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Why We Like Sad Music Sep 23, 2013

From the New York Times “Why We Like Sad Music”   http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/22/opinion/sunday/why-we-like-sad-music.html?ref=opinion   The emotional experience of listening to music is an excellent way to separate thoughts from feelings and emotion from instinct because as a pure wave form music is principally apprehended and processed by the heart. Understanding how the heart works is vital […]

A Critique of Context-Is-Everything Followed by an Introduction to Canine Body Language Jan 19, 2013

I started this section on body language in order to explain what’s going on in a You Tube clip of an interesting interaction between a Rhodesian Ridgeback and a Malinois. While brief, the video is rich with dynamic. In fact there’s so much going on that it’s necessary to do some theoretical backfilling before going […]

The Bubble Problem Sep 07, 2011

I mentioned earlier that the sable GSD was overly stimulated in its prey instinct and so it can’t give its energy to its handler when stimulated. This is directly related to an aggressive issue because when a dog is in this state, there’s a bubble around him and the energy isn’t flowing smoothly with the […]

First Free Interaction With Strong-Natured Dog Sep 06, 2011

This is their first time to run free together, but I kept a long line on sable GSD in order to be safe and I positioned an old dog crate for Huuney to run into if she felt overwhelmed as these can often serve as innate “time out” spots that lets a dog emotionally restore […]

Converting Instinct to Drive-Part Two Sep 05, 2011

So here we have two whole males, both with very strong nature, and my goal here is to convert incoherent screaming (energy ungrounded in the gut) in the ungrounded male into coherent, metered barking for food (energy grounded in the gut). We can see that the black and tan GSD has a deep metered bark […]

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 […]

Isn't Encouraging Prey-making urges dangerous? Mar 15, 2010

An excellent question from the web: “Since we don’t all “work” our dogs enough to let them fully express their natural prey instincts – we don’t all have access to sheep for herding, wild fowl for hunting, or decoys for biting), pet owners of dogs with high prey drives can really have a hard time […]

training in drive is nothing new – schutzhund people have always been doing it for example. Herding dog handlers have been doing it for as long as there have been herding dogs. Mar 11, 2010

True, but no one to date has discussed drive in terms of energy. Drive is focused energy. This then brings us to the question as to how energy acquires focus (the inverse relationship of emotion to stress). Drive theorists to date have not been able to articulate this process without resorting to instincts and thoughts, […]

An Interview with Kevin Behan Jul 26, 2009

Every new client asks me what I think about Cesar Millan the “Dog Whisperer.” They want to know where I might agree and where I don’t.  So we had the idea that I would answer questions that were posed to Cesar in an interview he conducted and then one could draw their own distinctions. Link […]

One Problem To Solve: An Introduction to Training Jun 10, 2009

If we could ask a dog how he felt about living in Man’s civilized world, and if he could put his feelings into our human language, he would say, “Every time I get excited or nervous, I get into trouble. What am I supposed to do with my energy?” Dogs see the world in their […]

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.