Kevin Michael Behan
1952 - 2020
BORN
1952
DIED
2020
Kevin Michael Behan, author and renowned dog trainer, passed away in Newfane, VT on Jan 31, 2020 after a long illness. He spent his final hours at home with his wife, children and granddaughter, overlooking the fields, gardens and barns that had filled his days.

Kevin was born on June 20, 1952 in Redding, CT, the son of John and Elizabeth Behan. Kevin was a quiet and deeply observational child, a trait he carried through life and career. He was most at ease in the wilderness behind his father's kennel, Canine College, or at the family's camps in Franklin, ME and along Canada's Miramichi River. Through his high school years, Kevin would be the first to admit that he was a mediocre player for the John Barlow football team. He was, however, a stand out protector of his three sisters and their friends, ensuring no harm befell them on his watch. He graduated St. Anselm College in NH with a History major, and forever remained a student, filling his bookshelves with everything from philosophy to Tecumseh and Kissinger biographies.

In the 1980s, Kevin founded the Natural Dog Training method, a revolutionary approach to understanding the evolution of man's best friend, focused on the true essence of their nature for obedience and police and rescue work. Kevin and his wife Agi settled in Ridgefield, CT where they started a family and built a practice, Canine Arts. Kevin would become the country's leading expert in rehabilitating aggressive dogs and write his first book, Natural Dog Training.

Their family relocated to Newfane, VT in 1997, where Kevin could be closer to the wildness that informed his understanding of the natural order and his place within it. He continued his groundbreaking work, lectured across the country, and published Your Dog Is Your Mirror. In the community, Kevin was quickly identifiable in a wide-brimmed hat, leather vest and easy smile. He was a constant fixture at his kids' sports and music events throughout high school. He served as Town Constable for a time. On his homestead, he found profound joy in the daily work with his animals, tractors and the land. He was an avid reader, from physics to mystics, and was quick to let you know when the world's greatest minds got it right- or got it wrong.

Kevin was a storyteller, prankster, behaviorist, inherent scientist, mentor, father, husband and grandfather. He was above all private, modest, kind and humble. He would be overwhelmed at the emotional response from those who have shown a deep connection to his methods of canine education. Kevin's dog training legacy lives on through the hearts and practice of those that spent time with him, in person and through his writings. His family is deeply grateful for the generosity of all those who have provided support and shared their memories.

Kevin is survived by his wife of nearly 40 years, Agi, his three children, Cara, Sean and Sondra, his granddaughter Delfina, and son-in-law Alex. He also leaves behind his sisters: Sheila, Eileen, her husband David, Sharon and her husband, and beloved nieces and nephews. A memorial service celebrating Kevin's life will be held at a future date at his farm in Newfane. For more information, please email [email protected] Contributions in Kevin's name can be made to the local hospital, Grace Cottage, online at gracecottage.org.
Published by The Brattleboro Reformer on Apr. 4, 2020.
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8 Entries
Just found out about your passing from this Earth and will always remember journeying up to VT with my beloved dog Bella (also now an Angel) to have a session with you. Thank you for all you have done for dogs and humans. You are missed.
Karin Ursula Edmondson
Acquaintance
May 23, 2021
To Kevin's Family,
I just heard that Kevin passed away. I met Kevin when I was 19 and he trained me and my dog Artus for Stamford Hospital. He was a great man and I loved going to Brookfield to work the dogs. Canine Arts back in the 80's was assume and so was Kevin. He will be missed.
David Borsey
Student
October 7, 2020
Marc Acker
August 14, 2020
Kevin I am just now finding out about about your passing I am truly saddened. I have spent the evening recalling my first student weekend at your farm. It was the first time anyone In the dog world had shown me something special. I still feed my dog in the midst of wild geese (like your chicken coop) - and she behaves on command, still. You were an amazing teacher and the best friend a dog could have. I think often of the lovely dinners w you and Agi and laughing and Being all philosophical While enjoying a big stoogie in your garden. Thank you for everything. You will be missed
Nickie Dymon
Student
June 17, 2020
Kevin I am just now finding out about about your passing I am truly saddened. I have spent the evening recalling my first student weekend at your farm. It was the first time anyone In the dog world had shown me something special. I still feed my dog in the midst of wild geese (like your chicken coop) - and she behaves on command, still. You were an amazing teacher and the best friend a dog could have. I think often of the lovely dinners w you and Agi and laughing and Being all philosophical While enjoying a big stoogie in your garden. Thank you for everything. You will be missed
Nickie Dymon
Student
June 17, 2020
Kevin was a good friend who lived a long and fulfilling life. CONDOLENCES TO ALL,
Bruce Dutcher
April 16, 2020
I never met Kevin but was drawn and revere him as I do a martial arts teacher. He's definitely a sifu, yogi, bodhisattva, sensei and all around taoist. He leaped from his shoes, mounted a dragon in the mist and soaring among heavens. Rest now, my friend, in peace and power.
Bruce Wolfe
April 8, 2020
I feel Kevin's good heart and quick mind that considered life deeply.
Nanda Currant
April 5, 2020
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