. btw Kevin, what time zone are you in bc it sure isn’t the eastern seaboard!

  42. Christine says:

    Just so’s ya know…I’m sittin’ here at work in my chair (w/wheels) with my headphones on doin’ the chair boogie to Alvin Lee’s “Why Did You Do It” In my defense…it’s a good workout! 🙂

  43. christine randolph says:

    BC is pacific timezone. pretty weird about the cut and paste not working in this instance since the system let you post the link from facebook so why not from youtube. if you want any links posted let me know

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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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