The Primordial Connection ala the Higgins Method

KB: My theory is that emotion evolved through the prey/predator dyad, the oldest relationship between living organisms, and that therefore inter-personal and interspecies communication and connection is possible by way of this platform rather than the higher aspects of cognition. The Higgins Method of Field dog training exquisitely harnesses this primordial dynamic and is always a joy to watch. Enjoy the video below along with the accompanying explanation by Brad Higgins.

“Here is a short video of some of our training/hunting today. The dog, hawk and human make a very efficient hunting group. The dog moves through the field searching for the birds scent. The hawk uses exceptional eyesight to locate any birds running and the human is a movable perch. The humans job is minimal when these two hunt together. The hawk reads the dog and knows when the dog has found a bird. She knows if the dog is working ground scent or air scent. The dog will point a bird and wait for the hawk to fly over and land nearby. Then they both wait for the least talented of the group, the human, to show up, provide a convenient hunting platform and flush the bird.”

“The hunt is quiet and seamless. The dog and hawk work together without having to spend a lot of time learning. There has been no training to get the dog and hawk to use each other and hunt together. Each simply reacts to what the prey and the other hunters are doing. It’s not cooperation as we see it. Simply two predators that have each found a way to increase their individual success.”

“The use of hawks and falcons is an important part of the Higgins method of training Especially useful in helping gun-shy dogs build hunting desire and focus before the reintroduction of the gun. The use of the hawk also reinforces steadiness, honoring and hunting cooperation. Falconry is an excellent way to enrich your hunting dog’s experiences.”

“This was filmed at our new hunting/training venue located in the high desert of Yerington, Nevada, in the Northeast Mason Valley.”

“Visit our website for additional information about our unique method of birddog training.”

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Published December 4, 2013 by Kevin Behan
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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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