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dominance

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 […]

The Dominance Debate Jul 08, 2016

Dr. Marc Bekoff in a recent article ….. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201607/dogs-display-dominance-deniers-offer-no-credible-debate ……  claims that if one doesn’t believe in dominance as an organizing principle in canine social life then they are therefore “deniers.” (BTW Lee Charles Kelley offers some excellent rebuttals in the comment section. I wonder if they will be addressed.) Meanwhile in the article Bekoff […]

At the Heart of the Bond; Innate or Transactional? Jan 22, 2015

  The R+, or positive school of thought, sees the dominance, or P+ school of thought, as being misguided and scientifically challenged as for example when Cesar Milan claims that a dog’s behavior reflects its owner in terms of their relative ranks in a dominance hierarchy. The P+ school rebuts the notion that dogs are […]

The Unsure Unknown Scientist Jul 23, 2014

I’m the object of a regular beat-down on the site of the Unknown Scientist and I return to these “discussions” because they so clearly demonstrate the internal contradict at the heart of modern Behaviorism. {Of course these are the same theocrats who criticized me in the seventies, eighties and nineties when I argued that wolves […]

Question for SPARCS Jun 23, 2014

Via Twitter, I posed this question to the SPARCS conference. Of course it got lost in the shuffle but I am surprised that such a  question didn’t come up given that the phenomenon of hierarchy is the number one feature of the canine mind. If dominance is an instinct, yet malleable to context (and thus a […]

SPARCS Conference and Social Signals Jun 19, 2014

CRITICAL THINKING IN DOGDOM ”Many theories have been advanced but there is a mass of confusion about social signaling among animals,” Dr. Weldon said. ”Mimicry of age, alarm calls and other characteristics, as well as sex, often cause misperceptions among observing researchers.” http://www.nytimes.com/1985/02/19/science/guile-and-deception-the-evolution-of-animal-courtship.html?pagewanted=2   Another SPARCS conference on the canine mind is being held in […]

Censorship In Dogdom and the Nature of Dominance Feb 22, 2013

Psychology Today has the right to summarily delete any column or terminate any columnist as they see fit, even on a whim, and so their decision to end Lee Charles Kelley’s column “My Puppy My Self is not censorship by any means. When it comes to privately held methods of discourse all’s fair in a […]

Smell and the Quantum Canine Jan 31, 2013

Everything is connected, everything is a repeating module elaborating from simple structures into more and more complex ones. As I develop my body language series, I will illustrate how the social sense of the canine mind is analogous literally, to the quantum mechanics of the sense of smell. This will not prove to be a […]

Hierarchy as a Function of Flow Jan 14, 2013

We see them every fall; migrating hawks, one by one streaming into a rising swirl of warm air, like children hopping onto a carousel, one that operates on a vertical as well as a horizontal plane. The raptors enter at the bottom and each go round carries them higher and higher into the bright blue […]

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 […]

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 -2- Mar 07, 2012

“The verb “to design” has been monumentally unproductive in our quest to understand design in nature for three main reasons. First, it led to the common view that the things humans design are “artificial,” in contrast to the “natural” designs that surround us. This is wrong, because we are part of nature and our designs […]

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 […]

Dominance: Out with the Old and in with the New Feb 21, 2012

The old definition of dominance meant a social hierarchy of rank, high status being sought because it accorded breeding privileges and since genetic proliferation is held as the mainspring of evolution. This definition was propagated by scientists who had gathered the data and interpreted the statistics, and was then disseminated by trainers and behaviorists to […]

Roger Abrantes On Dominance Dec 17, 2011

Without a model for the animal mind, Dogdom must always return to the notion of dominance in order to explain social structure. Learning theory hasn’t been able to fill the bill and neuroscience merely reduces behavior to its biological nuts and bolts. Furthermore the notion of dominance seems consistent with evolutionary theory, given the assumption […]

Principles of Leadership Jul 19, 2011

I am going to offer a number of thoughts on the nature of leadership, not because there is such a thing in the nature of animals, but because this issue is generally on every dog owner’s mind and can determine the nature of their relationship with their pet. In the old days folks used to […]

I was just told that Kevin Behan is into the old wolf pack theory etc… Mar 11, 2010

Actually, I may be the first one to discredit the “old wolf pack theory.” Rather I am into the canine “group theory” and the first to posit the distinction between pack and group, and that there’s no such thing as Alpha-Leader-hood. In 1991 David Mech wrote in “The Way of the Wolf” p. 36: “Perhaps […]

Quantum Canine Episode 2 'No Such Thing as Dominance' Part III Aug 03, 2009

Kevin Behan and Trisha Selbach discuss dominance in dog training and Kevin Behan’s Immediate Moment theory of social organization in wolf packs.

Quantum Canine Episode 2 'No Such Thing as Dominance' Part II Aug 02, 2009

Kevin Behan and Trisha Selbach discuss dominance in dog training and Kevin Behan’s “Immediate Moment” theory of social organization in wolf packs. Continue on to Part III of this episode.

Quantum Canine Episode 2 'No Such Thing as Dominance' Part I Aug 01, 2009

Kevin Behan and Trisha Selbach discuss dominance in dog training and Kevin Behan’s “Immediate Moment” theory of social organization in wolf packs. They discuss Kevin’s father’s work in training and his influence, as well as what Kevin learned from his own work training police and protection dogs. The discussion continues! Click here when the above […]

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.