Where’s the Beef?

The more I try to explain an energy theory of behavior to those who are genuinely interested, the more sympathetic I am to the question: “Where’s the science?” I wish I had all day to collate the science that’s available in support of an energy theory but for now I’ll just try to call the reader’s attention to material as I come across it. In the current edition of “Psychology Today” (and I don’t know if it’s available on line) is an article by Jeff Wise discussing the evolutionary advantages of fear. As I read the article it was as if he was discussing the “emotional battery” without yet understanding how this is also information as well as it is a release of powerful energy in critical moments. I will be exploring at length in an article the nature of fear, how it is part of a registration system of stored resistance (data bank of physical memory) and then how it serves as a tuning device assigning focus and intensity to various stimuli for an animal; but for now I just want to point out the strong correlation between this article and the notion of an emotional battery.

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 October 29, 2010 by Kevin Behan
Tags: , , ,

15 responses to “Where’s the Beef?”

  1. Heather says:

    Maybe soon science will catch up to bite the theory so to speak. Now that would be good documentary material. I can’t believe (except perhaps someone who had not experienced dogs) that people would not find it inspiring. But I am biased because I love my dog. I have a lot to say on the topic of science (in my career truth has often been stranger than Halloween fiction); looking forward to many good NDT discussions and experiments.

  2. christine randolph says:

    i am not sure that it will be easy to prove the energy theory but I can see ways to prove Kevin’s theory of the function of fear and how to use it in animal training.

    it would be NICE ! too many dog trainers are not confident about working with their dogs’ fear !!!!! especially those +Rs

  3. Heather says:

    I was watching the story of some of the Michael Vick dogs. It is sick how a sociopath/sadist can take a perfectly healthy young dog, make it vulnerable and enjoy watching it struggle, fight to survive (not just physically but more importantly emotionally), just to do it all over again. Then when a dog won’t fight anymore, abandon it in the most inhumane way. Ironically, some of the dogs deemed most “adoptable” were the ones who looked like they fought the most – probably the ones who reached a “zero sum game” emotionally – fighting to get “themselves” back was a catch-22 (dog locked in a fight that there is no way to win; assuming it’s still alive it had to have refused to fight). The rescuers removed their physical restraints, and determined that the dogs did not have the “fighting instinct” left, but emotionally aren’t they still in that zero-sum game with their physical memories? Ie, the dogs can’t access DIS without shutting down (looking harmless enough). Even in the follow up videos, (I think it is 3 dog years later), these dogs still look like they have a lot of fear, how can a dog like that be healed through a process of feeling “hunger,” vulnerability, which triggers that catch-22 in the emotional battery–they won’t fight and should not have to (they should just sleep on the bed IMO). I can see why shelters would just not want to share this type of information, too, because later if a dog bites in legitimate self-defense, his history would be used against him in the worst way.

  4. Heather says:

    I think the dogs have to be “willing” to feel a want, an actual, real-life hope, and not reflexively associate that feeling with the past. Choosing to feel that way would not be rational, that’s for sure, so it actually is true that feelings have no reason (I never really understood that before). That is where the shelters need to know that they have GOOD handlers who are serious about playing with their dogs no matter what (and not only the theory.) And shelters do need to share the worst information, in case there is a change of heart about the dog.

  5. kbehan says:

    Theoretically, I do believe that any dog can be healed. The purpose of evolution is to make new energy, and this is stronger than the survival factor, which is why we can fall asleep at the wheel and drive head-on into another car since dream time is consciousness operating according to the principles of pure energy converting the stress/resistance of life on planet earth into information. This is more important than staying alive. So it is possible to trigger a deep physical memory that is linked to a fear instinct and then soften it with stress becoming information, i.e. new energy, so that a new memory of group cooperation can take residence in the battery to displace the old memory. Interestingly, the more the dog loves to bite, the easier to displace the old with the new. However the obvious limit on this approach will be the new owner’s capacity to build a safe environment while this is going on, their comfort level when they will be tested, and then the kind of time and resources they can invest in all this.

  6. christine randolph says:

    I think dogs can be compared to people in that way.
    post traumatic stress disorder etc. some people can cope with it better than others.
    also the heat. maybe that dog Kevin was working with had something like that exercise induced collapse syndrome.
    anyway, where are all the comments ? (i guess Burl is a gonner)

  7. Heather says:

    There is one great irony. The great deceiver is himself the most deceived of all.

  8. Christine says:

    Sorry christine r re: lack of commenting. As for me, all of my emotional energy is being diverted to another task for awhile. I do keep checking in, though, to read the posts. It might help to read the article Kevin referred to; then you (or anyone for that matter) might have something to say. Just a thought…

  9. christine randolph says:

    i know. i cannot find the darn article

  10. Heather says:

    Just to clarify, I was saying that I think Michael Vick deceived a lot of folks to get back into football, and he can’t hide his character flaws indefinitely. But thankfully that is water under the bridge for the dogs now.

  11. Christine says:

    Thanks for posting, christine r. I had looked but couldn’t find it either. Interesting stuff, yes?

  12. christine randolph says:

    @ heather, I cannot BELIEVE that this friccing mv was allowed to play football again. enough reason to never watch a game again.

    @Christine G. yes it is VERY interesting, but shows that we have to keep the fear at a medium level if we want to teach while the dog is in a state of fear.

    also the person who had the superpowers in Jeff’s article was not directly threatened, he was adrenalized into rescuing another human, as per what the dog did who pulled the immobilized dog from the freeway.

    (I can see where firemen and stuff get addicted to adrenaline so they …go out and set fires so they get to put them out…)

    in the situations we often have to deal with when we train our dogs, the dog perceives something as a threat to themselves, so the brain.body functions might be slightly different.

    my policy right now is if the dog shows fear and temporarily refuses food, i will not demand great things from them. at that point i mainly focus on getting them back to a place where they will eat.

    this is where “starving” them makes it easier to get them there.

    this requires a lot of planning and sometimes the time you had set aside for training, gets used up by some emergency and then the dog has been starved so much it becomes unconscionable (darn i had to look up how to spell that) to not feed them.

    then you have to start all over.

    them refusing food is currently the indicator for me, they are near or beyond the threshold where they can no longer use the fear for anything productive.

    i am not sure this is true.

    it is just what i am trying to cobble together in my little mind trying to apply the wisdom of hunger circuitry and the power of fear brought to us courtesy of this website’s intellectual property owner…

    like i said my trainers here are not willing to go to a training that incorporates fear in a way the dog can benefit. if a dog shows fear (even a tucked tail will do for these sensitive ladies), they will order me to stop training them and put them in the crate until they have calmed down… darn darn darn.

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: