Linda Tellington-Jones developed a way of communicating with dogs that combines massage-like touches, body wraps and physical manipulation to improve athletic performance, aggressive behavior, nervousness, fears, as well as medical problems, and injuries. Linda started this method with horses where her skills were called upon frequently for unruly, uncooperative, injured or aggressive horses. She later adapted T-touch for dogs.
T-touch for dogs can be performed by any owner and its benefits are amazing. Animals who start out frantic and hyper become relaxed while being treated. Tellington touch can also improve an animals ability to learn . It can be used for nervous dogs who are fearful of loud noises, people or other dogs. It can be used to help aggressive dogs relax and learn new alternatives to aggression.
So how do you get started ? Here are some examples of T-touch techniques to try on your dog:
The T-touch is based upon the circular movement of the fingers all over the dogs body. It's function is to wake up cells and improve the flow of energy within the dogs body. To begin, imagine the face of a clock on your dogs body about 1" in size. Curve your fingers slightly at the 6 o'clock mark and move in a clockwise circle one an a quarter times around the clock. Don't bear down too hard as you make your circle, just enough to move the skin. Pick up your hand and move to a new spot and make another circle. You can do circles in a straight line or randomly all over the body. The benefits are equal, see what your dog likes. Remember to breathe as you gently work on your dog and keep the first sessions short, less than 5 minutes. Give him time to adjust to this new way of interacting with you.
Another type of touch that is useful in relaxing dogs is Ear T-touch. There are several different ways in which you can work the ears. The simplest is to get behind your dog, place the rest of your fingers under the earflap and slide the ear through your thumb and index finger. Experiment with the speed and pressure and see what effect it has on your dog. Another type of ear touch involves making circles at the base of the ear or all along the length of the flap with your fingertips.
T-touch principles work similarly to accupressure. The pressure of touch stimulates the body to heal itself, relax itself and otherwise improve the quality of life and health. No matter how clumsy you feel at first keep practicing in short sessions and gradually increase their length if your dog seems to be enjoying himself. You may find that spending time with your dog in this way is the best part of your day! Canine University will be offering a T-touch seminar in the spring of 2000. We will be inviting a certified T-touch practitioner to come and give a talk and demonstration of the techniques. Watch for updates in the next newsletter.