Kevin Pushing and Pulling with Hessian

Kevin Pushing and Pulling with Hessian

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Published February 17, 2010 by Kevin Behan
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59 responses to “Kevin Pushing and Pulling with Hessian”

  1. Donnie_O says:

    I have two questions about this video:

    1) Is the pushing that’s happening in this video a similar concept to getting the dog to “hup” with a ball in his mouth (from your book)?

    2) I often play this kind of push/tug with my partner’s dog. He is very eager to push into me after he’s won a round of tug. However, he does do quite a bit of growling and my understanding is that growling indicates stress. Normally what happens is that he gets very worked up playing with one toy and his growling intensifies when he pushes into me. When he gets very intense, I pull out the second tug toy and we start over. One thing to note is that he has a history of toy aggression, but this has greatly reduced through our tug games. How much should I worry about this growling?

  2. kbehan says:

    1) Yes, the hup with toy in mouth can evolve into push-of-war. 2) The dog has a strong fighting drive that playing with the toy is frustrating and building up a charge. When he’s growling he’s feeling disconnected from the “energy circuit” (owner as negative/dog as conduit/toy as positive) his mind is trying to compose. So there’s a “kink” in the circuit and the dog is growling because old energy is coming up from his emotional battery to sustain the connection. Putting aside the question of giving the dog an acceptable expression of his fight drive in another venue, such as protection training done well, you can decrease your resistance and back up more and simply invite dog to hup and make no contact with the toy in its mouth. Because the dog’s foundation isn’t sound, (hence the toy aggression) don’t introduce a 2nd toy as the terrier in the dog is “self-charging” and so these toys are just increasing level of frustration, therefore, get the dog to push for food during the hup with toy in mouth moment. So he hups with toy, you show him you have food in your hand and then you wait for him to interrupt himself, hunger being your ally in this regard. This would be the only time I would feed him. The act of ingesting food helps to ground him and neutralize the growling. So at this point in the dog’s development, the only thing that matters is the dog’s growling. For example, if you’re driving your car and you notice a vibration, you immediately take it to mechanic to resolve it even though nothing is mechanically broken yet. Vibration in an energy system means something is moving and when energy doesn’t move, it builds up and ultimately will be relieved via an instinct. Instincts always follow the path of least resistance and this is never good in a domestic household.

  3. christine randolph says:

    does the hup ever still lead to the sit and subsequent heeling ?

  4. Christine says:

    So then, another question (or 2)regarding growling: recently Duncan has growled at me on 2 different occasions. #1-Duncan was in his crate with a chew I had given him. I was having a blonde/senior moment (forgetting I had given him a chew) and went to see what he was chewiing on. He growled at me and it took me a few seconds to remember what he was chewing and then I told him he was a good boy and left him alone to enjoy. #2-I took the puppers for their annual vetting yesterday (as he gets older it upsets him more each time). After that we went for an off-lead walk through fields/woods. When we got home he went straight to Bodie’s crate (he likes it there and usually goes there when he’s stressed). I went over to take off his visibility vest and he commenced growling at me, so again, I left him be.
    So the question is: Should I be concerned with this growling or is it an indication that he is beginning to trust me and so feels okay about letting me know when he doesn’t like something?
    I haven’t been able to view the video yet as I can’t get flash on my home computer but will take a look when I am back at work next week.

  5. Heather says:

    I thought I’d put this out there re: the “hup,” not as a question just an observation of what has happened during pushing(maybe others have had similar things happen?) Happy has been leaping toward me but landing before pushing into me, as the weeks go on he gets more energetic and pushes more vigorously. I wondered why he didn’t put his paws on me, though, and figured it is just his size (his hips are fine). Yesterday out of the blue I asked him to “speak,” and he made a quiet “woof” while at the same time launching himself up from a sitting position, ending up with his paws on my chest. I think he was as surprised as I was! It was fun.

  6. kbehan says:

    In my model emotional movement precedes physical movement and so we can think of emotion as a modeling mechanism so that an animal can feel what’s about to be before it physically commits itself. At any rate, when a dog gives a good, deep bark that is metered and originates from its gut, this means that it has projected its physical c-o-g into object of attraction and this then is why it feels comfortable making contact based on its “feedback” (in this case your receptivity to your dog’s energy) to this bark. So he put out a ping (projection of p-cog) and it came back a pong and so he could make contact. He wasn’t leaving the ground because he was already feeling grounded. Keep on pushing!

  7. kbehan says:

    Yes you should be concerned and yes he his trusting you because he is showing you his fear. In other words, once he feels safe, he shows you the energy (fear) that he otherwise can’t show you and radiates away through his personality. So the problem should be properly framed as, why can’t he show you his energy when he doesn’t feel safe? I would immediately question what’s going on at the vets because if it’s being done properly, the dog should be growing calmer not more charged and then displacing it in other areas. Fear always travels the path of least resistance and so he can pick up a charge somewhere else and you become IT.
    What I would do is give him a bone in his crate and then approach him in a quasi-stalking-pointing mode and when I see him start to tense up facially, I’d soften my posture, praise him and encourage him to come to me and push for food. In fact this would be the only time I would feed him so that this fear can come to the surface and get grounded into acting direct and active rather than holding back so that it ultimately comes out reactively.

  8. kbehan says:

    Yes, all you have to do is be still and help the dog into the sit. And then all you have to do is pivot to your right and your dog is on your left in the heel.

  9. Christine says:

    I’m sure I have to claim accountability for his fear at the vet’s. His first vet visit was very calm and Duncan never flinched; he didn’t seem to notice when the vet injected the microchip. He was definitely surprised at Duncan’s nonchalance. I’ve made a lot of training mistakes with Duncan, in my ignorance, so as his aggressive tendencies grew I’ve become a bit wary of his reactions in certain situations. I’m sure he picks up on that. Besides, this last visit was charged to begin with as Diva had a very hard time. My fault again as the day before I chose to remove the porcupine quills from her nose myself, so she was still carrying that painful memory into the vet’s. I’m sure Duncan must have picked up on her anxiety so it added the pile he already had.
    My intention is do some box work with them before the next visit so hopefully they’ll all be better equipped to handle the vet’s calmly and without fear or anxiety.
    And the vet does ask that I hold Duncan’s and Diva’s face away from him as he doesn’t want to get bit so that also adds to the pile.
    I do have my work cut out for me and I hope that I’m up to the challenge!

  10. christine randolph says:

    wow ! IF I REALLY take time to read this i see an answer to my question…i really like the hup as a beginning for heeling.

    much more motivating than some of the other heeling stuff which seems boring to dog and handler.

    the vet thing sucks, Christine.

    I know of people who take the dog to the vet’s office a bunch of times and just stay in the waiting room, feed delicious treats, so the dogs stop associating the neighborhood/building itself with scary treatment.

    …also that thundershirt, apparently, takes away anxiety while at the vet’s…

  11. Christine says:

    Actually, Christine, they do get yummy dog treats while waiting in the lobby and I am with them during the entire visit. None of them will take treats during the visit; at least, not this last time. I’m certain it’s connected with Diva’s anxiety because she was the first one in. This was the worst experience we’ve ever had so I’m rethinking how I handle upcoming visits. I’ll do them individually so that I can incorporate some of Kevin’s methods prior to and during the visit, as well as working on the box-training in the meantime. If I work consistently at it, next years vetting should be more relaxed.

  12. Donnie_O says:

    I tried some of the techniques from the “Trip to the Vet” episode of Quantum Canine and found that they were very effective. I had her fight to get up onto the exam table and then tried to pull her off a bit after so she really struggled to stay on. She was very good about taking needles and a lot of poking and prodding. Unfortunately, she had to have her anal glands expressed and the vet asked that she be on the floor for this. Also, the vet got all squeaky-voiced with her and brought in a vet tech to hold her, so she got quite frightened and yelped a bit. However, she took food immediately after and gave me a hup so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I think next time I’m going to bring a box with me so I can at least have her on the box instead of on the floor, and I’m going to ask the vet to can the cute voice.

  13. kbehan says:

    Excellent Donnie, you can see how your dog’s perception of what was being done to her was wholly a function of whether she felt in control or not, and the only way she can solve the psychological problem of someone taking control to ultimately help her, is to change the psychological problem into a physical problem of control as in how-do-I-stay-on-this-table. And the squeaky voice only makes her feel all the more the object-of-attention and therefore not in control of what’s being done to her. So stick to your guns about portable box and squeaky voice and the good news is that eventually, the feeling of control becomes so strong she will become immune to the bedside manner of whatever the vet does. Keep on pushing!

  14. Christine says:

    Hey Donnie, enjoyed your comments. I’d like to know more about which techniques you used and how you incorporated them and the timeline involved. I’ve been going from the assumption that the prior box-training is a bit involved and takes a while before it can be differentiated to the vet’s office. Thanks for your input!

  15. Donnie_O says:

    Seeing the change in her emotional state from when she was on the table to when she was on the floor was very insightful: on the table she was very stoic and calm, on the floor she was vibrating, showing her belly and acting very “submissive”. The vet mistook this for “friendliness” and fed into it with the squeaky voice and lovey-dovey stuff. It sent her into a panic.

    This was in December, so I had only been using the NDT techniques for about a month and a half at that point. I’d done a little bit of box training, but not much: I was still mainly focussed on pushing and tug.

  16. Christine says:

    Thanks Donnie! That’s actually quite helpful and most encouraging besides. 🙂

  17. Christine says:

    Excellent clip Kevin! I’d like to see more of these….maybe a DVD?

  18. christine randolph says:

    Re: the calm behaviour on the table.

    i would like to see more dog trainers have dogs on a table so they can be eye level with the trainer.

    like Kevin training the dog that was standing on this huge rock.

    with lots of practice, my dogs are becoming very fluid in jumping up on me.

    they are not bouncing against me any more

    just elegantly placing their paws on me with an almost feather light touch.

    they are getting how high they have to jump and all the motor skills for this exercise are being refined.

    very cool.

    Hup is also an ideal exercise for grabbing onto their collar when I want to put a leash on.

    I also used the same command with my border collie today to make her jump on the flyball machine front plate, to get the ball to fly out. Nice, this is a new skill for her.

    very useful command this turns out to be !!!

  19. taoofblue says:

    I love this video. I think it’s the 20th time I’ve watched it.

    What I’ve noticed with my dog is, when I go to push, when were playing tug two things will happen:

    1) If I have the toy and ask her to push for it, if my arm and hand go in for the push, she’ll lose focus on the toy and instead grab onto to my arm, which–as you can imagine–is very hard to let her win, and it sometimes hurts, although her bite control is really good.

    2) If she has it in her mouth already, she’ll sometimes drop it for my arm, or she’ll just prance around bucking and tossing her head and not really caring about a push, until I pull out the other toy?

    Any suggestions, Kevin, as to how to ground her back into the toy so she will leave my darn arm alone? Sometimes I can get her to ‘out’ it by immobilizing my arm against my knee, and just kind of waiting as if the game is over, but sometimes, she’s yanking and biting away. It’s a good thing thanks to NDT that her bite control is good, or I would be bit like crazy sometimes.

    Could I be escalating too quickly? I don’t understand why she loses focus. If I don’t up the energy in the game though, she completely loses interest in tugging or playing. So the only way to keep her engaged is to amp her up, thus potentially also having to give her my arm.

  20. kbehan says:

    In her imprint is the memory of being corrected for biting, and so this is now a CHARGE that targets her energy to the object-of-resistance, (that which interrupted her flow, i.e. hand and arm) rather than the object of attraction (the prescribed bite object). So you have to get her stronger on the push with food so that you increase how much energy she can channel into you without caving into the path of least resistance, i.e. going for the arm. (The arm and hand is farther away from the eyes and moves with a more prey-like rhythm so is part of our body with less resistance than going straight in to center mass) Just feed her meals this way to create a foundation because when she amps up, her body/mind as an emotional pipe begins to spring a leak.

  21. taoofblue says:

    Thank you for the answer Kevin.

    I thought you might say that…. The thing is, though, I have never, ever, corrected her for biting. EVER! She was raised since day one with NDT.

    So I trust that you might be right about an imprint, I can honestly say that it wasn’t because she was corrected for biting.

    One time, many moons ago, she grabbed my arm so hard, and I just grinned and bore it, smiling the whole time, trying to redirect her to food, or another toy, praising away, and hoping to holy hell, that she would re-focus soon.

    In fact, when she was a pup, people would see her chewing on my hand, or whatever, and I used to have other dog owners tell me I shouldn’t let her bite me, or nibble on my hand, or put any part of me in her mouth. I ignored them, trusting your logic (the brief paragraph in NDT is perfectly said) and your experience, and my own gut feeling.

    If she did bite too hard, I did what you and LCK and Neil instructed, and just yelped, like another puppy would, and removed MYSELF, from the fun, I did not punish her, or crate her, or anything. And, you know what, to everyone’s amazement, but mine, she doesn’t really bite or chew on my hands any more since her permanent teeth arrived….well, except for the above situation.

    That’s what I meant by her bite control being perfect. She doesn’t really bite that hard, because, I THINK she FEELS the game would end. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t like playing the game.

  22. taoofblue says:

    P.S. : I also followed your advice on not over stimulating her. I would come home and she would be in her crate. I would do something, not talking to her right away, in the house, so she wouldn’t ever expect the minute I got in meant the door was open and there was fun to be had. Then I would let her outside to do her business, and smell and sniff, before I said ‘Hey. How’s my Best girl?’

  23. taoofblue says:


    After re-reading what I just wrote a thought occurred to me.

    Since reading the book NDT, when I use (or think) of the term correction, I treat it as a pattern interrupt. I think you use the word SHOCK back then; I like to use a hiccup metaphor when explaining it to others not NDTers.

    Alas, by using CORRECTION, are you talking about a Cesar and every other dog trainer’s definition–as in she received a reprimand, a swat on the nose, a stern NO!, a scowl, a frown, etc.? It seems you are, because you reference her targeting the the hand, or arm, as object-of-resistance. Or, do you mean her drive, or state of flow was interrupted?

    If so, then the ‘Yelp’, when she bit down too hard, would have hiccuped her feeling of flow, and could this, consequently, be the imprint left in her feelingmemory [sic.]?

  24. kbehan says:

    Well then things are more interesting. Yes I was using the common meaning of correction, and it doesn’t have to be specific to biting. It can also be subtle such as shaking a finger while taking away a toy, a nose tap. Other possibilities are over-stimulation as you mentioned, and then what about vetting or grooming by others? And it can be inadvertent as in having to grab a dog by the collar really fast just to prevent her from getting loose and in danger. And then finally, there can be an emotional charge in the owner, so that the dog needs to provoke a strong response to get some latent energy in the human moving.

  25. taoofblue says:

    I, am of course, guilty as charged. I know of a few finger shakes done, yes, by me, when redirecting to a toy in the house instead of a coffee table leg, when she was uncrated and supervised (not hard to do in a 120 square ft bachelor apt.) while a juvenile. And, I’m sure, although I can’t remember specifics, there were also some instances of quick collar grabs. But for the most part she has a carefree existence in the woods and near the beach; similar to your ideal dog day with the Logger–I live in an old logging/fishing town where Stanfield woolen sweaters are the height of fashion.

    And as an owner (and human being of electromagnetic resonance) I certainly have a charge, although some would say it needs to be calmed rather than needing to get the energy moving. But this could be what you mean as well.

    All, this to say, it seems like the rabbit hole of feelingmemory imprinting when dealing with a dog, a puppy, and now that I think about it, a human too, runs deeper and is more subtle than one can possibly imagine.

    Again, Kevin, thanks for the response, I’m off after Alice and the white bunny that I chase with my dog, to figure the wonderful world of godDogdom.


  26. Heather says:

    Happy also does this. But I found NDT later, and corrected more before I knew it was counterproductive. I find it very hard not to react with 130 pounds of overexcited dog on me (heavier than I am at this point, and much stronger), especially when I am lulled into thinking we are over that, and therefore not expecting it. It is best for me if I work on my own emotional state – if I am not fully present/paying attention when I am with Happy, he bops me. Many days I think Happy is too smart for me.

  27. taoofblue says:

    Believe me, Heather, I know what you mean. Pony, my puppy, is 110lbs and still growing. Years of martial arts practice help to stay calm in uncomfortable situations, if not for that, I would have had to correct.

    Luckily, I wear a heavy wool lumberjack jacket when I’m with her and this softens the sharp edges. 🙂

  28. christine randolph says:

    easy to stay immobile without martial arts training – cannot move either way when the dog has you pinned down all the way to the ground….

    in my experience dogs’ claws can be just as dangerous as their teeth. the dogs are not trying to be aggressive, just pawing at you for the fun of it, if your face gets in the way you will know what i mean. i have my eyes firmly shut at time with roughhousing so they are more protected from those darn claws

  29. Heather says:

    My good friend has a 7 month old puppy, a Brittany, she is only 30 pounds so we had not let the dogs play together (we had walked them together though). For the past couple of weeks we’ve been letting the dogs play, and Kevin was right that the small dog (she isn’t tiny, but still there’s a 100 lb difference) rules the big dog. It is really fun watching them. He indeed started out too boistrous, throwing his weight around, but that all went away quickly as she let him know exactly what the “rules” were. What is even more amazing is that since they have been playing together, and it’s only been 2 or 3 times, Happy has become extremely gentle with his mouth. Of course I had to see if it was just my imagination (although the lack of bruise marks on my arms tells me it’s not) – so during our pushing I fell down – Happy stepped this way and that and did pin me under his chest but didn’t step on me or paw at me, and he moved his mouth around my head and arms and slimed me but didn’t bite me. After he let me wrestle him off of me, we played tug and I rubbed him and he was just about the happiest dog ever.

  30. Heather says:

    Kevin, Did you say that dogs are able to read who is receptive to roughhousing and who isn’t? Happy really enjoys the pushing-to-the-ground thing, but no one else but me would ever want to engage him this way. It seems like when the kids are playing on the ground it is too tempting for him, is this something I just need to keep him on a long line and redirect him to his toy to prevent, or should I just keep the line “bright” and never engage him on the ground? I figure if my cats can learn different ways to engage different people, it should not be a problem for a dog.

  31. kbehan says:

    When we overstimulate a dog, or correct them prematurely, it muddies the faculty of discrimination so may take him longer to pick this up, not to mention that he is very young if I’m not mistaken so it could be asking too much of him at this point. You could have the kids lay on the ground with a tug toy and if he listens to them, they produce the toy and give it a heave. Make it a training session and then when they rough house, just put him away for now until his emotional capacity gets stronger as he matures.

  32. Heather says:

    Thanks Kevin, I do think it is an unrealistic expectation at this point. The kids are really good, they just investigate things on the ground and Happy with the best intentions just can’t resist them.

    Another thing I realized after listening to the interview you did with Neil, is that every single difficulty I’ve had in raising Happy has been either in the yard or on the way to it. I realized that every time I go outside I see some project or other that needs to get done but isn’t in the budget, and I go into my mode of thinking we should move and being irritated that it isn’t possible right now to do that (partly because of the darn projects) and then regretting the decision to buy the house in the first place. So even after 7 years I have not fully committed to living in the place I’m living in – how crazy is that. I really love the INSIDE of the house, though – that safe place detached from the reality of nature, haha – it is just the futility of battling the elements to maintain the outside that I have not come to terms with. So I guess I have some things to work through!

  33. Heather says:

    Actually, I also realized that part of my decision to get a dog — Happy in particular — was an unconscious attempt to force myself to confront this particular issue of mine. It could not have been an accident that I decided to get the biggest, hairiest, slobberiest, messiest dog on the planet. If ever I thought the war against the elements could be won, Happy has put the nail in the coffin of that idea!!

  34. christine randolph says:

    Heather, see i knew Happy would play well with smaller ones !

    I think when the kids get older they will probably be able to keep up with Happy. maybe you need another, kid-sized dog…

    can you not just leave the outside of the house alone ?

    If I had a large property i would just leave it to nature. maybe have a deck. maybe mow a bit of it with a ride on mower.

    definitely a large dog enclosure but it seems you have that.

    maybe bring in some gravel if it is too muddy.

    I have to admit in my vacation property search I am uncomfortably buying something that needs a lot of outdoor stuff to be done.

    I have figured out to best buy something that looks good as is. I have my eye on something but my husband does not like it, no surprises there !!!!!

    if your family and Happy are happy at that property, i think that is enough.

    the people i know who have kids and jobs, have homes that look like a bomb has just hit…

    so i think you are doing super good Heather since the inside of your home is cozy.

    I used to be critical about unfinished aspects and things in need of redoing/cleaning around my home, aestetically unpleasing things.

    but it has changed, i am happy now to do the projects i feel like doing and leaving them half finished for extended periods, so just cruising.

    no project is as important as going out “hunting” with the dogs every day

    have been here also for 7 years now.

    Kevin your property always looks park-like in the movies, do you make sure you do not get the junk into the picture or is everything really so well maintained around your house ?

    if so, what is your secret ? (lots of staff I guess)

  35. Heather says:

    Thanks Christine!

    “the people i know who have kids and jobs, have homes that look like a bomb has just hit… ”

    That would be us.

    Please stop me if I ever mention a second dog 🙂 The wild young puppy is slowly but surely being replaced by the gentle giant. I think if I hadn’t stepped out of the way and let it unfold naturally, I would be tempted to think I had something to do with it!

  36. christine randolph says:

    ok a cozy bomb site then…

    letting it unfold is a great accomplishment I think.

    all my dog owner friends around here are mucking around with their dogs so much, just working them into a neurotic frizz.

    i am the only one around here it seems who committed and able to let/ting it unfold…so -you are a GREAT dog unfolder in my book

  37. Heather says:

    So interesting today – a friend of mine was visiting with her kids, my friend is fearful of dogs. I had Happy on a leash chewing a bone next to me while we chatted (she’s trying to practice being around dogs, her husband and kids would like to get one). She wanted to pet him, she reached out and I let him go forward a bit, but she just couldn’t get comfortable with him approaching her with his nose. I put him back down out of reach. A few minutes later he stood up and swung his rear end around, plopping it near her feet, so his head was facing me. Somehow he intuitively knew what the problem was and offered a solution. She enjoyed getting her hands in the thick fur on his back, and he never looked back at her once, I was really amazed.

  38. christine randolph says:

    my mom also, complete hysterical fit with a dog, even with cats. has nightmares of dogs killing her…sooo sad ! your friend has courage. I guess she is very proud of herself to be in the same room with a monstrously big dog

  39. Heather says:

    My friend is also afraid of cats; interesting that those fears go together. It is funny how animals are especially drawn to people who fear them – even cats will be on their best behavior and go out of their way to befriend people who say they “don’t like cats.” Maybe the attraction/desire to mamke contact behind the person’s fear is what the animals pick up on, and they are not threatened by the fear because it makes their body language so prey-like (moving and looking away, wiggling).

  40. christine randolph says:

    the fear of being a prey when you “show” even the slightest fear…makes people very tense…

    i wish we had advice to help such people … Kevin ?

  41. kbehan says:

    Cats are especially attracted to fearful people because the person by being afraid, is therefore profoundly in touch with their vulnerability and are “in their body” and so are easy for cat to approach. This is also what draws cats and dogs to people who are very ill. Someone very ill feels vulnerable and hence, available for the deepest kind of animal contact as opposed to the cat having to get past the persons cerebral, intellectual/personality filters.

  42. kbehan says:

    There’s nothing wrong with being afraid of an animal and an animal isn’t weird if someone is afraid, as long as one is conscious of being afraid and then not acting from that place of fear. I’m afraid of getting bitten because I’m a sensitive person, it’s a real drag to get bitten, you feel faint for a while, you have to go to the doctor, take antibiotics, it hurts for weeks and so on. But since I’m aware that I’m afraid of getting bitten and only act when I feel safe, I never get bit. If however, the person is afraid but doesn’t know it, such a person tends to get bitten a lot because their personality and manner is always pushing in on the dog as they are unconsciously trying to prove to themselves that they’re not afraid. So whenever I’m in town socializing a dog and someone I meet announces that they’re a real dog lover, I go on guard.

  43. Heather says:

    That makes sense about cats. My late cat would not leave me when I had pneumonia last year, despite my hub shooing him off the bed numerous times, he just laid right next to my pillow for a couple of days until I was feeling better. He wasn’t looking for attention, he was just lying there with me. After that he went back to his normal pattern of soliciting attention when he felt like it, for his own enjoyment 🙂

    It seems to be the same with what people project onto their dogs — “my dog loves all dogs” (as the dog is showing teeth and slinking behind the owner and the owner is pulling it toward another dog).

  44. Heather says:

    Sorry for the many posts…

    one interesting thing that completely baffled me this week was when Happy LAID down right smack in the driveway of the farmer that owns the bulls down the road. Two big bulls (with really large pointy horns, rings in their noses) and some young males are kept in 2 separate pastures – the pastures are on either side of the driveway. The bulls meandered over to the edge of the fence, which is electric but would it really stop a bull?, to look at us. Happy just looked back and forth from his spot on the driveway and the bulls stayed there eating grass. Happy would.not.budge. I finally had to hoist up his front end, then his back end, then say “ready,” and he went forward a bit to push for the food, after a couple of times he started walking like normal, tail swishing like he’s on a leisurely evening stroll.

    What was this about?

  45. Heather says:

    More important, is this going to get me killed by a bull.

  46. Sang says:

    When Kevin mentioned cats, I instantly thought of that very same cat at the nursing home.

  47. christine randolph says:

    haha ! afraid of cats, dogs AND bulls ????

    no, some of those fences do NOT hold bulls back. we have a neigbor in colorado (second residence, used to live there) who breeds buffalo, they CONSTANTY stampede down his fences….

    i try to make sure my dogs do not go into any livestock enclosures, but sometimes when i see the animals too late, my dogs are in with the horse or donkey or whatever before i can call them off. it is amazing how patient some horses are with these dogs who are going nuts play-biting the horse’s legs, barking, herding etc. scary dangerous, that is when I get SCARED !

    about the fear – I am not talking about people who are reasonably afraid of animals, I am talking full blown irrational freeze-your-mind hysterical phobia, just like fear of heights, fear of flying, or fear of… clowns (ha)

    in other words, impossible for the person NOT to act from that place of fear in that moment.

    so now that I have seen this extreme reaction with my mom, how scared she gets, whenever I meet a person when I am with my dogs, I wonder, is this such a person ? how can I help them etc.

    For instance, I try to change over to the other side when i walk my dogs and someone is coming up on the sidewalk, just so that they do not have to get too close to my dog, in case they are uncomfortable with that.

    haha fun ! beware of the “great self-proclaimed dog lovers” in the population and be grateful for those who have a healthy fear factor for dogs…

    …i admit, perhaps because I have not been bitten in that way (needs stitches, takes forever to heal etc), ever, i am not afraid ..enough…

    i get careful with horses because wwith their long straight faces, they cannot even SEE whether they are eating FROM my hand or .. are eating my hand …

    pigs, are known to bite off your pinkie in a heartbeat if you are dumb enough to go into their enclosure with ..flip flops…

  48. Sylvia Spain says:

    in response to what Heather said – about Happy lying down and refusing to budge – my dog, Minky, does the same thing in response to something threatening up ahead. Or down below – he had this response to a shiny smooth bank floor, too. In our case, I can be a bit demanding and impatient, which makes things worse. Because the Big Negative (ME!) just got more NEGATIVE. When I feel all this drag and resistance between us now, that’s usually the signal for me to “get off it” and let go of whatever stress and turmoil I’ve got churning inside me and become more open and (ugh) vunerable… and you see I can’t even spell that word correctly. Hard to be open when I have such trust issues.

  49. Sylvia Spain says:

    oh, ps : about those bulls and that electris fence. The fence will probably keep domestic cattle in. Buffalo (like moose) are not really domestic and are famous for walking through any sort of fencing devised by man. Up here I had a bull moose walk through a section of three strand barbed wire and take it and the attendant fence posts a quarter mile down to the creek…. after that, the cows got out through the moose hole.

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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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