systems logic

Inner Vision Mar 21, 2016

Because this story is so intriguing and rich with theoretical possibilities, I will indulge in speculating out loud. When I draw on the blackboard my model for the mind of a dog, I feature the bi-focal “vision” that I consider a prerequisite for movement. In any state of attention there is the obvious external […]

Emotional Momentum Jan 03, 2016

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe> While these videos are humorous, in a way that’s too bad since the profundity of what’s being revealed gets lost. The question: why does the hind end of these dogs virtually levitate while they’re feeding? Answer: Emotional momentum. Emotional momentum is physical momentum that an animal associates […]

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” […]

Chillin with her Kill Oct 13, 2015

    Anika is a “periphery” dog by which I mean that she feels most comfortable moving along the outer “emotional valence orbital” as there’s less resistance along this track. She’s analogous to the outermost electron in an atom. As such she ranges as far as she can from her handler while still maintaining contact.  I believe […]

Wave Coupling and the Emotional Battery May 18, 2015

A lot of things  dogs do are really funny. But this can obscure that a fundamental truth is being revealed. So first enjoy a good laugh in the video below that’s been making the rounds, and then try to answer: Why do dogs do this? It’s no laughing matter. Below I will add my interpretation. […]

The Body Does More Than Carry The Head Around Feb 22, 2015

Most treatments of behavior, as far as I know, treat the brain as the seat of the mind and the sole computer of behavior. In my reading of canine behavior however I’ve learned that anatomy is more important in how the mind composes its view of reality than cognitive processes. An organism learns about the […]

On “Being the Moose” Apr 22, 2014

I don’t think it takes any leap of imagination to see the emotional leverage the moose in the video below enjoys over the dog as predator. Because a Moose has a strong predatory aspect, its head is very high, it triggers deep physical memories in the dog, which is why it is barking in a […]

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.