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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Your Dog is your Mirror

@font-face { font-family: "MS 明朝"; }@font-face { font-family: "Cambria Math"; }@font-face { font-family: "Cambria"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 10pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Cambria; }.MsoChpDefault { font-family: Cambria; }.MsoPapDefault { margin-bottom: 10pt; }div.WordSection1 { page: WordSection1; } I read a new book by Kevin Behan yesterday called “Your Dog is your Mirror” Has anyone else read it? He has a website
The Official Natural Dog Training Website: News, Discussions, Advice, Training Tips and Techniques from Kevin Behan
It has some interesting ideas that make sense to me about dogs trying to balance the energy of the home. If you have two dogs and dog A is one who gulps his food, races to the door at the first knock, gets very excited about life, than dog B will eat slowly, not react quickly to the door and just be more laid back. If you should lose dog A and get dog C who, by nature is even more laid back than dog B, dog B will then become more like dog A .
He also said that dogs mirror, so if we tend to end up with dogs who are skittish, easily startled we are probably that way ourselves.
He says that any feeling an owner is unwilling or unable to express will be expressed by the dog. Like a person who is a people placater on the outside, but full of resentment and anger on the inside, will have a dog that tends to behave assertively and brash.
He gave an example of a woman who came with a dog that is aggressive toward strange men even though the dog had never been mistreated by a man. It turned out the woman, many years ago had been raped an th dog was picking up on her emotions. ( Deep down the woman also wanted to dog to behave this way so did no follow through on Behans recommendations)
He also spoke about a woman who had been beaten by her father as a child and as an adult was beaten in a home invasion and now had a Rhodesian Ridgeback who attacked her. He said this was because she carried victim energy.
In most cases when the owner faced and dealt with their emotions the dogs behavior was easily fixed.
I don’t understand a part where he says that when a dog goes to bite someone they do it not to defend themselves or their territory or to cause harm , but because they are attracted to the person.
He said that in Schutzhund “anything less than clear straight foward action indicates fear and the dog needs to be “helped”, but when the same dog is home and growls at then handler who pushes him away from the couch this is also fear and the dog needs to be helped. He said that many trainers/handlers understand this out on the field but in the house wrongly think the dog needed to be strongly put in his place and shown who was boss rather than helped over the fear.
Not sure I understand all of it but, he made some good points about genetics and the declining health and temperament of the dogs. Gives lots of things to think about.

Benedict GSD 4/13/09
Pippin GR 2/6/14

Waiting at the Bridge
Eli GSD
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-11-2012, 01:02 PM
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I haven't read the book, so I might be blowing smoke, but what the heck.

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Originally Posted by Debbieg View Post
I read a new book by Kevin Behan yesterday called “Your Dog is your Mirror” Has anyone else read it? He has a website
The Official Natural Dog Training Website: News, Discussions, Advice, Training Tips and Techniques from Kevin Behan
It has some interesting ideas that make sense to me about dogs trying to balance the energy of the home. If you have two dogs and dog A is one who gulps his food, races to the door at the first knock, gets very excited about life, than dog B will eat slowly, not react quickly to the door and just be more laid back. If you should lose dog A and get dog C who, by nature is even more laid back than dog B, dog B will then become more like dog A .
I'm not completely certain this is true. Having had quite a few dogs come and go in our home with different 'energies', and so on, I've seen some dogs that keep their temperament the same through it all. In fact, I can only think of one that changed at all, and she had other health problems that were more likely the cause.

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He also said that dogs mirror, so if we tend to end up with dogs who are skittish, easily startled we are probably that way ourselves.
While I do think that dogs can and do mirror, I'm not sure that a nervous person is automatically going to have a nervous dog. Perhaps in this case it's a person choosing a dog that is similar to themselves subconsciously?

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He says that any feeling an owner is unwilling or unable to express will be expressed by the dog. Like a person who is a people placater on the outside, but full of resentment and anger on the inside, will have a dog that tends to behave assertively and brash.
Again, I'm not sure that this is true. I think the genetics of the dog in question, added to the environment is what will make a dog behave assertively or be brash.

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He said this was because she carried victim energy.
Okay, I'm disagreeing with this one. Otherwise, therapy dogs would be more likely to attack the very people they are supposed to help.

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I don’t understand a part where he says that when a dog goes to bite someone they do it not to defend themselves or their territory or to cause harm , but because they are attracted to the person.
That doesn't even make sense to me.

I may have to see if I can get my hands on this book and take a peek. Not sure I want to pay money for it though, so who knows if I'll find it at a library or whatnot.

My Dog: Krissie ~ Beagle Mix Extraordinaire 09/09
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-11-2012, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalWacky View Post
I haven't read the book, so I might be blowing smoke, but what the heck.



I'm not completely certain this is true. Having had quite a few dogs come and go in our home with different 'energies', and so on, I've seen some dogs that keep their temperament the same through it all. In fact, I can only think of one that changed at all, and she had other health problems that were more likely the cause.



While I do think that dogs can and do mirror, I'm not sure that a nervous person is automatically going to have a nervous dog. Perhaps in this case it's a person choosing a dog that is similar to themselves subconsciously?



Again, I'm not sure that this is true. I think the genetics of the dog in question, added to the environment is what will make a dog behave assertively or be brash.



Okay, I'm disagreeing with this one. Otherwise, therapy dogs would be more likely to attack the very people they are supposed to help.



That doesn't even make sense to me.

I may have to see if I can get my hands on this book and take a peek. Not sure I want to pay money for it though, so who knows if I'll find it at a library or whatnot.

I agree I am not sure I want to even waste the money on this book based on the brief descriptions...

To be honest I'm surprised the book even got published....

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-11-2012, 03:02 PM
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There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that our dogs are super-sensitive to our inner emotional and mental states and their own behaviours and attitudes will mirror ours.

The problem that I see with this article is that the author is trying to explain ALL behaviours from ALL dogs as an emotional reaction that is influenced by the owner's inner state - and as others have pointed out, finding all-encompassing explanations for all dog behaviours is tricky.

There are a lot of different reasons why a dog bites in Schutzhund, as different as there are dogs and trainers. The being attracted to the helper explanation is odd and hard to understand. Again, I don't think that one explanation will apply to all dog-biting-the-sleeve situation.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-11-2012, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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I agree I am not sure I want to even waste the money on this book based on the brief descriptions...

To be honest I'm surprised the book even got published....
There is a lot more to the book than the little bit I described, and it was not my intent to bash it or deter anyone from reading it.
I like how deeply it delves into the emotions of dogs, because most training books I have read don't that. There are a lot of things that are over my head and it is not an easy read but even I still got things out of it that made it a worthwhile read. You can get a feel for the authors message from the blog on his website which I linked in the first post.

Benedict GSD 4/13/09
Pippin GR 2/6/14

Waiting at the Bridge
Eli GSD
Chopper APBT
Raphael GSD



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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-11-2012, 07:15 PM
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I don't believe my dog is my mirror, otherwise he'd be nervous, suspicious, and very human aggressive instead of confident and overly friendly. My dog does not respond to any of my emotions or the emotions of others. He's just as friendly to people I loathe as he is to people I love, and he acts the same toward people who loathe him and people who love him.

Although I haven't read this book, it seems to assume that all dogs respond to the emotions of others, which I don't think is true. Maybe he is aware of my emotions, but my dog acts the same when I'm happy, crying, or completely enraged. The emotions of others just don't affect him at all. I don't think I'd want my emotions to affect my dog anyway, otherwise he'd be a wreck .


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-11-2012, 09:05 PM
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Haven't looked at all deeply into this but it seems to be an argument of nurture over nature. Almost like saying it doesn't matter what the dog's genetic makeup is, it's all about the owner and environment.
If that is the case, I don't agree. I think that both nature and nurture weigh heavily in influencing a dog's behavior.
If not, I missed the whole point.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-11-2012, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Haven't looked at all deeply into this but it seems to be an argument of nurture over nature. Almost like saying it doesn't matter what the dog's genetic makeup is, it's all about the owner and environment.
If that is the case, I don't agree. I think that both nature and nurture weigh heavily in influencing a dog's behavior.
If not, I missed the whole point.

I think I may have inadvertently gave a wrong impression of the book. The author also agrees that nature and nurture are very important and genetics play a big role. He just says that when there are behavioral issues it often has to do with the owners emotions. Dogs read us better than we read them!

I am not saying I agree with everything Kevin Behan wrote in the book. I would have to understand it all to agree or disagree and I didn't understand it all. I was hoping other who read it could clarify and comment.

This man's father was a dog trainer so he spent his whole life with dogs. He learned from his father, but his own experience with dogs, and his education caused him to train in a completely different way. Whether we agree with him or not he has the experience that, for me ,makes me want to hear what he says.

Benedict GSD 4/13/09
Pippin GR 2/6/14

Waiting at the Bridge
Eli GSD
Chopper APBT
Raphael GSD



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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-11-2012, 11:06 PM
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I have a social, outgoing, strong nerved gsd, and a nervous, unstable, fearful labrador. Does this mean I have multiple personalities I'm not aware of?

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 01:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debbieg View Post
There is a lot more to the book than the little bit I described, and it was not my intent to bash it or deter anyone from reading it.
I like how deeply it delves into the emotions of dogs, because most training books I have read don't that. There are a lot of things that are over my head and it is not an easy read but even I still got things out of it that made it a worthwhile read. You can get a feel for the authors message from the blog on his website which I linked in the first post.
I had some time to read several of his blog posts, and to be honest, this is not a person that *I* would listen to about anything. I'm not going to bash him or anything, just stating that I disagree pretty heavily with a lot of what he is saying.

My Dog: Krissie ~ Beagle Mix Extraordinaire 09/09
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