Anyone who’s ever enjoyed a massage knows how soothing it feels. A delicate touch is good for dogs too, and one option is the Tellington TTouch.
The Tellington TTouch method was developed by Linda Tellington-Jones. The Canadian animal trainer first applied the circular movements, or “TTouch” as the Tellington TTouch is known, to horses. She found out that the method has a calming effect on animals and can have a stabilising influence on their physical and emotional well-being. She then transferred these “touches” to other animals, such as dogs, cats, small animals and even exotic animals. Dogs and horses respond particularly well to this relaxation method.
The great thing about the Tellington TTouch is that you don’t need to book sessions with a specialist. In principle, anyone can practise the method on their dog at home. However, the owner should first be shown the approach so that he can do everything correctly, ensuring that the exercises have the desired effect. It’s a good idea to take an introductory course with a dog trainer or an animal naturopath, or else you can choose the cheaper option with books and DVDs. The Tellington TTouch does not require any special equipment and is easy to learn. TTouch is mainly based on circular movements of the hand. It’s important to get the hand positions exactly right. There are a total of 20 different touches that can help benefit animals’ well-being. Depending on your pets’ needs, TTouch can be used as a relaxation exercise, to alleviate anxiety or even to make pain more bearable. In each case it has a positive effect on the physical and emotional health of animals. According to Linda Tellington-Jones, these gentle, circular movements activate cell function. In this way, tense points can be loosened and a fear of contact can be relieved.
It’s no wonder then, that TTouch is particularly effective for deepening the relationship between people and their pets. Everyone who works with the Tellington TTouch says that the “massage” helps to build mutual trust and the sense of a common bond. With dogs, TTouch can even help change undesirable behaviour and habits.
Try the exercises out when you have a quiet moment, as it’s important that both you and your dog (or cat) are relaxed. Ideally, your four-legged friend should lie on his side. Sit next to him and use the flat of your hand to make one and a quarter circles on your dog’s body using light pressure. Check to see if your pet is enjoying the sensation. If he’s not, or if he actually rejects it, then you should stop the treatment and try again another time. The most important thing is that both you and your dog enjoy the experience.