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Probing the Mind of a Dog

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posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 01:38 AM
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Maggy and I are friends. I feel it by how I relate to her, which is to say, how I feel when I'm around her. Fortunately, I can experience myself consciously (mindfully) experience the goodness of my interactions with her.

On her end, I don't posit anything thinking - at least not in the "thinking = words" framework. Rather, their thinking entails attractions in different types of ways. My dog senses you, looks at you, takes you in, as a creature existing apart from it. An "image in its lived experience" - who offers her good things. If you had her from a puppy, like I did, you get to work with her even earlier, and less developed impressions, of a "god", (dog = God backwards; an interesting coincidence in English) who literally controls her in his holding her, carrying her in his arms, and keeping the choice of when and when not to let her go. Maggy has no will outside of me and how I relate with her. It's my decision. I control her life in this world, and I think I ought to pay attention to what life is like from her end of the spectrum.

I occur to her, the canine brain would suggest, in a dialogical pastiche of smelling and seeing. With these sensory channels, the dogs consciousness likely wonders - unconsciously, as instinctive "thought" or "meaning" towards the cues and signals emerging from the salient others body.

If you watch your dog, watch their eyes. They are pasted to yours. Eyes are portals to the soul not just in humans, but in dogs as well. They search our eyes constantly to get a sense of intention: i.e dogs possess an unconsciously attuned theory of human behavior. They know what they get from us, instinctively, and experience these 'truths' as sensory and affective drives that organize an embodied "dognition".

I can't help but not play with her, when I see how ridiculously excited she gets when she thinks were about to play. I see childishness and innocence in her zest for play. Her whole body screams it, her hing legs pulled down and her chest puffed into a potential leap, eyes rolled back while she looks at you at the bottom of her pupils, pleading, pleading: return! return! Give me positive feedback! Let me experience the play of life with another creature!

But I can't keep up with her. She's too "in it" - she can go on, unconsciously, instinctively and amazingly eagerly, for much longer than I can. I, removed from my body, can reflect on my tiredness and easily prefer to sit down after I tell myself how long I've already been playing with her. She doesn't have these sorts of thoughts - this sense of ourselves as actors to ourselves, body moving, personality forming around the actions with others, and we enact what we mean when we act, in that our meanings are there, unconscious, whether were conscious of it or not.

This creature is blissfully on automatic - going -----> this way, towards the next moment, the next moment, never aware of the future where it will die and cease to be, but on an endless succession, it would seem, of a part of the universe which doesn't know it exists. To itself: such a weird, weird, strange, utterly mysterious factoid. People often complain of romanticizing human existence, but how can you not?! We are obviously a very different mental creature in the known universe. All other creatures react and seem limited, in their acting, to the immediate context surrounding them. Humans, conversely, possess executive, hand-like, and tool like, awareness functions which allow movement as if from a center, deliberating creating shifts in directions.

It's interesting, as many have noted, how our cognitive faculties are metaphorically related to the functionality of our hands. Unlike in other creatures, humans relate with the physical world in a far more self-objectified way. Seeing your hands is to see yourself, continuously, in interaction with the world. For enactive science, the vision of the hands working with a world is a 'gestalt' core of human cognitive reality. We are aware of ourselves WITH, at the same time, the world around us. Our hands project outwards from our bodies, and before our eyes, are "used" by the self-aware mind to manipulate objects in the physical environment.

The structure of an organism is a function of its history in different environments, adapting along the principle of "adapt to survive". Each creature develops a repertoire of survival mechanisms to deal with its immediate environment. But each creature has followed a different path, in a different time period, in a different milieu. The world and its creatures are a panoramic view of life on earth.

Dogs and man have been with each other for around 10-15 thousand years. For the last 15,000 years, the minds of dogs have adapted its physiological, neural and behavioral relationship to humans to make them more cute looking (neotony) floppy ears, curly tails: that is, features of early puppy play in canine creatures. Why lose it if its helping you? The neural development - or the neuroendorcinal system - regulates the physiology of development. So that, when the dog experiences itself being held gently, spoken to in a high and affectively gentle tone and rhythm, smiling faces and overall gentle connections, it enjoys it: it stimulates dopamine, oxytocin, and other neurochemicals which create feelings of attachment of one creature to another.

As you may notice, the unit of selection is the dog, and not the gene. It is the felt experience of the dog, of the implicit volitional center which experiences reality, which 'selects' experiences, and by doing so, elicits neurochemical and hormonal responses that regulate facial development and other 'social functions' that emerged in mammalian biology. It is the life: the experience of this creature, which controls its existence. How could any self-aware being not love this creature and seek to protect it from harm?

Evolution has designed life, as Franscisco Varela so interestingly described, as a widening of the circle, of it first being 'small', as the movements of prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and slowly building itself wider, in ways where cells assembled to work together; and from these movements more complex assemblies, or 'systems', dealing with different features of reality but ceaselessly "adding" itself up, if not quantitatively, if it continued to persist, it had some efficient system to deal with the environment, qualitatively.

The human brain seems to imply a qualitative increase where neuron/body ratio is particularly distinctive for human beings in the animal kingdom. Our brains consume 20% of the body's blood (energy) flow. And so by building up 'nervous systems', evolution allowed something that wasn't quite present before. A distinction between observer and observed.
edit on 10-3-2015 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 02:03 AM
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Dogs are absolutely awesome. nice read.

I just wanted to add a very strange occurrence I have seen my dog do.

It kind of freaks out my girlfriend. She has had different situations where she thinks a command and he does it.

The first time she was laying in bed and wanting him to cuddle. She thought the command "come here" without looking over her back to him and he jumped up an laid next to her. He won't jump up without permission otherwise.

She has had a few other experiences like this and is convinced he is telepathic.

I have not had this happen to me, but he is seriously in tune to my movements, tones and gestures.
He is trained for voice, hand and even a head nod for his heel command.




posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 02:20 AM
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a reply to: Mandroid7

I have done this as an experiment with my pets and they have all responded in like manner. I often wondered if our thoughts are simply going out in waveform which animals with acute hearing can pick up and understand. We know that as humans our hearing is limited, but a dog and cat can hear a whole lot more.

What I would be really interested in knowing is what exact data are they able to get from smelling something.



posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 04:02 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

Wow you are one heck of a writer.....Really you are good. And I share your love and empathy for dogs. My dog makes me a better person. Patience has been learned.



posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 05:51 AM
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a reply to: Mandroid7

While we would like to think that our pets, dogs and cats... can breach our minds telepathically (its kind of a romantic mystical idea to think this is what is going on) I tend to think its more revolved around body language, they are the experts at reading you. You are an open book to them. They are pros at social cognition.

leolady



posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 07:13 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

...And then there is the universe of cats....

BTW, an excellent piece in many ways, and no, I don't "own" a dog but do have a cat that has adopted me.



posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 07:30 AM
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originally posted by: leolady
a reply to: Mandroid7

While we would like to think that our pets, dogs and cats... can breach our minds telepathically (its kind of a romantic mystical idea to think this is what is going on) I tend to think its more revolved around body language, they are the experts at reading you. You are an open book to them. They are pros at social cognition.

leolady


I've also wondwered about telepathy, because I've done the same experiment, and got the same results!
But like you I strongly suspect its down to observation. My old mate (he's gone now) watched me the whole time he was awake. Sometimes when I woke and simply opened my eyes; there he was staring at me.
I think they know us better than we know ourselves, and I think they can spot microtremmors within our breathing patterns, maybe even smell that we are thinking?

OP. Your dog is lucky to have a friend so attuned


ETA: Best OP I've read in ages!

edit on 10-3-2015 by VoidHawk because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 01:39 PM
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An easy test to see if it's body language or telepathy ... call them in your mind from another room where they can't see you to read your body language ... a reply to: leolady



posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 04:39 PM
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a reply to: VoidHawk

You mention dogs detect microtremmors in breathing patterns. Yes I do believe they can.

Just like they can sniff out cancerous cells and epilepsy. They are amazing creatures.

leolady



posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 05:07 PM
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I've noticed that my dog can usually sense that I'm about to do something to them, even if they're not looking at me and I don't make a sound.

For example, Max can be lying by me on the couch asleep, and I can think "I'm going to reach over there and grab your tail" and his tail will start to wag. You can tell he's trying to pretend he's still asleep...waiting for his rump to be pinched or tickled.



posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 05:15 PM
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Dogs - most of them, at least - are like the Derren Browns of the non-human animal kingdom. They can read our body language* and manipulate our minds.

* They don't have to be looking at us, they probably smell our change in mood, or hear the change in our heartrates, or something.
edit on 10-3-2015 by IvanAstikov because: added thoughts



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 06:23 AM
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originally posted by: IvanAstikov
* They don't have to be looking at us, they probably smell our change in mood, or hear the change in our heartrates, or something.


Yep, I agree.
A few years ago there was a study done on dogs and it was discovered that dogs always look directly at our right eye! It seems we humans (because of our left/right brain configuration) give away more info via our right eye, and the dogs know it!
I strongly believe most of what we assume to be telepathy is actually the result of observation, however I would not rule out telepathy completely, I've observed what I can only describe as telepathy between two humans, therefore it could be possible with dogs too.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 07:19 AM
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Very well written post

I grew up with dogs and they are important part of my life since. I have 10-year old dog at the moment who has been quite a difficult character, extremely hyperactive and anxious, but also extremely quick learner with frightening focus and memory
. He loves people and we are emotionally vey close. In many ways he mirrors me and I totally believe, that he can read our behaviour and intentions from many subtle signs: movements, breathing, heart rate, change in pupil size (i even read it somewhere), smells too.
But he has learned to manipulate with this knowledge perfectly. He tests several ways to get what he wants - changing his body langugae, tail position and look while stearing at my reactions. If I stay strong then he starts to sing, he knows that then I brake and give him something good
.
We know each other well. I know that even subtle hint of something exiting going on can activate him (he´s soon 11 but still almost gets panick attack every time we are going outside to walk together). I also know how to calm him down (if he´s not too exited) - I have to calm myself first. At least I have to act like very calm and sleepy person, talk to him quietly and monotonously, close my eyes. He often closes his eyes too and calms down if I show him this behaviour first.

It´s good to try and learn from your dog about yourself, because he is like unfiltrated mirror. Really unique companion for us. If we pay attention, they can be our greatest teachers



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 07:28 AM
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Thanks for posting...dogs are our best friends, to bad they cant stay for a lifetime.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 07:38 AM
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originally posted by: Amandla
If I stay strong then he starts to sing, he knows that then I brake and give him something good
.

Is he a Husky?
My friend has a Husky and he will sing his head of at me because he knows I will help him raid the munchies box



originally posted by: Amandla
If we pay attention, they can be our greatest teachers



Such different beings!
My own dog was a Border Collie. He was extremely intelligent and often it was like being involved in psycological warfare! He was SO smart!

My friends dog is a Husky, again extremely intelligent, but unlike my collie, the husky will hide that intelligence, and use it to try to manipulate those around him.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 07:43 AM
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originally posted by: Memenquay
Thanks for posting...dogs are our best friends, to bad they cant stay for a lifetime.


Thats the hardest part about having a dog friend


There was a thread a while back where a poster was asking for training advice. I posted in that thread that we should not over train them! My reason was that they have such short lives, and should be allowed play time!
Too much of the training fad is for our own pleasure!
Dogs have a life too, a very short one.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 07:49 AM
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a reply to: VoidHawk

Mine is black labrador mix (father unknown). I got him when he was 4 months old and already totally crazy. It seems that hyperactive brain has given him both good and bad qualities: anxiousness but also hypersensitivity to everithing around him and intelligence.
Singing is something he once discovered as a method to make people happy, pay attention to him and give him goods


Yes, sometimes it really is like being part of psychological war



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 07:55 AM
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I'm currently walking a King Charles spaniel, a rotty, a staffie, a collie-og-knows-what-cross and my own Heinz mutt. Dealing with their different personalities is definitely challenging, but nonetheless pleasing despite it. My own rescue dog is the most stressful to walk, as she has random bouts of barking like a lunatic at any little thing that sets her off. She has taught me a lot about patience and how the carrot always works better than a stick.




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