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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” […]

Wired To Be Social Nov 03, 2013

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/03/books/review/social-by-matthew-d-lieberman.html?ref=books&_r=0 NYT Review of “Social” by Matthew D. Lieberman The premise of this book, while overly weighted to the neurochemical basis of behavior, nevertheless is getting deeper to the core and fits nicely with NDT tenet that there is only one drive, the Drive To Make Contact, and emotional affects evolved to compel organisms to […]

Point Five Aug 01, 2013

http://dogbehaviorscience.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/5-tall-tales-from-1-small-mind/ “I am an occasional visitor to the Natural Dog Training (is there such a  thing as Supernatural Dog Training?) blog authored by snake-oil salesman and new-age mystic Kevin Behan. Reading the blog is amusing and infuriating. I find it painful to see him lie to readers and distort the latest science story to support the sales his […]

Misinterpretation of Behavior Due to Calming Signal Theory Apr 15, 2013

At the 3:00 minute mark of this video there is an excellent example of how the notion of calming signals leads to a fundamental misinterpretation of two dogs interacting. The author of the video interprets an interaction between a yellow dog and a black lab in terms of calming signals, as one self-contained entity of […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Behavior Is Attraction Oct 02, 2012

In this article the author conjoins two studies which demonstrate that wolf hunting behavior is analogous to the mass flocking of starlings. This is an interesting article because these studies demonstrate the exact opposite of what this author is arguing in the article entitled: “To Hunt, Cooperation Is Not Needed.” The evidence the author cites […]

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.