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behavioral science

Behan is too new-agey in his explanations to be taken seriously. He also dismisses large tracks of learning theory and psychology and ethology. He prefers undefined explanations like "emotional circuitry of dog and owner" Frankly I tend to dismiss and distrust anyone that talks about 'energy' or 'vibrations' to explain animal behavior. Mar 11, 2010

I don’t dismiss behavioral science and I value its many astute observations and precise descriptions; however it is missing the fundamental element of behavior, to wit: the animal’s nature which is an evolved function of energy. So what is energy? Science understands energy as an “action potential,” as a differential in concentration of “charged” particles […]

I agree there is energy – everything does have energy – but there are also plain old basic learning principles that have been around for a long time.

Behavioral science is indeed being consistent by not using the term energy, and it’s also quite wise to avoid any use of the term because once we add energy into a discussion of behavior, then the paradigm shifts wholesale. On the other hand we can’t agree that there is energy, that everything has energy, and […]

In the past, when ever I've seen "natural dog training" it has seemed anything but natural to me

It’s true that anyone can claim to be natural and in one sense, everyone is being natural because in the final analysis, the dog responds to what the trainer does through a naturally evolved temperament and so it’s always the dog’s nature that’s being affected no matter how arbitrary the training approach. The term natural […]

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.