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Review of “How Dogs Work” – Part One Dec 22, 2015

  Anytime a book merges canine behavior with thermodynamics (the study of how things move) it represents a milestone in Dogdom. “How Dogs Work” by Raymond Coppinger and Mark Feinstein, (University of Chicago Press) is such a book. “It’s not too far off the mark to say that, for ethologists, what evolution really “cares about” […]

What Emotion Is, And Isn’t Aug 04, 2015

“Most people, including many scientists, believe that emotions are distinct, locatable entities inside us — but they’re not.” Lisa Feldman Barrett   Professor of Psychology Northeastern University http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/02/opinion/sunday/what-emotions-are-and-arent.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0 If you have been following NDT theory then you are not among the “most people” referenced above. My study of dogs through the lens of the immediate-moment […]

The Homunculus Fallacy Jul 14, 2015

When a dog is looking out, what’s going on within? Modern behaviorism and ethology claims it leaves that question aside and only considers observable behavior, but a close study of their terminology and usage shows that not to be the case. A discussion of a dominance hierarchy in dogs brings this into view.         In […]

Gene-Centricity May 08, 2015

If you have an appetite for evolutionary theory, and enjoy bearing witness to the shift of a long standing paradigm, the three links below make for a hearty feast indeed.   http://www.ozy.com/rising-stars/the-man-who-may-one-up-darwin/39217?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=OZYpost&utm_campaign=SA_T   http://aeon.co/magazine/science/how-horizontal-gene-transfer-changes-evolutionary-theory/   http://aeon.co/magazine/science/why-its-time-to-lay-the-selfish-gene-to-rest/   There is a lot to ingest in all this, but this passage leaps out from the article on […]

Body Language as a Function of Thermodynamics and the Laws of Motion Mar 13, 2015

What is body language? I’ve been working on an e-book concerning body language and came across this video which purportedly debunks Monty Roberts’ “Join Up” method of horse training. I’ve written about this video before but want to revisit the topic as an exercise in critical thinking. http://www.coffscoastadvocate.com.au/story/2012/07/13/horse-training-methods-questioned/ This article demonstrates how interpreting behavior in […]

Biocentrism, Light Eating Sea Slugs, and Emotion Feb 07, 2015

Two items in the news from science are of special interest. One is about Biocentrism: http://higherperspective.com/2015/01/consciousness-death.html#26xY0kV3xLRWVu6Z.01 From Wikipedia: “Biocentric universe (from Greek: βίος, bios, “life”; and κέντρον, kentron, “center”) — also known as biocentrism — is a concept proposed in 2007 by American doctor of medicine Robert Lanza, a scientist in the fields of regenerative medicine and biology,[1][2][3] which sees biology as the central […]

From the “Vortex of Life” Jun 06, 2014

“It is a fact that we have only to set the most simple and primary into action, to find, without our having to import any further complications, that more sophisticated considerations are already implied, inherent within them.” Lawrence Edwards   The principle of emotion as a function of attraction, implies flow, resistance to flow, and […]

Attraction and the Constructal Law Jun 04, 2014

Many owners of aggressive dogs have visited my farm and done “Trolley Work;” what I also call “Maple Sugaring” wherein we burn off the stress that makes two dogs want to fight each other by running them along parallel trolley lines and thereby get down to the sweet nectar of pure attraction whereafter the dogs […]

Of Deer and the Deer Man Apr 18, 2014

PBS this week featured two excellent shows on animals. One was a Nature episode about the Turkey man, Joe Hutto, who grafted himself into a flock of wild turkeys and learned their ways. In this new documentary he makes contact with mule deer simply by being among them for two years. http://www.wgbh.org/programs/Nature-26/episodes/Touching-the-Wild-51073 {It seems to […]

Physical Memory Is Transferable Mar 09, 2014

Can the stress that an animal experiences in its lifetime be inherited by its progeny? Yes http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/09/opinion/sunday/can-children-inherit-stress.html?ref=opinion&_r=0 “What explains this pattern? Does trauma lead to suboptimal parenting, which leads to abnormal behavior in children, which later affects their own parenting style? Or can you biologically inherit the effects of your parents’ stress, after all?” “It […]

NDT and the Science of Collective Behavior Nov 01, 2013

http://icouzin.princeton.edu The core tenets of NDT theory—– (1) Emotion acts on the body/mind as a virtual “force” of attraction (2) Emotion always moves from the predator to prey polarity (3) Complex canine behavior emerges as a function of the prey drive —– might initially seem to be radical, outside of the mainstream ideas. But science […]

Athletic Machines and Attraction Jun 19, 2013

Russell has introduced us to the power of Control Theory, and in this video one can witness it being put into expression as the complex coordinated behavior of quadcopters.   http://www.ted.com/talks/raffaello_d_andrea_the_astounding_athletic_power_of_quadcopters.html I would like to add that underneath the algorithms, sensors and computer processing of these remarkable machines is an even more fundamental and even […]

Synchronization and Alignment May 15, 2013

Leah asks if the video below of synchronizing metronomes is akin to the trampoline analogy I offered recently. To repeat, a trampoline is analogous to consciousness as both are a displaceable medium, i.e. when stimulated an organism is induced into sensations of disequilibrium. So two people standing and especially moving on a trampoline displace the […]

Cognitive Research as Alchemy Apr 23, 2013

“From his previous research, Dr. Hare has argued that dogs evolved their extraordinary social intelligence once their ancestors began lingering around early human settlements. As he and his wife, Vanessa Woods, explain in their new book, “The Genius of Dogs,” natural selection favored the dogs that did a better job of figuring out the intentions […]

The Math Underlying Natural Dog Training Mar 07, 2013

(This is a long article to demonstrate how recent science validates the theory of Natural Dog Training as first articulated in the 1980’s.) Text: Sometimes critics ask for the math that substantiates the theory that underlies Natural Dog Training (emotion=attraction—-feelings=resistance) which is a little tough given that I’m not a mathematician. And the request is […]

Behavior Is Attraction Oct 02, 2012

In this article the author conjoins two studies which demonstrate that wolf hunting behavior is analogous to the mass flocking of starlings. This is an interesting article because these studies demonstrate the exact opposite of what this author is arguing in the article entitled: “To Hunt, Cooperation Is Not Needed.” The evidence the author cites […]

A Horse and His Toy Car Jul 18, 2012

What is body language? http://www.coffscoastadvocate.com.au/story/2012/07/13/horse-training-methods-questioned/ This article demonstrates how interpreting behavior in the absence of a model leads to a defective conclusion. I’m not speaking here about what is the right way to train a horse, the researchers might be right that one shouldn’t scare a horse with a plastic bag, drive it around a […]

Mental Ether Jun 29, 2012

Action at a Distance, Change Over Time, the Mental Ether and Why my horses stomped the ground and bobbed their heads as I brought them their evening buckets of sweet-molasses grain.   I’m re-reading Gleick’s biography of Newton in the hopes of getting a better handle on Calculus without having to confront the math directly. […]

Science Takes One Step Forward, but then………………… May 27, 2011

So why wait for science? The goal of NDT is for owners to become their own experts. This requires questioning authority, learning to trust what you feel, and to recognize internal contradictions in the information you’re being presented with, no euphemism or oxymoron must lie unchallenged (for example, the term dominance instinct is an oxymoron). […]

The Information Is In The Energy Mar 21, 2011

Perhaps on a drive through prime horse country you’ve found yourself taken by the view of gleaming, magnificently muscled horses grazing contentedly within fenced in fields presided over by stately barns and manor. Some of these horses are worth many hundreds of thousands of dollars as would of course befit such multi-million dollar equestrian complexes. […]

The Emperor Has No Model Nov 28, 2010

An energy theory is a fantastic proposition. If an energy theory is true, then consciousness comes before the brain. Furthermore this means that genes are the result of consciousness rather than consciousness being the result of genes. In other words, animals didn’t evolve to have consciousness; they evolved in response to consciousness. Admittedly this is […]

Evolution of a Group Mind Oct 16, 2010

I’m commenting on the first Wolf Park video submitted wherein a moose head is brought from the cache TO THE CENTER as Energy wants to move! Any two heart cells when placed in a conductive medium synchronize with each others beat. The first thing to do is turn off the sound and learn to see […]

How Physical Memory Makes Pleasure In The Moment Sep 17, 2010

ADAM asks: I’m still having trouble really feeling and understanding this line… “The dog perceives being looked at (or called) just as if it is being pushed, just as if its mother is knocking it over and rolling it around on the ground. It’s a force of acceleration, a degree of momentum that demands a […]

Growling Mar 17, 2010

What should I do if my dog growls at me? “I told my neighbor what happened and he said his dog growled at him, ONCE. Should I do what my neighbor did?” First, step away from the dog. Step back from the edge. Don’t do anything. Take a deep, deep breath and enjoy a long […]

On Damasio and the Feeling Brain Jan 31, 2010

I really like Damasio, but in the interest of time I’m going to be abrupt because simply put, the brain can’t feel a thing. With all due respect to Dr. Damasio: there’s a reason why we place our hand on our heart when we feel moved. We do not point to our brain and this […]

Definitions Jan 15, 2010

Some of my definitions are scattered across this site and mostly in terms of why-dogs-do-what-they-do, but what follows is a more concise summary. ENERGY: An action potential, a differential of force between two poles. Energy in animals builds up by virtue of a bipolar, two-brain makeup each with its own divergent agenda just as if […]

Glorious Accident? Dec 29, 2009

While there is no way to prove my energy model directly, however if it provides the best explanation for what we observe and the way things are, then it is the strongest theory, circumstantial evidence notwithstanding. I also believe that were the scientific community to apply its tools to the model, it could indeed be […]

Indy and Milo Recreate the Past Oct 11, 2009

“Hey Kevin, my name is Ben Grubbs and I’ve been (trying) to practice NDT ever since I discovered it, and I’m a frequent poster on your blog– I was hoping you had a moment to take a look at a video I shot this morning. I am dogsitting a friend’s dog named Milo who is […]

Why do dogs fetch? Aug 06, 2009

All animals play, especially when young, and often with objects. But when you throw something for a dog, it’s like a boomerang: with just a bit of deft management it comes right back to your hand. Why? Because the dog wants its “self” back. We often wonder how dogs see themselves. Do they see themselves […]

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.