WHY DO DOGS YAWN?
I did a quick search of the internet and along with what I expected to find,1) yawning is a physiological means of getting more oxygen into the lungs 2) it is a response to stress and pressure; 3) it is a calming signal to other dogs; I was surprised to find one particularly good answer that I’m happy to fully concur with, 4) a dog yawns to “relax itself.”
WHY DO DOGS BARK AT STRANGERS?
Because it’s their owner acting strange.
There are three things I need to explain in regards to this phenomenon.
First, in the animal mind, the form-of-a-thing, such as a human, cat, deer, etc, or sometimes even a log, is the confluence of two energies, predatory and prey. The ratio of these two energies compose a “being”, a specific emotional value, one that can change from moment to moment and hence the variety of responses a dog can manifest to the same person or thing. For example, a sensitive dog often becomes afraid of its owners if it sees them wearing a hat or a bulky coat, or comes upon them in an unfamiliar situation. In such a context the predatory value of the form is weighted higher than normal and this new energetic value knocks the dog out of balance because it does not associate that specific electromagnetic vibration as being its owner.
WHY DO DOGS CHASE THEIR TAIL?
To connect their front end with their hind end.
The number one motive of all animal behavior is to-connect-the-front-end-with-the-hind-end in order to “ground” stimulation. This is because when a dog is stimulated, it’s just as if the dog is cut in half, in other words, the dog’s center-of-consciousness is wholly centered in its head and it can’t feel a thing.
Generally when I tell people that an animals’ front-end-is-not-necessarily-connected-to-its-hind-end meaning that an animal needs to feel resonant with their surroundings in order to feel connected to their body, understandably they find such a notion hard to believe. How could a dog not know that its hind end is part of its front end no-matter-what? Then after one seminar several years ago a participant sent me the link below to a video on the internet. I suggest you mute the volume so that the laughter in the background won’t obscure the profound principle that is actually being revealed through this dog’s behavior.
WHY DO DOGS ROLL OVER IN ” SUBMISSION? ”
To expose themselves, their underside in general, their genitalia in particular.
While “submission” may at first appear to be fundamentally different from “dominance,” in reality they are opposite and yet equal expressions of the same urge to make contact (indirectly, i.e. via sexual contact) with something they are attracted to but, have associated a strong feeling of resistance toward. A state of sexual arousal is the common denominator in both reflexes tracing back to the same physical memory of being stimulated by their mother as infant puppies when they were unable to eliminate on their own. We could say they are presenting themselves to be cleaned.
But on a deeper level what we call submissiveness is actually dogs acting “prey-like.”
Why would a submissive dog act prey-like: what’s the advantage to this behavior? Because in the natural scheme of things, the prey-controls-the-predator by which I mean that the predator can’t act like a predator unless the prey acts like the prey.
When a dog rolls over, tail wagging intensely side-to-side, squirting urine, lip licking, it is “vibrating” like prey and being emotionally attractive gives it leverage, if that is, it can feel how to exploit being the object-of-attraction. (Watch a cat train a dog if one wants to see a master in action.) Once a dog feels its leverage, it then quickly learns to press in and exercise its “control” over its so-called superior. So while we tend to think of the dominant animal as in control over the so-called submissive one, we would be well advised to look again. Who is really in control of whom?
By going belly up and vibrating intensely, and then pressing in on the dominant individual, the “prey-like” individual is taking over the dominant dog’s nervous system. This is exactly how infant puppies enervate and “control” adults. The mother is emotionally attracted to the pup given that it is the pure embodiment of prey energy, but then the infant pup acts like a predator, i.e. it goes toward the mother and squeals when disturbed (prey animals typically die in silence which is why the American Indian revered the deer, as opposed to the bear or mountain lion, as the model in stoicism and courage that warriors should emulate) and so the mother is induced to tend to it in order to keep it calm.
On the other hand if the pup doesn’t generate a predatory nature to inhibit the mother’s urge to make prey on it, it is therefore sickly and the mother will eat it. But in the case of healthy pups, by ingesting the placenta and umbilical cord, and then thereafter the urine and feces, the mother’s attraction to the pup as prey is satisfied and so their relationship will continue to evolve into a deep emotional bond as the pup matures.
And so it goes full circle. As adults the softer natured dogs when they become the object-of-attention in the face of pressure; roll over to expose themselves in order to gain “control.”
WHY DO DOGS HOWL?
They are resonating with a wave.
An ambulance, fire truck or police car zips through a neighborhood and its wailing siren leaves all the dogs in its wake howling. Dogs hear sirens, or another dog crooning, or a person imitating a howling wolf and most can’t resist joining in the chorus. This brings us to an important precept of emotional physics. Emotion is a virtual current of energy that just like electricity moves according to a principle of conductivity.
In the natural scheme of things, some things conduct emotion and some things resist the movement of emotion. In this way, emotion is like a virtual current of electricity. A feeling on the other hand is a wave, and if a feeling can impose a wave on the external environment through the sheer force of desire, then many things that – under most circumstances – would resist the flow of emotion, can in this manner be made to conduct the flow of emotion. It’s not that the thing itself changed of course, rather, the way the dog feels causes these elements of the environment to be realigned in its perception of reality. And this restructuring of perception is quite akin to a metal becoming superconductive when placed in a strong magnetic field. The atomic lattice structure of the material realigns and becomes superconductive. Thus the dog feels energized rather than inhibited. In this way, a feeling is like a virtual magnetic field.
Back in the 1980′s I remember hiring some Portuguese masons to build a patio and in preparing the site, they had to move several large rocks out of the way. They synchronized their efforts by singing traditional songs and it was not only a moving experience to watch, but the boulders seemed to move as if by magic as well.
So we can think of a feeling as being a virtual magnetic field that causes elements of the environment to shift in the animals’ perception, and then all of a sudden, the animal feels empowered and the force of its will is imposed on its surroundings. Sure enough things yield to the underlying power of desire.
Dogs howl and things sound seductive to their ear because energy moves according to principles of conductivity, emotion being no exception, and becoming in sync with an external wave (howl, siren, song) amplifies the internal current. It can then become so strong that external action emerges. Not only that, but it allows an individual to link up with others that manifest a like-desire. In other words, because the default setting of consciousness is one of an internal conflict, this constitutional state of resistance is smoothed out when in an externally conductive medium. So by resonating with a wave, stress in the dog is converted to a feeling of flow. I believe this is also why music is so powerful and motivational for human beings. In fact, it’s but one more thing humans share with canines.
Despite the Darwinian/Malthusian premise that nature is a realm of limited resources locking organisms into a competition of the fittest, nothing could be farther from the truth. The story of evolution is that which doesn’t conduct energy can be made to conduct energy by virtue of cooperation. Synchronizing by virtue of a wave function is how cooperation takes place. Dogs are here to show us that nature is unlimited and when organisms synchronize emotionally, they can align physically and thus tap into new sources of energy unavailable through singular action. Nature conforms to the power of desire. This is why dogs howl.
WHY DO DOGS WAG THEIR TAILS?
Why do dogs wag their tails? The quick answer is that a dog wags its tail for a reason which seems self-evident enough, being that it’s the tell-tale mark of a friendly dog. Indeed, anyone who’s stood near the pounding tail of a prototypical friendly breed, such as a Labrador Retriever, can take a veritable shellacking from the whack of its wiggle. But if friendliness were an altogether accurate interpretation, why is it that so many people are bitten by a dog that’s wagging its tail, often very enthusiastically?
For this and other reasons, behavioral science has called into question the popular wisdom that dogs wag their tails out of friendliness. The definition that behavioral science prefers (and which an energy model finds wanting) is that a dog is wagging its tail as a submissive overture to a superior member of its pack. For example, if one observes an inferior wolf approaching a superior one, tail-wagging is a pronounced feature of his body language.
But this isn’t wholly satisfying either because when adult wolves regurgitate food to their cubs, the cubs’ tails are wagging and so are the adults’. Are the adults being submissive to the cubs and the cubs to the adults all at the same time? That seems like a confusing scrambling of signals and it’s my experience that the nature of behavior is never that ambiguous.
The recurring theme of this blog will be to make the point that submission and dominance, while expedient, convenient, and seemingly reasonable means of making sense of canine behavior, can’t really accommodate the data. For if a dog is showing submission to a human out of respect, why then would he bite such a person? Such paradoxes plainly call into question the traditional scientific interpretation.
A thinker on dogs who I respect quite a bit, (although once again lacks a model for what’s going on inside the dog’s mind), is Desmond Morris. For our current purposes I call on his book Dogwatching wherein he writes at length on the phenomenon of tail-wagging. He states: “The only emotional condition that all tail-waggers share is a state of conflict. This is true of almost all back-and-forth movements in animal communication. When an animal is in conflict it feels pulled in two different directions at the same time. It wants to advance and retreat simultaneously. Since each urge cancels the other out, the animal stays where it is, but in a state of conflict. Essentially the animal wants to stay and wants to go away. The urge to go away is simple–it is caused by fear. The urge to stay is more complex.”
I agree that tail wagging indicates a state of conflict, there is an inherent momentum pulling/pushing the dog forward, but something is causing it to hold back as well. A state of attraction in conflict with fear: this is why dogs wag their tails.
It also needs further elaboration, for example, if we consider a dog who we can be sure is never going to bite anyone but who nonetheless is wagging his tail, what possible fear might there be for this dog in a situation where it’s only about to be petted, or fed, or any other number of pleasurable experiences?
The full answer to that question will be covered in an upcoming article entitled, “The Nature Of Fear”. However, Desmond Morris’ assertion that the the urge to go away from the person or dog because of fear, is simple, is mistaken. Fear is a little more complex than he has presumed. But putting that dynamic aside for the moment, for now I would simply like to elaborate on Desmond Morris’ insight by going a step deeper into the phenomenon of the friendly dog wagging his tail.
Tail wagging is indeed a state of conflict. But the conflict is arising from the following condition: it is the state of the body vibrating with more energy than the body at that moment is able to conduct given whatever action is currently available to it. In other words, there is more energy trying to go through the pipe, the dog’s body, then the pipe can accomodate. Wagging the tail is the body’s physiological response for dissipating the excess energy. And while it would feel better to the dog if its body could process the energy in a straightforward active range of behaviors, for example by making hearty physical contact, but for a number of reasons which we’ll discuss when we consider the nature of fear, it can’t. Hence the state of conflict with the tail going a mile-a-minute beating out the energy just like the utility meter spinning at high speed on the side of a house .