Kevin Behan grew up on his parent’s farm in rural Connecticut immersed in a landscape of natural beauty and surrounded by dogs. Kevin’s father, John Behan, founded Canine College, trained dogs in the Canine Corps in WWII and was the first in America to train protection dogs for hospitals, police units, and even retail stores such as Macy’s. Kevin worked in his father’s kennel where he encountered every possible type of dog exhibiting every type of behavior. Consequently, Kevin grew up without judgment about dog behavior, even aggression, as everything dogs did was taken as a matter of course.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_jrJ5P5dvQ
Kevin trained his first dog, a poodle named Onyx, at age ten. As Kevin matured, so did his ideas about his experiences and the behaviors he witnessed. By carefully watching the workings of nature, Kevin began to see that what made the modern dog adaptable and trainable was not the dominance hierarchy, as taught to him by his father, but the dog’s ability to work as a cooperative group member in the hunt. Influenced by European police dog trainers and a German shepherding sage named Mannel, Kevin’s theories and techniques came together in the 1980’s as Natural Dog Training. Kevin then started his own kennel, Canine Arts, in Brookfield, Connecticut and published his first book, Natural Dog Training in 1992. Using techniques totally unique, Kevin has trained hundreds of police, protection, and border control dogs, as well as thousands of America’s pets. He has become the nation’s foremost expert on the rehabilitation of aggressive and problem dogs, which is now where he concentrates most of his work. A seasoned lecturer and seminar host, Kevin’s presentations go well beyond the training of dogs and into the very core of canine behavior. He has pioneered the Natural Dog Training movement with his articles and theories on energy, the linkage between dogs and emotion, prey vs. predator model, as well as instrumental training techniques like pushing and eye contact.
Kevin now lives with his family on their 60-acre farm in beautiful Southern Vermont. His second book, Your Dog is Your Mirror: The Emotional Capacity of Our Dogs and Ourselves is now available in bookstores and online. He also actively participates in readers’ comments and conversations on the NDT site. Follow the Discussions here.