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Body Language Primer

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 […]

Calming “Signals” are not Intentional Jun 25, 2015

I excerpted the following from a dog discussion site: “I have an interesting question, which I’m not sure there is a definitive answer for, but may lead to some interesting discussion.   How do dogs learn calming signals (appeasement behaviors, etc)?   I know there are lots of terms used for these behaviors, but calming signals seem […]

Body Language as a Function of Thermodynamics and the Laws of Motion Mar 13, 2015

What is body language? I’ve been working on an e-book concerning body language and came across this video which purportedly debunks Monty Roberts’ “Join Up” method of horse training. I’ve written about this video before but want to revisit the topic as an exercise in critical thinking. http://www.coffscoastadvocate.com.au/story/2012/07/13/horse-training-methods-questioned/ This article demonstrates how interpreting behavior in […]

More On The Play Bow Feb 27, 2015

Contextual Analysis versus an Immediate-Moment Analysis of the Play Bow The problem with the current consensus in behaviorism is that while the experts make very reasoned cases for a number of possible explanations for the various acts dogs perform during play, such as rolling over, bowing, grabbing and chasing, they haven’t been able to find […]

Impulse Control and Body Language Aug 19, 2014

(This is a very, very long post on NDT theory)   Canine body language revolves around the same question that drives much social research, what is the nature of impulse control? I propose that a primal impulse can only be held in check by an impulse of equal primacy. Otherwise an individual will be in […]

Emotional Fusion Apr 26, 2013
Misinterpretation of Behavior Due to Calming Signal Theory Apr 15, 2013

At the 3:00 minute mark of this video there is an excellent example of how the notion of calming signals leads to a fundamental misinterpretation of two dogs interacting. The author of the video interprets an interaction between a yellow dog and a black lab in terms of calming signals, as one self-contained entity of […]

Construct of a “Self” Feb 07, 2013

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 […]

A Critique of Context-Is-Everything Followed by an Introduction to Canine Body Language Jan 19, 2013

I started this section on body language in order to explain what’s going on in a You Tube clip of an interesting interaction between a Rhodesian Ridgeback and a Malinois. While brief, the video is rich with dynamic. In fact there’s so much going on that it’s necessary to do some theoretical backfilling before going […]

Body Language 3 Jan 11, 2013

Rhodesian Ridgeback meets Malinois Part Three   This diagram refers to the first seconds of the video linked below wherein the Rhodesian Ridgeback is lowering its front end and the two dogs are engaging without exhibiting much friction at least for one or two seconds. There are two very important elements. One is that they […]

Body Language 2 Dec 30, 2012

This diagram outlines the generic problem confronting any dogs when they interact. Any interaction has to be understood as an emotional transaction, and emotion moves from one individual to another by way of the same processes by which physical momentum moves. An animal moves its mind through the same neurological and physical scripts by which […]

Canine Body Language Dec 28, 2012

  This is an interesting video snippet that has been making the rounds of the internet lately. While brief, it is particularly edifying. The salient and interrelated questions are: what precipitated the outburst, why doesn’t it develop into an all out fight, why are their jaws agape, why do they rise up on their hind […]

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.