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Understanding Dogs

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posted on Jun, 24 2017 @ 09:19 PM
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The Dog is a beautiful creature, yet many people don't know how to relate with them. Whether anger or rage blocks them, or a naïve anthropomorphism, for the most, misunderstanding dogs is what humans do when they reflexively project their knowing stream towards the dog's state, without acknowledgement of the anthropocentric motion this involves.

If you want to know and really connect with you dog, take a neurosequentialist view towards the dogs reality.

What 'neurosequential' means is this: at the lower parts of our brain - our brainstem and diencephalon - normal homeostatic regulatory dynamics around blood pressure, insulin levels, etc, operate in relation to the dynamics of the external environment i.e. night and day, as well as basic functional needs like digestion, sleep, wakefulness, hunger, sexual desire, and waste processes.

The regulatory logic of the lower brain deals with basic sensorimotor processes like movement, atop of which are the hypothalamus, amygdala, hippocampus, and other smaller areas, which control the large scale dynamics of survival in the world.

When you look at a dog, or compare a dog brain to a human brain, what matters is the functional attainments of this creature vis-à-vis our own brains.

The "three R's" of pediatrics are "regulate, relate, reason", which correlates with the three basic levels of functional brain-development. Regulate is about representing the virtual properties implicit in cells (survival, day/night, eating, sex in protists) in the structure of a macroscopic organisms evolving in relation to a macroscopic environment full of objects.

On top of 'regulate', relate evolves. Relate is about the feeling relations that form between organisms, even though, at a purely structural level, systems that relate in this higher-level mode are still adhering to the symmetry-forming dynamic present from the beginning of the evolutionary process. Relate is the midbrain: the cingulate cortex in particular, where the mirror neuron first evolved its strange ability to relax the activities of the amygdala/brainstem simply by forming a higher-level ontological relation with another organism.

Reason grows on top of relate. Reason is human - and only creatures able to represent symbolically can recognize the ontological existence of things. Reason is not applicable to dogs, since dogs don't reason - don't have consciousness - and therefore are not employing symbols in their analysis of reality.

Relating to a dog with that sort of expectancy is really a sort of mental-illness, a super-imposing upon the reasonable reason of the dogs acting a human-centric reason for acting. Fairy-tales populate Hollywood, which no doubt is a big root cause of human relations towards animals.

So what is the dog? The dog has the regulatory structure that we have (brainstem, diencephalon) as well as the midbrain structure called the cingulate, which includes mirror neurons. On top of this structure lies a fairly small cortex that seems adept at making-sense of smells, which is how the dog generally cognizes, or relates cognitively, to its' environment. But such impressions are reflexive. The dog can't negotiate with its internal condition, no matter how much you wish it to be so.

For me, what I have discovered is this: do not 'think', if you want to connect to your dog in a meaningful way. Rather, thinking is necessary to orient attention in the right way, but once oriented, a different mode of relating should dominate: feeling through the body.

If you're dog is feeling bad, notice how it is you're feeling, as your dog tends to react reflexively to your body states. The body, in being, or growing, from the regulatory level, then to the relational level, and then to the reasonable level, people usually do not realize that their identity has grown in the context of early life regulatory contexts, which framed relational contexts, and finally, the narratives by which we believe we act "reasonably".

Sit with your dog, feel your body, and then relax, let go of the tension, and then look lovingly upon your canine friend as your rest your hand on its head, and watch as they bask into the calmness of your own feeling relation.

These creatures are as the Hebrew word describes them to be: like the heart. The heart of the relational logic of social organisms is expressed there: tension in the body in us, atop which our narratives "flow", usually lies dissociated to us, while it is the center of focus and attention for the dog.

We connect with the dog through feeling in our body, through kind and loving feelings on our face, and the general sense that we share a common-ground of being: in our bodies, in our regulation, in our relation, we are one. Only in the head - in our capacity to reason and know - as I am currently doing - do we rise above them; but we rise above them not, in reality, in antagonism against their being. Rather, to look at the dog truthfully, is, in fact, to find the nature of our own heart: the sensitivity of our own minds to the body-states of others; the sensitivity of our hearts to the faces other's show us - which bring with them body-states that hide underneath the relational meaning.

Relating and knowing dogs - indeed, the very domestication OF dogs, seems to be deeply therapeutic for us Humans - which, in living in a world of ignorance, is simultaneously a world of hostility and chaos at times. Dogs remind us of what true mirroring - what true unity, and loyalty, is supposed to look like.

But please do not think, for the dogs sake, and for the sake of all natural life, that we are somehow errors of the creation process. We are tremendously good in our core; we just host, or hold, a great deal of Gordian knots within our being, confusing us, and tying our tongues.




posted on Jun, 24 2017 @ 09:27 PM
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As a long time dog trainer, your assessment sounds way off.

That was one grandiloquent attempt at describing it though, it almost made my brain bleed reading it.
edit on 6 by Mandroid7 because: added



posted on Jun, 24 2017 @ 09:39 PM
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We humans are so special!

How the hell do you know what a dog is thinking?

How do you know how a dog thinks?

The OP is almost at the religious stage of we are better / more advanced than them.

Back in the 50s and 60s, people used to say that about other races of humans.

Conceited is what many of us are.

P



posted on Jun, 24 2017 @ 10:01 PM
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a reply to: Mandroid7

Ok...So you don't, then, accept the concept of evolution?

This is merely saying that Humans/Dogs embody the same semiotic meaning-structures (i.e. same structuring dynamics).

I would also dispute that your being a dog-trainer means you know everything about dogs. Evolution i.e. the biological study of the evolutionary process, models the entirety of brain-structure and compares it to behavior. Correlation is the end-result i.e. certain brain-structures always imply certain behaviors.

It is astonishing how poorly understood this is by most people. And it is also astonishing that, without explaining yourself in any reasonable way, that my assessment is 'way off', simply because you've never thought or read about it before.

If you have a dog, what I'm saying is this: your dog is cued to your body language, your muscle flexion, and the general state of your body. This is its primary mode of knowing.

What you seem more comfortable relating to in dogs, on the other hand, are pavlovianesque behavioral conditioning, which merely manipulates the dog through treats and other such exploits.

As absurd as some interpretations of this thread is, the idea that my interest was to be "magniloquent", is, again, a projection of yours.

Ask yourself a question: is my brain, or mind, inherently sensitive to information which suggests something negative about myself? That is, isn't it most sensible, as many philosopher are arguing, to think of your brain as evolved to deal with the subtlest of self-other cues? Right now were using computers, but evidently, you, and many other people here, are sensitive the complexity of the language I use. The projection is: he uses such language to show off how smart he is. This is an expectancy: something you expect to based upon how many people in fact act.

Do I admit some presence of a narcissistic satisfaction in my ability for writing and thinking? Of course. But to charge me with narcissism, or "magniloquence", is simply a function of the 'relational' logic I attempted to explain built upon the regulatory logic of the brainstem. Relational logic is sensitive to self-other comparisons; if I read something and I have trouble following, I am, because I live in a world where people judge one another and compete in unruly ways, to respond in the ways others respond to me. Hence why this mode is deemed "analogic", relative to the digital, and sequential logic of reason, or normal linguistic thinking.

Sometimes, I'm just trying to share knowledge, believing other's can understand what I'm trying to communicate to them. I am aiming for a complex explanation of what I personally experience - for instance, this thread was instigated by me noticing how my dog reacts to my body-language, and how when I hold myself in a more relaxed way, she relaxes more easily too.

Dogs focus on bodily dynamics, muscle flexion, tone, and ultimately, how it is we exist in our bodies. Using this knowledge of yourself does, in fact, work in instigating a change in the dog. In being "in our bodies", we can better communicate with them, because this is how they mostly function.


edit on 24-6-2017 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 24 2017 @ 10:24 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

Dogs reason, or they'd sh*t on your floor.

You will stifle any communication, if you use words complicated beyond what needs to be said.

Yes, dogs read body language, they also have feelings, consciousness, and dream.

The rest is just weird.

The evolution comment especially.

Try some decaf dude.



posted on Jun, 24 2017 @ 10:52 PM
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My wife is an animal behaviorist. We have 2 Belgian Malinois... not easy dogs. She uses the natural pack behaviors of the dogs to train them, and they are brilliant, wonderful dogs. She has been doing this for over 30 years... she speaks their language.

Belgians are very intense dogs. We work them daily, and I do so under her direction.

She really does speak their language; I have seen it. Our Belgian Malis are amazing dogs, and I truly believe that is due to her natural training methods. NO ONE steps on our property uninvited... lest they be eaten. If you are invited, they will lick your face off. Amazing dogs, but a lot of work...
edit on 24-6-2017 by madmac5150 because: Ducks on strike!



posted on Jun, 24 2017 @ 11:32 PM
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a reply to: Mandroid7






Dogs reason, or they'd sh*t on your floor


Biosemiotics - or the study of "signs in life", corrects the common delusion that many people have that "dogs reason", rather than dogs evolved according to reasonable i.e. cause/effect related principles.

Do you understand the difference? Life is already involved in sensible cause-effect relations i.e. with the system "entrained" the dynamics of its environment, what may seem like the "dog using reason", is really the dogs "reasonable fear of #ting on the floor". The amydala mediates the latter process - i.e., what occurs for the dog, most likely, is the non-conceptual experience of a fear, followed by a reflexively enacted withdrawal behavior.



You will stifle any communication, if you use words complicated beyond what needs to be said.

Yes, dogs read body language, they also have feelings, consciousness, and dream.

The rest is just weird.

The evolution comment especially.

Try some decaf dude.


Your obvious insecurity blinds your ability to think/reason in more complex ways.



posted on Jun, 24 2017 @ 11:34 PM
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a reply to: madmac5150

That's what you call an empathic relation.

Humans which focus, and allow themselves to become entrained to the dynamical objects they observe (in this case, the dog) really do come into contact with a deep core.

We CAN indeed, speak to the animals. We just live in an insanely, and obscenely, ignorant civilization, that blocks all sensitivity to the signs of nature.



posted on Jun, 24 2017 @ 11:45 PM
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edit on 25-6-2017 by Justso because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 24 2017 @ 11:48 PM
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a reply to: madmac5150

You got me interested. If you find the time to present your experience in a separate thread, I'll be most glad to read it



To the OP: Makes sense what you say about animal behavior in general, just again... This super-intelligent manner of expressing your ideas is a bit alien to ATS. I guess it's the norm if you write a science paper, but still here we are more brutes and ogres...



posted on Jun, 24 2017 @ 11:49 PM
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originally posted by: Astrocyte
a reply to: Mandroid7

It is astonishing how poorly understood this is by most people. And it is also astonishing that, without explaining yourself in any reasonable way, that my assessment is 'way off', simply because you've never thought or read about it before.



Well, after reading the thesis on narcissism, which out of the effin blue attributes belief in the 2nd amendment as a singular qualification, I have been kinda going through your threads, all the while wondering how I missed them until this morning's wake up call. Is that a new avatar btw?

I'll be honest: at first I thought this is what happens when school gets out, every year, and this one must have a shiny new PhD. Maybe began as pre med, but changed to English lit with a minor in philosophy, halfway through.
Maybe Ivy League, and a little 'spending' money never hurt anyone. Hard to say. It has been even harder to not reply with simply "boy, are you ever smart". Inasmuch that you hedged against calls of narcissism and grandiloquence both, in this post, well, I just hadda reply. This will be the last time, but I am watching. lol.

The snippet you did craft which equated gun ownership, gun rights, as de facto proof of classic narcissim, is why I am here, wasteing my brain on your drivel. I was not disappointed.

# 814
edit on 25-6-2017 by TheWhiteKnight because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 24 2017 @ 11:58 PM
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originally posted by: Astrocyte
a reply to: madmac5150

That's what you call an empathic relation.

Humans which focus, and allow themselves to become entrained to the dynamical objects they observe (in this case, the dog) really do come into contact with a deep core.

We CAN indeed, speak to the animals. We just live in an insanely, and obscenely, ignorant civilization, that blocks all sensitivity to the signs of nature.



Very empathic relationship. Our oldest Belgian is nearly 10 years old, and she is 85 lbs. of teeth, muscle and destruction. She once made a cop wet himself.

...yet, when I am having a bad day with my M.S., she stays at my side.

Amazing dogs...



posted on Jun, 25 2017 @ 12:04 PM
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Most dog owners are delusional sadistic control freaks, and most domestic dog breeds are Mesopotamian era mutants in eternal suffering and dependency because of breeding living versions of children's playthings . I dont think it's me who has a problem understanding the abusive relationship from the outside...

Dosg don't "get it",and tying a living being up to a tree and neglecting it is not compassion. Dogs are opportunists, understanding their condition better than you do, that mutants cannot survive on their own. Dogs will fake injuries for food. And what you dont see on the news is every time an single old person with a large breed dies, the dog eats the body. They dont care about you. They know they have no other choice but to depend on you.
edit on 25-6-2017 by BigBangWasAnEcho because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 28 2017 @ 11:03 PM
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originally posted by: Argentbenign
a reply to: madmac5150

You got me interested. If you find the time to present your experience in a separate thread, I'll be most glad to read it



To the OP: Makes sense what you say about animal behavior in general, just again... This super-intelligent manner of expressing your ideas is a bit alien to ATS. I guess it's the norm if you write a science paper, but still here we are more brutes and ogres...


I can give you an example. This is just one of a multitude of behaviors that my wife uses to train, and it works because the dog understands it...

Have you ever seen a puppy nuzzle and lick underneath a larger dog's chin? It is a sign of submission, in doggy language. Our first year with a Belgian Mali pup, as a RULE we never showed affection under his chin, only the top of the head (a signal of dominance). When you scratch them under the muzzle, it is a sign of submission; pack behavior.

Once he accepted us as the alphas, then the under-chin scratch was OK... but, now it is in reward for doing his daily tasks. (Belgian Mali's without a job will create their own work- usually at great expense to the owners)

Every so often, he will still test his limits (another Mali trait)... I can gently palm the bridge of his nose (a signal of dominance), and he will quit whatever stupid stuff he was doing... usually involving my cat, which is totally different train wreck...

She uses natural pack behavior to train, and the dogs respond brilliantly.



posted on Jul, 8 2017 @ 07:16 PM
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a reply to: madmac5150

My cousin has two dogs - a Rottweiler mix that is around 100 lbs and a massive, frightening head, and a dalmation - bout 75 lbs.

The Dalmation came first, whereas the other dog - my cousins boyfriend - came about 2 years later.

This Rottweiler dog sometimes elicits out of me mean statements like "I hate this dog!", because he approaches you from no where and barks at you. Scotty (the dalmation) and Rufus (Rottweiler) are night and day versions of one another, and so, not surprisingly (to anybody who appreciates the continuity between dogs and humans) relate to one another in a sort of master-slave relationship.

Rufus, evidently, has been beaten by my cousins boyfriend (and perhaps the breeders as well), while Scotty has been raised in a somewhat less abusive environment. Scotty responds to play cues and positive attention from humans, while Rufus barks at humans who are caring and playful, as if assuming that they are going to attack him. Apparently, Rufus is mostly affected or responsive to aggressive stances towards him (which my cousin feels and enacts). Its a pretty sad thing - that this is what makes Rufus sit, or stay still.

When they play, its pure bullying. It happens whenever Rufus wants, and poor scotty responds and relates to Rufus in a way that kind a looks like Stockholm syndrome. Probably is that.

Between these two dogs, naturally, Rufus is a prick, and Scotty, however gross smelling, is better.

My dog however is an interesting case-example of what growing in a different context with different models of reality does. When Rufus (who is not neutered) tries to mount Maggy - who is a rather small Rhodesian Ridgeback/Lab mix - her bark manages to frighten Rufus off.

Now, of course, if Rufus was a dog bred to kill and not relate socially with other dogs, I am absolutely certain he would rip Maggy apart - no point debating that.

I guess I'm just trying to show how similar dogs and humans are. Rufus at least get's to enjoy to socialize despite his tendencies to be aggressive (i.e. feel threatened). This is because his owners, regardless of what they may enjoy or prize in him (his scariness) don't want to get sued by other people for their dog attacking other people/animals. Maybe, even, they might appreciate that they get to build a positive relationship to Rufus - that he too would appreciate being related to in a different way from the way humans project-purpose into him. That is, he seems to prefer play and even the affection, even if he has a bad habit of needlessly barking/scaring other people.



posted on Jul, 8 2017 @ 07:30 PM
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originally posted by: madmac5150
My wife is an animal behaviorist. We have 2 Belgian Malinois... not easy dogs. She uses the natural pack behaviors of the dogs to train them, and they are brilliant, wonderful dogs. She has been doing this for over 30 years... she speaks their language.

Belgians are very intense dogs. We work them daily, and I do so under her direction.

She really does speak their language; I have seen it. Our Belgian Malis are amazing dogs, and I truly believe that is due to her natural training methods. NO ONE steps on our property uninvited... lest they be eaten. If you are invited, they will lick your face off. Amazing dogs, but a lot of work...


I wonder how much of that is bred into them.
We have GSD's and though we never trained them to be protectors, they fall into it naturally.
My old boy, when I was walking him and we would come up to someone on the path, would make sure I was between him and the other person. When he was with my Mrs, he would put himself between her and the person.

They go mental when someone knocks the door, or even steps into the drive. Once they are invited into the house though, the dogs are relaxed and friendly. Especially my new girl.

I just think certain breeds have a way of being, and, while training can do a lot, it mostly really enhances the dog's natural state rather than gets them to do something alien to them.



posted on Jul, 8 2017 @ 07:42 PM
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a reply to: SprocketUK




I just think certain breeds have a way of being, and, while training can do a lot, it mostly really enhances the dog's natural state rather than gets them to do something alien to them.


Every breed has a different functional history, hence, a "different nature" - but there still remains a dynamical continuity between a dogs behavior and its breed.

So long as you interact with them early on, the effects of plasticity are huge.

The Pitbull, Doberman, Rottweiler, etc have been bred for aggression, but if you relate to such a dog early on, consistently, in a calm, playful and loving way, the dog will be profoundly different at its adult size.

Plenty of Pitbull etc breeders hate that these dogs have been cast as "fundamentally aggressive" - which is understandable, given the dogs they've raised aren't aggressive.

But that sort of conclusion is very different from what may be termed the "genetic" propensity of the dog as it relates to the human expectation about the dogs nature.
edit on 8-7-2017 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 8 2017 @ 07:48 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

I quite agree. Though perhaps, bred for aggression may not be the right term. It could be more correct to say loyalty and courage.

GSD's suffer from the same stereotypes also, but the ones I have had have been babied and made a fuss of all their lives. They have been perfect family dogs for my kids to grow up with, even though people often cross the road with their kids to avoid being near them when they are out on the lead.



posted on Jul, 8 2017 @ 08:27 PM
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a reply to: SprocketUK






It could be more correct to say loyalty and courage.


Don't you think "loyalty and courage" are human desires, i.e. that such concepts don't even exist to the dog?

For instance, loyalty is just an expression of the positive relationship you have with a dog. The dog knows you and anyone you are positively related to and whom the dog has a long history of being around as similar to you.

Same thing with courage: the dog does not know what courage is because they do not know what it means to challenge their inner experience of fear, and so act differently.

Dogs simply act, so when they bark and bite, its simply a behavioral reflex of theirs when they're afraid.




GSD's suffer from the same stereotypes also, but the ones I have had have been babied and made a fuss of all their lives. They have been perfect family dogs for my kids to grow up with, even though people often cross the road with their kids to avoid being near them when they are out on the lead.


Nice. When it comes to dogs, I think the whole idea of wanting an aggressive dog is a bit of a human fixation - a mostly unhealthy one at that, inasmuch as the dog is always a mirror of ourselves i.e. dogs relate with humans.

Lions, Tigers, Jaguars, Great White Sharks, Komodo Dragons etc, are killers who will never change - and that is quite fine with me. Nature is much larger than the human imagination, as the Earth has all sorts of nits and crannies which support weird and creepy life. Out on the Savannah of Africa, or the forest of Europe, there is killing, and that's the natural order, as we say. But creatures which express how humans are through their own behavior seem to fall within the orbit of "they could change if we simply let them". This also goes to the heart of human motivation and behavior itself: some people don't realize that they're desire/felt need to beat/traumatize a dog is about their own need to identify with a strong self, I.e. one that affects people through fear.

All the above animals don't think - they just act. People who think animals think like people are caught up in an anthropomorphic fantasy about animals - giving them abilities that aren' based in anything they do, unlike the human being, which thinks and perceives in concepts because we communicate such concepts through language. All the biological evidence seems to suggest that Meta-representation, or thinking about your own thinking, seems to entail communicative abilities that can contain/compress such powers of perception.



posted on Jul, 8 2017 @ 09:04 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte




Dogs simply act, so when they bark and bite, its simply a behavioral reflex of theirs when they're afraid.


Yes of course they do! And humans are just so much wiser and we are the only animal that thinks and humans fart rainbows.

Get off the grass! We humans are not that special.

P



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