In Your Dog Is Your Mirror, dog trainer Kevin Behan proposes a radical new model for understanding canine behavior: a dog’s behavior and emotion, indeed its very cognition, are driven by our emotion. The dog doesn’t respond to its owner based on what the owner thinks, says, or does; it responds to what the owner feels. And in this way, dogs can actually put people back in touch with their own emotions.
Behan was originally trained under the dominance theory by his father, John Behan, one of the first in America to make dog training a career. But he eventually came to believe that what made the modern dog trainable was not the dominance hierarchy but the dog’s ability to work as a cooperative group member in the hunt. This ability then evolved into an emotional capacity that perfectly complements human emotion.
Behan demonstrates that dogs and humans are connected more profoundly than has ever been imagined by heart and that this approach to dog cognition can help us understand many of dogs’ most inscrutable behaviors. This groundbreaking, provocative book opens the door to a whole new understanding between species, and perhaps a whole new understanding of ourselves.