The Tellington TTouch has been incorporated into the training and handling of working dogs to help lower stress, improve focus, calm over excitability, reduce fatigue and help young dogs grow in confidence when coming into the kennels at the start of their careers.
TTouch is used around the UK by organisations training dogs in a variety of roles including assistance dogs, gun dogs, search and rescue, and sniffer dogs. TTouch can be helpful for teaching dogs to settle more quickly in the training sessions, and to overcome sensitivity to contact as they mature. Many adolescent dogs both male and female show signs of anxiety when touched around the hindquarters and hips between four and six months of age and TTouch can support young dogs through these physical changes as they grow and mature. Sensitivity to contact around the hindquarters can be linked to noise sensitivity in many cases and the TTouches and body wrap or Thundershirt have been instrumental for helping many young dogs overcome their fears.
Potential problems with body sensitivity that may make the introduction of the coat, harness or head collar difficult for some dogs to accept are often spotted early on and the combination of body TTouches and equipment such as the Body Wrap or Head Wrap can be used to help the dogs overcome these concerns.
The ground work is invaluable for helping the dog to develop good posture and balance and is particularly beneficial for those dogs that have to be trained and led from one side throughout their working lives. Assistance dogs in training that have been concerned about walking up open stairs, on slippery surfaces, being groomed on the left side of their bodies due to the unfamiliarity of having a person on that side, and those that have shown early signs of anxiety when travelling have all been helped with TTouch.
The TTouches and handling techniques provide a consistency for dogs that are handled by different trainers and for those that are going on to new homes and these gentle body work techniques can also help reduce the symptoms of kennel stress.
As well as supporting dogs through their training and careers, TTouch is a way of giving something back to these incredible animals that enhance and change so many different lives.
Feedback from a workshop for Assistance Dogs with Sarah Fisher and Tina Constance
Many, many thanks for your session today. It was very refreshing and your style of input is so easy to listen to and to feel involved in.
Whilst we all have the tools to carry out your techniques I also feel you both have a natural affinity with the animals you work with and it has been a pleasure to be witness to some of the results you got today.
My very best wishes to you both and hopefully we shall see you again very soon.