This is a place to talk about dogs, our connection to them, and how we can use this connection to help foster the relationship with them we desire. Why is it so important to talk about our relationship with dogs to understand how to work with them? Because when we talk about dogs, we're really talking about ourselves.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Blog Has Moved!

Just want to let you know, that I've moved this blog here:

So to keep up to date on what's going on, come on by and visit.

See you there!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Protecting That Which Matters Most

In The Matrix Reloaded, there is a scene when Neo, the story's main protagonist, meets Seraph, the protector and guardian of the Oracle. The scene unfolds like this:

Seraph: You seek the Oracle.

Neo: Who are you?

Seraph: I am Seraph. I can take you to her. But first, I must apologize.

Neo: For what?

Seraph: For this.

At this point Seraph attacks Neo and a fight ensues between them. And just as quickly as it had begun, it stops, and the conversation continues:

Seraph: The Oracle has many enemies, I had to be sure.

Neo: Of what?

Seraph: That you were The One.

Neo: You could've just asked.

Seraph: You do not truly know someone until you fight them.

So what does this scene and dialogue from a movie have to do with dogs? A lot.

Let me start by saying that NDT isn't for the weak of heart. To fully commit to the process requires strength of heart and character, and a readiness to explore the uncharted regions of the emotional landscape of both your dog and yourself. Because once you open up the Pandora's Box of unresolved emotion that lives in the heart of your dog, there is no going back.

This process isn't about dog training, or even relationship building. It's about truth. Finding and uncovering the deep hidden truths that are cloaked under the surface of our personalities. Personality is a lie. It's a well-intended lie, but it is still a lie. And no one can see through that lie as easily as your dog. The truth, YOUR truth, lies inside him, ready and waiting to be discovered. But you have to be ready to fight for it.

After the fight is over, Seraph takes Neo to the Oracle, and Neo asks him:

Neo: Are you a programmer? (Seraph shakes his head no)

Neo: Then what are you?

Seraph: (pauses then faces Neo) I protect that which matters most.

Your dog is your Seraph. He protects and keeps safe that which matters most. That is his role, and as all dogs do, he takes on that role with relentless passion and commitment. The problem is that we often misread and misunderstand his passion, believing that he is the one who needs to change. But it is us who need to change. It is us who need to embrace and embody his passion and fire. His commitment and determination to protect that which is sacred. To protect that which matters most. Your heart.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What Does Ayrton Senna Have To Do With Dogs?

Ayrton Senna was arguably the greatest Formula One driver to walk the face of the earth. That is the opinion of many including myself. However, even if one disputes this opinion, it is inarguable that once the rain started to fall, he was untouchable. One only needs to watch his performance on the first lap of the 1993 European Grand Prix to see just how great he was. Click the link if you want to see the man in action.

So why am I talking about a race car driver on a dog blog? For one, I love Formula One, and any chance I get to talk about Ayrton Senna, who is my favorite driver of all time, is an opportunity I'll take. Secondly, and more important to whoever is reading this, I've been reading the book The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, which is about a dog and his owner who is a race car driver. And there was a quote from the book that inspired me and brought me here. "That which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny".

So what does that mean? This quote was by one of the characters in the book as he described the approach a driver must take when racing in the wet. And what he was referring to is the notion that the driver who excels in the rain is one who doesn't drive in fear of it. Most drivers will drive apprehensively, afraid of losing control of the car. But the driver who excels in the rain does the opposite. He creates his own destiny by initiating the loss of control, rather than constantly fighting the car trying to be in control of it. By proactively triggering the car to slide around, the car's behavior then becomes predictable and manageable. Always trying to fight what the car naturally wants to do in the wet, makes it unpredictable, unwieldy, and likely to snap on you. The difference between driving from your head and driving from your heart. Senna was the epitome of a man who drove from his heart.

If you live with your dog in fear of his energy, always fighting him, trying to keep him in check and under control, then you can never manifest the outcome you desire. But if you can initiate the loss of control, letting your dog express his energy and embrace his natural wild nature, then his behavior becomes predictable. A predictability that can only come by letting go of the reigns. You have to lose control to be in control. Such are dogs and such is life.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Jackie and Me

Summer is coming here in the northwest, and that means long, gorgeous days. I'm lucky and blessed to live in an area that isn't too crowded and is within walking distance to the beach. So I took advantage of it and took Jackie with me to watch the sunset and the ferry.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Your Dog Is Your Mirror

In the late 80s, early 90s, Kevin Behan published the book Natural Dog Training. It was a complete and total paradigm shift in the world of dogs, as Kevin's theory was based on the notion that dogs are emotional beings. Almost 20 years later, and Kevin has released a follow up to his seminal work, Your Dog Is Your Mirror. It's a profound and provocative book that explores on a deep level the human dog connection.

Go to the Natural Dog Training website to learn more about it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


A photo my wife took of me working with Jackie on some heeling.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hessian Sees a Deer

Are you the emotional center of your dog's universe? How would your dog respond when seeing a deer, a rabbit, a squirrel, or any other prey like being? Would he bolt after it when it takes flight, or would he look to you for resolution.

Watch the linked video to see how Hessian, Kevin Behan's dog, reacts after seeing a deer on the Behan property.

If you are having trouble seeing the video here, click on this link to watch it on youtube.