“Twas like a Maelstrom, with a notch,

that nearer, every Day,

Kept narrowing its boiling Wheel…”

-Emily Dickinson
  Natural Dog Training  has been like a maelstrom to me, especially as a writer.  I read and devoured the book “Natural Dog Training”  and “Your Dog Is Your Mirror”  by Kevin Behan  concurrently.  That caused a real storm of new ideas, adjustments to my intent, and a very real conclusion that I’ve been headed in the right direction with my own training for some time.  My mistake was having the incorrect understanding of why what I was doing was working.  I was making something simple and natural, complicated, and ultimately, more difficult for both of us. The “right training, with the wrong philosophy” to quote “NDT”.
  Trying to decide how to best approach NDT with the dogs in practice, and where to take my experience in words caused the maelstrom.  But as things came into focus, it reminded me of the above piece by Emily Dickinson.  Allowing Kevin’s books to sink in started to slow the wheel of the storm, and the eye of the storm came into focus slowly.  I was attempting to decide on a single starting point, a first step in what will be a prolonged journey.  I’ve skipped two weeks of writing about this, putting my effort into working it out with the dogs.  I began to see the application and explanation of Emotion, Prey-Drive, Energy, andCommunication coalescing into something that I had instinctively knew existed, but had not quite grasped…The Boiling Wheel has narrowed itself, and I have my starting point finally.  It’s very important to me that you get an accurate description of my experience in learning about NDT, and that I make it easy to grasp.  I want you to try Natural Dog Training  for yourself.  What I’ve experienced in 6 weeks time, (without hands on consultation from the author) has been extraordinary.  Imagine what I’ll learn when I can arrange an in-person meeting with Kevin Behan and some of his students!!!  I’ve never lost my enthusiasm for working with my dogs, but I’ve reached an entirely new level with this method.
My next post will address three things that I previously sub-divided into many categories, and treated them all as separate entities. 
Emotion, Energy, and Drive.  Not only are they most decidedly connected, they truly are the center of the Wheel.  They are the center of Natural Dog Training, and as a byproduct, the Communicative Approach.


  1. Christiane says:

    YES YES YES …can’t wait to hear/read more about your experiences. I have never met any of the NDT folks, just read same books, got the DVD from Neil – used the basic methods on the dogs here and stay in touch via the NDT group on facebook. We had an aggressive/protective terrier on the property at the time, and recently we used it on 2 – 4 mo old non-socialized male puppies. LOVE the method and results, even if one has limited time – ANYONE out there can use it – I was able to teach pushing to a non-dog person and she loves this tool – because she can feel and see the effects. – and if you can put this into a language that makes sense to a lot of people and makes it accessible…all the better. I think Lee and Neil have done a great job ….and it can’t hurt to have a GSD page/site explaining it too.