Glossary of Terms



Big Brain (in the head):

– fundamentally concerned with balance; this is the tuning component of a feeling (Behan 2011, p. 121).

– Nerve energy in the Big Brain is a kind of static electricity that is then grounded in the little brain and makes the individual feel connected to its surroundings (Behan 2011, p. 123).

– supplies the tuning component to the group dynamic through the neurological circuitry dedicated to balance (Behan 2012, p. 141).

– prefers stasis; it “wants” things to stay the same, in balance (Behan 2011, p. 182).

– the separation brain (Behan 2011, p. 187)

Correction (Shock):

Deep Inner Stress:

Discordant Pathways:


the energy by which every behavior, both simple and complex, drives a dog. It affects……Emotion is linked to both drive and instinct (Behan, 2009, p. 13).

– energy [in motion];  it [holds] no intention, only the immediacy of attraction (Behan 2011, p. 77).

– always concerned with the physical body or the earth. It arouses the animal’s urge to ingest (Behan 2011, p. 129).

– always a positive pull of attraction; there is no such thing as a negative emotion, only instinctive reactions to being overwhelmed and out of balance (Behan 2011, p. 161).

Emotional Center of Gravity:

– constitutes an animal’s sense of self, the nucleus of an animal’s consciousness (Behan 2011, p. 161)

– it is the exact spot in a dog’s body where the dog experiences the world impacting it as the center of its conscious awareness (Behan 2011, p. 161).

Emotional Conductivity:

– what one sees on the outside reflects what one feels on the inside. Because what one feels on the inside has powerful physical effects, an emotional thermodynamics… (Behan 2011, p. 115)

– the brain in the deep gut is the site for the experience of emotional grounding, which serves the principle of emotional conductivity (Behan 2011, p. 117).

– When animals interact, what’s going on within their bodies induces them to focus on either the other being’s eyes or its body (its predatory or its preyful aspects). This profoundly influences how they feel, and thus how they respond to each other. If they go by the little brain in the gut, then they will act in tandem, so that one will recapitulate the principle of emotional conductivity in the other, and social behavior will inevitably result (Behan 2011, p. 117).

– rhythmic waves are pleasing, discordant waves are unsettling (Behan 2011, p. 122).

– Using the principle of emotional conductivity, the first thing a dog assays in any situation is its owner’s deep-seated emotional process (Behan 2011, p. 224).


– in animal behavior, the urge to ingest, is what attracted each and every feeling (Behan, 2011, p. 78).

p 30

Group (Network) Consciousness:

Harmonic Pathways:

the group energy by which the dog flows with both the environment and other group members, including humans. Social behaviors, such as playing, hunting, breeding, etc., are examples of this. In training, it allows dogs to learn to function smoothly in a group and for the good of the group. Harmonic pathways are the way dogs learn HOW TO DO things. Being in true harmony with your dog allows him/her to want to work for and with you (Behan, 2009, p. 7-8).

Heart Brain: 

– the network brain (Behan 2011, p. 187)

– If a deep bark resonates from the very pit of its stomach, its entire body flexing from the sit position as if the bark were riding out of its body on a wave, then it is referencing its heart; because its two brains are completely reconciled, it has projected its emotional center of gravity into your heart and is feeling that by looking into your eyes. It is moving energy through the one emotional body it now perceives itself to be entangled with (Behan 2011, p. 188).

Little Brain (in the gut):

– enteric nervous system, also known as the emotional brain (Behan 2011, p. 116).

– [also known as the] social brain (Behan 2011, p. 117)

– endowed with both sensory and motor neurons; this region contains half the body’s neurons and has a full range of neurotransmitters, hormones, and opiate receptor sites. According to Dr. Jill Ammon-Wexler, a pioneering brain researcher, “Your ‘gut-brain’ is also able to learn, remember, and produce emotion-based feelings.” (Behan 2011, p. 116)

– develops from the same embryonic tissue as the brain in the head, and the two are connected via the massive vagus nerve (Behan 2011, p. 116).

– fundamentally concerned with ingestion; this is the feedback component of a feeling (Behan 2011, p. 121).

– Both animals in an interaction have to choose to tune in to their little brain, so that they can go back and forth from projecting to absorbing energy (Behan 2011, p. 164).

– tries to digest the sensations [of the Big brain] (Behan 2011, p. 177).

– craves constant input; it “wants” things to be in flux and motion. It requires something to digest; otherwise, it is churning (Behan 2011, p. 182).

– If your dog sits, licks its lips, or breaks the intensity of its gaze with a softening of expression, then it is referencing the little brain in its gut (Behan 2011, p. 187-188).


– when the charge isn’t being passed around (Behan 2011, p. xx)

– adding more unresolved emotion to [the dog’s] emotional battery (Behan 2011, p. 136)

– the animal’s energy only [builds] up and then [boils] over….venting of an internal pressure (Behan 2011, p. 138).

Pack Instincts:

not to be mistaken with mainstream notions of pack hierarchies (which rarely exist, if at all, in the wild), pack instincts refer to survival mechanisms often described as defensive, submissive, and dominance behaviors (Behan, 2009, p. 1).

– a Big Brain package of reflexes, highly constrained and inhibited caricatures of the group way of being (Behan 2011, p. 130).

Predatory Aspect:

– In the animal mind, the pole of highest concentration (Behan 2011, p. 116)

– When animals interact…the eyes [adopt the predatory aspect] (Behan 2011, p. 117)

– When a dog feels whole, then even the negative or predatory aspect can be perceived as positive because it’s now being apprehended as “access-to-the-positive.” (Behan 2011, p. 118) (emphasis added)

– [when two animals interact] one individual will absorb emotion (the prey trait) and the other will project emotion (the predator trait) (Behan 2011, p. 166)

Preyful Aspect:

– [In the animal mind] the corresponding pole [to the predatory aspect] of lowest concentration (Behan 2011, p. 116)

– When animals interact…the body [adopts the preyful aspect] (Behan 2011, p. 117)

– a dog can feel a whole sense of its body only if its insides are functioning smoothly, and to do this, the dog must be perceiving something preyful or positive in its surroundings (Behan 2011, p. 118). (emphasis added)

– [when two animals interact] one individual will absorb emotion (the prey trait) and the other will project emotion (the predator trait) (Behan 2011, p. 166)

Prey Drive/instinct:

how the dog perceives the rhythm of the world…….the primary means of communication between dog and owner (Behan, 2009, p.13- ).

Prey Threshold:

– Through evolution, a breed of dog attunes itself to the specific fight-or-flight frequency of the prey animal (Behan, 2011 p. 123)




Steady State:



Unresolved Emotion:

– a more complex elaboration of the principle of emotional conductivity (Behan 2011, p. 132).



Behan, K. (2009). Natural Dog Training. NDT Press.

Behan, K. (2011). Your Dog Is Your Mirror: The Emotional Capacity of Our Dogs and Ourselves. Novato, CA: New World Library.


© 2011 – 2015 by Scott Hamilton and ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author.

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