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After decades of owning dogs and horses and hearing about the benefits of Linda Tellington Jones’ TTouch methods, I finally got her book to learn how to apply the TTouch to help me make my animals more comfortable and relaxed,  to relieve pain, to hasten healing and recovery from an injury, and just to be overall better behaved.  I have had a wonderful team of professionals helping me with my dear horses and dogs, but in between their visits for their therapy sessions I should know ways to compliment what the professionals are doing. We normally are already touching and petting our dogs all the time. Let’s use that touch in a therapeutic way.

In Linda Tellington Jones’ book “Getting In TTouch With Your Dog –  A Gentle Approach to Influencing Behavior, Health, and Performance,” you will learn about the different “touches” to address specific issues with your dog.   Basically, you are using your hands to make circles, lifts or slides over your dog’s body and by varying the amount of pressure, size and speed of the circles, you are making a connection at the cellular level that will support the healing process after an injury, or stimulate circulation, relieve stress, build confidence, or instill cooperation and a willingness to learn to aid in training and behavior modification.

There are more than two dozen different TTouches, each one having a different effect on your dog.  Each touch is cleverly named after an animal that held a special meaning when Ms. Jones worked on it, such as the the Clouded Leopard TTouch (this is the basic TTouch) after the rejected three-month old leopard at the Los Angeles Zoo.  The “cloud” part of the name describes the lightness of the touch to be performed and also describes how light the leopard can be on its feet.  This particular cub was displaying neurotic behavior of sucking its leg and kneading its paws for hours on end.  By applying this particular touch to the mouth area she addressed the emotional issues and by applying it to the paws helped the cub relax.   There is also the Abalone TTouch (full hand contact providing warmth and security for sensitive dogs), the Raccoon TTouch (the smallest one with just the fingertips), the Llama TTouch (with the back of the hand), and many others.

In the book she talks about the limbic system and how the application of the TTouches on the mouth and ears, which are connected to the part of the brain that deals with emotions, can greatly influence a dog’s physical health as well as his mental and emotional health.  Since I have one “cowardly” dog in my pack of four, I have been looking for ways to ease poor little Scooter’s anxiety and fear.  These TTouches will really help me build his confidence, calm him down when things get a little too excited, and help him relax and hopefully not be so dog reactive any more.   As I learn and practice the other TTouches I will post on our progress.

I highly recommend you familiarize yourself with the TTouch method to help you and your dogs enjoy a more peaceful, relaxed, healthy, and comfortable life. You are already cuddling and petting your dogs.  Might as well incorporate the TTouch method to alleviate pain or modify mood, behavior, and improve performance and health.  Both of you will benefit greatly from this additional bonding time.  Now go cuddle with your doggy or doggies and feel blessed.

Elena Flyer is a Californian owner and lover of animals: horses, dogs, birds – you name it! She is actively involved in the community whether through therapeutic dog visits to healthcare facilities, or volunteering at Labrador Rescuers.

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