Why Dogs Do What They Do

Why Do Dogs Shake? Nov 19, 2015

An athlete is hit hard in a game and is momentarily stunned. The coach says “shake it off;” he does, literally, either by wriggling the affected body part or by shaking his head to clear the cobwebs. Likewise, when the play between two dogs gets a little rough, first one dog, and then invariably the […]

Why does a dog yawn? Mar 26, 2010

I did a quick search of the internet and along with what I expected to find,1) yawning is a physiological means of getting more oxygen into the lungs 2) it is a response to stress and pressure; 3) it is a calming signal to other dogs; I was surprised to find one particularly good answer […]

Why Do Dogs Prefer to Drink From Toilets? Dec 01, 2009

Because it’s grounded Dr. Dodman has noticed that many dogs that are afraid of thunderstorms seek shelter in bathrooms squeezing themselves behind the toilet or getting into the bathtub or shower stall. He believes this is because plumbing fixtures are grounded into the earth that this must afford the dog relief from the electrostatic vibe […]

Why do dogs bark at strangers? Aug 14, 2009

Because it’s their owner acting strange. There are three things I need to explain in regards to this phenomenon. First, in the animal mind, the form-of-a-thing, such as a human, cat, deer, etc, or sometimes even a log, is the confluence of two energies, predatory and prey. The ratio of these two energies compose a […]

Why do dogs chase their tails? Aug 11, 2009

To connect their front end with their hind end. The number one motive of all animal behavior is to-connect-the-front-end-with-the-hind-end in order to “ground” stimulation. This is because when a dog is stimulated, it’s just as if the dog is cut in half, in other words, the dog’s center-of-consciousness is wholly centered in its head and […]

Why do dogs fetch? Aug 06, 2009

All animals play, especially when young, and often with objects. But when you throw something for a dog, it’s like a boomerang: with just a bit of deft management it comes right back to your hand. Why? Because the dog wants its “self” back. We often wonder how dogs see themselves. Do they see themselves […]

Why do dogs roll over in "submission?" Aug 01, 2009

To expose themselves, their underside in general, their genitalia in particular. While “submission” may at first appear to be fundamentally different from “dominance,” in reality they are opposite and yet equal expressions of the same urge to make contact (indirectly, i.e. via sexual contact) with something they are attracted to but, have associated a strong […]

Why do dogs lift their legs on fire hydrants, trees, posts, tufts of grass and all manner of upright objects? Jul 30, 2009

To expose themselves, their underside in general, their genitalia in particular. But if that’s true, why would a dog want to expose itself to an inanimate object? First, let’s review the traditional/behavioral interpretation of leg-lifting. Elizabeth Marshall Thomas in “The Hidden Life of Dogs” noticed that the higher a stain appears on a post or […]

Why are Dogs Afraid of Slippery Floors? Jul 24, 2009

Because they feel the ground is moving. In animal consciousness, just as in Einstein’s theory of relativity, there is no such thing as an absolute frame of reference; in other words, something is absolutely at rest while something else is in absolute motion. We now know thanks to Einstein that there is no ether permeating […]

Why do dogs howl? Jul 21, 2009

They are resonating with a wave. An ambulance, fire truck or police car zips through a neighborhood and its wailing siren leaves all the dogs in its wake howling. Dogs hear sirens, or another dog crooning, or a person imitating a howling wolf and most can’t resist joining in the chorus. This brings us to […]

Why Do Dogs Chew Up Squeaky Toys? Jul 18, 2009

They are seeking release but are only getting relief. Every so often when I’m walking around my property and step into high grass or some leaves, I hear a little squeak underfoot. For a second I wonder if I’m crushing some small critter, but it always turns out to be nothing more than a plastic […]

Why Do Dogs Investigate the Eliminations of Other Dogs? Jul 13, 2009

A dog lifts its leg or squats, and other dogs rush over to investigate. Why? To release themselves. The traditional interpretation is that dogs investigate other dogs’ eliminations because they are assaying status and relative ranks. But the real reason has to do with the nature of emotion and animal consciousness. Because animal consciousness is […]

Why Do Dogs Smell Each Other Jun 30, 2009

Why do dogs smell each other? When people meet and greet, they shake hands or touch in some way and they exchange pleasantries. And when dogs meet and greet, they smell each other. However people don’t reintroduce themselves periodically throughout their interaction or every time they meet especially if they know each other well, whereas […]

Why Do Dogs Do Everything in a Circle? Jun 13, 2009

Why do dogs (circle before lying down or eliminating, play chase games on long round curves, spin like a top before a ball is thrown or when confined in a kennel or tied to a chain, approach other beings along an arc, quarter into the wind, twirl around a scent marking to position themselves, circumnavigate […]

Toward a New Way of Seeing Dogs Jun 12, 2009

The purpose of this section: why dogs do what they do is to demonstrate that dog behavior is a function of a “networked-intelligence”. The system logic of this intelligence is emotion. Dogs “know” what to do by virtue of how they feel. To date explorations of why-dogs-do-what-they-do; from the days of Descartes versus Voltaire to […]

Why Do Dogs Wag Their Tails? Jun 01, 2009

Why do dogs wag their tails? The quick answer is that a dog wags its tail for a reason which seems self-evident enough, being that it’s the tell-tale mark of a friendly dog. Indeed, anyone who’s stood near the pounding tail of a prototypical friendly breed, such as a Labrador Retriever, can take a veritable […]

Why Do Dogs Love Car Rides?

Dogs love car rides because they feel as if they are on a hunt. For example, cats never love car rides, or at best merely learn to endure them because when riding in a car cats don’t feel as if they are on a hunt. Why when in a moving car, can a dog feel […]

Why Do Dogs Zoom-zoom-zoom Around the House?

Behaviorists call the syndrome of a dog running helter-skelter around the yard, or zooming from room to room in the house “frequent, random activity periods (FRAPS). However this is a profound misnomer because there’s nothing random about this activity. When a dog goes zoom-zoom-zoom it is actually fear coming to the surface so that it […]

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.