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Construct of a “Self”

A dog gains awareness of its “self” from an awareness of its body. It gains an awareness of its body by being acted on by external forces, such as gravity. This awareness is framed by a bilaterally symmetrical anatomy configured around a physical center-of-gravity. A dog’s sense of its self begins with a subliminal beam of attention on its physical center-of-gravity in response to external forces. This construct integrates the animal mind with a sense of its surroundings. The surroundings become the substrate of the self and this is the basis of motive. The construct of the self is directly reflected in body language.

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Published February 7, 2013 by Kevin Behan
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2 responses to “Construct of a “Self””

  1. WetNoseswarmhearts says:

    Ran across this blogger talking as “Mindful Leadershp” and this post relating to the dog’s body seemed interesting. He recognizes that positive/negative reinforcement and simple manipulation of a dog’s body surface is not too meaningful. Just wondering If you had any insights or comments.

  2. kbehan says:

    Quickly scanned the article. On the whole seems very good and in fact crystallizes to some degree what I’m trying to say. This is why the core exercises (pushing/biting/barking/suppling) are so vital. Every dog wants to feel good. Feeling good involves genuine emotion. These core exercises are the mechanics of feeling good. Through exercising the core, the dog is learning that it is in control of what’s happening by feeling good, eventually it no longer has to react in its typical way because that doesn’t feel as good as a genuine good feeling. Since feelings are social by their nature, feeling good always computes for sociability. Feeling good changes the way the dog perceives, what values it picks out from its surroundings. The transformation becomes genuine. But first a dog has to feel what feeling good feels like, before he can choose to feel good rather than “feeling” hectic/nervous/aggressive as a way of being in control and thereby safe.

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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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