Why Is Play Bow Inviting?
Jan 24, 2017
I’m currently writing a book on body language so that my model can be applied to the things we see dogs do everyday. In the meantime, and in sort of a crowd-sourcing way to flesh out my argument, I would like to pose the following question to a science-based trainer or a behaviorist. After a […]
The Settled Science of Dominance in Dogs
Dec 26, 2016
From time to time Dr. Bekoff writes articles to clarify the matter of dominance in dogs. Bekoff: “I’ve argued in a number of essays that there is a basic misunderstanding of what dominance means and that people need to read the ethological literature on dominance in animals to gain a more complete understanding of what […]
The Social Dynamic, Thoughts or a Feeling of Flow?
Jul 14, 2016
Science is currently on the cusp of a paradigm shift in understanding the animal mind. On the one hand systems researchers are discovering simple principles responsible for complex social and collective actions. But then moving in the other direction cognitive researchers purport to find human like rational processes in the minds of animals. The debate […]
More On The Play Bow
Feb 27, 2015
Contextual Analysis versus an Immediate-Moment Analysis of the Play Bow The problem with the current consensus in behaviorism is that while the experts make very reasoned cases for a number of possible explanations for the various acts dogs perform during play, such as rolling over, bowing, grabbing and chasing, they haven’t been able to find […]
What Are We Learning From Animals? (per the NY Times)
Jan 31, 2015
I offer the following as an exercise in critical thinking. The New York Times article below illustrates the pretzel knot that modern behavioral analysis is locked in. The problem arises from trying to understand animal behavior as states of intention rather than as states of attraction. This leads to the false dichotomy that if behavior isn’t […]
Impulse Control and Body Language
Aug 19, 2014
(This is a very, very long post on NDT theory) Canine body language revolves around the same question that drives much social research, what is the nature of impulse control? I propose that a primal impulse can only be held in check by an impulse of equal primacy. Otherwise an individual will be in […]
Do Dogs Feel Jealousy?
Jul 28, 2014
In a recent experiment dogs were said to have displayed jealousy when their owner paid attention to a stuffed dog that could be made to bark and wag its tail. It was based on an experiment with pre-verbal children who likewise were said to become jealous when their parent attended to and lavished over a […]
Anatomy of a Discussion on Dominance
Feb 24, 2012
Generally the discussions I get into on/line don’t go anywhere. When I make a point it is typically ignored. This is easy to do because for one thing there are too many points of contention in play at once which mean one can radiate off in a tangential direction and evade the logical consequences of […]