What is ADB?
When we talk dog training or dog related issues, we generally talk about observable behaviors, since, at least up until now, we were unable to look inside the dog's brain. But what if there was a way to better understand your dog's emotional communication? Affective Dog Behavior (ADB) focusses on what the brain does naturally. And thus, Affective Dog Behavior will forever change how you look at the dog in front of you as an individual. Though, we still cannot see what is happening inside the dog's brain, continued research in the fields of Affective and Social Neuroscience, research into neuro-chemistry and neuro-biology as well as psychology is opening doors. Yes, there are indeed sciences dedicated to understanding how the brain works to improve emotional wellbeing in animals and in people.
Welcome to the emotional canine brain!
ADB is not a new technique, nor is it a protocol. And while it can certainly be a stand-alone concept, it is not designed to replace, rather to enhance what you already know.
So, what then IS Affective Dog Behavior? ADB is a concept that allows us to look at dog behavior from the inside out. Though we continue to take into consideration what is observable on the outside, our main focus is on the subcortical network of innate emotional systems in the brain that drive behaviors. Understanding how these emotional systems work and why they even exist (from an evolutionary point of view) helps us build better relationships with our dogs; connect with them not only through training but emotionally before training.
Meeting a dog's emotional needs is the single most important thing we can do for our dogs, as it provides a solid relationship foundation upon which we can build and improve our training.
Helping dogs feel safe WITH us, but in THEIR ways!