What is Tellington TTouch?
The Tellington TTouch is a teaching method for animals that incorporates bodywork and ground exercises where appropriate, to help improve
co-ordination, balance and athletic ability whilst deepening further communication and understanding between the animal and its owner/carer.
TTouch helps increase levels of self confidence, self awareness and self-control. Developed by Linda Tellington-Jones, TTEAM (Tellington TTouch Equine Awareness Method) and TTouch is used widely in many countries across the world by shelter assistants, dog trainers, zoos, veterinarians, therapists and pet owners.
With its roots in the Feldenkrais method of Awareness Through Movement, TTouch techniques gently guide the animal through non-habitual exercises that can alter existing habitual patterns. As posture affects behaviour, many owners and carers note that unwanted behaviour diminishes as the animal's posture improves. TTouch teaches the animal to act, rather than simply react to a situation, it allows animals to make positive choices.
TTouch blends well with many other modalities and training methods including clicker training, BAT (Behaviour Adjustment Training), lure and reward etc. It is not necessary to adopt the whole TTouch philosophy in order to make a difference to an animal. Learning just a few of the simple body TTouches and movements can help make a difference to an animal’s life.
There are 4 components of Tellington TTouch
1. Observations, how we see our dogs, how they move, looking at their coats and identifying the link between their posture and behaviour.
2. Bodywork, the hands on touches, which include circles, slides and lifts, also, the use of body wraps. These non-habitual movements of the skin can help reduce tension and teach a dog to act rather than react to a situation. These touches, whilst looking like a form of massage are much lighter and do not benefit the muscles but open up new neural pathways to the brain that can often be blocked by tension and stress. TTouch is also a wonderful tool to help you build an incredible bond with an animal in your care and we always say that we don't do TTouch to our animals but for our animals.
3. Groundwork and leading exercises. This helps dogs to walk more confidently by influencing their balance and posture. We will often walk a dog on a harness with 2 contact points to help influence their physical balance that in turn will influence their mental and emotional balance.
4. Equipment. In TTouch. We use certain pieces of equipment that include two anchors or point harnesses, double-ended training leads, calming coats, body wraps, poles to make up our confidence course, wraps, wands, surfaces for dogs to walk over etc.
Tellington TTouch is not restricted to dogs, our practitioner, Alex Wilson, has worked with a multitude of animals including:
Grey Whale Calves
Common Bottlenose Dolphins
Horse (in a non-professional capacity)
TTouch Instructor, Sarah Fisher Introduces Tellington TTouch
Linda Tellington-Jones looks at TTouch bodywork