Strictly Theory

An academic who felt my theory had merit, nevertheless advised me to avoid bringing evolution into my argument. It was good advice. I’m not trained in genetics, and I’m not likely to make friends and influence people in the behavioral world by taking on the experts in evolution. So how can I as a dog trainer presume to have anything to add to the discussion, and then why would I want to?

Well, if I was a race car driver and a set of tires developed by the engineers at Goodyear failed to perform over 220 mph, then I would have something to say to the engineers at Goodyear. Even though tens of millions of Goodyear tires may work very well on millions of passenger cars, which comprise the vast majority of tires in use, if nonetheless at speeds over 220 mph hour the tires don’t perform as expected then there’s something wrong with their understanding of tires. If at the very pinnacle of performance, the theory doesn’t hold true, then there is a fundamental problem with the theory. For example, even if every astronomer believed that the Sun revolved around the earth, which at one point not too long ago every learned human being on earth did, and yet an amateur observer noticed certain anomalies that indicated otherwise, that amateur would have standing to question the prevailing consensus no matter how learned or longstanding it may be.

So if the theory that the behavior of complex organisms evolved from the behavior of simple organisms due to the perpetuation of certain genes over other genes, and yet the behavior of a complex organism such as the dog fails to conform to this prediction, then anyone who notices these anomalies has standing to question the prevailing consensus no matter how learned or longstanding it may be. The tenets of evolutionary theory are supposed to add up rather than nullify when they arrive at the higher end of the spectrum.

But even so and I could legitimately claim standing, why would I want to engage in a debate about the nature of evolution (for the record, I’m arguing for evolution, but it is of nature evolving as a whole, not as a system of disconnected parts vying for limited resources) since it proves more inflammatory than influential? Why not just take the advice of that academic and confine my remarks to the behavior of dogs?

I don’t have a choice. Implicit in any discussion of behavior, be it casual or a studied inquiry, all will have developed (whether they know it or not) a highly complex theory of evolution which is then automatically invoked in any discussion of animals. This is true whether two neighbors are talking about the deer eating their garden at night, or two world class biologists pondering a research result. The same set of assumptions will be driving both conversations.

For example it would be impossible to live on earth and simply by seeing the Sun rise and fall not thereby arrive at an idea as to which body revolves around the other. One can’t live on earth and not form a theory of certain celestial movements. One would also end up associating the moon with the night rather than the day. Likewise, all discussions of behavior operate from the modern Neo-Darwinian rationale of survival and gene perpetuation as the engine of evolution. And this is understandable because it seems as self-evident as the Sun going round the earth and the moon illuminating the night sky. And so if one is going to say anything new about behavior (and the only new thing that can be said about behavior would involve the immaterial dynamic of energy-as-information) then they are automatically up against the default premise that the instinct to survive and/or reproduce is the primal root of evolution because it has been assumed that the genetic transmission of information is the only mechanism by which evolution can occur. One cannot confine their remarks to a domain outside this default assumption. Therefore it must be addressed head on because it’s always in play. So that’s how and why NDT ends up engaging evolutionary theory head on.

Trophic Cascade: The animal mind has evolved to integrate with both inanimate and animate flow systems ……….,

………a flow system which subscribes to a hierarchical structure universal to all animate and inanimate structures (see “Design In Nature”). In the video note that the emotional makeup of wolves (the universal dynamic of emotion moving from the predator to prey polarity, the fundamental template around which the animal mind is configured, the primal code and behavioral script which is most pronounced in the canine and human makeup) influenced the emotional affects and thus behavior of ruminants, their change in behavior changed the landscape and THEN the genes of all the affected organisms were affected, the ecosystem evolving as a whole not as a system of disconnected parts in competition with each other. Emotion integrates the flow of behavior, the animal mind as a flow system, i.e. an energy circuit, with the environment, thereby changing the environment and rendering new energy.


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.