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emotional capacity

Is Victoria Stilwell Becoming an NDT-er? Apr 05, 2017

In NDT the bite-and-carry is one of the five core exercises, and in fact it might be the most essential. Above we see that Victoria Stilwell is in effect prescribing the bite-and-carry exercise. Interestingly, so called science-based dog training is moving in the direction of the NDT practice and theory (Bradshaw: dogs should always win […]

Zeke: The Mayor of Portland Aug 17, 2016

    What language is spoken on Planet Dog? We sent Zeke to Portland Maine to find out. In the mind of a dog there’s only one question: What do I do with my energy? And there’s only one answer: Move well.  Every object comes to mind as a function of resistance-to-moving well. Sensory input coalesces […]

Ahead of the Curve Jul 12, 2016

  “The premise that the dog is linked to the wolf is nothing new. What is newly being presented here is the idea that sociability is a by-product of, and is dependent on, the prey instinct. Since killing large animals makes advanced social living possible, it makes sense to look for a connection between thew […]

Calming “Signals” are not Intentional Jun 25, 2015

I excerpted the following from a dog discussion site: “I have an interesting question, which I’m not sure there is a definitive answer for, but may lead to some interesting discussion.   How do dogs learn calming signals (appeasement behaviors, etc)?   I know there are lots of terms used for these behaviors, but calming signals seem […]

What is “Splitting” Behavior Mar 18, 2015

The video below is interpreted as showing a dog playing the role of peace maker by stopping things between two other dogs before it gets out of hand. While the “Good Samaritan” dog here does indeed interrupt the two other dogs, is that its intent? Because if such an interpretation were correct then we would […]

See Spot Run, and next ………? See Spot Bite Mar 07, 2015

Spot is looking good and moving right along, congratulations are in order, and yet the designers of this doggy robot aren’t concerned about this robot’s ability to outcompete other robots so that it can survive and reproduce, those are problems #100,001 and #100,002 in the evolution of a doggy robot. They are concerned solely with […]

Theory is Replicable Jan 14, 2015

I converted this to a post for two reasons. 1) b.. ‘s synthesis represents an achievement of replicability. The good news is that one can learn to understand the internal processes of the animal mind, we do all have one after all. However the bad news is you might end up thinking like me. 2) […]

Intelligence as a Function of Emotional Capacity Sep 13, 2014

Thanks to Scott for this interesting science: http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/09/researchers-search-for-genes-behind-intelligence-find-almost-nothing/   From the end of the article after these words I would add: “it seems that your intelligence is likely to be the product of a huge collection of minor genetic effects, combined with a very large helping of your environment”…….AND your emotional capacity to tap into […]

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 […]

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 […]

Domestication and Natural Dog Training Feb 01, 2014

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131203161715.htm For my entire career NDT has been swimming against the tide of consensus that held that the nature of the domesticated dog is due to its contact with man and to such a degree that dogs were considered to have become an adjunct of human culture. Theorists initially believed that it was pointless to […]

Indiana NDT Conference Note Three Sep 02, 2013

At the NDT conference I often referred to the concept of “emotional momentum.” For example I mentioned that Pushing teaches the dog he can transfer emotional momentum to the owner, most especially his stress reserves, and conversely, Collecting teaches the dog he can absorb emotional momentum from others, most especially, even their stress reserves. The […]

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 […]

Being In Sync Dec 19, 2012

Recently tried to present my interpretation of “calming signals” to a group on Facebook that represented that they were a forum interesting in discussing what’s going on in calming signals. There was much magical thinking going on such as: “Dogs are good at calming signals because they had to be good at calming signals since […]

Distractibility and Time Dec 04, 2012

There’s several dog blogs I check from time to time to see how others think about dogs. I used to make comments on these various blogs but these don’t seem particularly productive. People project so much onto dogs, that they think they know what I’m saying without actually taking the time and trouble to understand […]

Comfort Food Nov 15, 2012

I don’t believe in using food to reward a dog. I use food to calm a dog. Food is calming because it is an emotional ground. In other words in order to eat the food, the dog has to open his jaws and swallow, and since in animal consciousness the body/mind is one organ and […]

Recent Nova and Nature Episodes Nov 09, 2012

It was quite an amazing night of viewing the other evening on PBS with Nature and Nova and their respective reports on animal bonding across species lines, and animal cognition. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/animal-odd-couples/full-episode/8009/ http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/nature/horowitz-dogs.html What is so obvious from watching the behavior of the various animals profiled, but at the same time was abjectly missing in the […]

What’s the Difference Between NDT and Lure/Reward Training? Jun 27, 2012

Cliff (of Lenny fame) and Eric Brad has an interesting exchange on Eric’s site, linked below, and this gives me the opportunity to emphasize again the fundamental distinctions between NDT and Learning Theory. And even though I’ve probably said these things many times on this site before, perhaps in this interweaving of a number of […]

The Function of Dysfunction Dec 13, 2011

Generally we think of a rabid animal, foaming at the mouth, sinking its fangs into  the nearest warm blooded victim, as a crazed, frenetically enraged beast, a “mad dog” on a berserk rampage. Yet if we more closely consider the behavior of a rabid animal, we observe that there is a coherent and time-deferred string […]

Do Dogs Grieve? Nov 11, 2011

Barbara King is writing a scholarly treatment on the question of whether animals experience grief and her findings are being previewed on a NPR discussion forum at the link below. http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2011/10/20/141452847/do-animals-grieve?sc=emaf King argues that “from a combination of observation, evolutionary logic, reading the peer-reviewed science literature, and talking to insightful animal people, I’m convinced that […]

Emotional Capacity Oct 08, 2011

(Be advised that this a long essay on theory.) Recently there was a productive discussion (except for you know who) on Lee’s Psychology Today blog in regards to the differences between dogs and cats in terms of their respective social capacities. I would like to springboard off this discussion in order to more thoroughly develop […]

Soft Puppy Mouth Sep 11, 2011

In this sequence of play we can see the sable GSD exhibit a soft mouth, which is evidence that his puppy mind is beginning to run the show. This means he is becoming equipped under a high rate of change to find new focal points for his Drive energy, so that he can shift what […]

Making Traits On Demand

Once a dog is able to become the object of attraction then it can make a trait on demand in order to complement the object of its attraction. This is the first instance of the sable GSD being able to handle the intense pressure of a male dog of high resistance value and allowing this […]

Review of “Your Dog Is Your Mirror” Aug 23, 2011

When I wrote “Your Dog Is Your Mirror” I tried to anticipate critiques and “preload” a rebuttal into my argument. Unfortunately from my point of view, but fortunately for the readers’ that would have made the book too long and have even changed its focus. It turns out one can’t write defensively, the main thing […]

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). […]

More On Emotional Projection May 20, 2011

Adam asks: “Also, is eye contact from the object of attraction onto the dog, required for this phenomenon of emotional projection?” It’s not required as a two way deal, but the dog fixates on the eyes of what it’s attracted to because this gives it direct and instant access to its own body’s physical center […]

What Does Dunning-Kruger Have To Do With Dogs? Nov 20, 2010

{Critiques such as these may sound like they’re saying something, but they’re merely sophisticated name calling, nothing specific and concrete is being debated, but I extend the invitation on the hope for such. And because this particular critic is arguing for a personality theory of behavior, they are always guilty of the exact charge they’re […]

Dogs and Cats Playing Tug Nov 02, 2010

Of the millions of cats in America, a few indulge in a kind of tug-of-war with their owners, and if one does a survey of the video record on the internet one can find such offerings. These are excellent examples of comparative behavior between cats and dogs as a means of understanding the phenomenon of […]

The Broken Wing Ruse Sep 10, 2010

They blast off like a heart attack. You’re walking on a woodland trail absorbed in the forest’s beauty and stillness when out of nowhere there’s an explosion from underfoot so intense you can virtually feel the slap of wings and the jet wash from a bevy of ruffed grouse bursting out from the underbrush. It’s […]

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.