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Introducing the Natural Heeler

This is the first installment in a new section on the website and which will be composed of two classes of questions, those related to the theory and those related to the practical application of the theory. Each category will be regularly updated and hopefully clarified based on feedback. This first installment is concerned with questions about the theory.

This theoretical discussion is necessary because when NDT is entertained on the various forums across the web, the exploration of ideas is highly constrained by such a format and the fact that so many “triggers” have to be negotiated, and often when you try to amplify a point with a side bar you end up side tracking the thread off into five different directions at once. One has to stay tightly focused and let a lot of things slide and so a full bodied argument never really evolves. Also there has to be a willing shift of perspective, a willful suspension of disbelief in order to entertain a new paradigm. My basic approach is to argue that something is missing from our current models and it’s not likely to get too far if someone doesn’t want to temporarily suspend their set of convictions.

Another big problem is that I haven’t yet fully articulated my model on line and so it tends to be easily mischaracterized as something it’s not. The model is slowly being developed on the NDT website and the next book is going to an important building block as well but in the meantime however, I’m going to pull out from the various discussions that have occurred to date, a number of questions and statements <<verbatim>>> that tend to recur so that in this space I can answer them at length. If in the spirit of genuine inquiry someone would like to challenge my assertions or if I’ve misunderstood behavioral science, I welcome amendments here as well.

View the Frequently Asked Questions by clicking here.

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.