What Does Dunning-Kruger Have To Do With Dogs?

{Critiques such as these may sound like they’re saying something, but they’re merely sophisticated name calling, nothing specific and concrete is being debated, but I extend the invitation on the hope for such. And because this particular critic is arguing for a personality theory of behavior, they are always guilty of the exact charge they’re leveling against the energy theory behind Natural Dog Training. By the way, in most instances the training preceded the theory although occasionally the theory prefigures the training, as in the eye-contact exercise. I invite Subaru or anyone for that matter to respond with a concrete model for why dogs love to ride in cars, whereas no other animal lives to do so, as a better explanation than an energy model.}

The comment is listed below, but click here to read from the original article.

Reader ‘Subaru’ quoting KB: “While there is no way to prove my energy model directly (1), however if it provides the best explanation for what we observe and the way things are (2), then it is the strongest theory, circumstantial evidence notwithstanding (3). I also believe that were the scientific community to apply its tools to the model, it could indeed be verified according to the scientific method (4). But for now, the way I’ve built my model is by observing behavior as a function of energy rather than being due to thoughts. (5) This then makes vivid the principles by which energy moves (6), what we otherwise call evolution, learning, personality development and even so-called dysfunctional behavior (7). I believe that knowing that behavior is a function of attraction (8) which works according to the laws of nature (9), allows us to reverse engineer the nature of sociability.(10)”

Subaru: 1. There is a way. DETECT this magical energy. And for context, cosmologists can detect energy that is 12 billion years old. Biologists can detect energy from a single cell. Physicists can detect energy from subatomic particles.

KB: The concrete and measurable energy is biochemical activity of the body, and neurochemical activity of the brain, and even anatomical leverages of the skeleton. The “energy” is the collectivized and synchronized activity of all these organisms and interrelated systems. For example, the digestive energies of one being evolved to interface with the digestive energies of another (which is why dogs smell you know what) and therefore and thereby, when two animals interact, they recapitulate in their behavior and movements the basic laws of nature, gravity, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, laws of motion, etc., as all their physiological systems interface and interconnect. They become emotionally entangled. For example, two animals are drawn toward each other as if they are in a gravitational field because of how the perception of change “displaces” their two-brain makeup. They need to connect with the other in order to feel grounded within themselves (smooth peristaltic movements). {This is demonstrable, measurable and testable. Modern science has to willfully discard this evidence to proceed along a personality theory.} They are then able to self-organize as their internal and very real energies have electromagnetic-LIKE effects on their mind, on the way they perceive their situation and then respond JUST AS IF they are electromagnetic dynamos within a field of mutual attraction. It’s JUST AS IF within a dog there is a battery, electromagnetic induction, compass, gyro, etc., etc. I concede that it requires an unsophisticated mind to see this. A child for example can grasp something this simple far easier than a highly trained scientist.

Subaru: 2. Behan makes a common error often seen in unsophisticated thinkers.

KB: Whereas sophisticated thinkers ALWAYS err by thinking that the energy of the brain is wholly in service to thoughts. Thus, the INTERPRETATION of modern research always renders an animal that thinks. This is not evidence, this is an INTERPRETATION of the evidence. These interpretations fail to notice that the synchronized actions of the collectivized are subscribing to the laws of nature, gravity, magnetism, electricity, laws of motion, thermodynamics, etc., even though it’s the most parsimonious and obvious interpretation of the evidence and is embedded in human intuitive manner of speaking. They miss this because they are approaching the evidence from the bias that animals are self-contained entities of intelligence and therefore the only thing that can be linking their synchronized and adaptive behaviors are human reasons (territoriality, survival, reproduction, etc.)

Subaru: He wrongly assumes the best explanation is an accurate description of ‘reality’ Not so, it is the best explanation of the facts. No thoughtful scientist believes what he describes is the way things ‘are’. Under William Perry’s scheme, Behan is in the dualistic stage of development and suffering a full blown case of what he calls ‘cognitive egocentrism’ The Kruger-Dunning Effect seems to be working – see ‘Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments”

KB: The romantic/mechanist belief that animals must think akin to human beings in order to be appreciated as conscious, sentient beings is indeed a full blown case of cognitive egocentrism.

Subaru: 3. The evidence IS what really matters. Behan’s approach makes the evidence servile to his beliefs.

KB: My beliefs follow from the evidence. A simple experiment: Try making up a theory that can accommodate ordinary as well as extraordinary aspects of animal cognition and behavior, i.e. the recognition by dogs of criminal intent in someone they’ve never met, as well as being able to fully embrace the phenomena of consciousness, sexuality, personality, learning, evolution, social structure, play, emotion, feelings, thoughts IN ONE MODEL. On the other hand, the default setting of the human intellect IS TO PERSONIFY EVERYTHING. The default setting of the human intellect is to ascribe intention to any and all things, the seas get “angry,” the wind “bites” at our back, the storm “toys” with us and keeps us in its “grip”. In the not-so-distant past, volcanoes grumbled and the ancients thought their gods were getting restless. Innocent maidens became nervous. Therefore which theory is more likely to be based on logic and an objective reading of the evidence? The idea that unresolved emotion, as the basis of physical memory, is then the basis of a networked intelligence, isn’t something that  immediately leaps to one’s mind. The idea that the laws of physics is the operating system of consciousness, that animals are “flipping polarities”, emotion is “energy running to ground”, the animal body/mind as an energy pipe and a battery, a self-replicating action potential that weaves a litter and its mother into a group mind, the group into an ecosystem, the web of ecosystems into a world-wide interconnected system of energy transfer based on how physical memory makes each charged individual feel, isn’t a likely product of the imagination. One will find it difficult to concoct a system of analysis that can encompass the phenomena of learning, sexuality, play, personality, evolution, why dogs-love-to-ride-in-cars while cats and laboratory rats don’t, why dogs are able to flourish in man’s world when mankind’s primate first cousins cannot, when that should be the logical extension of the prevailing models. An energy theory is far beyond my imaginative capacities, the only way I could have arrived at it was from a logical interpretation of the evidence. I’m not saying that such a theory should be adopted without critique, simply that an energy theory is more likely an objective systems of analysis than a personality theory.

Subaru: 4. The way he built his model is delusional. Since he can’t define, quantify or even detect this ‘energy’ the claim of “behaviour as a function of energy” is not justified. Two points to note here, a) he is trying to use science to validate his personal revelations, and b) he already concludes that his view is correct even though he has no evidence. A fine combination of ignorance and intellectual arrogance as per Kruger-Dunning.

KB: An objective reading of behavior is my evidence and I don’t need a scientists’ INTERPRETATION of this behavior to justify my conclusions. Meanwhile every aspect of science is moving in the direction of an energy theory and I append such findings when possible. Meanwhile, any time two dogs meet and greet, they recapitulate the evolution of sociability from the first primal traits to a complex development of personality aspects should they interact over the long term. On meeting, they generate on demand the first two primal traits, prey and predator a virtual form of ELECTRICITY, they then flip these roles and evolve into male and female (virtual) MAGNETISM, and then they continue to synchronize in response to change and generate more energy, i.e. unresolved emotion that ultimately is resolved, i.e. working together to overcome resistance. This is why it is possible to play with a dog. All sentient beings have this capacity, but it varies BY DEGREE NOT IN KIND, from species to species, from individual to individual and from context to context. Consider that professional athletes who are paid millions of dollars and are amazingly well trained for many dozens of years, nevertheless in abject defiance of all theories of learning, suffer from a “home field advantage”. This is the principle of emotional conductivity varying according to context. The cheers of the crowd and the disruption of routine shouldn’t matter at this high level of intellectual development and simple physical performance, but it overwhelmingly does because it directly affects emotional conductivity, and therefore the spontaneous capacity to adapt to change. Dogs having the greatest emotional capacity, are able to go by feel under the wider array of contexts and circumstances and thus are not as severely limited by instincts as the ape, chimp, or monkey when confronted by a high rate of change. This is the most logical explanation for the evolution and domestication of the dog.

Subaru: 5. Note the logical fallacies – and the Dualism. He provides us two choices and then concludes because he has deemed one choice is wrong then his option must be the correct. Behan ignores we already know some behaviour is directed by thought and it’s been show that a chemically induced ‘itch’ can induce a scratch reflex in decerebrate dogs. The James Alcock quote at the beginning is apropos.

KB: The false choice is that there is either thinking or there is mindlessness. This is the fallacy ditch in which this particular Subaru is stuck. For example, one can give an animal an increase of a hormone and then observe a heightening of aggression and then mistakenly conclude that this particular hormone is the source of the aggression rather than understanding that knocking a system out of stasis and its connection with its physical body is what caused the aggression. Or a scientist can electrically stimulate a ganglion of nerves in the brain and the patient reports a specific feeling and then one can mistakenly conclude that this ganglion of nerves is the source of the feeling, rather than the ganglion merely being the mechanical device that executes the feeling into action when organically aroused by the synchronization of the organisms’ energies with an object of attraction. The organism is being stimulated out of context with emotional reality and so such a system will ALWAYS prove to be deleterious on the network scale, as in the prescription of psycho-tropic drugs in humans and dogs. If someone takes a drug that makes them feel happy, they will not end up in a higher state of consciousness and their happiness will deteriorate as a result, since their body/mind is being artificially overridden. The hardware of our computer is not the source of the images, sounds and text we see on the monitor, just as the radio is not the source of the signal which animates its speakers. Therefore, damaging a particular component of the hardware that then disrupts the signal is not proof that the hardware, while necessary for the implementation of the signal, is therefore the source of the signal. If an energy theory relative to a personality theory is not a true dualism, then I ask Subaru to provide a third possibility that doesn’t depend on thoughts from a self-contained entity of intelligence.

Subaru: 6. Principles only known to Behan and not discussed or documented by any reputable researcher. Behan has also failed to document or even describe the so-called principles of his ‘energy’.

KB: These principles are knowable by anyone. Anyone can look at two dogs meeting and greeting and decide for themselves what’s going on. They need not defer to any expert. Meanwhile there is no EVIDENCE to support the notion that dogs think, there is only an INTERPRETATION of the evidence. Furthermore, genes do not replicate for the REASON of self-replication, that is a THOUGHT super imposed on the behavior of genes. Whereas such behaviors as two dogs meeting and greeting IS THE EVIDENCE. Therefore it is logical to conclude that genes conform to the evidence, i.e. the laws of nature, rather than to human reason. All one has to do to disprove an energy theory is explain within one model why dogs like to ride in cars and why they like to eat you-know-what, two aptitudes which stand in abject defiance of all mainstream learning and evolutionary theories.

Subaru: 7. Medical quacks develop cure for all ill and with a single poultice/lotion/pill they can cure all ills. Behan makes similar miraculous claims and at the same time shows a poor understanding of evolution, learning, etc.

KB: The most conservative interpretation of nature and the nature of animals is that energy that doesn’t move is toxic. Therefore if energy moves in a manner that adds new energy to the system, logic mandates that this is always nourishing. Practically speaking, this means that “problem behavior” is stuck energy. Get the energy moving in a manner that adds more energy (i.e. overcoming an object of resistance as defined by the owner) ALWAYS resolves “problem behavior”. This is observable, demonstrable and testable and is willfully denied by mainstream behaviorism in abject denial of the evidence. The movement of energy through prescribed channels cures everything. It’s how bones mend, bruises heal, food is digested, thoughts are thought, and emotional trauma is resolved.

Subaru: 8. Behan needs a few remedial lesson in critical thinking and some epistemology wouldn’t hurt either. He does not know the difference between belief and knowledge.

KB: Fortunately, I along with our merry band here, have apparently escaped formal indoctrination in so-called critical thinking wherein oxymorons and euphemisms pass for logical precepts.

Subaru: 9. “Laws of Nature” is left undefined. It is also a tautology to say that nature (all aspects and phenomena in the universe) behaves according to the laws of nature. He is telling us nothing.

KB: Gravity, laws of motion, thermodynamics, electromagnetism is pretty well defined as the laws of nature. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t understand what these mean. Meanwhile modern biology’s assertion that all phenomena in the universe, EXCEPT the behavior of animals, behave according to the laws of nature is tautology, as in genes replicate for the reason of replicating genes. Whereas energy is an action potential that can be studied by virtue of the “work” it does. In the nature of animals the work they do is overcoming greater and greater forms of resistance in order to recapitulate and regenerate the fundamental action potential, now embodied in increasingly complex derivations of the underlying, fundamental action potential.

Subaru: 10. He cannot reverse engineer it.

KB: Stay tuned.

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Published November 20, 2010 by Kevin Behan
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181 responses to “What Does Dunning-Kruger Have To Do With Dogs?”

  1. kbehan says:

    I can repeat basic gist of evolutionary theory (random genetic mutations within variable genome of a species confer slight adaptive value to certain traits and over time and wide enough population base and given a world of limited resources, the entire genome shifts toward adaptive capacity). On the other hand you cannot repeat the gist of the more modern energy theory of evolution.

  2. kbehan says:

    Yes, first the dog had the experience of getting food from behind a shield that the experimenter pointed at. Then it was repeated with a projected video of an experimenter pointing, and I think this was enough to generate a lean on that first occasion, thereafter the image didn’t trigger a physical memory of a person and so the dog always went to the opposite of where the person on video pointed because I believe it had acquired a physical memory of things to the right of it being more attractive than objects to the left. In other words, it was only going by the reality of two objects on either side of it, and the projected image didn’t trigger it anymore so it was as if it wasn’t there.
    I suggested a couple of experiments to Marc Hauser in my email but he wasn’t interested.

  3. Heather says:

    That is an amazing dog you have Phyllis, with a great owner.

  4. DaveD says:

    Seb asked “ At what point then, WOULD you consider having an open mind for someone’s theory? Wouldn’t their skills for being a manager, or in this case, a trainer, warrant a certain level of believability and an open mind? They’ve dealt with the behavior, they’ve seen the successes – and failures – and can use their years of experience to evaluate. EVERY one has to start somewhere. So there’s no reason why Behan shouldn’t be encouraged.”

    Skill and talent at something is not at all equivalent to seeing the whole picture. Ask three experts at a specific task – like dog training – and you get three theories.

    Most often, experts are notorious for having a difficult time expressing their skill in terms that make it easy for others to duplicate its efficacy. Kevin confirms this.

    In developing computer programs to capture the knowledge of experts – software called expert systems – people were trained to interview the expert and extract all his/her rules of thumb, all the things that must be checked, all the possible situations that exist or could develop. These interviewers were called knowledge engineers. The had to translate what the expert did in a now largely unconscious mode into computer rules. I think expert systems lost appeal as it is too hard to do this.

    I appreciate talent. But you ask when would I accept a theory that a talented person might wish to expound? Well, in the case of dogs, a theory expressed in the terminology appropriate to the study of animals from the applicable sciences is first and foremost necessary.

  5. Heather says:

    He might change his mind now that he’s not beholden to Harvard.

  6. kbehan says:

    The reason I don’t use the terms of modern behaviorism is that they don’t make sense. This terminology places one on a track that if an animal isn’t thinking it is mindless. This is a filter that colors all perception and interpretation. Terms that you are probably comfortable with such as “dominance, territorial, survival instincts” or “learning by association” are oxymorons: and not only that they are contradicted by the things dogs do every day. Were you to do the math of if….then statements they quickly lead you into rabbit holes of self-contradicting logic loops. You end up saying things such as we can never know what’s in the mind of an animal, but we do know they think like us only varying by degree rather than in kind. So I ask, show me a thought that varies by degree? What does such a statement mean; some thoughts are smarter than other thoughts, or more or less complex? Then show me a simple thought in a dog that varies by degree from a simple thought in a child. If such statements make sense to you then we have two different dictionaries for the same language.
    As I have made clear I’m not using testimonials as an argument (however it is interesting that these folks learn to do everything counter to modern learning theory and then their dogs get better, when according to modern learning theory they should get far worse), my argument is a model that never contradicts itself. (This is not a grandiose statement but basic criteria; for example, if our model for electromagnetism ever contradicted itself then we would quickly throw it out.) A model is not “the answer,” it is a method of analysis which opens the door to further discovery.
    Here’s a prediction. In twenty or thirty years the behavioral sciences will be adopting the terminology of a particular science and these terms will indeed make sense, physics.

  7. DaveD says:

    I’ll think about thoughts dogs may have. Remember that simple reasoning is a complex of sense data from internal and external sources, memories, emotions past, present, and future (directed by temperament); all this may be conscious, and when focused with intention, it is conscious. Actually, all thoughts are like this.

    As for terminology, I was rather thinking biology, anthropology, ethology, physiology, neuroscience, and psychology (informed by cognitive ethology).

    I agree that behavioral talk w/r humans is often vague, let alone trying to say things about dog behavior with these anthropomorphic terms.

    Your faith in a strict eliminative materialistic reductionism is evident, but even among scientists who believe ‘its all physics’ focus on how nature has elaborated to consciousness and uses the lingo of the other appropriate sciences like I mentioned above.

    You want to leave out too much physical science specific to living organisms.

  8. Christine says:

    @Phyllis…I too found your story compelling. The first dog I ever adopted as an adult turned out to be as aggressive as your GSD. Walking him was a nightmare, as was having company in my house. The last straw was when he bit me as I was putting his food down for him to eat. In desperation I returned him to the rescue where I had adopted him. I went through a very similar type of training using the sharp corrections, which is btw, the same method I used with Duncan. Fortunately for Duncan I found NDT and didn’t have to lose another dog needlessly. I still think about Max; he was a lab/hound mix and had the lab personality. I did love him and I was torn apart returning him to that rescue. Sometimes I think if I knew where he was I’d go get him and work at giving him the life he deserves; it sure wasn’t his fault things turned out so badly for him. I also agree with you about the results…the proof is in the pudding, so to speak. Even if Kevin’s theories are nothing more than a madman’s feverish imaginings, I don’t care. The results are what matter and contemplating his theories is a fun ride and mentally stimulating. So no harm done anywhere, near as I can see.

  9. Heather says:

    Just checking – does “using the lingo” of the other appropriate sciences make something true?

    “everything dogs do challenge the current theories”

    Maybe not everything, but it does seem to be the case that mainstream theories are not going to challenge themselves despite what dogs do – someone has to start the analysis somewhere.

  10. kbehan says:

    No, you’ve got it inside out again. Modern cognitive ethology is materially reductionist in that all it is talking about is physical, material things, as in genes, proteins, neurons. The only way you can envision consciousness is by way of a material process, in your mind consciousness can’t exist independent of it, the brain equals the mind. I’m the only one who is not being reductionist. And if you’ve already arrived at the conclusion that dogs think and reason, then why are we only now getting around to thinking about the kinds of thoughts dogs might be having when that should have been the first order of business? Shouldn’t the interpretation of the evidence be based on the evidence rather than from a preconceived idea? For example, I didn’t begin by believing that all behavior is a function of attraction, I began as did everyone else in terms of instincts and learning by association. But then I noticed that nothing was adding up. I began to question the prevailing orthodoxies because it became obvious that something was missing. Ultimately the notion of attraction was the only thing that made sense and then over thirty years it allowed me to construct a model FROM THE EVIDENCE. So again I ask, is there any other possibility for behavior but intention and attraction? Surely in all the literature on cognitive ethology one can come up with an alternative and disprove an energy model? Nevertheless, I eagerly look forward to seeing what thoughts you come up with.

  11. Christine says:

    FWIT…as I’m typing, I’m watching Episode 11 of Quantum Canine entitled ‘Chicken Coop’ @ http://www.fact8.com/e107_plugins/autogallery/autogallery.php?show=Quantum_Canine/QC11_Chicken_Coop.mp4&start=12
    (I hope this link works!)
    It’s not just for entertainment, although it is fun to watch! It’s very informative and provides a visual for some of NDT methods/theories. I can think of a few posters who might want to check-in and watch at least one of these episodes. ENJOY‼

  12. Christine says:

    DRAT‼ Foiled again…perhaps the shortened version will work: http://www.fact8.com

  13. Christine says:

    Well, I’m stumped…I can’t make it work on my PC here at the office. Hopefully it will work for someone else?

  14. seb says:

    I had a reply, but I don’t want to steer away from the current conversation!

    @Christine – I tried, and you’re right, it doesn’t work! There must be something wrong with their site?

  15. Christine says:

    @seb…you could try typing fact8 tv into your search engine, that’s how I accessed the video; don’t know why the link won’t work. 🙁

  16. Christine says:

    Nah…still didn’t work! 🙁

  17. Rosie says:

    Oh, works for me?

  18. Christine says:

    My little computer gremlins must be giggling away and having grand fun at my expense! This is the error message I get: Forbidden

    You don’t have permission to access /e107_plugins/autogallery/autogallery.php on this server.

    Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

    But I can access it if I type in fact8 tv…go figure!

  19. Heather says:

    I understand that this is a process of reverse engineering, but I am likewise confused by the the question “is there any other possibility for behavior but intention and attraction?” Perhaps you could offer an example of a possibility for exploration.

  20. Subaru says:

    Yes, it’s a false dichotomy. Kevin, it’s simple and it applies to every other aspect of your beliefs. You make the claim, you provide the evidence.

    EVIDENCE, EVIDENCE, EVIDENCE. That’s what matters.

    And when it comes to EVIDENCE you don’t have any, not for polarities or flipping or the ‘energy’, or group consciousness. None of it.

  21. Subaru says:

    Kevin, I can parrot the nonsese you call energy theory, however nobody can understand it because that is what it is, NONSENSE. The reason you don’t think so is simply because you don’t really understand modern science.

    To expand on your ignorance re: evolution and IC. Behe’s contentions are known to be false simply because every example he has come up with has proven inadequate. Also, Behe doesn’t use the HUMAN EYE, his prime example is flagella. He contendes that their motor like function is irreducibly complex and could not evolve. We have found that this is not so, both with natural examples as well as Furuike’s groundbreaking work. And the real reason Behan’s views are little more than a joke has nothing to do with “intellectual reflex”.

    The reason is simple, and will continue to be the same… LACK OF EVIDENCE and counter-factual claims.

    It is the same standards we use for astrology, homeopathy, and all other quack claims.

  22. Subaru says:

    Once again we see Kevin completely corrupting the facts and presenting a view of cognitive science that exists only in his imagination.
    Dominance, territorial, survival instincts, and learning by association are not oxymorons. They do not lead to rabbit holes or logic loops. And all examples that Kevin has come up with were fabricated and exist only in his brain.

    Kevin’s view remind me of Bloom and Skolnick-Weisberg paper on adult resistance to science. They write :

    “Another consequence of people’s common sense psychology is dualism, the belief that the mind is fundamentally different from the brain (5). This belief comes naturally to children. Preschool children will claim that the brain is responsible for some aspects of mental life, typically those involving deliberative mental work, such as solving math problems. But preschoolers will also claim that the brain is not involved in a host of other activities, such as pretending to be a kangaroo, loving one’s brother,or brushing one’s teeth. Similarly, when told about a brain transplant from a boy to a pig, they believed that you would get a very smart pig, but one with pig beliefs and pig desires”

    Behan’s beliefs, are similar to those of a pre-schooler.

  23. Donnie_O says:

    “Once again we see Kevin completely corrupting the facts and presenting a view of cognitive science that exists only in his imagination.”

    Kevin, you’re a monster. 😉

  24. kbehan says:

    Yes, and the preschool variety are the worst kind!

  25. Christine says:

    Aaahhhh, that feels SO good…I just love self-effacing humor!

  26. Crystal says:

    Kevin, did you run over Subaru’s dog or call his mother a you know what? It’s actually getting “creepy” as my teens would say.

    Someone needs to go back on their meds.

  27. kbehan says:

    I’m arguing that there isn’t any other possibility and the ramifications of this are huge and this is why there is complete silence on this matter by my critics other than avoiding the question by claiming it’s a false dichotomy. Well a false dichotomy means that there are more than two options, therefore what is another one? If I am presented with a false dichotomy, I prove this to be the case by pointing out another option. So again it’s a corruption of what words mean. The charge of a false dichotomy is leveled, and the very meaning of the term indicts the one making the charge.

  28. Heather says:

    I have looked back on the exchanges and I can’t discern the points or the purpose from the words.

    Yet it is very clear that there is a knee-jerk negative reaction to the energy model of behavior and consciousness, and this reaction isn’t really about the model, since there is z-e-r-o intellectual engagement on the specifics.

    All I have is a gut feeling and experiences with my dog that lead me to further investigate NDT. It is not “proof” I want; I have all the proof I need in the behavior of my dog. I want to raise my own consciousness about animals; if it’s true that it takes a group to have consciousness, then this is my group on these issues.

    It is a matter of attraction and the laws of physics. It is how nature works and we are all part of nature. Reason is what separates us from other animals – dogs don’t care about our reasons; reasoning is what got our relationship with dogs and other people so screwed up in the first place. If we could get out of our own way and feel what we were designed to feel like dogs do, then this would please our dogs. There is only one chance to do this within a dog’s lifetime.

  29. Heather says:

    I meant to add that there is a place for reason – but I believe it should build upon a connection that is made between your “true self” and your dog (dogs always being their true selves). If we lose our connection to nature and our true selves, then all the reasoning, training, studies, etc. piled on top of that serves no constructive purpose.

  30. christine randolph says:

    suby was already discredited when he could not figure out that there could be 2 different people with the name Christine contributing…haha…

    even though CG and I have VERY different contributing BEHAVIOURS. if he cannot figure that out, he can probably not figure out different dogs behaving differently either.

    i.e. any christine that writes in relatively acceptable english is the same person ? any dog that wags his tail is proving harvard right…????

    i did not know that german dogs are exported without car experience haha

    another important aspect, if a dog loves cars, can we make him hate cars ? I think so, quite easily using many different potentially hate causing methods…

    the reason for loving a car could be divergent.
    a) because they are in close confinement with the beloved parent ?
    b) because the destination usually is fun ?
    c) because they can dog spot and bark at dogs and small people ?
    d) because it smells good (of dog) in the car?
    e) whatever else someone can think of.

    this could be tested. keep taking the dog to undesirable destinations by car and see if they still love it.

    keep them confined where they cannot look out, do they still love it ?

    clip their nails and clean their ears with the disgusting liquid they hate each time they get in the car ?


    in my humble opinion the pointing works better when on the move.

    i.e. running an agility course…

    a stationary person pointing is not as easy for my dogs to figure out somehow.

    hence in agility we often turn our bodies in specific ways and make small steps to indicate the desired direction as the dog is approaching an obstacle rather than just standing there like statues and pointing.

    because the dogs are little motion detector machines. stationary seems to make them look at your face, not your finger. go figure…

    …see monkeys grabbing food when people turn their backs…

    anyway, lots of work still to do by harvard et al. hopefully they will not fake ALL the results haha

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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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