Why Dogs Aren’t Stumped By Cars

THE THEORY OF EMOTION AS THE BASIS OF THE ANIMAL MIND (which is easiest to see in the behavior of dogs).
When a dog is wandering about a roadway and a car approaches, even if it is frightened because it had just been abandoned or had escaped from its yard, the dog unlike a cat or a deer looks INSIDE the car trying to make eye contact. In contrast a cat, deer, or any other animal will merely react to the car as a large moving object and respond by simply getting out of the way. But the dog looks inside the car to discern its essence. It will often run to the drivers’ side and look in the window to see the eyes (“negative”) of the driver. Even when a dog is riding in a car at 70mph it will often make eye contact with people in other cars passing by.
Now if a dog had no exposure to people getting in and out of cars then it’s possible that they would not look inside so then why can’t we just say that dogs know cars contain people and let that be the end of it? I could except I noticed that my cats would come to the car when we came home and would rub up against our leg as we got out, especially around dinner time, but it was clearly distinguishing between the car and us, there were two distinct phases to its responses of car arriving, people emerging. And then a deer could probably see a million people getting in and out of cars and could never connect the car with a human.

The Negative Equals Access to the Positive

Animal consciousness is a tension/release dynamo. Tension is energy, its manner of acquisition and release is information. Release from a uniform state of tension is the experience of emotion.
Animals are at all times attracted to that which can release tension and conduct emotion, but before they can go forward, the “negative” (a point on which to focus) has to be “defined” by which I mean perceived as a point of access to the positive. In other words, the negative has to be held in mind simultaneously with the positive as if they are two poles on the same continuum, thereby completing a circuit.
Every mammal has two brains, the Big-Brain-in-the-head (central nervous system), and the little-brain-in-the-gut (enteric nervous system). Each brain operates from a different agenda and this creates tension. For example, the Big-Brain seeks stasis, for things to stay the same. It equates unfamiliar stimuli with danger as its primary concern is balance. External circumstances must fit within familiar parameters before it will execute an action and so it demands a “point” of equilibrium so that an action can unfold on stable footing. This fixation ensures survival. Meanwhile in opposition, the little-brain seeks constant input. It is always in flux and craves fluidity. It equates stasis with blockage and change with ingestion because its primary concern is process. This ensures growth. Both nervous systems produce electrochemical energy and in animal consciousness serve as opposite terminals of the body/mind, a biological action potential that stores energy as tension and then releases it as action, just like a battery powering a device (not to mention informing the action).

While only the Big-Brain can flex muscle, tendon, bone and move the body around, either brain can supply motive and they can combine to render a range of settings as a complex motive that can fall at one end of a spectrum to another. When a dog is wholly motivated via a Big-Brain orientation, actions are implemented to achieve immediate stabilization. In this mode, change is perceived as “bad.” At the opposite end of the spectrum when a dog is acting via a little-brain orientation, it is concerned with the experience of being-in-process rather than attaining equilibrium. In this modality, change is perceived as “good.” In the Big-Brain balance frame of reference, a moment of change is experienced as pressure and this makes the dog feel separate from its surroundings. In the little-brain hunger frame of reference, change is experienced as potential and the dog feels a positive pull to its surroundings. Below the function of supplying motive, the counterbalancing function of the two nervous systems in juxtaposition to produce tension is more vital and fundamental a role than either the Big-Brain’s neurological function or the little-brain’s digestive function. This built-in contradiction inherent in a two brain makeup renders a dynamic state of tension diffused uniformly throughout the body.
Therefore emotion is a “force” of attraction, the more tension released; the stronger the force of attraction. Release from tension is the number one “hunger” in animal consciousness and is the underlying motive to all behavior. Even eating food is fundamentally an act of resolving tension more than it being an act of nourishment.

To digress a moment the most important thing to understand about animal behavior is that the two brains are reconciled through the hunger circuitry. When a stimulus can be ingested, either into the body or into the mind, and without upsetting the parameters of balance, both brains have their specific mandates satisfied and the animal perceives that it is safe to go toward the object of attraction (things feel right because it can proceed and remain up-right). The energies of both brains can confluence and be transmitted into a physical action that makes the individual feel released from a uniform sense of tension, but only the hunger circuitry (this necessarily involves the Big-Brain but that doesn’t make it the source of the resulting behavior even though it executed the action) can be the reconciling mechanism. The reason hunger has evolved to be the reconciling mechanism in animal consciousness is because the predator/prey dynamic is the oldest relationship between living beings and solves two basic problems of every animal’s evolution, what is danger and what is food. All other relationships from parent/offspring; breeding partners, or between social peers, evolved from and are therefore based upon this primordial platform.
However, because complex things (as opposed to simple food items) cannot be directly ingested into the body and easily reconciled through the hunger circuitry, therefore a more complex manner of reconciliation is available via a third frame of reference, the heart. The heart is the preeminent organ of tension and release in the body given its mechanical action of pumping blood. This powerful muscle of contraction and release radiates a uniform sense of pressure throughout the body via veins, arteries and capillaries. The heart beats out a constant sequence of tensionreleasetensionreleasetensionrelease which the animal mind in an emotionally conductive moment construes as flow, i.e. a sustained apprehension of release.

Therefore, if when dealing with a complex situation or stimulus, an individual can subliminally focus on its heart while simultaneously focusing on the object of attraction, it can thereby apprehend a uniform sense of tension and a persistent impression of release and this feeling of flow renders a sense of wholeness, well-being and resonance with everything in its surroundings. As long as the individual can hold onto a sense of a uniform state of tension this affords a feeling the time to elaborate into its higher reaches of a multi-party state of synchronization. When interacting with complex things, such as animals and especially others of its own kind, the mechanical action of the heart pumping blood is a physical statement of bipolar satisfaction. The uniform pressure is always there since the heart is always pumping blood; the question is whether or not the animal can “tune in” to this internal statement of reconciliation when displaced by a change in its perceptual environment. This capacity segregates species of organisms into their respective niches and specialized network functions.
In this heightened state of attention, a uniform diffusion of tension as the basis of consciousness makes the body/mind a displaceable medium that “vibrates” with neuro-chemical energy at both poles (Big and little brain) when disturbed. Every perception of change, even internal physical states such as hunger, causes a displacement of the prevailing state of tension and this generates neuro-chemical energy in both brains. The animal mind is a self-charging psycho-somatic battery with two terminals, to repeat, one end of the organism is a pole that ionizes towards output in favor of stasis while the other end is a pole that ionizes towards input in favor of change. (Perceptually this means that the Big-Brain is fixated on form; whereas the little-brain discerns essence within the form.) Subliminal attention on the heart will turn sensory input into a uniform sense of tension in the animal’s mind.

This ultimately means that any two animals can communicate and potentially connect if they can both apprehend a uniform state of tension in the other, and this can only happen if they can apprehend a uniform state of release within their own body, i.e. if they can reference their heart. To do this, they must calculate the negative as a point of access to the positive by sensing the object of attractions’ center mass. This requires that the animal must be able to hold in mind simultaneously and in equal juxtaposition the positive preyful aspect of what it’s attracted to with its predatory aspect, typically the eyes. Another way of saying this is that the individual must be able to transpose its emotional battery onto a complex form in order to perceive it as a Being and thereby be able to compute a coherent response by way of becoming its emotional counterbalance so that ultimately they can both act in accord with the principle of emotional conductivity, with this being in service to the underlying network agenda. Unless an animal deals with a complex object of resistance (in this case the car) as its emotional counterbalance, then it doesn’t have a point of access and in the interaction and if it is not able to synchronize it will end up acquiring more charge than it is able to discharge and ends up feeling more incomplete than before the interaction. Therefore there is an inborn inclination to conform to the principle of emotional conductivity if an individual is endowed with the capacity to do so. The net effect of this calculus is that the eyes of the being become the pivot point around which a sense of a stable footing feels ensured.
Because of this constitutional makeup on which a “psychology” is predicated, this means that release for one constitutes release for the other. This will then prove to be the basis of a subsequent sociability because this will motivate them to align around a common object of release so as to find mutual satisfaction for their attraction to each other since when there is subliminal attention on the heart one can’t find release unless their counterpart finds release. If a dog can “tune into” its heart, it will forge a bond and cooperative relationships as it seeks to align around a common object of attraction that can absorb and reconcile their combined energies. This more complex understanding of the nature of Drive explains why the criticisms of Drive as being inadequate to explain complex behavior are in error. Drive compels organisms toward the path of highest resistance (via the principle of emotional conductivity as well as toward a feeling of attunement with complex objects and a coordinated style of being deflected onto a common object of attraction) rather than the pursuit of simple pleasures. Drive is fundamentally about achieving a state of resonance and the highest expression of this compulsion is the human drive to experience beauty as a means of feeling resonant with the surroundings.

Neotony And Sexuality
However if it is true that every animal experiences emotion as the release from tension, and given that every mammal has a heart, why has only the dog become integrated into human society?
The fundamental distinction between species of animal is how much tension their body/mind as an emotional battery can accommodate before this build up of energy breaches an individual’s capacity and then triggers a genetically hardwired instinct, or a habit, or, in the case of humans (and perhaps even apes and chimps) a thought. The ability to apprehend a uniform state of tension when excited or under duress is a carrying capability, an “emotional capacity.” The higher the species or individual’s emotional capacity the more it can “go by feel.”
This is a critical distinction because an animal can only learn something new, in other words adapt to change, if it can frame a situation in terms of release from a uniform whole-body state of tension. If on the other hand, the experience of change is too much for the capacity of the individual, then a uniform state of tension collapses into a concentration of sensations and this obscures the potential for release and under such circumstances the individual cannot go by feel but must respond by instinctive reflexes or by habit and this will always be in service to the Big-Brain balance mandate, which itself is in service to servicing a species specialized-niche participation in evolution. Therefore, the more pronounced the biological hunger in a species of animal, most vividly characterized by the urge-to-ingest, an overwhelming oral fixation that persists into adulthood, the higher the emotional capacity of a species and therefore the more it can adapt in real time to changes in its circumstances because it can combine and deflect their collective energies onto a common object of resistance.
Species of animals vary, and individuals vary from situation to situation, depending on which polarity of their body/mind is predominant in their perception of change. It can’t be both; it must be one or the other. (I liken this to the quantum essence of nature, as in one cannot know both the location and the momentum of a subatomic particle at the same time. In animal consciousness, either the individual attends to the form of a thing, or to the essence of the thing. If it goes by form, then it proceeds from an already established value either from its direct experience in the past or from its genetic endowment. Whereas if it goes by essence because it can discern the essence by way of its subliminal focus on its heart, then it feels the internal vibration within the form, its emotional center-of-gravity now serves only as an emotional counterbalance rather than dragging into this particular frame of reference the particulars of how the physical memory was acquired. In other words, if the dog can project its emotional battery in toto onto the form by being able to discern its negative-as-access-to-its-positive then it can FEEL THE OBJECT-OF-ATTRACTIONS’ CENTER MASS, and this high level of apprehension allows its emotional ballast to move freely through its body AS A FEELING, the exact epicenter of its mind now being its heart.
One way to directly experience the distinction in a dog’s mind between form and essence in terms of physical memory is the following simple exercise. For example, dealing with problem dogs I show the dog a piece of food and clasp it in my hand. Then I swing my hand rapidly toward the dog’s face. If the dog has been hit, it attends only to the form of my hand rushing at it and a reflex and habit related to fear comes up. Whereas if the dog has not been hit then it may blink and retreat a bit out of reflex, but it doesn’t flinch with a lifting of its lips, or cower in an exaggerated manner as it can still perceive the food within my hand despite the sudden motion and it readily opens its mouth for the treat. Its muzzle is SENSUALIZED by essence rather than SENSITIZED by form.
So in complex interactions, if balance is too strong, then the Big-Brain takes over and sensations overwhelm the feeling of tension/release and the animal conforms to ingrained habits and/or species-specific gene-driven reflexes. Whereas if orienting from the little-brain/hunger perspective, then the two brains are reconciled and it is safe as well as pleasurable to proceed with any given interaction so that the interaction can elaborate into higher expressions of feelings as a more complex statement of the simple principle of emotional conductivity. Due to a two brain makeup, species of animals segregate into their specific environmental niches according to their emotional capacity, all of this stratification in service to the network, not to any individual species particular genetic agenda.
The capacity to adapt to novelty is dependent on referencing the little-brain-in-the-gut over the Big-Brain-in-the-head. When two dogs meet in a park and they are stressed by the presence of the other, they will eat grass. They are orienting from a little-brain perspective and they are feeling release by eating the grass, and they attribute this experience of pleasure to the presence of the other dog that has triggered sensations attendant to being displaced but then reconciled through the grounding experience of eating something. In short order they will make direct contact and get along. A little-brain orientation inevitably leads to the physical action of the heart becoming the predominant frame of reference thus providing a template by which the individual can successfully negotiate a complex response to a complex situation. In other words, even when the rate of change becomes very intense, by maintaining subliminal attention on its heart the dog can continue to perceive the essence within the form of a thing or situation because it is always conscious of the experience of flow via the mechanical action of its heart.
Dogs are remarkably adaptable because the number one characteristic of the canine makeup is a profound constitutional and temperamental state of hunger, i.e. a little-brain manner of orientation, an oral impulse that persists into adulthood. For example, I have never known of a cat that managed its way into a bag of cat food and then eat much beyond a state of satiation whereas I once lived with a Doberman that broke into a 50 lb bag of dog food and ate 40 pounds before being discovered. The dog almost died. Many dogs dig up and eat rocks necessitating emergency surgery. Dogs have been known to chew slippers, sofas, cameras, steel belted radial tires, galvanized metal buckets, to oblivion. I heard of two labs that got into the refrigerator and ate everything inside; meats, milk, butter, cheese, eggs, containers and all: a spectacular feat of consumption that was only to be surpassed by a spectacular feat of elimination. A man once told me that he returned home from work and found his young dog sitting on his front step; problem being that the dog had been locked inside when he left. Next to the stoop was a gaping hole with insulation and wires dangling, the dog had eaten and ripped through moldings, sheetrock, plywood, studs and siding.
A prodigious physical appetite as the basis of a high emotional capacity spills over into an overwhelming tactile, sexual and social appetite as well. Hungering for the forms of things IS SEXUAL ENERGY. The owner of every puppy soon runs into this conundrum of the canine makeup in the first months of their dog’s life and dealing with this “biotonus” lust for all things fluffy, crushable or penetrable is the relentless focus of the modern behavioral marketplace as puppies grab everything with their jaws and anything it can fit into its mouth. This basic constitutional fact is the source of all so-called disobedience and behavioral “problems” in the domestic dog; which by way of contrast the domestic cat doesn’t manifest.
A particularly vivid manifestation of this canine hunger for release-from-tension is the fact that an owner can play tug-of-war with their dog, even lifting it off the ground and flinging it about, the dog loving every moment of being airborne. This kind of play turns out to be the reward of choice when training a dog for specialized duties such as the detection of drugs, contraband, cadavers, gas leaks in underground pipes, gypsy moth larvae, felons hiding in buildings and even cancer. This serviceability has been mischaracterized as a canine desire to please and as the result of human design; when it really is an innate capacity within the dog by dint of a little-brain orientation to pick up and align with the tension/release dynamic within the dog’s trainer.
Neotony the retention of infantile characteristics into adulthood as it is presently entertained in scientific circles is not enough to account for the domestication of dogs because all species of animals are cute and endearing as infants and elicit the human care giving impulse, and all animals have enjoyed scavenging access to village dumps as per the Coppinger thesis, and over the course of civilization human beings have consciously tried to domesticate all species of animals without success on the order of the domestic dog. The real reason infantile traits can migrate into adulthood and become fixed features of a mature disposition is because sexuality is BUT AN ELABORATION OF the neotony phenomenon, and this is because fundamentally sexuality exists in service to synchronizing highly coordinated group activity more than it is about reproduction. And the reason that only wolves (or a wolf-like ancestor) begat the domesticated dog is because of a little-brain orientation as the basis of hunting, reconciling complex objects of resistance via subliminal attention on the heart and thereby deciphering the essence within the form of a large prey animal and then collectively synchronizing around this complex object of resistance so that by intuitive and coordinated team work they can bring it to ground.
There are many behavioral ramifications of a two-brain makeup in general and a little-brain orientation in particular. A high emotional capacity (hunger-over-balance—little-brain predominance) means a dog can transpose its internal two-poles onto its surroundings. This is critical because if an animal is to adapt to something novel, it must be able to externalize and affiliate these poles with corresponding elements of the environment so that a uniform state of tension can be achieved. In other words a dog must simultaneously perceive a “negative” (the source of tension) SIMULTANEOUSLY IN CONJUNCTION with a “positive” (object of release) in order to “know” by feel what to do in terms of tension/release and this is the key to emotionally aligning with a complex object of attraction. Without tension there can’t be release, and if the source of tension isn’t simultaneously affiliated with a hunger for release, then the Big-Brain takes over and along with this, habits, instincts, and in the case of humans, thoughts take over. If an animal can apply this bipolar perspective to its environment by way of a little-brain orientation (thus paving the way for a heart frame of reference), this allows it to sense the wholesale state of tension distributed uniformly throughout its body, which is a fine and subtle kind of apprehension existing below the intensity of nerve sensations and Big-Brain focus on form. Therefore the stronger its constitutional state of hunger, the more the individual can transpose the emotional battery onto a situation. This for example is why when a dog is on a walk in the woods with its owner, it frequently turns around and makes eye contact with its owner; it’s re-acquiring the sense of tension (owner as source i.e. the “negative”) that then makes the act of going forward into the unknown and the higher rate of change resonant with the feeling of release. Otherwise, in the absence of apprehending the negative-as-access-to-the-positive, an animal’s species-specific instincts and acquired habits will govern its actions and this limits its capacity to adapt. Because a dog can transpose its emotional battery onto a human being under the wider array of circumstances and under a high rate of change, it is able to sense how to connect with a human being in any kind of lifestyle. It can feel whole by being in the company of human beings.

Furthermore, since a dog hungers for human contact with more force of attraction than can be directly consummated, it is predisposed to align with where its owner is focused, not only on the conscious level, but on an unconscious visceral level as well. A dog picks up the tension in what it is attracted to, such as its owner, and then where this object of attraction directs its attention, most especially on the subconscious level of focusing energy, becomes the dog’s definition of release. It is a transfer of information from one mind to another, information that ultimately organizes the dog’s behavior and even its personality, a tension/release dynamic of which the owner is mostly unaware since one’s animal consciousness arises from involuntary, autonomic functions of physiology, and respiration completely below the cognitive capabilities of the human intellect.

Another way of saying all of the above is that in the animal’s mind, by transposing its two-pole internal battery onto its surroundings, it feels as if it is dealing with a living being even when it isn’t. Note how a puppy first perceives a puddle of water for the first time, or a door swinging on its hinges that stubs its paws as the puppy is being let outside. To the young dog the novel object is a living being. Even though as the dog matures its response to puddles, and especially the door as something scary, will become muted which leads one to think that the dog has changed its mind about puddles and doors, however that frame of reference remains fully intact it’s just that it has become enfolded into other apprehensions of living things, for example, the door becomes an extension of its owner’s being which is why a dog will seek out its owner when it has to go outside. It becomes attracted to the door as an extension of its owner. The owner becomes the “negative” (-) source of tension to the door as release component (+).
Dogs perceive objects or even a situation as construing a living being whether or not there is a living being present. And if there isn’t a living being present, the animal mind has evolved so that the physical memory of a living being will rise to the surface of its awareness and the animal will project the physical memory of such a being onto the inanimate object because its hunger for form is so strong.
The two brain makeup with a little-brain orientation is the basis of a group mind which is why the young animals of almost every species, can entertain themselves by playing with an object. In their minds they’re playing with another living being, with its negative being perceived as access to its positive. And because during the first weeks and months of life the little-brain orientation is at its strongest so that a young animal construes every object of interest to be a living being, is also why the young of every species are at their most malleable and social during this early phase as well. Dogs however, more than any other species can carry this orientation into adulthood and while we are amused when a dog mistakes an inanimate object as a living being, I’m proposing that this speaks to a profound adaptive capacity because in order to adapt in a new way to a novel situation an animal must first sense a “being” present in its surroundings so that this can then trigger a uniform state of tension. If something is completely negative, then there is no uniform tension (there is a rapid collapse into a concentration of sensations) and therefore there cannot be the apprehension of pure release, i.e. emotion. And if something is completely positive, then there is no tension and likewise there cannot be the apprehension of release. (This is the addictive cycle, the organism reflexively invents a negative and now confuses relief with release and since it can never get to a true state of satisfaction because it’s not going by feel, the system constantly self-charges, never hits the stop signal, and the organism fries.) The two must be conjoined with the little-brain as reconciling mechanism so that the negative is apprehended as source of release and this generates a sustained state of attraction that can hold up in the face of resistance and change. An animal is orienting through its little-brain can project its internal two brain, two pole emotional battery (and the memory of a living being, the essence within the form) onto the moment so that it doesn’t perceive the source of tension as something “negative” but rather as inextricably coupled with release and therefore as something positive, negative-as-access-to-positive. The resulting persistence makes it possible, if indeed it is dealing with a like-minded living being, to communicate with another being through its own tension/release dynamic because this is a universal feature of every animal’s consciousness. Therefore rather than being limited by a simple on/off response to a stimulus, such a high capacity individual is thereby inspired to be circuitous, indirect; circumspect and able to graft one apprehension of a living being {door as predator (-) that opens to outdoors (+)} onto a larger apprehension of a living being {owner as negative (-) that opens door to release (+).}This frame of mind allows an individual to hang around long enough to work out how to align with the tension/release dynamic in whatever emotional context or group it finds itself in. Otherwise instincts and habits will run the show and these are only adaptive under a very narrow range of circumstances and solely in terms of survival rather than building networks of social affiliations beyond the species barrier. (Cats are capable of making this linkage as well, but not under the level of intensity that dogs can.)
Unlike cats and deer, dogs look into the car because they are able to project their bipolar emotional battery onto its form and this allows them to be able to persist in order to intuit the negative which thereby grants them access to the positive within the form.

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Published August 27, 2010 by Kevin Behan
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40 responses to “Why Dogs Aren’t Stumped By Cars”

  1. Christine says:

    I like this: “Unlike cats and deer, dogs look into the car because they are able to project their bipolar emotional battery onto its form and this allows them to be able to persist in order to intuit the negative which thereby grants them access to the positive within the form.” (I often eat dessert first).

    The rest of the article will have to wait until I get home; it’s an all night head-banger/nail-biter for sure!♥

  2. christine randolph says:

    Ha !
    yes, this could work…

    since I am a simpleton, I am leaving out a lot of the intricate stuff and I can come up with this relatively graspable Step By Step.

    1) object becomes noticeable to dog (car)

    2) dog seeks eye contact (to discern essence, get input required for subsequent brain reconciliation).
    If the dog cannot make out any eyes, he/she will pretend they are there. interaction with an animate object is more desirable, hence the dog’s propensity is to pretend that the object in questions is animate.

    3) dog subconsciously computes value of object.
    the goal is for the dog to assess if it is safe and possible to release tension by interacting with this object ?

    4) the following input goes into this computation:

    1. big brain assessment of danger,

    2. small brain strong and unreflected drive to interact in order to release tension.

    3. hunger circuitry reconciliation mechanism
    reconciliation between big brain and little brain input.
    can override big brain risk assessment. high risk = dog has to be more hungry to interact with object.

    4. heart reconciliation mechanism.
    another reconciliation between big brain and little brain input.
    only required in situations that are perceived as complex by the dog.

    5) possible outcomes of the computation:

    a) no side wins but Big Brain is dominant temporarily. dog does not interact with object but feels too attracted to leave the situation. heart or little brain cannot be referenced at this time. a state of increasing tension.

    ongoing “negotiation” until, at some point, one of the below more final states will gain dominance over the mind of the dog.

    heck and we all just said dogs were not that much into dominance. haha.

    b) small brain wins. dog interacts with object. tension is released. emotion is conducted. happy dog.

    c) no side wins yet but little brain is being referenced, but insufficiently to engage.

    displacement activity (i.e. eating grass.)
    eventually little brain gains dominance, dog interacts with object. etc. emotionally satisfying state for the dog.

    d) Big Brain wins completely, dog runs off from fear and will not return volontarily at this point in time. emotionally not satisfying, unresolved emotion is stored in dog’s body/mind continuum for future use. dog not happy but that’s life.

    I think other animals also use eye contact for assessment of situations, but maybe it is not such a major driver as it is for dogs.

    1) surely there must be other ways to get a storage of emotional energy into the dog’s system other than fear ? not sure what they might be….

    2) about the Heart Black Box:
    is it that the dog, animal, person sometimes is too unfocussed (scared, blocked..stuck in the big brain …)to feel the heart beating etc. ? the muscular movements of the heart ?
    and in those cases the little brain cannot be referenced ?

    i am not going to go to the group functions yet because first i wanted to see if there is a modicum of correctness in this my understanding which might be too simplistic to meet the mark but definitely all that I am capable of right now…

  3. kbehan says:

    1) object becomes noticeable to dog (car).

    ((Yes, its two brains are displaced by the perception of change.))

    2a) dog seeks eye contact (to discern essence, get input required for subsequent brain reconciliation).

    ((Yes, can’t achieve a uniform state of tension without apprehending the negative, i.e. projecting both poles onto a complex form of attraction that offers resistance.))

    2b )If the dog cannot make out any eyes, he/she will pretend they are there. interaction with an animate object is more desirable, hence the dog’s propensity is to pretend that the object in questions is animate.

    ((The dog doesn’t pretend, it does see a predatory aspect from basis of physical memory that’s called up depending on intensity of resistance being experienced. If the hind end is nonetheless going faster than the front end, it will persist to find a negative around which it can align so that as an access channel it can move the great amount of arousal (hunger/magnetism) it is experiencing.))

    3) dog subconsciously computes value of object.
    the goal is for the dog to assess if it is safe and possible to release tension by interacting with this object ?

    ((Right, if dog can feel sensual toward the defined negative as access to positive, because it can hold preyful memory in mind simultaneously with predatory aspect, then it is safe to move at full speed and Big-Brain catches up to little-brain with high energy but precisely directed action.))

    4) the following input goes into this computation:
    1. big brain assessment of danger,

    ((Not danger per se as that is a thought, but balance))

    2. small brain strong and unreflected drive to interact in order to release tension.

    ((small brain generates a degree of arousal that if it isn’t swamped by the dog being open and hence vulnerable to a high rate of change/intensity, then it feels unreflected and grounded.))

    3. hunger circuitry reconciliation mechanism
    reconciliation between big brain and little brain input.
    can override big brain risk assessment. high risk = dog has to be more hungry to interact with object.

    ((Yes as in above, if arousal can remain on line, then vulnerability due to being open is experienced as magnetism, either flipping polarity to connect, or acting ciruitously as a preyful aspect itself which then calms the object of its attraction.))

    4. heart reconciliation mechanism.
    another reconciliation between big brain and little brain input.
    only required in situations that are perceived as complex by the dog.

    ((Right, if the movements or deportment of the complex object reinforce little brain reconciliation, from this degree of groundedness the dog can perceive its heart and uniform state of tension it is generating.))
    5) possible outcomes of the computation:

    a) no side wins but Big Brain is dominant temporarily. dog does not interact with object but feels too attracted to leave the situation. heart or little brain cannot be referenced at this time. a state of increasing tension.

    ((Right, then the interaction has an OBVIOUS electrostatic characteristic. If the electrostatic charge is relieved, then the way is often cleared for a magnetic orientation to come forward.))
    ongoing “negotiation” until, at some point, one of the below more final states will gain dominance over the mind of the dog.

    heck and we all just said dogs were not that much into dominance. haha.

    ((Only if we need them to be.))

    b) small brain wins. dog interacts with object. tension is released. emotion is conducted. happy dog.


    c) no side wins yet but little brain is being referenced, but insufficiently to engage.

    displacement activity (i.e. eating grass.)
    eventually little brain gains dominance, dog interacts with object. etc. emotionally satisfying state for the dog.


    d) Big Brain wins completely, dog runs off from fear and will not return volontarily at this point in time. emotionally not satisfying, unresolved emotion is stored in dog’s body/mind continuum for future use. dog not happy but that’s life.

    ((C’est la guerre.))

    I think other animals also use eye contact for assessment of situations, but maybe it is not such a major driver as it is for dogs.

    ((Other animals are not able to kick in the sexual/sensual little-brain hunger dynamic so stay locked in habit/instincts.))

    1) surely there must be other ways to get a storage of emotional energy into the dog’s system other than fear ? not sure what they might be….

    ((Emotion is only held back due to fear, no other reason. Emotion can be held back by feeling, but then no unresolved emotion is acquired because the individual is in a state of weightlessness, i.e. resonance.))

    2) about the Heart Black Box:
    is it that the dog, animal, person sometimes is too unfocussed (scared, blocked..stuck in the big brain …)to feel the heart beating etc. ? the muscular movements of the heart ?
    and in those cases the little brain cannot be referenced ?

    ((Right, if balance is too strong, it swamps the more subtle modes of perception.))

    i am not going to go to the group functions yet because first i wanted to see if there is a modicum of correctness in this my understanding which might be too simplistic to meet the mark but definitely all that I am capable of right now…

    ((Very Good Glasshopper))

  4. christine randolph says:

    OK now the dog has decided to interact.

    how many different types of interaction does NDT differentiate

    and are they linked to the previous process..i.e. does Kevin postulate that we will NEVER see a full on attack after a displacement response ? even if the object is running ? because this only happens if the small brain is referenced completely from the start ?

  5. christine randolph says:


    what does all this mean for training the dogs. especially when the dog is fearful of something, the water, a piece of equipment, other people. obviously there is great potential in the fear and what is a humane and result-oriented way to use this potential.

    real life example, my dog was afraid of the dog walk (a piece of agility equipment) so the trainer and I drag my dog across the dog walk, offering her treats in the process but she will not take food until she is off the equipment. it is quite a long piece of equipment and it takes several minutes to get her across it while she is digging her heels in.

    we do this twice, she does not improve nor deteriorate, her fear levels stay the same.

    a week later she is in agility class again, she goes over the dog walk as though she had never done anything else….

    in fact she preferred the dog walk to the other equipment and went back to it when left to her own devices. it seemed as though the only thing she remembered was that she had gotten a ton of treats on that piece of equipment.

    so the stuff that dogs are very afraid of becomes the best emotional release for them and therefore becomes more desirable ?

    I guess when the fear is all gone and the episode is forgotten, the dogwalk becomes “just another boring piece of agility equipment”?

    just initially in the short period after the generation of all this fear, the thing is something special to the dog ?

    Obviously if we force the dog against his.her will we have to be sure of what we doing otherwise we are just another Koehler…but it would be wasteful not to use the energy stored in fear.

    so, how do i set it up so that it is always a GOOD Fear that actually gets converted into energy more times than not.

    the dog has to be insanely hungry for one. what other tips do you have ?

    i want to resolve my dog’s fear of water and another dog’s fear of the scooter or bicycle and of people overtaking me on bikes and skis at great speed. I want my dogs to jump off a pier (about 1 meter jump). For all these things I have to currently force my dogs against their will.

  6. Adam says:

    I’m still having trouble wrapping my mind around the negative as access to the positive. I just don’t understand how this mechanism can occur without some sort of means-end reasoning. It reminds of the Premack Principle, whereas the dog does a less desirable behavior (looking into your eyes) in order to achieve a more desirable behavior or reward (getting to eat food). I guess I’m trying to understand exactly how the dog feels after this exercise is complete. When energy is mobilized within him, does he have a conscious recollection of where/what will absorb this energy? Like in the Hessian/Be the Moose video…when he saw that deer, what happened inside his body or mind to direct him towards Kevin?

  7. Adam says:

    I experienced deja vu today and thought that perhaps physical memory is the mechanism behind this phenomenon. The brain intakes a particular intensity value and this matches up with a similar value in the emotional battery. Thus the person attributes this feeling of familiarity with where they are, who they’re with, etc.
    I was thinking though that how I feel in those moments of deja vu, is how the dog feels when he is remembering something. So in your example of the dog learning that the door leads to going outside and going to the bathroom…eventually after multiple repititions, when he feels the need to go to the bathroom, his physical memory will somehow navigate him towards the door….? Not sure about this here. I’m still confused about how he does all of this without conscious, purposeful understanding.

  8. kbehan says:

    If we first look at it from the practical, evolutionary point of view the sense of negative as access to positive becomes obvious, (although that by itself doesn’t explain what’s going on inside the dog’s mind). For example, the predator stalking the prey is 100% aware of where the prey is looking otherwise the prey will run to cover if the predator is detected before close enough to strike. Note how the cat freezes into position when the mouse looks up to scan the horizon. So where the prey looks grants access to the predator to the prey’s body. By the same token the prey is 100% aware of where the predator is focused since this is the difference between its life or death as well. How then are these practical benefits executed in the design of the animal mind?
    The animal mind evolved in accord with the principle of emotional conductivity. Emotion can only move from predator to prey polarity, just as heat can only move from high concentration to less, or electrons to ground, or magnetic north to magnetic south. So if a dog were to make prey on that which doesn’t act like prey, then it ends up with more charge than it began with and feels more incomplete than before. Just like a dog can discern by smell which way a track is going, (intensification of scent) he can likewise feel that this kind of behavior is inefficient because he feels more and more electrified and so it’s axiomatic that he will become sensitized to the eye of the being to which he feels attracted as the source of this electricity. He will also become sensitized to his physical center of gravity at the moment of birth when he leaves the realm of weightlessness and arrives in the weighted world of planet earth. Thereafter all emotional charge accretes around the physical center of gravity.
    Nature is digitized in that there is that which absorbs and conducts emotion, the preyful aspect, and this is anything of the body, and then there is that which reflects and resists emotion, the predatory aspect, which is particularly the eyes. When an animal encounters resistance to its expression of emotion into clear, straightforward behaviors, the physical memory of this resistance coalesces around its physical center of gravity due to the split beam of attention mentioned in another post, specifically, the subliminal beam focused on the physical center-of-gravity. IT TAKES AN EXTERNAL TRIGGER TO ACTUATE THIS SUBLIMINAL BEAM. In other words, that which caused the resistance is necessary to activate the memory of resistance and so therefore an individual is innately motivated to study the eyes of other beings (because this resists the projection of emotion and reflects it back, pings a ping right back at it increasing the experience of pressure) for access to their own physical center of gravity and a sense of their own physical body and how it is orienting in time and space. This means that the front end isn’t connected to the hind end and so it pivots around the eyes or negative in order to align its self with the object of attraction. (Sensuality allows this principle of emotional conductivity to elaborate to the highest reaches of feeling so as to compose a group mind.) All this maneuvering must subscribe to the principle of emotional conductivity, i.e. become the equal and opposite of what it’s attracted to in order for energy to move between them.

  9. kbehan says:

    I never thought of Deja Vu in terms of physical memory but that makes sense, two intensity values match up and one feels as if they have already experienced it. I’m not sure if that is a whole accounting of the phenomenon in humans but it could easily have something to do with it, as in setting the stage for a telepathic occurrence. But I think you’re exactly right that this is exactly how the dog feels when it’s in a situation that energetically is consonant with a physical memory. He does indeed see, hear, touch, taste what he once saw, heard, touched and/or tasted just as if he is reliving it anew. And yes this consonance is what ties moments together so that the dog feels a pull to his owner every time he approaches the door, the dog feels that by going to the door, he pulls the owner toward him, just as if he were moving a game piece by a magnet held beneath the game board, by going to the door. I think you can see how this is profoundly distinct from conscious, purposeful understanding. For example, the cat has no IDEA how to catch a mouse even if it has caught a thousand of them. All it knows is what it feels. It lays still 100 concentrating on holding the hole in the wall and the void at the pit of its stomach in one frame of reference, and if it can still itself and completely focus on that subliminal beam of Will, then as if by magic the mouse walks into its waiting jaws.

  10. kbehan says:

    In other words, the principle of emotional conductivity accounts for the two fundamental questions of survival, What is the prey? and Where is the predator? And then the confluence of these two values via a sensual/sexual nature allows them to elaborate into an infinite gradation of social responses and cooperative teamwork.

  11. Adam says:

    Ok I think I’m starting to understand better. So the dog or predator searches for the eyes, because it feels that this area resists and reflects energy back upon itself, producing the subliminal beam, and enabling the dog to feel his body. I guess I can relate to this…maybe it’s like making eye contact with someone you are attracted to, and feeling a sort of intensity (pressure) inside of you. But the negative grants access to the positive? It sounds like the negative grants the dog access to himself…
    And I’m a bit unclear about “this means the front end isn’t connected to the hind end.” Are you saying that the subliminal beam literally travels from front to hind end of the dog’s body, connecting him and giving him a feeling of wholeness?
    Finally…so if this eye contact exercise is done with a dog and food…you are using Pavlovian conditioning to make the dog associate its memories and emotions, (activated through the subliminal beam), with you the owner..? I guess I’m looking for what it accomplishes in training. Understanding the end result might help me with grasping the process behind all of it. Thanks.

  12. kbehan says:

    Right, the more the animal is aroused, the more it is vulnerable as these two are inextricably linked via hunger/balance as source of consciousness, and so the dog focuses on the eyes as the source of the most intense pressure, and therefore that element which must be reconciled in order for it to feel safe to go forward. The reason the hind end isn’t connected to the front end is to implement this principle of conductivity, it’s the same reason the government doesn’t allow us to print our own money, if we had autonomous access to money, then it would be worthless and there couldn’t not be an economy. So if animals were independent autonomous entities of consciousness, then there wouldn’t be any ecosystems and no evolution. The point in knowing this for training is to remove all the judgments we carry against dogs and which come into play during the course of training, as in the dog “knows” this or that, or is “blowing” us off, or is dominating us or trying to please us, or showing us respect and all of that irrelevant stuff that gets in the way of understanding that dog and owner form one energy circuit. By understanding that the hind/end vs. front/end makeup is an energy circuit, this allows us to master the laws of nature and insert ourselves into the dog’s mind as an energy circuit, i.e. be the ground for its energy, according to the principle of emotional conductivity rather than human reason.
    So the eyes put the dog in touch with its physical center of gravity and all physical memory that has accumulated around it (meanwhile the heart computes the calculus of all this so as to predict where energy is GOING TO BE ) and it experiences that pressure, which can collapse into a state of hunger in best case scenario and dog has a positive experience.
    The dog’s name travels along this subliminal beam actuated by the focus of its handler, and so we see a dog become extremely energized by the sound of its name and yes, this is how it feels whole if it can come into resonance with the source of this pressure.
    The reason I use food isn’t for reinforcement value per se, but to invoke the hunger circuitry so that the dog learns to collapse from front end electrical pressure, to hunger orientation and thereby feel grounded into the source of this energy. And then on a higher level of elaboration, if the hunger orientation is strong enough, the dog can then reference its heart to evoke a UNIFORM state of tension and divine center mass of what it’s attracted to in order to conduct the calculus of potential energy, and thus a complex chain of actions that will allow it to not only synchronize, but “anticipate” where energy is going to be. I think you’re getting close to understanding how the mind works so Keep On Pushing!

  13. kbehan says:

    Just to follow through on your question “negative grants access to positive? …sounds like the negative grants dog the access to himself.” Yes, those are the same statements. The dog projects its physical center of gravity onto the form of what it is attracted to, and then it wants/needs to reconnect with its “self.” It has no idea that the head of the form is connected to the body it’s projected into, because it feels what it does on its insides, the thing is inside of it as far as it can experience and make sense of what’s happening and the dog can go from two distinct frames of reference (electrical or magnetic) and have two completely different experiences. For example, the fearful dog that is affectionate with a guest in the house as long as they are sitting, but the instant they stand up it attacks. The body of what it desires IS its body as far as it can ever know and its eyes can quite literally disconnect it from its “self.” Then if heart runs the show, then physical memory is computed as a lump sum quantitative emotional ballast as counterbalance and they can synchronize because all the variables are now held in a single frame of reference and as one wave form, each the counterbalance to the other, each emotionally inducting energy in the other so that by being in sync they realize more pleasure than they can get by singular action.

  14. kbehan says:

    Finally, due to Pavlovian conditioning, the infant pup is imprinted via associations, that external objects of attraction are synonymous with its physical center of gravity when it hungers for said object. For the rest of its life, projecting the physical cog onto objects via this imprint, is how the principle of emotional conductivity is implemented in complex interactions.

  15. christine randolph says:


    what is a good way to get the dog to choose to interact when he or she tends to go down the road of fear and runs off ?

    30 seconds of push for food exercise ?

    and then try whichever exercise again ?

  16. kbehan says:

    If the dog will take food that is a good sign that it is converting stress into drive, but it’s important to have such a dog on lead and wait for them to make a “trait” that will make itself the opposite of, and thereby complement the object of their attraction.

  17. kbehan says:

    Another thing to recognize is that a fearful dog acts as if it has an electrostatic charge and so one can do things to take the charge off, the pushing for food is good, rough physical contact, even bumping their toes with your feet or having them clamber on top of a raised surface, such as a table or wall. This converts the charge into forward motion and makes them feel good, like an athlete getting the first hit of contact which immediately removes game jitters.

  18. Christine says:

    “…rough physical contact, even bumping their toes with your feet…” It’s funny you should say that Kevin as that is what I’ve fallen into with Diva and her fear-barking at my son. I’ve been giving her rough, physical contact every time she fear-barks at him, all the while telling her what a good girl she is. Kewl‼♥ I must be going by feel and acting instead of instinct and reacting. You GO girl‼

  19. Christine says:

    Soooo…could I try that down at the canoe portage when she exhibits fearful behavior and/or fear barks? There is a large rock that I could have her climb us on as well.

  20. christine randolph says:

    We said before that when a dog gets scared they “imprison” the energy rather than releasing it…i.e. dog does not complete the interaction and therefore does not experience the release.

    Is it correct to assume that this energy is like money in the bank and can be released in a totally different situation than when it was acquired ?

    i.e. day 1 dog gets scared of scooter, sits behind couch with tail tucked in

    day 2 dog releases this energy when successfully interacting with a teeter for the very first time in his life…?

    do you think the most recently accumulated fear energy is released first ? Last in – first out ?

  21. kbehan says:

    That’s what I believe, the more intense the experience, and earliest experiences due to novelty are generally more intense than subsequent ones, so therefore when something new happens it reawakens earliest memories and whatever glitch is in there comes up to the surface. This is why puppy raising is so critical and why dogs are being overly socialized, having very intense experiences, and then years later the fear converts to aggression in order to “complete the interaction.” So it’s not exactly last-in-first-out, it’s more to do with degree of intensity, and this has a lot to do with novelty. The animal mind does not distinguish on the most basic level between something new and something moving very fast, i.e. intensity or rate of change.

  22. kbehan says:

    Right, have her clamber up on stuff, the more difficult, the more “electrostatic charge” she’s getting out of her system and this can free her up to make a “trait-on-demand” and thereby have a good experience.

  23. mwilliams says:

    Might you speak more to the “puppy raising is so critical” issue. I’ve just gotten a new puppy and would welcome more dialogue on this topic – especially about setting the tone for intensity of excitement when it comes to the biting. Sometimes when the hand,arm biting gets too rough for me he does not always take to redirection with a ball or stick. Should I just stop the interaction and remove myself if he begins jumping and nipping at my legs.

  24. Alwynne says:

    Hi: I’ve loved your training methods since the early 1990s, when I used your book to train my first dog, Ubi, who died about a year and a half ago at 18, the sweetest, happiest dog ever. We have a 12 year old dog (lab beagly mix) who I used your training methods with to get 100 percent focused on the ball when he was a young pup and have never had major problems with. We recently got a 4-year old shepherd/sharpei mix from the shelter–and so I re-ordered another copy of your book, since I had lost the one I had for the other dogs. She is great with our kids and fine with our dog. The problem is that sometimes when she is on the leash she will go beserk at another dog on a leash, barking and lunging extremely aggressively. She is 70 pounds and so this is not a pretty sight. Other times, she will walk up to another dog on a leash calmly, sniffing and wagging, and we can’t tell which dogs she is going to do what with. I’ve been working on getting her to push into me for food, which is somewhat hard because she is not very food focused and at the slightest anxiety stops eating completely. I’ve also gotten her to bite and tug on a pull-toy (something she never did before) and even play some fetch (another new activity for her) including swimming after a stick in the water and bringing it back. I am hopeful that these new skills are signs that my natural dog training regimen is having an effect on her, but in the meantime, it is not yet having an effect on her one problem area–meeting dogs on walks. I would like some advice on how to handle meeting other dogs out on walks while I continue to work on these other skills i.e. getting her to give me her bite/drive. By the way, this is not easy for her; she is quite tenative to bite anything when around me until I get her riled up. We live in an urban neighborhood. Should we let her check out other dogs, and only yank her away if she gets aggressive (by which time she is always in a state of high aggression and it is quite a scene;) should we, as soon as we see another dog, praise, jerk the pinch collar and run away as fast as possible before she has a chance to meet it? And how and when is it realistic to hope I can start affecting this one problem behavior directly?

    Thanks so much for your advice.

  25. kbehan says:

    Thanks for your kind words. It’s important to not take her out into the world until she’s equipped to handle it. Think of her connection to you as a pipe and her reactivity to other dogs means that she hasn’t learned to give 100% of her energy to you yet and this is what you need to be working on so that you can THEN socialize her. If you expose her to what she can’t handle before you achieve that kind of rapport then she isn’t being socialized but hardened to resistance. She may learn to do well with 9-out-of-10 dogs, but the charge to the one-out-of-ten is getting stronger. The basic skills she needs to learn are 1) Pushing 2) Speak on Command 3) Bite the object NO-MATTER-WHAT 4) Flipping Polarity FAST into supple mode. With these at her disposal she has the means to plug into other dogs, and in conjunction with techniques to take the electrostatic charge off her, she can learn to spontaneously generate traits-on-demand. So focus for now on her tentativeness to pushing for food, this is the nub of her problem. Good luck.

  26. kbehan says:

    The owner is the first “humanoid” as a template which will then be projected onto all other humans, so read why dogs bark at stranger article for an explanation of this. Basically, if you overly correct or overly stimulate a puppy, it creates a charge toward other people that can range from annoying hyper-friendliness to aggression, so go slow and give your puppy a natural puppy-hood without corrections and without putting it into situations that it isn’t yet equipped to handle. Just relax and have fun with your pup doing doggy friendly stuff.

  27. Alwynne says:

    Thank you so much for your advice. While I have to take her out into the world to walk her(our urban yard is not big enough to be her world, although it is the safe haven where we are making progress on training), I am basically trying to run away from other dogs with her when I see them up ahead, trying to get her to move her energy away from the dog (or squirrel) and back into running with me. Sometimes her hostility to the dog we are running away from still breaks through though.

    We are having some breakthroughs with contacting, in the meantime. While I had been practing the pushing as Neil describes it and she has been pushign into me for the food while standing on all four legs (she will not push quite hard enough for the food to lift her forelegs off the ground), she spontaneously yesterday when she was happy to see me after a day away, jumped up and put her paws on my chest. I gave her lots of praise and with the encouragement of my other dog, who loves all toys, managed to get her interested enough in a fuzzy short rope-shaped toy that if I hold it against my chest and encourage her, she will actually jump up onto me, grab the toy, and even pull for a second in a tug of war. This looks a little like your pushing video. At least more like it than anything else I’ve been able to get her to do.

    I’m intrigued to try to get her to bark on command; I’m not sure how that will go.

    In the meantime, my husband is irritated because he does not see the connection of all this work to our hope that eventually she will be more stable with other dogs. Do you have any words of encouragement I can offer him?



  28. kbehan says:

    When it comes to couples, please be advised that in any context, one will gravitate to the electrical/control polarity (typically male) in direct proportion and in counterbalance to the other going to the magnetic/flow polarity (typically female) so you can expect resistance from your complementary half. The reason she is not stable to other dogs is because she can’t “flip polarity” in order to generate a trait-on-demand in order to complement the object of her attraction. So by doing this flow, up/down flipping polarity, get the bite and the bark out routines, you are opening her valves so that she can learn how to flip polarities and soften at higher and higher rates of change and extremes of intensity. That’s it in a very dense nutshell, Keep On Pushing!

  29. Christine says:

    Kevin, I’m not really sure I understand what you mean by trait-on-command. If it’s already been explained somewhere in here, I apologize for the redundancy! Thanks-a-bunch. BTW…Bruce Lee has been re-homed and they have a different dog now so I guess sharing the vid clip of pushing with him is a moot point. 🙁 I get the feeling that your cogitations are a bit much for some people to absorb, much less follow-through on even though I myself am quite enthralled and see the value (my follow-through needs more attention for sure…).

  30. kbehan says:

    Whenever any two animals interact, they must first differentiate according to the primal traits of temperament so that energy has a direction in which to flow. One must become the prey (energy to absorb) to the other as predator (energy to give), the former acts soft, the latter acts hard. When this is established, only then can energy move and ultimately through this experience the one at the predator polarity relaxes and when it feels safe enough it will be able to flip to prey polarity as well and this back and forth will allow the two of them to reach the higher ranges of an emotional experience (in other words the intensity of their interaction can be absorbed by the frequency of their polarity flipping, they create a wave function that can conduct their collective energies) and they thereby bond. They are then able to carry this physical memory with them so that they will be happy to see their doggy buddy on sight, and more amenable to flipping poles with new dogs as well. This process is incredibly simple to see once one puts their thoughts aside and let what’s really going on come into view.
    So when a dog references its little-brain (hunger circuitry) it migrates to the preyful polarity and is thereby making a trait-on-demand to fit with the object of its attraction. Note that the dog with the stronger social constitution migrates to the prey polarity and is soft and thereby calms the one at the predator polarity. If the latter softens enough, then it too can make a trait-on-demand and play ping/pong with its newfound buddy.

  31. Christine says:

    So, a trait-on-demand would be whichever polarity the dog chooses when, say for example, it meets a play buddy. Then this trait-on-demand could be explained thusly: In an encounter with a friend (who, for the sake of argument, has a difficult personality)and I “choose” to behave in the opposite manner (rather than being confrontational I respond with kindness/gentleness). Would this be an accurate assessment?

  32. kbehan says:

    Yes, exactly. When you’re dealing with someone who is considerably polarized in one direction, sobbing, angry, hysterical, withdrawn; and YOU ARE NOT CHARGED, you find yourself involuntarily moved to assume the opposite polarity, calmly listening to their tale of woe, sternly soothing if they’re angry, grounded if they’re hysterical, eliciting if they are withdrawn, in order to become their emotional counterbalance because your emotional mind wants to be able to fit and thus get some flow happening. This means that you are willing to be vulnerable in order to be complementary, and this comes from referencing your deep gut, from sublimating the balance circuitry to the hunger circuitry. On the other hand, if charged, then the other person’s radiation of energy is unbalancing and one just wants to get them to stop vibrating energy which is disquieting as opposed to becoming the counterbalance by trying to absorb their energy which would be grounding.
    So I should add to get back to dogs, that when one dog can apprehend the form of another dog via its hunger circuitry as opposed to balance circuitry, then it feels the residual effects of a positive physical flow and this allows it to sublimate the intensity of the experience to its hunger circuitry, and so it’s guided by a sense of vulnerability to become the equal and opposite of what it’s attracted to. It becomes the preyful absorbing pole, to the one that isn’t yet able to flip poles. It has no intention or cognition of this, it’s simply acting as a mirror and this softened and rounded body movements are preyful and hence calming to the more sensitive dog, which if not too charged, will find itself flipping polarity when the first dog resists (what we will see as acting cute and playful) the entreaties of the more sensitive dog.

  33. christine randolph says:

    my border collie cross Betsy made friends with a purebreed border collie named Fly on our vacation on a large farm. they were always seeking each other’s company. Fly ignored my other 2 dogs.

    Betsy also ignored my other dogs when Fly was close and just wanted to be with Fly .

    Whenever I said Where is Fly, (when we were not on the farm and there was no Fly in sight) Betsy would bark and swivel her head trying to find Fly.

    so the question is, how do dogs decide who they really want to hang out with when there is a choice ? is it by genetic similarity ? (i.e. border collies like other border collies best, jack russells other jack russells etc ?)

    also another border collie on the farm named Gem. She would hunt and maul the sheep but only when she could partner up with another dog.

    for example with Fly, and one day she partnered up with a jack russell named Pixie.

    they hunted and mauled 2 lambs together.

    my greyhound mix Freddie found a hole in the fence by himself one day to chase some sheep.

    fortunately we got him to stand down before we found out whether or not he would maul one when he got one..

    so how come some dogs will hunt on their own, others only when they are partnered up ?

    obviously the drive, attraction, etc of one animal to another depend on many different factors so how can this be made more predictable ?

  34. Christine says:

    Thank You Kevin for your response. I see this trait-on-demand and mirroring with my mom’s dog, Sister. She is VERY good at this. I’ve watched her down at the water with a neighbor’s dog (small, maybe a jack russell, don’t remember). At any rate, the pup’s parent fore-warned that he/she would behave badly and I said it was perfectly fine as Sister would know exactly how to behave and she did‼ It was impressive to witness the encounter and how she did ‘soothe’ the other dog into calmer behavior. It’s understandable that these behaviors can be misconstrued as “Calming Signals” but I think your explanations are a better fit. ♥

  35. kbehan says:

    Basically, like-is-attracted-to-like, just watch a baby when she sees another baby, and that means more than genes, it moreover means the dog’s acquired charge. So if two dogs both sleep on the bed, are the same size and color, breed, picky eaters, spayed, neutered, whole, and the like, the more they will be attracted to each other, BUT, when charged, the more friction they will have to cope with as well. So while like-is-attracted-to-like; ONLY OPPOSITES CAN CONNECT. So if the dogs can’t flip polarity because their temperaments are shut down by the charge, there is then fighting. This is where the NDT dog aggression protocol is fundamentally different from the mainstream, it induces a dog to express its fear without acting, to reference its heart in order to synchronize, and to flip polarities at higher and higher rates of intensity, and finally, to trigger the deepest recesses of its emotional battery. Once the temperament is on line, and physical memory is able to be apprehended as a counterbalancing emotional ballast (rather than via the particulars of how it was acquired), then the dogs can make traits-on-demand so that AS OPPOSITES THEY CAN CONNECT.
    That defining factor you’re searching for as to why some dogs hunt solo and some need a partner is what I call “prey threshold.” In general, the higher the prey threshold, the more the dog can turn resistance into drive and the less it needs another. The lower the prey threshold, the more it needs a partner, at least for bigger prey. When dogs partner up, their emotional bond represents a coupling of their emotional batteries so that they have more force available to them to overcome resistance.

  36. Christine says:

    I’ve always thought Duncan had a ‘high prey threshold’ but he and Diva most often go off together (I believe they’ve even done a little parallel-gaiting) and Bodie goes off alone. Does this then mean he has a higher prey threshold than the other two? Just curious.

  37. christine randolph says:

    i would have thought the prey threshold is high when the dog will only go with another dog. i.e. high threshold difficult to overcome, more dogs required to overcome

    low threshold = can overcome easily on his.her own…?

    also, would you be able to predict whether or not the dog will maul the sheep when he.she catches up with the sheep ? would this be in direct relationship with their acquired bite inhibition ? i.e. how hard they bite, say, my hand, when excited ?

  38. kbehan says:

    The dogs with the highest prey threshold need no accompaniment, although they could easily attract a companion. You could really only assess the temperament of the dog over a prolonged exposure to the sheep. A dog with a high prey threshold on first seeing the sheep, and if it has had a lot of corrections as bite inhibition training, will have the greatest degree of shock from projecting a pain memory onto the form of the sheep and so it can look as if it isn’t interested or is afraid. But after a few exposures and the prey essence of the sheep eventually comes to the surface of its awareness, that could be that. It will also have trouble taking direction from its handler because it’s going on load/overload setting. But a high prey threshold dog, that’s been grounded into its handler, will be the easiest to deflect and direct around the sheep even though were it a free ranging dog left to its own demise, would be happy to kill every sheep it encounters.

  39. kbehan says:

    Whichever dog loves the bite for the pure love of the bite, nothing personal, has the highest prey threshold. For example, foxes have lower prey thresholds than wolves, but they hunt solitary fashion because their prey threshold is lower. Whereas a boar hunting dog with too high a prey threshold will be quickly killed. As a dog man down south once told me, there’s no such thing as a brave boar dog, only a smart boar dog. I once boarded a dog in my kennel that was very sickly and hard to board but because it never left the yard, the owners thought they had the perfect pet. Their next dog was a happy healthy lad that was easy to kennel but soon to be killed by a car. Most of the dogs that get destroyed have either a very high prey threshold (aggression) or a very low prey threshold (anxiousness).

  40. christine randolph says:

    I have to say I fell into the same trap with my cat who had 24/7 free access to the outdoors in australia and the US in various homesteads so I thought he was bullet proof

    but here in canada with racoons and coyotes and what not it took less than a month to get him killed on garbage day.

    so you define a “high prey threshold dog” as a dog with a strong tendency to hunt, bite down hard, AND kill ?

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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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