• Your Dog Is Your Mirror

  • The Emotional Capacity of Our Dogs and Ourselves
  • By: Kevin Behan
  • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (152 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2011 Kevin Behan (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“Beautifully written and deeply engrossing, Your Dog Is Your Mirror is destined to change the way we think about dogs.” (Lee Charles Kelley, dog trainer and best-selling mystery novelist)

“There are scores of books on how to change the outward behavior of a dog. But Kevin Behan challenges us to look deeper, to examine the dog’s behavior as an emotional reflection of its owner, revealing our own unresolved issues. Your Dog Is Your Mirror is beautifully written, with entertaining and insightful examples from throughout Kevin Behan’s remarkable career. This book will forever change your relationship with your dog, and you will never look at your dog in the same way again. It is a must-read for every committed dog owner.” (Kyra Sundance, internationally best-selling author of 101 Dog Tricks and 101 Ways to Do More with Your Dog!

Your Dog Is Your Mirror is a very thought-provoking book that will force you to reconsider who we are and who dogs are and why we are so attracted to one another. Kevin Behan calls upon his extensive experience with our best friends and makes the important point that in the emotional interactions between dogs and humans, it’s not the human reading the human in the animal but the animal reading the animal in the human. Whether you agree with Kevin’s provocative theories or not, the age-old adage that no one knows you like your dog clearly rings true. I learned a lot from this wide-ranging and unique book.” (Marc Bekoff, University of Colorado, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals and The Animal Manifesto

What listeners say about Your Dog Is Your Mirror

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No Scientific Basis

I didn't finish this book. Couldn't finish it. His concepts sound interesting at first (the first ten minutes), intriguing enough to spend a credit and perhaps learn some interesting new concepts about training dogs. But Behan presents his ideas as if they are proven or obviously grounded scientific fact, as if he had phds in biology, human and animal psychology, genetics, and behavioral science, and he is the first and only scientist to have "discovered" the facts about training dogs and the human-dog relationship. As far as I can tell however (can't find a CV anywhere online), he's just a guy whose dad was a dog trainer, who grew up with dogs and became a dog trainer himself. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But apart from that he has no qualifications to justify the assertions he makes about dogs and their behavior, humans and their behavior, and the emotional and/or psychological connection between the two. No evidence, no proof, no valid research. The book appears to be a compilation of grand but unproven assertions about behavior, evolution, human and animal biology, mixed with some pseudo-scientific hypotheses about emotions in both humans and dogs, presented as if they were obvious facts, combined with anecdotal stories from his years training dogs. If he had presented his "ideas" as a new and perhaps better framework for dog training and human dog interaction, worthy of further scientific research and testing, it might be worth listening to for 30 minutes. But as is, it's just a guy talking for 12 hours claiming to have found the answer to life and dogs.

21 people found this helpful

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Didn’t Make It Past Chapter 1

This book was not at all what I expected from reading the description. I do not agree with the author’s premise that the book is based on and couldn’t get past many of the unfounded and highly tenuous assumptions/conclusions he was drawing. I would give 0 stars if I could. I am left wanting my credit back.

10 people found this helpful

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Fascinating Theory

It took me a chapter to relax into his theory but I definitely found myself drinking the koolaid. The author makes some interesting correlations between how dogs act and how owners feel, which has been proven scientifically. He takes it one (or five) steps further and it can sometimes feel a little woowoo but I did catch myself looking down at my dog, wondering if he needed a trainer or if I needed to get back into therapy. Don’t listen to this book if you don’t also read or are interested in self help books.

9 people found this helpful

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Not an +R book

“Alpha Dog” theory was debunked in the 80s. I stopped this book as soon as I heard Cesar Millan’s name….. he’s a joke.

7 people found this helpful

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Not a fan

Wow. This is gibberish. Complete crazy talk. I didn’t get more than an hour in.

4 people found this helpful

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So insightful

It started out rocky as I didn't get the concept but by the end I can totally understand.

3 people found this helpful

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one of the greatest books I've ever had.

A must have for any dog owner! I'm well experienced with canines, may even love dogs more than humans; and no literature has given me more value in the realm of man's best friend, than "Your Dog is Your Mirror. "

3 people found this helpful

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Dissatisfying

Very disappointed. There was nothing in this book that helps with training it was more of an autobiography by a dog trainer with Daddy issues.

3 people found this helpful

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If you love your dog, you’ll read this

Amazing. I’m so glad I read this. Helped me finally see how to understand and help my doggy.

3 people found this helpful

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Total waste of money. I want my credit back!

This book could have been helpful, maybe even interesting and insightful. However, the author seemed to be more concerned with using lots of big words than anything else. Not sure how many times you can say the same thing worded differently, but this book definitely exceeded the limit. 🫤

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-11-22

hard going ..

I’m not sure which is worse the narrator or the writer ! one of the worse books to listen to and impossible to absorb any information

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-28-22

Boring!!!!

I was really looking forward to this book but I’m bitterly disappointed. Extremely boring and very difficult to listen to. Book title does not match content

2 people found this helpful

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  • Emily D.
  • 04-22-22

Eye-opening!

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves ok with or is thinking of living with a dog. Kevin’s story is beautifully told and his understanding of both dogs and humans is illuminating. I have been struggling with my dog and having thoughts of rehoming her, but this book has made me see both herself and myself in a different way and has made me want to see what might come of this new perspective.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Hayley
  • 04-04-22

Great listen

Really unique take on dog behaviour and our human dog relationships. Well worth a listen. Definitely recommend

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ellie Kenworth
  • 03-25-22

story interesting . reader terrible.

content interesting.there is a lot of interesting stuff brought up in this book. I think it's a little "woo woo" new age-y -- but I liked it

1 person found this helpful

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  • Stephen Ratcliffe
  • 08-03-22

Amazing!!

Exceptionally enjoyable listening , fascinating theories/factual information on dog behaviour and our relationship with dogs.

As a dog trainer/handler with many years experience I found this book a most enjoyable audio experience.

Bravo!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-15-22

Not worth it

Unless you believe in the "one heart one mind" magical energy theories. Or that dogs are not separator creatures but just reflections of owners. Greatly disappointing!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-24-22

tedious listen

struggled to want to get back to it if I'm honest
loads of aimless ramble, really couldn't get on with it

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  • Rob Manley
  • 03-03-22

very interesting

makes you think about the owner - dog relationship, a lot of interesting ideas

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-11-22

It could have been great

So disappointed.
The narrator is really, really poorly chosen. Borderline irritating.
I wanted to love this but that is sadly impossible.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-09-22

Disappointing and over the top.

A terrible angle on what should have been a fantastic exploration of our connection to dogs .

The narrator was also difficult to listen to.

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  • Tam Hallett
  • 06-22-22

Interesting

I enjoyed the the author's new to me theories about the mind of dogs. I found it quite intriguing.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-27-22

Not 100% convinced but Ioved it

I think Kevin’s idea’s are genius but not fully comprehensible in this book. I would love too spend some time with this man!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-20-22

I love this book.

This is the first book so far that I’ve read which breaks down what the human condition does to the dogs emotional state. Well written and well said. Thank you

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  • Lyndel M
  • 05-04-22

Can’t move past the first preview

Disappointed. I was looking forward to this but app won’t get past the first ‘preview ‘