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Design In Nature

The Nature of Information Mar 13, 2016

  There are two possible views of nature. One is as a system of disconnected parts in competition with each other. In this view, bacteria and viruses are seen solely as infectious agents of disease. Or, we can see nature as a system of information processing. Raw, sheer energy becoming information. In this view, bacteria […]

Why Dogs Play Jan 23, 2016

I have been expecting that “How Dogs Work” would spur a great debate throughout Dogdom. Yet the only discussion I’ve found is a review posted by Dr. Bekoff on his Psychology Today blog. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201511/how-and-why-dogs-play-revisited-who-s-confused Beckoff challenges Coppinger and Feinstein’s thesis that play, specifically the play bow, represents a state of conflict, i.e. an emergent behavior […]

“How Dogs Work” Part Two Jan 07, 2016

Whenever Coppinger inquires into the nature of the dog, conventional thinking and cherished romantic notions are quick to fall by the wayside. In “Work”  Coppinger has pushed the limits of the current paradigm to its breaking point, which is why it is a seminal book. Yet at the same time, the power of his argument […]

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 Invaders” Apr 06, 2015

    http://www.amazon.com/Invaders-Humans-Their-Neanderthals-Extinction/dp/0674736761/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1427910718&sr=1-1&keywords=shipman+invaders   The hunt made the dog, not the hand of man. In all of Dogdom there is only one theory, model and training system predicated on the above belief; Natural Dog Training. For thirty five years this fundamental tenet of Natural Dog Training has been running against the grain of conventional thinking […]

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 […]

Viruses and Network Consciousness Dec 04, 2014

My reading of animal behavior has led me to understand the principle of emotional conductivity as the connective glue of animal consciousness, and hence, a new way of understanding what constitutes information in the animal mind. Information equals consciousness converting environmental inputs into emotional, temperamental values. Since I can see the same primal code at […]

Competition or Friction? Aug 27, 2014

One of the ideas that places my way of looking at nature farthest from the mainstream is my belief that there isn’t a competition between animals and that therefore this can’t be THE driving force of evolution. There is indeed pressure when forces collide, and one will “prevail” to be sure, and there is friction […]

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 […]

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 […]

Do Dogs Believe In Magic? Apr 24, 2014

In the video below a magician plays a sleight of hand on a number of dogs.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEQXeLjY9ak   Stanley Coren in his Psychology Today blog argues that the dog’s reaction corresponds to a child’s cognitive understanding of “object permanence.” To support this view he cites a dog still retaining interest in a ball that […]

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 […]

Making Waves Mar 19, 2014

Thanks for collectively straining over the puzzle as to what flocks of birds cavorting aloft, Orcas porpoising alongside boats, Orcas collectively knocking a seal off an ice flow, a horse and dog playing, and in fact we could extend it to all the things that animals do, have in common. Below is a compilation of […]

More on Behavior and Thermodynamics Feb 23, 2014

When some encounter an energy theory of behavior, they recast it as something it isn’t, such as telepathy, creationism, intelligent design, mysticism. You know the drill. http://dogbehaviorscience.wordpress.com/2014/02/19/dog-evolution-denier-ken-ham-i-mean-kevin-behan/ I believe that life evolves according to principles of energy, not by random. I also believe that the earth, the moon and the stars evolve according to principles […]

The Thermodynamic Basis of the Animal Mind Jan 27, 2014

A great unraveling of Neo-Darwinian logic is underway. https://www.simonsfoundation.org/quanta/20140122-a-new-physics-theory-of-life/ Specifically the concept that the perpetuation of genes is the organizing principle of animal behavior. Neo-Darwinian logic is the basis of both the Dominance model and the model of learning by reinforcement. They are not as different as they may appear. Whereas my premise is that […]

Dogs, Snowflakes and the Constructal Law Jan 09, 2014

Why Every Dog and Snowflake Is Not Unique One of the biggest bromides in dog training is that every dog is unique. On one level it’s directed at those who lock into a method and refuse to adapt to the dog. Of course there’s merit in criticizing a closed mind, we all should be willing […]

Energy and Network Consciousness Jan 02, 2014

http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/dogs-poop-in-alignment-with-earths-magnetic-field Dogs do everything in a circle because their bodies and minds are organized to act just as if they are electromagnetically charged particles. My theory is that a very real electromagnetic capacity on a vegetative level evolved into the complex phenomena we recognize in animals as learning and social behavior. Thus if you take […]

What Is Energy? Dec 03, 2013

Have you ever heard a dog owner observe, usually plaintively, that their dog has a lot of energy? Do they mean their dog is mysteriously plugged into an invisible power grid, or it’s in the beam of an astral projection filling them with some kind of cosmic radiation, are they speaking gibberish? Throughout this site […]

Resource Holding Potential May 10, 2013

In order to understand why dogs do what they do I believe that one must first realize that a profound error is made by projecting human thoughts onto animal behavior. At some point it just clicks that transposing the human intellectual capability of comparing one point-of-view to another point-of-view, or one moment-in-time to another moment-in-time […]

Emotional Projection May 08, 2013

http://www.wimp.com/throwstick/ Does this dog need its head examined, or does this video reveal something profound about the nature of information? Modern ethologists, behaviorists and many trainers argue that dogs and wolves organize into social structures according to a rational calculation relative to gaining control over resources. Supposedly dogs compute a cost/benefit analysis, while taking in […]

Reflections on University of Tennessee Conference Apr 14, 2013

My profound gratitude to Joyce Miller, Scott Hamilton, Dr. Jean-Marie Thompson (and of course “Romeo”) for introducing Natural Dog Training to the academic community. Our talk was well-attended and I was gratified to see more than a few light bulbs going off in the eyes of the audience. As always, my challenge was not to […]

The Constructal Law and Behaviorism Sep 20, 2012

I’m surprised, as a matter of fact stunned, that modern behaviorism isn’t taking notice of the Constructal law as articulated by Adrian Bejan in his book “Design In Nature.”  To me the implications of the Constructal law are overwhelming and yet no behaviorist or biologist is taking note. So about a month ago I had […]

Kevin Behan Guest Blogs on Psychology Today Aug 18, 2012

“Empathy & Evolution: How Dogs Convert Stress Into Flow” Guest Blogger Kevin Behan Explains the Evolution of “Empathy” in Dogs Published on August 6, 2012 by Lee Charles Kelley in My Puppy, My Self “I’m proud to present this guest post by my mentor and colleague, Kevin Behan, originator of Natural Dog Training, which views […]

Dog Star Daily May 31, 2012

I think Roger Abrantes is the best expositor of the new version of dominance, and so I’ve focused on his writings in a number of articles in order to draw contrast with the model I’m promulgating. Recently a reader brought my book to his attention on his Dog Star Daily blog and so in the […]

The Constructal Law and the Canine Mind May 04, 2012

We’re in the process of revamping our NDT site so that the theory can be segregated from the practical regards of living with a dog. Toward that end, I would like to call your attention to the address below if you’re interested in reading how the laws of physics are the organizing principle of the […]

Design In Nature -9- Mar 16, 2012

I can understand how the dominance concept seems reasonable because it does seem self-evident. Nature does seem to be a struggle between individuals over scarce resources with dominance seemingly a cost-effective way of keeping friction and violence to a minimum. I started out in dogs believing it myself. As an apprentice trainer and then early […]

Design In Nature -8-

“Design In Nature” Zane, J. Peder; Bejan, Adrian (2012-01-24). Design in Nature: How the Constructal Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology, and Social Organization (Kindle Locations 1560-1564). Random House, Inc.. DIN: “One of the most powerful insights born from the constructal law is that social systems are natural designs that emerge and evolve to […]

Design In Nature -7- Mar 14, 2012

Chapter Six   “Why Hierarchy Reigns” I think chapter six will prove to be the most critical chapter as in how the constructal law intersects with animal behavior. Today we find a reinvigoration of the debate over dominance. The last several decades the positive, learning theorists have been arguing there’s no such thing as dominance […]

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.