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learning theory

Sociability and Personality May 13, 2014

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/13/science/the-social-life-of-spiders-thriving-in-a-social-web.html?ref=science&_r=0   In “NDT” and “YDIYM” I offered a new view of personality in contravention to the prevailing consensus of learning theory, i.e. that reinforcements and instincts are enough to account for the complexities of how a dogs’ behavior changes over time. I discovered that two dogs living together and treated exactly the same (even were […]

Drug Detection Dogs and “The Charge” Feb 07, 2014

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2552747/Dogs-lose-jobs-Fred-police-k-9-fired-getting-distracted-job-playing-soda-cans.html I highlight this story for what it can teach us about the power of “ungrounded energy” on a dog’s behavior, the deepest levels of which when abruptly summoned to the surface of awareness, I term “The Charge.” According to learning theory, this dog was trained 100% correctly and I have no doubt it graduated […]

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 […]

Of Wolves, Dogs, Women and Men Nov 22, 2013

I began in dogdom with the assumption that dogs were descended from wolves given what I learned from my father. At first this meant that an owner should aspire to be the vaunted Alpha pack leader figure. But through my work with protection and police dogs, and which led me to the German view of […]

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 […]

Panksepp, Natural Dog Training, Part Two Mar 16, 2013

Panksepp, Natural Dog Training, correlations and distinctions. The interesting thing about writing this article which I initially thought would be pretty simple and straightforward, is that in order to make correlations, I have to at the same time draw distinctions. I hope this doesn’t detract from conveying how much I respect Panksepp’s work. Step by […]

Jaak Panksepp and Natural Dog Training Mar 10, 2013

Correlations between the research of Jaak Panksepp and Natural Dog Training The debates I’ve had on various forums with modern learning theorists ultimately revolve around my claim that emotion shapes learning through a process that is far more fundamental than any system of reinforcements. I argue that reinforcements aren’t instrumental, a template comes first and […]

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 […]

Barking On Command Oct 22, 2012

Learning To Bark Is A Wave Alwynne writes an excellent blog about her dog “Cholula” which among other themes documents the trials and tribulations of teaching a dog to speak on command. http://sweetslugabed.com/blog/2012/10/09/cholula-shows-her-speak/ What’s interesting about the bark-on-command is that some dogs get it instantly whereas for some dogs it can take a long, long…………long, […]

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 […]

The Unknown Scientist Aug 11, 2012

An unknown scientist has a website with an article entitled, “Kevin Behan: A Legend In His Own Mind.” http://dogbehaviorscience.wordpress.com The Unknown Scientist (US) purports to be a researcher and a competitive dog trainer, and I’ll take them at their word since he/she is indeed very intelligent as he/she is able to take complex research and […]

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 […]

Do Dogs Have A Nature? Sep 25, 2009

It’s interesting to read the reviews and comments on Neil’s DVD as well as the assortment of critiques offered on the web in regards to how other thinkers on dogs perceive Natural Dog Training. It strikes me that our respective arguments aren’t intersecting, that we’re not actually making intellectual contact. Some seem to be saying […]

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.