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Welcome to the emotional canine brain !

You know Timmy and Buster share a special bond. You see it every day - in their interactions, when they greet each other and even when they are apart. Many times you wonder what's going through their heads and what they feel. Sometimes you talk to Timmy about this to find out; after all, you and Timmy are also deeply connected, and knowing how he feels is important to you. Buster, on the other hand, seems puzzling at times, and all you can do is observe his behaviors and take it from there. Over time, you have learned the telltale signs of when he is scared or when he gets excited, and you really enjoy teaching him things. Still, wouldn't it be great if you could know more about your son's best friend? 

Why does Buster not run off and hide but come to you when something frightening happens? Doesn't fear usually trigger a flight or fight response?

How does Buster know when it's time for Timmy to come home from school?

How come all Timmy and Buster seem to think of is how to be playfully rowdy, and once they chase each other, bounce, spin and wrestle, they forget all about "reality", and calming them is nearly impossible?

And why do some dogs "act out" at the sight of strange dogs and people, skateboards and bicycles, while other dogs seem unfazed by their surroundings.

But most of all, how come Timmy and Buster are so much alike … almost like two peas in a pod?

Amongst many others, these are the types of questions Affective Dog Behavior answers by looking very closely at the sciences that explore the depths of the emotional and social brain. The social connections you enjoy with your human family and friends are eerily similar to those we see between human and dog. We share the exact same (innate) primary emotional systems, our needs are the same (only in different ways), and, due to our close coexistence, many of our own mental health issues can affect our canine partners. Research in Affective and Social Neurosciences has opened doors to the mysteries of the mind, which ultimately leads to more effective therapies and mental health treatment options. Luckily, so much of this valuable information is accessible even to those of us who are not pursuing a career in neuroscience.  

What is Affective Dog Behavior?

  • Affective Dog Behavior is an educational program that gathers and "translates" into "dog" scientific research from Affective Neuroscience, Social Neuroscience and Neuroscience, making the science more accessible to canine professionals and the general public in one spot. 

  • Affective Dog Behavior focusses on what the brain does naturally, by understanding the basic functions of the different layers in the brain and their major neuro-chemistries.

  • Affective Dog Behavior is NOT a new technique, nor is it a protocol; while it can certainly be a stand-alone concept, ADB is not designed to replace, rather to enhance what you already know.

  • Though Affective Dog Behavior takes into consideration what is observable on the outside, main focus is on the subcortical network of innate emotional systems in the brain that drive behaviors.

  • Understanding how these systems work and why they even exist (from an evolutionary point of view) helps us build better communication and relationships with dogs; connect with them not only through training, but emotionally before training.

  • Affective Dog Behavior supports self-expression, as research shows that being allowed to cope with stressors in one's own way is important for mental health and to promote resiliency and mindfulness.

  • Affective Dog Behavior follows the philosophy of L.A.M.B. - Look At Me Buddy.

Fun fact: The brain is the only organ that shows evidence of evolution. 

Though much is still unknown about the brain, we do know this: both humans and dogs are highly social animals. We have lived together for a minimum of 14,000 years, and we have evolved in ways that allow us to connect as though we were of the same kind. And thus, nearly everything we learn about the human social and emotional mind also applies to our canine partners and to our relationships with them. 

Affective Dog Behavior is brought to you by your K9 Life Coaching, LLC

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