by Ellen Landauer
‘Hunting for Heart’ came about as a result of meeting Kevin Behan, who developed Natural Dog Training.
Every concept and belief I ever held about dogs evaporated as I opened to an unfiltered experience of the wildness in a dog's eyes. What I found there was breathtaking. . .
This led to the most profound bond I ever experienced with a canine companion.
'Hunting for Heart' takes you through my initial cluelessness to the adventure of my first time raising a puppy by Natural Dog Training principles.
In the summer of 1998, I took the first of countless drives up to beautiful Newfane, Vermont, where Kevin lives and works. It was the beginning of a surprising journey to wholeness, with Kevin and my beloved German Shepherd Ena leading the way.
A unique understanding of the true nature of dogs was instilled through Kevin’s teaching. Direct communication with dogs became a solidly grounded and dynamic experience, not just a concept.
Over the years, I had many opportunities to witness Kevin's dedicated work with the worst of the worst - dogs that had repeatedly seriously injured people or other dogs. These dogs were commonly given up on by some of the best rescue organizations or trainers. Kevin was the only thing between them and Death Row.
I saw pitbulls that had been used for dog fighting - become like puppies - rolling on their backs and inviting other dogs to pounce on them in play.
Kevin also worked with terrified dogs, often little toy dogs - and got them so confident that they could play tug with a human.
But well worth it!
Opening to the true nature of dogs involved facing some of my deepest fears. Overcoming my resistance resulted in many unexpectedly profound, life-altering experiences.
Studying Kevin's method has supported the overall health of my dogs. Even at an advanced age, they remain emotionally and physically flexible, infused with the openness and enthusiasm we find so irresistable in young pups.
Part of why this book actually got into print is simply as a thank-you to Kevin for his unfailing dedication to helping dogs, his caring, and his invaluable guidance over many years that has increased my aliveness, strength and joy - and so significantly benefitted my dogs.
This is a story of healing, through the trials, tribulations and triumphs of rediscovering our Primordial Bond with Dogs.