Be The Moose

What does it mean to BE THE MOOSE? Watch how Hessian, German Shepherd Dog, trained using Natural Dog Training, reacts when he sees a deer!

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Published July 23, 2010 by Kevin Behan
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20 responses to “Be The Moose”

  1. Christine says:

    That is Too Cool for School‼ I saw that deer waving her tail provocatively, trying to tease poor Hessian into chasing her. LOL 🙂 What fun!

  2. Brandi says:

    So amazing he just knows to ask you whats next… No matter how much he’d like to chase her, he’d rather play with you! How old is Hessian now?

  3. kbehan says:

    Hessian is either eight or nine now, I don’t like to keep too close a track on the passage of time. Notice that he’s actually hunting with me, as opposed to playing. In other words, hunting with me is what bringing a deer down feels like, there’s no loss of emotional momentum and so no conflict about not being able to get to the deer. I’m actually controlling the force of attraction being directed toward me rather than trying to control a force of attraction directed away from me and toward the deer. The former is very easy since I’m the object of attraction, the latter is very hard since I can’t control what deer are going to do. Always remember that the prey controls the predator. Thanks for checking in.

  4. Phyllis says:

    Wonderful video. Amazing interaction with you and Hessian despite that flashing white tail. Thank you Kevin. This is something for Rudy and I to aim for. I do love that dog of yours -grin. Give him a good pat for me.

  5. Christine says:

    btw…the sounds from this video must’ve put everyone in a group mood because all 3 set to howling‼♥

  6. minkysmom(sylvia) says:

    I’m not quite the moose yet, i guess. Stepped out in the yard with my dog, Minky, yesterday 6 am ( I had his breakfast in a pouch, was planning to do the usual morning pushing) and the deer were not 25 feet away under the apple tree. They snorted and bolted, and Mink waited a split second on full alert then took off in hot pursuit. (I sort of made a strangled gack noise and backpedalled waving doggy breakfast in my right hand, but I guess that attraction got trumped by the real deal.)
    Anyway, I ran via road trying to diagonally intersect with the deer & dog, came up empty and ran back toward house only to see Minky already coming back to the house on his own. He was at the front door, looking at it when he heard me and perked up, then came full bore for a slamming push. I also got his favorite tug toy and we mixed it up between pushing for breakfast and doing monster tug. Being a pitbull type dog, he really can get grippy and when he really latches onto the toy you can swing him and he emits these deep hunfing grunts while he’s being swung. The dog is 77 pounds, not small.
    Without NDT the dog might have been gone awhile. As it was it felt like he ran, then circled back pretty quickly, no more than a couple minutes or so later, checking in.

  7. Heather says:

    That is fantastic! I got that sinking feeling in my stomach as you described Minky taking off. So good that she felt more attracted to you than wasting energy chasing! Motivates me to keep pushing even while I’m away from home and it’s really inconvenient!

  8. kbehan says:

    Right, well at least you got to put the push in on the ebbing part of the emotional cycle, which will make it easier for Minky to push to you on the rising part before the chase. You just have to seek out deer and always see them before the dog so you can become what bringing a deer down feels like. If you see a deer, walk the dog into position, stand like a post while he becomes electrified, then wait for him to turn toward you whereupon you will have the bite toy for him to shake, rattle and roll as he carries it back to the house after a good struggle. Keep On Pushing!

  9. AZStu says:

    What is the purpose of the “ay!” noise you are making to Hessian? I noticed you made the same noise in the video where you play tug with him… This is a great video, nice to see such attraction.

  10. kbehan says:

    I haven’t formally trained him so I make those noises as if he’s hurting me by being so hectic and overly enthusiastic, in other words, I’m the prey and so I control his nerves and can input these little “sparks” to moderate him. It’s a bit of a short cut, Hessian basically lives a pretty easy life, I don’t work him at all so as to not stress his joints and this deer just happened to come into the field while we had a camera ready so we took advantage of it. If I’m walking in the woods and we see a deer, I just say good boy, give him a rub and we keep on our way. That works because he’s channeled all his “deer energy” into me and because of the battery a dog doesn’t need a reward each and every time, just the word can trigger all the other times when the imprint was first created.

  11. Crystal says:

    Thank you for posting this video. Seeing it affirms that I am on track. Although Colt is getting quite nonplussed by approaching strangers, this could have been Colt and I being surprised by a stranger. Very much our dance these days.

  12. Crystal says:

    Hey, I woke up with a small revelation this morning stimulated by the vid.

    I have had trouble wrapping my head around what it is that is occurring inside the dog when folks say “good dog” when a dog is barking or lunging, etc. I know they feel positive, but I have always wondered how it extinguishes the unwanted behavior especially when one uses the phrase lots in training and the dog is a dog who really wants to get along. I have been doing it regardless as everything else I have applied with NDT has given such good results.
    In the car especially, when Colt woofs at passing bikes or runners. I don’t exactly say “good dog”. I say things like “Oh Coltie, look at that runner. Wouldn’t he be fun to chase? Oooooh boy, yeees,” kind of stuff in an easy going drawl, lower register kind of way. I am basically commiserating with his desire. He stops woofing, looks at me with a big open smile and as time goes by he is only barking at quick runners or bikes or road workers in neon yellow suits and helmets carrying signs, that suddenly appear beside the car 🙂

    BTW, Bea never joins in this woofy barking business, like she did his sharper alarm barks.

    In the vid you are actually participating in the hunt with Hessian. Is what I am doing in the car and folks saying ‘good dog” in these circumstances ‘joining in the hunt” and is that some of why it works?

  13. kbehan says:

    Yes, the dog can’t listen to you if he can’t feel you and he can’t feel you if he’s not attracted to you because emotion is a “force” of attraction. So by praising the dog you are resonating with his basic “force” of attraction, and so it then becomes possible to be the ground and bring that energy to fulfillment which the other dog or the jogger can’t possibly do, (at least so everyone ends up happy.) So your dog’s mind as an energy circuit is grafting onto you, you are becoming the “negative” that leads at some point to the positive as you “get the bite out.” Eventually the dog becomes so attuned to you that you don’t have to praise, you can act as if whatever it is doing doesn’t feel good to you and the dog will feel that it doesn’t feel good to it either and will choose to desist because it doesn’t feel efficient to fall out of sync with you. And at some point if the dog is highly and overly charged because of long term or early damage and the time arrives for a correction, the dog will associate the correction with acting inefficiently and falling out of sync and the correction will merely release stuck energy that now serves to increase its attraction to you. So even though explaining the whole model through its many elaborations and to clarify how it’s different from how the human mind works, makes the model sound complicated, what one first has to grasp is that everything is a function of attraction, everything else follows from that. It is that simple.

  14. Heather says:

    At around 1:03, 1:04 is exactly what Happy does when I say he jumps at me and bites at me…but instead of biting the air like Hessian, he grabs my arm or shirt.

  15. kbehan says:

    As Happy’s drive gets stronger, then he can still feel you when you are exciting him. I was attracting deer energy without having a bite object and the H-dog was able to feel where the real bite goes, but I was pushing him. This incidentally is how I like to start a dog in protection training so that the dog can view a human being as pure prey without any sleeve or tug toy. But I always tell owners to always have an object in play and only play with fire when you know how to not get burned. The H-dog is being powered by 200,000 volts of energy and he’s still conscious of me.

  16. Heather says:

    That is good advice. I would much prefer it if he did not do this, because I really don’t have the skills to stay present and in the flow myself — Happy’s ability to feel me might exceed mine at this point. If I can get the object in play with the right timing, all is fine, if not, I sometimes have to push with him with large dry treats (he keeps the ability to push, so he isn’t totally tuned out, but he sometimes loses interest in the toy), so he has to chew them and in the process gets distracted.

    Ironically, the net result is positive, because it is generally the process of mastering something new, and/or stressful, ie, bringing new energy in, that seems to precede that super-excited behavior.

    Still it’s the most difficult aspect of raising Happy that I’ve encountered, he is just so darn big.

  17. Heather says:

    I get into trouble when things are humming along for weeks and weeks, resolving regular-level excitement with no problem and having a great time…so I get lazy (overly optimistic) and stop spending the extra time it takes to locate the right bite toy, and stuff my pockets with dry and moist treats before I go out to walk or play with Happy…invariably that’s the day he masters something new or overcomes an old source of stress like walking by a barking dog without stopping, and I am caught unprepared. I need to be more like a Boy Scout.

  18. Christine says:

    Hey Kevin, is there any way for you to post the Quantum Canine Episodes 13-18 on this site or perhaps your YouTube Channel? I can’t get to them any more via the community programming link from my workplace and I miss being able to listen to them as I’m banging away on my computer‼ 🙂

  19. Sang says:

    Hey Christine, don’t know if you meant that you couldn’t find the link since they changed the Fact8 layout, but if that’s the case, here’s the new link to Quantum Canine on the Fact8 community website. I couldn’t access them either for a while because their site was being redone.

  20. […] Would you like to communicate your dog in a way that he understands? First you must align with him. This is the premise of Natural Dog Training. We take into consideration that hunting behavior (the dog’s predatory aspect) is actually a social behavior. And so if you align with your dog the “natural” way, you attract their prey drive and live in harmony not by being the pack leader, but by being the moose! […]

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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.
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