Tellington Touch: Find out more

/ 25 January 2016

Tellington Touch (T.Touch) Training is a specialized approach to the care and training of companion animals that incorporates ground work with body work to help improve physical balance and promote a sense of calm and wellbeing.  It was developed in the USA over thirty years ago by Linda Tellington Jones and has been taught in the UK for two decades.

The bodywork comprises of specific movements on and with the animals body. They are known as TTouches and are divided into circles, slides and lifts. TTouches help to improve circulation, improve body awareness and release tension that may be contributing to poor posture and stress.

What the RSPCA says about Tellington Touch Training:

“It can help but will depend on the individual dog – it may not be appropriate for all of them e.g. if they’re not comfortable with being handled.

If owners are concerned they should speak to their vet for advice on the best way of helping their pet.

Many dogs find human company rewarding and human contact such as gentle stroking has been shown to help dogs cope with stressful situations. However, whilst owners may report an improvement in their dog’s behaviour after using TTouch to treat noise phobias, to our knowledge, there isn’t any scientific evidence to show that TTouch is useful in the long-term treatment of noise phobia in dogs.

Furthermore, all dogs are individuals and it may not be appropriate for every dog. Rather than remain with their owner, some dogs will choose to go and hide somewhere they feel safe when they hear loud noises, and in this case it may be best for them to be left alone unless they are likely to harm themselves.”

How else can you help your pet cope with loud noises?

In the long term, pets need to learn not to be afraid of loud noises and planning ahead can really help them cope. But there are many things owners can do now to help their pets cope with Bonfire night, such as:

•  Not punish or fuss over dogs when they are scared as this could make the problem worse in the long run. It is advised that owners should calmly and confidently interact with their dog as normal and ignore the firework noises themselves.

•  It’s really important to make sure your dog or cat always has somewhere to hide if they want to and has access to this place at all times. For example this could be under some furniture or in a cupboard. It is important that they have access to this ‘safe haven’ at all times, even when you’re not at home.

•  Walk dogs during daylight hours and keep cats and dogs indoors when fireworks are likely to be set off.

•  At nightfall, close windows and curtains and put on music to mask and muffle the sound of fireworks.

•  Make sure your cat or dog is always kept in a safe and secure environment and can’t escape if there’s a sudden noise. Have your pet microchipped in case they do escape.

•  If you know a dog that isn’t scared by noises and which gets on well with your dog, then keeping the two together during the evenings may help your dog to realise that there’s no need to be afraid.

And for small animals, such as rabbits and guinea pigs:

•  If your pets live outside, partly cover cages, pens and aviaries with blankets so that one area is well sound-proofed. Make sure that your pet is still able to look out.

•  Provide lots of extra bedding so your pet has something to burrow in.