Set Your Moose Loose: “I am not a moose, my dog is not a wolf and he doesn’t think I am a moose.”

True, my critic is right in one sense: a person is not a moose and a dog can never come to THINK of a person as a moose. However a dog doesn’t think its owner is a person either. In fact, a wolf doesn’t think a moose is a moose, or a wolf is a wolf, and neither does an animal ever arrive at the realization that its mother is its mother, or a sibling is a brother or a sister.

The human intellect fixates on the forms of things and then tries to apprehend its essential nature in terms of its relationships with the forms of other things, as well as in terms of one moment relative to another moment. In the human mind a moose is a moose, a human is a human, a dog is a dog. With this in mind we then construct rationales based on cause and effect in order to account for the interactions of one form with another and which transpires over a span of time. We see wolves hunting, killing and eating a moose and we assume that wolves hunt with the INTENTION to kill and they kill with the INTENTION to eat.

Animals on the other hand are fundamentally concerned with energetic essences that are contained within the forms of things, essences that are universal to all things and they are either instantly or gradually revealed to a dog through the movements of a form and then the actual physical secretions from the form: then and only then, does an animal “know” what it’s dealing with. And the one constant in any and all interactions is whether or not energy “runs to ground.”

All the wolves want to do is make contact with the moose. This is why they hunt. All they next want to do is bring the moose to the ground; this is why they kill the moose. And then all they next want to do is ingest the essence of the moose in order to fill the void in their gut. This is why they eat the moose. There is absolutely no intention or comprehension in any of this. And were the moose somehow aware of the emotional leverage it enjoyed over wolves, we could see a moose easily train a wolf to heel, sit, down and stay, and come to it no-matter-what.

The form of the thing is a value of resistance, in other words its predatory aspect relative to its preyful aspect. This “R value” correlates on a one-to-one basis to a specific layer of unresolved emotion deposited as physical memory in the body/mind as an emotional battery: the more intense the resistance that’s encountered, the deeper the layer in the emotional battery that is then summoned to the surface of the dog’s awareness. So for example, the higher the eyes of a being; the actual physical stature of the form, then the greater the inherent resistance value of that form. Perhaps you can already see where I’m going. This means that as the individual goes forward in space, the intensities of its various experiences regresses it BACK IN TIME, back down into its emotional data bank, regressing it through its history of acquired resistance to the expression of its emotion. The activation of physical memory in conjunction with the circumstances of the immediate-moment thus make possible an expression of unresolved emotion as Drive and as a complex and nuanced response in real time (and in an adaptive manner) to the forms of things. So in NDT we’re not asking a dog to THINK of its owner as a moose. I’m only interested in what a dog FEELS for its owner.

Let me sum it up this way: in the canine mind a moose is that which can trigger, release and gratify all pent up stress. In other words, and this may at first sound fantastic, the moose is energetically to an adult wolf the same as the mother wolf is energetically to the wolf cub. The adult wolf looks up at the moose at the same angle as the little cub looking up at its mother. (Interestingly, the angle of the sun on the horizon triggers the hormones of the large, dangerous ungulate species the wolf evolved to hunt so that the height of the sun over the horizon, i.e. the angle of photons hitting the back of the eye then triggers the pineal gland and induces the rut. Thus we see a direct correlation between the physiology and the emotional makeup of the animal, i.e. the height of the predatory aspect triggers a specific depth of the emotional battery and subsequently, a specific blend of hormones. BTW, the sun is the predatory aspect, the moon is the preyful aspect in celestial influences on the animal mind.) So in point of fact every owner starts out in the beginning of its young puppy’s life as the most exciting thing on the earth, a.k.a. the moose.

So, when wolves encounter a moose, their earliest litter experiences are recapitulated and they are able to align around the moose just as they aligned BY FEEL (and well before the higher centers of the nervous system were even fully formed and sentient) around their mother. This is critical to the raising and training of a dog because if the intensity of the owner can summon to the surface of the dog’s awareness the earliest moments of its life on earth, i.e. trigger the deepest layers in the body/mind as an emotional battery (this triggering is easy since humans have so much predatory aspect), and then if this activated physical memory can be RESOLVED by aligning around the owner (this part is harder because human beings have so little preyful essence), this is what Moose-energy feels like for a dog, and mooSeY-eNERGY equals synergy, i.e. more energy being realized than is being invested.
This state of emotional suspension is immediately gratifying no matter whether the hunt is successful or not, and is why a dog pulls a sled for the syncopated joy of it, or why a dog herds sheep without having to kill any, or a field dog hunts all day without ever getting to eat the soft, warm, squishy bodies of birds in its mouth.

So if we want to have a positive relationship with a dog and in a way that grants us 100% control no-matter-what, our dog must connect with our “inner moose.” There is no other option. We must learn to be the moose our puppy once saw us as, and our dog now wants us to be.


Want to Learn More about Natural Dog Training?

Join the exclusive and interactive group that will allow you to ask questions and take part in discussions with the founder of the Natural Dog Training method, Kevin Behan.

Join over 65 Natural Dog trainers and owners, discussing hundreds of dog training topics with photos and videos!

We will cover such topics as natural puppy rearing, and how to properly develop your dog's drive and use it to create an emotional bond and achieve obedience as a result.

Create Your Account Today!

Published March 13, 2010 by Kevin Behan
Tags: , ,

7 responses to “Set Your Moose Loose: “I am not a moose, my dog is not a wolf and he doesn’t think I am a moose.””

  1. christine randolph says:

    so you say, that the “survival instinct” is not something the wolf experiences,
    they are motivated by Get to the Prey instinct, which then leads to a chain reaction,

    in other words, the wolf does not desire to eat/survive during the initial stages of the hunt, but survival is the result.

    we know that if they have not eaten their behaviours are more forceful, but that is just another feedback loop they are not aware of I guess.

    the thing is though, they will only hunt moose if they are in a group, otherwise it is rats, rabbits, flies (one of my dogs gets preyful for flies, hornets, etc..)

    would young wolves also see their parents as “the moose” when these parents teach them how to hunt ? even if they are all grown up but still adolescent in behaviour ?

    (i would rather be mother wolf playing the moose…)

    i was thinking about how much preyfulness is left in humans. it is very sublimated indeed.

    for a few months now, i have been “house hunting” in north-east washington state (south of the border with canada where we have our primary residence) for a vacation spot.

    I call it a DOG property. i want a huge fenced area for playing with the dogs…

    I feel the essence of the hunt in this activity, i.e. the excitement of seeing something on the internet that might fit our criteria etc.

    it is not as primal as the activities of animals who do not have the self awareness we humans have.

    i think humans should get their dogs AND themselves in touch with predatory elements in their psyche.

    there is no denying that we are predators, even though we can act so pacifistic, altruistic, etc.

    people also need to see others as predators more than they currently do, and be more careful.
    even if someone wears a suit and tie and sound as though they know what they are talking about i.e. those who want them to take out a mortgage when they cannot afford it..predatory lending…

    lots of foreclosures and bank owned properties out there, the prices are still going down…

  2. connie says:

    Something like this, in more rudimentary terms, finally dawned on me recently. 🙂

    My young Border Collie goes into a crouch and starts bark-screaming when he sees a squirrel while he’s on leash. I’m working the NDT program and getting R (the dog) to turn that energy to me, and in explaining it to another dog owner I said ‘we think that R has a purpose, that he wants to chase the squirrel, catch the squirrel, and kill the squirrel; but all R really knows is that he’s got a ton of energy and drive all built up and it needs to be discharged, and that’s what I’m training him to do — discharge that by contacting with me and grabbing a toy.’

    R isn’t thinking ‘well crap, I really wanted to kill that squirrel and I have to make do with this dumb rope tug’ — I don’t think he’s thinking at all, I think he’s feeling, and he feels energy flow when he jumps up and pushes me and grabs the toy.

    Then he’s calm and we continue with the walk and look for the next squirrel. LOL!

    But yes, I did finally figure out that I, the human, am making a bunch of assumptions, connecting behaviors and such, that my dog is absolutely not making.

  3. kbehan says:

    Exactly, all R cares about is whether he ends up in a grounded state or not and that becomes in his mind WHAT KILLING A SQUIRREL FEELS LIKE. He has no abstract goal in mind, only to return energy/drive to ground, or neutral. He then gives your “negative” credit for that happy state of affairs which means that his emotional bond with you, i.e. the energy connection between R and Connie, can now begin to conduct “squirrel energy.” Eventually, BEING WITH CONNIE becomes what killing a squirrel feels like. You can get what you want, control over R, and R can get what he wants, feeling grounded and connected. Not only that, but since dogs (whether they seem to manifest prey instinct or not to the untrained eye), are all invested with moose energy and so chasing squirrels is inherently frustrating even if they get one from time to time. There’s just not enough resistance value. So by making the dog work harder and harder to get the toy from you, R gets more fulfillment by overcoming this resistance that activates its battery, to then be grounded into its owner as “the-moose” than by chasing squirrels. Drive is simply magic, and no “magical thinking” is involved.
    (I will post an article soon entitled “Training Squirrel Dog” to lay out the steps of progression now that you’ve gotten R to bite toy in presence of squirrels.)

  4. kbehan says:

    Right, the form of the prey destabilizes the balance circuitry and so now the wolf needs grounding and feels compelled TO MAKE CONTACT with the moose. If the moose does nothing its predatory aspect reflects the projected emotion back onto the wolves and this triggers their physical memory of their mother putting a whooping on them and so this brings fear to the surface and the moose is safe. If the wolves can sustain their Drive To Make Contact because the physical memory of grounding might also come on line, (and exactly right, the hungrier they are, the more they will reference the little-brain-in-the-gut and so the more they can offset fear and project this right back onto moose.) If moose can’t handle this intensification of THE CHARGE, then it starts to feel a disconnect within its own body/mind and becomes nervous, i.e. its balance circuitry starts to hyper act and now it wants to move from this ungrounded place. The wolves now sense this unease, imbalance, dis-ease, and begin to press in and circle AROUND and behind the moose, their DRIVE energy is deflected by the magnetic component contributed by hunger circuitry. Now Moose is at risk of becoming completely con-fused, actually disconnected from its “self;” its connection to its own physical c-o-g, the core of its animal consciousness and might begin to panic. At some point, its predatory aspect BECOMES a stimulant, rather than an inhibitor, and wolves close in for strong bites and perhaps even grip it by the nose. And what is the rubbery snout/muzzle of a moose for a wolf? Its mother’s nipple. When they have the moose by the nose then they have leverage over its body.
    Good luck with the “hunt” for the dog property. You’re exactly right, the strength of a desire begins to convert sterile inputs into prey values.

  5. […] For further explanation on why you should be the prey in your dog’s life, please see Kevin Behan’s article on how to “Set Your Moose Loose.“ […]

  6. Larry says:

    In regard to Connie’s post. I’m wondering if her methods might transfer to my pointer/hound mix, who often sits looking out the front door into the yard, where she eventually see’s a squirrel run across in front of her, at which time, she reacts in the way you would expect. Barking, jumping to try and get out the door, etc. I usually deal with this by simply closing the door, she calms down fairly quickly. However, I’m wondering if I would make it a point to have a tug toy available to her at those times, do you think I would be able to redirect her energy to that toy, when these incidents happen? She has improved in the short time I’ve been using NDT, but still has major issues with other dogs, and as mentioned, sometimes with squirrels, or other wildlife. I’m hoping the pushing will eventually help in all of these areas, but it hasn’t been long enough yet to discern much change. She has a very strong prey drive and loves to play tug at the park, but so far it doesn’t seem to have lessened her ‘attraction’ to other dogs. She is a little over 2 years old(they think) and I’ve had her for a year now. Very strong energetic dog.

  7. kbehan says:

    It’s vital to channel your dog’s prey instinct into the bite toy, most especially when there are squirrels etc. To do this you’ll have to develop a strong foundation. You need to be able to attract strong physical contact from your dog. Ultimately, the dog-dog issue boils down to a matter of balance, and so having her struggle to stay on top of raised platforms when dogs are about will begin to calm down this danger system which throws her out of balance.

Leave a Reply

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.
%d bloggers like this: