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In Absentia Oct 17, 2018

I like to debate and pit my theory against other theories. Alas however these exchanges usually degrade into ad hominem attacks or worse, “my training is better than your training” contests as opposed to a discussion on merit. However recently I almost got into a debate with a prominent thinker on dogs, Gary Wilkes. Wilkes […]

More Substantiation of the NDT Hunting Thesis Aug 22, 2018

(Thanks to Sang for bringing this book to my attention.) Little by little the paradigm on dogs is shifting. The current consensus is becoming that the hunt is what drew wolf and early man together and ultimately yielded the domestic dog. What’s particularly refreshing about this treatment is how it relies on Indigenous stories of […]

Grief in an Orca Mother? Aug 14, 2018

http://time.com/5363954/j35-killer-whale-calf/   It’s a touching story and we can all resonate with the mother Orca and the loss of her calf. But is this grief, and if not, is grief more meaningful than what the mother Orca could otherwise be said to be experiencing? Now when I argue that this is not grief because grief […]

Question All Assumptions Jul 25, 2018

  From the New York Times Science Section: “The setting was romantic enough. Sunny spring day. A cherry tree blossoming a vivid pink. One party, the suitor, was dark, fetching and amorous. But the other party lay there like a corpse. It was, in fact, a corpse. So began the first documented human observation of […]

The Nature of Canine Cooperation May 03, 2018

Wolves versus Dogs at Cooperation This experiment is exploring the cooperative capacity of dogs relative to wolves. It ends up with a muddled result because of two interrelated biases built into the interpretation. One, it sees the nature of cooperation as a function of cognitive capacity as opposed to emotional capacity. Are wolves smarter and […]

What A Dog Wants to Tell You: Secrets of Canine Body Language – Join Kevin Behan April 13, 2018 – April 15, 2018 at the Rowe Conference Center Mar 05, 2018

Join Kevin Behan at the Rowe Center April 13th-15th 2018 Whether you have a dog in your life or simply want to learn more about our species’ best friend, join renowned expert Kevin Behan and discover how a dog communicates with its body. What does a dog need? Love, play, food, shelter? These are important, […]

Emotion as Bedrock of the Mind Nov 06, 2017

Lately there have been dramatic developments in the research on emotion. On one side of this new paradigm is a book by Lisa Barrett entitled “How Emotions Are Made” in which she argues that emotion is not hardwired Ala the classical model to which the likes of Panksepp and Dimasio have profoundly contributed. On the […]

Emo-Thermo Conference Oct 25, 2017

A smart student who applies themselves at their studies might find themselves at an elite institution of higher learning, Duke University for example. And were they to excel there, they might find themselves studying under the auspices of a world famous scientist, perhaps someone who has discovered a new principle in physics, someone perhaps such […]

The Hunting Connection Jul 11, 2017

In “YDIYM” I postulated that if two beings want the same object they can potentially communicate. And if they want the same object that neither can get on their own, they can potentially connect. Above in the symbiotic relationship that’s evolved between badger and coyote we have an example of the former, a relationship which […]

Thermodynamics and Cooperation Jun 23, 2017

Thermodynamics and Cooperation “Rewriting Life” “New Model of Evolution Finally Reveals How Cooperation Evolves By treating evolution as a thermodynamic process, theorists have solved one of the great problems in biology.” https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608139/new-model-of-evolution-finally-reveals-how-cooperation-evolves/ In this study the thermodynamics of how atoms in a material coordinate their spin states so that the same spin sweeps through the […]

Does Your Dog Love You? Apr 08, 2017

My Facebook feed is almost 100% curated to provide a stream of dog behavior, interesting science and of special import, heavy construction equipment. At any rate this piece on dog behavior just came over the transom and warrants comment. 5 Signs That Your Dog Actually Loves You Let me put it this way, if one […]

Is Victoria Stilwell Becoming an NDT-er? Apr 05, 2017

In NDT the bite-and-carry is one of the five core exercises, and in fact it might be the most essential. Above we see that Victoria Stilwell is in effect prescribing the bite-and-carry exercise. Interestingly, so called science-based dog training is moving in the direction of the NDT practice and theory (Bradshaw: dogs should always win […]

Spring Rowe Conference: 3/31 – 4/2 Feb 10, 2017

What a Dog Wants to Tell You: Secrets of Canine Body Language Rowe Camp and Conference Center March 31, 2017 – April 2, 2017 22 Kings Highway Rowe, MA 01367 Whether you have a dog in your life or simply want to learn more about our species’ best friend, join renowned expert Kevin Behan and […]

Play Bow Continued Feb 04, 2017

 The video linked below returns us to the question as to what is it about the body posture of the play bow that proves inviting and, we can approach this matter by way of a related question: How did the Play Bow evolve? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgVVKoX8eIc&feature=youtu.be (hopefully the link above will work) For example, if someone receives a […]

Why Is Play Bow Inviting? Jan 24, 2017

I’m currently writing a book on body language so that my model can be applied to the things we see dogs do everyday. In the meantime, and in sort of a crowd-sourcing way to flesh out my argument, I would like to pose the following question to a science-based trainer or a behaviorist. After a […]

The Settled Science of Dominance in Dogs Dec 26, 2016

From time to time Dr. Bekoff writes articles to clarify the matter of dominance in dogs. Bekoff: “I’ve argued in a number of essays that there is a basic misunderstanding of what dominance means and that people need to read the ethological literature on dominance in animals to gain a more complete understanding of what […]

Episodic versus Physical Memory Dec 12, 2016

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PepZPSbvj6A It occurred to researchers that dogs trained in the “Do-As-I-Do” obedience method presented the opportunity to test whether or not a dog is endowed with episodic memory. From Wikipedia: Episodic memory is the memory of autobiographical events (times, places, associated emotions, and other contextual who, what, when, where, why knowledge) that can be […]

Emotional Projection and a “Theory-of-Body” (T-O-B) Oct 29, 2016

http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/47373/title/Mice-Display-Human-Like-Sense-of-Body-Awareness/ This research provides further verification of the phenomenon of emotional projection, by which I mean the projection of a feeling of the body’s physical center-of-gravity (p-cog), into an object so that the object feels to the subject as if it is an extension of its own body. This internal/external emotional connection is facilitated by […]

Why dogs roll in smelly things update Oct 14, 2016

    From the NY Times 10/10/16 “Why do dogs love to roll around in things that smell repulsive?” “One theory is that their sense of smell is really a complex motor system related to the brain. And so, Dr. Horowitz said, when Finn alights upon a rotting squirrel corpse in the park, the smell […]

Emotional Projection Oct 11, 2016

The following article is quoted in full: By Anil Ananthaswamy “Thanks to unconscious processing, most of us instinctively know where our limbs are and what they are doing. This ability, called proprioception, results from a constant conversation between the body and brain. This adds up to an unerring sense of a unified, physical ‘me’.” “This […]

Rowe NDT Training Session: Nov 11-13 Sep 05, 2016

In Touch with Your Dog: How Getting Physical Helps Dogs Get Calm Rowe Camp and Conference Center November 11 – 13th, 2016 22 Kings Highway Rowe, MA 01367 Learn the “physics” of being physical with your dog, from a master trainer who knows what your dog needs in order to be a calm companion. Register […]

Zeke: The Mayor of Portland Aug 17, 2016

    What language is spoken on Planet Dog? We sent Zeke to Portland Maine to find out. In the mind of a dog there’s only one question: What do I do with my energy? And there’s only one answer: Move well.  Every object comes to mind as a function of resistance-to-moving well. Sensory input coalesces […]

The Social Dynamic, Thoughts or a Feeling of Flow? Jul 14, 2016

Science is currently on the cusp of a paradigm shift in understanding the animal mind. On the one hand systems researchers are discovering simple principles responsible for complex social and collective actions. But then moving in the other direction cognitive researchers purport to find human like rational processes in the minds of animals. The debate […]

Ahead of the Curve Jul 12, 2016

  “The premise that the dog is linked to the wolf is nothing new. What is newly being presented here is the idea that sociability is a by-product of, and is dependent on, the prey instinct. Since killing large animals makes advanced social living possible, it makes sense to look for a connection between thew […]

The Dominance Debate Jul 08, 2016

Dr. Marc Bekoff in a recent article ….. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201607/dogs-display-dominance-deniers-offer-no-credible-debate ……  claims that if one doesn’t believe in dominance as an organizing principle in canine social life then they are therefore “deniers.” (BTW Lee Charles Kelley offers some excellent rebuttals in the comment section. I wonder if they will be addressed.) Meanwhile in the article Bekoff […]

Emotional Projection and the Mind

      https://aeon.co/ideas/the-mind-isn-t-locked-in-the-brain-but-extends-far-beyond-it?utm_source=Aeon+Newsletter&utm_campaign=d3f294acf8-Daily_Newsletter_7_July_20167_7_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_411a82e59d-d3f294acf8-69057377   Currently, all theories of behavior— save one — treat the mind of the dog as a self-contained faculty of intelligence. It’s the easiest way for the human intellect to conceptualize the phenomenon of intelligence given that the intellect is primarily fixated on material causation. As this article puts it, historically […]

Blue Skies, Nothing But Blue Skies, Jun 23, 2016

  A child learns to crawl, stand, toddle, walk and run without stopping to wonder how they are capable of manipulating their arms and legs in order to move about. They do it because they can do it. It just happens. Apparently all a child has to do is want to crawl, stand, toddle, walk […]

Perspective Taking? Jun 12, 2016

    http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/19_6/features/A-Dogs-Theory-of-Mind_21468-1.html#.V1RHaXToVto.facebook The Whole Dog Journal in the link above provides an excellent summation of a series of experiments which purport to show that dogs are capable of adjusting their behavior by virtue of being aware of another beings’ point of view. I’ve written about this research before but the subject keeps popping up […]

Do Dogs Understand Fairness? May 12, 2016

One reason NDT is hard to propagate is that it requires seeing the evidence through an unfamiliar lens, what I call an immediate-moment manner of analysis. Some mistakenly think the shift required is metaphysical, others think it’s mechanical. Some say my interpretations are too simplistic, and then at another juncture they say it’s too complicated. (I […]

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.