Your Questions

Thanks to our readers, the Natural Dog Training site is full of fantastic questions and interesting scenarios. We are continuing to develop the site in order to nurture this dynamic, growing community, and hope to provide more and more resources to improve your learning experiences with NDT. At the moment, we realize that there are often questions or comments that don't quite have a place within the articles, and so we've created this post for that exact purpose.

Please feel free to come here and leave a comment about your experiences, a question about your dog's behavior, something that you're stuck on, or something you've accomplished. In short, if you're going through the site, and have something to say that doesn't quite fit elsewhere - this is the place! We hope this will make your reading experience a little easier, and we'll continue to develop the tools you need to Keep on Pushing!

~ The NDT Team

[caption id="attachment_1193" align="alignright" width="216" caption="The Selbach family dog, Athos"][/caption]
Published June 27, 2010 by Kevin Behan

506 responses to “Your Questions”

  1. Ben says:

    I’ve seen you use heavy chain-link as a leash before – could you explain why that is your preference with some dogs?

  2. Kevin Behan says:

    The weight of a heavy lead (I call it heavy-walking) helps the dog on a loose leash remember (relive from physical memory) the experience of doing the food motivational part of the heeling exercise (also on a heavy leash) when ironically enough, he felt weightless from the alignment/synchronizing movement in tandem with the handler. This is particularly helpful for hyper-active million-miles-an-hour types that have built up an intense association between lead and tractor pulling.

  3. Ben says:

    Could you elaborate on what you mean about the food motivational part of the heeling exercise? When you say that’s also on a heavy leash are you saying you are using leash pressure in the heeling?

  4. Kevin Behan says:

    Since so many dogs have high level motivational training these days, often food becomes “poisoned” in the sense that it is tainted with over stimulation instead of its more natural grounding and calming effect. It’s like jingling the car keys to catch the dog that slips out the gate and then snagging the dog so that the keys become poison pill to the dog on the loose. So once I teach the dog what a correction is, then if it’s a zippy-zippy kind of dog, I rig up the heavy chain lead so that he can more easily relive the physical memory of walking calmly without being in a stimulated state.

  5. Ben says:

    I know this isn’t your area of expertise, but you are with dogs in the woods a lot. Do you do anything for flea/tick prevention or have you run into any issues in regards to that?

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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.