Part of the group

His ears are slightly cocked backwards and when I let out a sigh he starts to slow down as well. We move together, I’m taking care of him, he’s taking care of me.

Humans have bonded with dogs and horses for ages. What is it that so attracts us to them?

Natural Dog Training

I’m reading (and practising) Kevin Behans book about his new way of observing and training your dog. He breaks down dog behaviour in a completely different way than the mainstream training methods. But when you start to look closely it all suddenly makes so much sense!

The Hunt

The hunt is one of the main forces in the natural world. For a dog this means that the (hunting-)drive and group mood are the two main focuses in his life. Both are crucial for having a successful hunt. Without the drive there won’t be any hunt at all, without the group they can’t hunt big game.

Group mood

When hunting together on big game everyone has to be in sync. If one wolf (/dog) steps out of this group mood a hunt can be over very quickly. That’s why a dog is so sensitive of the group mood. 
Playing, socializing and ultimately hunting, everything in a dogs life is focused on being with the group.

You might not realise it but also that couch slugging lazy mastiff over there will somehow always try to get the group mood ‘right’.

My guess is that it’s this working towards a flowing groups energy that makes us want to be with dogs so much.

Being part of the group

Being part of a group is just as vital for humans as it is for dogs. Only we have complicated things a lot by our spoken language, our social rules and other cultural luggage. Making it difficult to create a group where the energy freely flows and everyone feels safe. 

A dog however doesn’t care about your choice of clothes or your age or your opinions about politics. All he wants is to be in sync with you. And whenever you step out of the group mood with him he will desperately try to come along with you.

I think unconsciously this is why we love to be around dogs, because with them we can feel again that very old yet very vital sense of being part of a group. We don’t have to think about it, we don’t have to explain it. We just have to step in with them.

Group mood and horses

Kevin Behan obviously doesn’t talk about horses. Yet I wonder; can we pick up his way of thinking and direct it on horses? Horses are group animals as well. Though, in the hunt, they are on the other end. Their group mood is vital in surviving a hunt, in detecting a predator in time and run away (or face it) together.

My guess is that a horse, just as a dog, will always try to be part of the group as well and work very hard to get the group energy flowing. So even if you are not consciously trying to connect with him, the horse will do his best to connect to with you.

I’m not a horse expert, so I’m very curious what they might say about this. Please tell me and let me know. I love to learn more on this subject.

Lydia JansenComment