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10.   HEALTH
14.   EVENTS
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Hello TTouch Friends,

I am sitting blissfully nestled in the hills just outside Hazyview, Mpumalanga. There are lots of trees outside my window, but also a delicious view of distant mountains. Yes, I’m on my once a year “do nothing” type of Holiday. That means no workshops, no family, no long airplanes rides for hours on end and no one to talk to (except you, of course). There was a time when being alone on Holiday would have scared me, but these days I count this time a precious indeed. It’s a time for reflection, inner work, inspiration, catch up and the occasional Newsletter.


I did think it would be nice to get the September/October Newsletter out before November! You’ve probably been thinking something has happened to your subscription it’s been so long since the last Newsletter. Well, we’re back! The trip to the States seems distant already, the International Trainings are over and things have finally settled down a bit in the office.


Hence the ability to take a bit of time.


While this is a bit late for Diwali, fireworks will be ongoing through New Years, so I hope that the articles in this Newsletter can help you. Also remember that what works for Fireworks also works for Thunderstorms, so have a good look!


 NOTE: I have been asked by someone in CT to perhaps highlight things that might be of interest particularly to Capetonians, so I shall endeavour to do so with this yellow highlighter. So if you’re from the Western Cape, we’ll try to make it easier for you to find relevant info for you. I do hope it doesn’t mean that you won’t read the actual article contents however!


 The good news is that we have 3 new Qualified Practitioners-In-Training and they are all from Cape Town! So for those of you who keep asking for someone to work with, these people are all ready to do one on one sessions with you. They are Barbara George (specializes in cats), Mari Yanagawa and Judy Post (Muzimberg). Congratulations to the three of them! You’ll find their contact details on our website at www.ttouch.co.za


If anyone hasn’t yet booked for the Ian Dunbar Seminars in November, I strongly urge you to do so. Ian is not only highly qualified in the dog world, but he’s a brilliant speaker as well, full of personality and wit. You owe it to yourself to go!


Warmest Regards,

Eugenie Chopin

Certified Practitioner III for Companion Animals


All I Need to Know in Life I Learned From My Horse
“When in doubt, run far, far away.”

TTACT IV will have it’s first Intro September/Oct. 2009

If you are interested in this program and want to get started, we recommend a weekend workshop or weekly class. This will give you a taste of the work to see how it can affect your own pets. We are taking Pre-Registration forms now and will start asking for deposits in the new year. For you Capetonians and others around the country, this is well worth your while to travel!


TTACT III, session 5 – March 26 – 31, 2009 with Linda Tellington-Jones (limited to TTACT III students)

TTACT III, session 6 – September 24-29, 2009 with Robyn Hood (limited to TTACT III student

CLIENT MORNINGS – March 28 & 29, 2009

This is one of our most popular offers. Your opportunity to experience
TTouch first hand for only R120 for you and your dog! As most of you know, we have a Practitioner Training Program on the go and are now in our second year of training. So as part of the training program, we set up Client Days for our Students. This is always a fun experience for both the Client and the Practitioner – In – Training.

You may, if you wish choose to come for both days! It is often useful to have 2 sessions with your dog.


Cost:               R120 per day with a dog

R50 for the Demo only – no dog

Date:              Saturday, March 28, 2009 10:00 a.m. until about 12:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 29, 2009 10:00 a.m. until about 12:30 p.m.

Venue:           Broshacarm Kennels, Midrand

Booking:         Eugénie or Morag at info@ttouch.co.za or Tel: 011-884-3156 or Fax: 011 783-1515

“You can never have too many treats.”
“Passing gas in public is nothing to be ashamed of.”


An opportunity to spend quality time with your dog and learn new ways to communicate, problem solve or just bond.


DATE:            Saturday afternoons: January 31, Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28 & March 7

TIME:            2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

COST:            R800

VENUE:         Sandown, Johannesburg

CONTACT:   Eugenie on 011-884-3156 or email eugenie@ttouch.co.za


The TTouch class is a great way to learn & absorb TTouch at it’s best. Over a 6-week period, you have the opportunity to go home, practice and then come back for more! SEE YOUR DOG MAKE CHANGES IS A FEW WEEKS!


INSTRUCTOR: EUGENIE CHOPIN is a TTouch Practitioner, level 3 and runs the South African TTouch Training Program. She has studied Clicker Training both here is South Africa as well as completing a comprehensive 4 week Clicker Course for Trainers in the USA, which she passed with Honours. She believes that the 2 disciplines (clicker & TTouch) work beautifully together as both work with gentleness and respect, as well as teaching the animal to think for themselves.


Tel: 011 884-3156

Fax: 011 783-1515

Email: eugenie@ttouch.co.za

Website: www.ttouch.co.za


Learn how balancing your dog’s Body can influence Balancing the Mind and Emotions!



How do TTouch bodywork, which includes a variety of TTouches

How to read your Dog’s body Language

How to Use a Body Wrap, a wonderful tool for many things including fear of Thunder and Fireworks

To Find the Perfect Equipment for your Pet and How to use it: Sometimes, changing a Harness or Head Collar can make a huge difference to your ability to not only control your dog, but in helping you communicate what it is you want him to do!

To Do Groundwork, for helping dogs balance, learn, improve gait, gain confidence and much more!

How to increase the bond with your pet through mindful interactions

How to Problem Solve your Personal Situations
How to Communicate on many Levels

How you are affecting your Dog’s Life, Confidence and Behaviour







TTouch Office Sandown

6 Week Class

Saturday afternoons



January 31, 2009


Eugenie eugenie@ttouch.co.za 011 884-3156

“New shoes are an absolute necessity every 6 weeks.”  


with Firework session upon us, I thought this appropriate!

Body Wraps:  From a Sensory Perspective

 Kathy Cascade, PT, Tellington TTouch Instructor

One of the most useful tools of the Tellington TTouch Method is a simple ace bandage known as a “body wrap.”  For years, TTouch and TTEAM Practitioners have been using body wraps to influence an animal’s posture, movement, and behavior.  Sometimes the result is subtle, as when a horse picks up a foot to step into a trailer when he couldn’t do it previously, and sometimes the result is seemingly miraculous, as when a dog that is terrified of thunder storms is able to calmly lie down and sleep through the noise.  How can a simple piece of cloth have such a wide ranging influence on an animal?  Part of the answer lies in how the sensory information from a wrap is processed in the animal’s nervous system.

Typically, a body wrap is applied to an animal ‘s body in some sort of figure eight fashion, making contact around the chest and crossing over the back, sometimes extending to the hindquarters.   (Of course we can also use body wraps for people in any number of configurations). 

While the wrap is applied comfortably, it is never put on tightly, as the purpose is simply to bring awareness to the area of the body it contacts, rather than for any type of support.  Because of the slight stretch inherent in an ace bandage, the contact provides a light sensation of pressure against the body that also moves slightly as the animal moves.    This has the effect of bringing a heightened attention to or awareness of how an animal is using his body parts during movement.

To understand how this works, let’s take a very oversimplified look at the sensorimotor system.  Our bodies take in information from our senses, including the well-known senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch (tactile system).  We also have another sensory system that provides information about the position of our body parts, which is known as the proprioceptive system. The proprioceptive system is triggered by movement.  Information from the tactile and proprioceptive system is sent along nerves to the spinal cord and on to a part of the brain that registers the information, which is known as the somatosensory cortex.   What is interesting about this area is that some parts of the body have a greater representation than others.  For instance, the face and mouth have a much greater number of sensory nerve endings, and a larger area of the somatosensory cortex is devoted to those body parts.  For people, the hand and fingers are also more prominent, and it is no surprise that we are way better at using our fingers than our toes!  Once the sensory information is processed, the brain then sends signals back to the muscles for postural control, and movement.  This constant two way exchange of information is what allows both people and animals to make coordinated movements, and perform complex physical tasks.  

By using a body wrap, we simply intensify the sensory information going to the brain from the parts of the body the wrap contacts (through the touch system) and the proprioceptive system when the animal moves while wearing the wrap.  The response to this enhanced sensory information is often improved balance, coordination, and/or movement.  Occasionally lameness or asymmetrical movement may also be altered.   Because an animal may demonstrate significant changes in gait and movement with a body wrap, it is important to remove the wrap after a short period of time (5-10 minutes) to prevent soreness from using muscles in a new pattern.  As the animal adapts to the new movement pattern, the wrap may be used in more complex performance activities.

In addition to changes in movement and posture, we also often see behavioural changes in an animal when a wrap is applied.    Have you ever calmed a fussy baby by wrapping the infant in a blanket?  The same principle may just apply when using a body wrap on an animal.  Touch sensations are very specific.  People and animals can detect light touch (think of a horse feeling a fly on it’s back), and pressure touch (the weight of your hand when you lightly stroke your animal).  The tactile system also transmits temperature, vibration, and pain.  The nervous system responds differently to each of these types of touch.  Very light touch, extremes of temperature, and pain elicit a withdrawal response and these sensations serve a protective function.  They tend to be alerting. 

Pressure touch is calming and elicits an approach response.  TTouch is done with this light pressure, and a body wrap also applies the same sensation of pressure.  In general, pressure touch activates the parasympathetic portion of the nervous system, which is the restorative, grounding, and calming part of the nervous system.   The calming effects we often witness with a body wrap may be due to the influence of pressure sensations on the nervous system. 

The best way to understand the effects of a body wrap is to try it on yourself.  Have a friend help you apply a very simple wrap, using a two or three inch width ace bandage. Unroll the wrap and drape it around the back of your neck and let both ends hang as you would a necktie.  Now have your friend take both ends under your arms and simply tie or pin them back to the wrap behind your neck.  Notice your posture.  Are you standing more erect and aligned?  Walk around in the wrap and notice your awareness of the area the wrap is contacting.  Pay attention to anything else you may notice.  Take the wrap off after a few minutes and again notice if your posture is still different from your habitual position.  Often you will notice a change even when the wrap is removed, as the nervous system “learned” from the experience. 

The body wrap has proven to be one of the most valuable tools in the TTouch “tool box.”  We can use it to improve movement, posture, and balance, as well as to calm an excited or fearful animal.  For dogs, we can also use a t-shirt or coat as a body wrap to give the same type of light pressure sensation to the nervous system. 

NOTE: Bandages can be purchased at the TTouch office. They run between R60 and R80 each.

A full description of how to put on a body wrap can be found at www.ttouch.co.za - under articles!

“Ignore cues. They’re just a prompt to do more work.”  






Donnybrook Stables Johannesburg

5 Day TTEAM with Linda


April 4-8,



Lindy equibalance@iafrica.com        083 616 0577


1 1/2 Day workshop on TTEAM
• Lindy Dekker

21-22 Nov 2008
Friday afternoon and Saturday all day


Sandra Mouton


“A swift kick in the butt will get anyone’s attention.”  

Marley and Us: Clicker Training on the Movie Set – Part 1

With permission from the Karen Pryor Website www.clickertraining.com

NOTE: Some time ago, we had the book “Marley and me as our book of the month. This has now been made into a film and I found the story from one of the extras really fun to read. We’ll be giving you the full story over the next couple of months.

Film and fame

"Class! Collar your dogs!"

Most Americans would recognize the husky female voice that gave that command in a heartbeat

I followed instructions; bent over my Doberman, Leissl, and placed around her neck the 15-year-old choke collar I had taken out of storage. Then I stood up, as rehearsed, to listen for the next command from the class instructor, Kathleen Turner.

I never thought I’d be standing in a dog obedience class with such a famous, non-expert instructor, but there I was in a scene set right at the beginning of the 1990s—while around us, past the lights, cameras, and action, it was March, 2008. Leissl and I had landed roles as extras in the "Hero Dog Obedience Class" scene for the movie Marley and Me, due in theaters in December 2008.

A few months earlier, I had opened an e-mail with a provocative subject line: "Casting dogs and owners for Marley and Me." I read through, and decided I met, the requirements, which included having a flexible work schedule and the ability to work a 10-12 hour day. So I submitted the required discussion of the dog’s talents and pictures of the handler-dog team in natural light—and held my breath

Several weeks later, I had to peel myself off the ceiling when I learned that we had been selected for the dog obedience class scene in the film.

Leissl and I had landed roles as extras in the movie Marley and Me.

Rehearsal day—positive training for the three Marleys

Just prior to this exciting day of movie making was the rehearsal, where the handler-dog pairs met with all three of the Marleys trained for this scene. Mathilde DeCagny, trainer of "Eddie" the dog from the TV show Frasier, was head trainer of the Marley Labradors. Ray Beal was the Owen Wilson look-alike trainer who worked his magic handling the Labs, while Mathilde gave the commands from the sidelines that brought out the naughty in Marley. The third member of Marley’s crew was Mark Forbes, animal coordinator for this project and general manager of Birds & Animals Unlimited, which provided the animal talent.

Aside from offering time for Marley to practice, rehearsal gave the handlers and dogs a chance to get used to the three well-trained, wacky, adolescent Marleys. Nanci Little and Phillip Hoelcher of Trademark Animal Talent wanted to make sure none of the extra dogs they hired had issues with each other or with one of the Marleys. As rehearsal started, Nanci made an announcement. She did not want to see anyone forcing their dogs to do anything, and she reminded us that if clickers and treats had been brought, we should pull them out and use them.

Though no clickers were used to train Marley on rehearsal day, a representative from Birds & Animals Unlimited answered an e-mail from me about their training methods.

"We use clickers for some things but most of the training is basic positive reinforcement. We are very mindful of the importance of the dogs (sic) attitude. We are very careful not to let them get bummed out."

The yellow Marley Labs were obedient and upbeat, which testifies to their positive training method.

The yellow Marley Labs were obedient and upbeat, which testifies to their positive training method. As for the extras, I didn’t see a team among us using the force method. People were using treats to gain and keep their dogs’ attention, and the majority wore buckle or martingale collars.


Our rehearsal group consisted of an Aussie, a Benji-like dog, two collies, a Doberman, a German shepherd, a husky, black Lab mix, a Labradoodle, a Newfoundland, a Terrier mix, and a Weimaraner. Most of us had never seen a Labradoodle, so she drew a lot of attention. Her name was Gigi, and she is in a one-year foster home placement. Soon she will move on to formal training as her next step as a service dog.

Starting the rehearsal, Phil put us in a moving circle and gave us commands to see how we and our dogs did as teams, while Mathilde and her staff watched and evaluated us. Afterward, they put Abby the Aussie and her handler on one side of Marley, and Leissl and me on the other. (This was not the way it would be on shooting day, but it was a thrill during practice.)

The first test for the handler-dog teams was ignoring the Lab as he got into character as the hyperactive Marley. While Ray played tug with Marley around our drill-class circle, our dogs were supposed to keep their attention on us. This was difficult, as there had never been a well-trained but out-of-control dog in any drill class Leissl and I had attended. I used treats and conversation to keep Leissl focused on me. She did well, as did the other dogs.

Jump up for treats

After the drill class practice, we moved to where the scene would be shot. This was a much smaller space. For this part of rehearsal, Mathilde reinforced the Marleys on several behaviors. The question most new dog owners ask is, "How do I stop my dog from jumping on me?" But in this instance, Mathilde had trained the reverse.

"Up!" she’d say in an encouraging voice and with an added hand signal. Up went the Lab on Ray Beal. Ray squirmed and protested to get the Marley off, but Mathilde’s command was the one the Lab listened to. Until she gave the word, Marley remained an unrelenting adolescent with his big paws on Ray.

Pulling Ray through the middle of our drill circle was Marley’s next feat. Mathilde stood on the other side of the circle with the universal dog magnet—the stainless steel dinner bowl. When our drill circle started moving, Mathilde gave the signal and Marley hauled Ray through the center of the drill circle and out the other side to get to the treat waiting for him in that bowl.

I wasn’t close enough to see what treat was in that bowl, but I did get a peek into Mathilde’s treat bag when she was doing an arm signal for Clyde, the star Marley of the trio. (Both Mathilde and Ray wore bags, but not Mark Forbes.) In Mathilde’s bag was something that looked like toffee-colored beef sticks. I contacted Birds & Animals Unlimited to ask about the treats, and was told the trainers use Bil-Jac liver treats and cooked chicken breasts. Neither of these were the secret in Mathilde’s bag, but whatever treat the trainers used, the Marleys were working for good things, not to avoid punishment.

The Marleys were working for good things, not to avoid punishment.


About the author Helen Schwarzmann began training dogs in Southern California in 1979. Eighteen years later, she moved to Florida where she clicks and treats for fun and competition. Helen maintains the Florida Doberman Pinscher Rescue Ring website for orphaned Dobies, and blogs about life with her expansive family of canines at http://www.dobermannpinscher.org/

“Everyone loves a good, wet, slobbery kiss.”  

Next 6 week class STARTS JANUARY 2009








Clicker Classes for Dogs
6 week course

Starts 28 Jan 2009
Jan. 28, Feb. 4, 11 18  & Sat: Jan. 31, Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28, March 4

R 1400 
Includes Book, Notes, clicker, etc.

Eugenie Chopin

011 884 3156


“Never run when you can jog, Never jog when you can walk, Never walk when you can stand still.”  


By Karin Landsberg

Picking a puppy is not as easy as one might think – there are all sorts of things that new owners will need to take into consideration before making the best choice.  We’ve put together some guidelines to help with making the right decision.


Physical considerations:


It might seem like a silly thing to think about, but it’s a very important question from a practicality point of view.   How much time do you have to spend grooming the dog? Is your house and garden suited to the size dog you’re considering?  Does shedding bother you? Do you want a big or a small dog? When visiting the breeder, ask for proof of vaccinations and hip dysplasia scoring.  As a prospective owner you have the right to insist on this information as it will impact on your dog’s life. 


Exercise and stimulation:


People often make the mistake of thinking that smaller dogs are easier because they require less exercise!  As anyone who’s ever owned a Jack Russell terrier will tell you, that is not true.  If you’re a couch potato, getting an active dog will only result in disaster, so be honest about the level of daily exercise you are prepared to give the dog – and don’t get a dog of a specific energy level because you are intending to take up jogging – FIRST start jogging, THEN get the dog!  Interestingly, studies have shown that dogs that live in flats are better behaved socially than dogs living on large properties – the reason for this is if your dog is a “flat dog”, you have to take it out to eliminate often so they get to see the outside world more often.  Even though some breeds are known for their trainability, it’s always a good idea to keep in mind that a highly trainable dog requires oodles of time to prevent boredom which can lead to behaviour problems. 


Breed Traits:


Rule number one here is find out what your  breed’s function is. If it has been bred to dig up moles, no amount of training is going to get that out of the dog! If you’re an avid gardener, you need to avoid breeds that has been selected for hunting rodents.  That means it’s not a good idea to get a terrier or a dachshund unless you can live with the fact that there may be some alternative landscaping happening! Most of the retriever group (Labradors etc) and German Shepherds can be very mouthy (a problem with young children) and will need to be given toys to stop the mouthing.  Border Collies will herd everything in sight, so be aware of this if you have children about! Bull Mastiffs and Boerboels can slobber alot and most people only find that out once the dog is an adult.  Smaller dogs tend to bark a lot more than bigger dogs.




Time’s a big factor and must be taken into consideration when deciding on getting a pup.  Puppies need to learn how to behave appropriately in a social situation, so puppy classes are a must.  Invest in the next ten to fifteen years with your dog and attend a puppy class before your pup is 14 weeks old.  Adult training happens from 5 months onward but GOOD socialization classes are a must. If you’re not sure about a good puppy class in your area, have a look at the ThinkingPets puppy schools list to find one close to you. http://www.thinkingpets.com/


Many thanks to Karin of http://www.thinkingpets.co.za/ 

“Heaven is eating for at least 10 hours a day ...
and then sleeping the rest.”

Puppy Socialization Classes:

All classes below are given by TTouch Practitioners or Practitioners in Training and incorporate TTouch in the Handling of puppies.

õ    Blue Hills / Kyalami, Puppy 1 and Older Dogs Sunday Mornings Tersia Kock 082 828 0505 tkock@telkomsa.net.

õ    Brixton / Auckland Park, Puppy classes; contact Candi Moon: furbabies.sanctuary@gmail.com, 079 490 3233, http://www.furbabiestraining.co.za/

õ   Bryanston, Puppy 1&2, Classes Wednesday evening & Saturday afternoon. Private sessions on request. Niki Elliott 082 451 0433 niki@thinkingpets.com

õ    Centurion, Puppy Socialising, Basic Obedience & Clicker Classes, 8-Week Course Weekdays and Weekends.  Heather Whitfield 083 566 7009 mailto:kimh@kti.co.za

õ    Durbanville, Puppy Classes for pups under 4 months. Ongoing: new every 6 weeks. Claire Grobbelaar 021 9790848 or 082 784 7524 .

õ    Edenvale, Puppy 1& 2 and Older Dogs Sunday Afternoons Morag Barkhuizen 079 497 8442


õ    Heidelberg, Jordaanpark, Every Sunday; contact Ilze van der Walt:zafira.ilze@webmail.co.za
            or 082 921 4448

õ    Kempton Park, Puppy 1& 2 and Older Dogs Saturday Mornings Morag Barkhuizen 079 497 8442


õ    Lyndhurst, Gresswold, Bramley, Kew, Waverley Area, Puppy Socialising, 6 Week       courses on Sundays. Nicky Lucka 083-408-1517 lucka@absamail.co.za

õ    Randpark Ridge, Puppy Socialising with Clicker, 7 Week courses on Saturday mornings.
            Wendy Wilson, 083 336 1761

õ    Sandringham, Puppy Socialising, 6 Week courses on Sundays & Weekday evenings ongoing. Kim Heller 082 570 0463 kimh@kti.co.za

“Eat plenty of roughage.”  
10.   HEALTH



Excerpt from the Full Article


For Renaissance magazine Christmas 2006


Tellington TTouch combines bodywork, body wraps & groundwork for dogs that can help animals cope with the fear of fireworks.


The best way to use bodywork is to start now so that when fireworks (or thunder) happen, your pet is better able to handle it. We know today that animals, like humans hold emotions like fear in the cells of the body. By doing bodywork, we can help release those fears. Start by doing long slow stokes down the body of your pet. Go from the top of the head to the tip of the tail. (And down the legs to the feet). You may find that a dog that has fear of loud noises is sensitive in the hindquarter/tail area. Just be gentle, stoke through and past the area and start again.


Long firm, but gentle strokes are much more soothing than the faster petting that we often do with our animals. Being aware of this can help sooth you as well as your pet!


Working on the ears can also be calming. Try doing slides in the ears from the base up to the tip along the whole ear. Then use circular touches inside and around the base.


TTouch uses circles to activate the thinking part of the brain and this is important to help an animal change past behaviour. These circles can be done with different parts of the hand or fingers, but if you have a dog that is trembling, try putting your whole hand on his body, then just move the skin in a circle and a quarter, hold for a momentary pause, then allow the skin to fall back slowly into it’s natural position. Start at the shoulder, doing only one circle in a spot and work your way down the body using one hand to do the circle and the other to support the body on the other side.


The circles will be relatively small as you’re just moving skin and should take a few seconds to complete if you’re slow and mindful. For a full description of the circular touch and others go to www.ttouch.co.za / What is TTouch/ How to TTouch.


The body wrap is also an essential tool for dogs that have noise phobias. It’s essentially an elastic bandage that is wrapped around the body giving a sense of security, rather like a swaddling blanket on a baby. While a long article is also available on the TTouch website (Go to News/Articles/Bodywraps), you might start by using an old T-shirt on your dog. Put the front side on his back and the front legs through the sleeves. The extra material can be bunched together near the tail with a scrunchie or a piece of elastic. Doing this daily for 15-30 minutes can affect a change.


Remember not to “fuss” over your pet, but speak calmly with a normal or even fun tone of voice. If your dog can play, then engage him in another activity. If not, do gentle slow touches. Best of all would be to learn some Confidence building exercises from a TTouch Practitioner in your area!

See this month’s TTouch Tips on Body wraps.

Great legs and a nice rear will get you anywhere. Big, brown eyes help too.”  

A Look at Dog Reactivity in the Home – Chapter 2

by Eugenie Chopin

Well, this time with Shanti has been challenging to say the least. I am blessed to have friend and colleague, Niki Elliott helping me work with the dogs. In the early days, we tried working Shanti and Angelique together, and while we could do a lot with the 2 of them even off lead outside, when the crunch came inside, Shanti would still get that look on her face and that stillness in her body that did not bode well for dear Angelique.


As a result, at the moment we are doing a lot of work with Shanti on her own. The fact that Shanti has always been super skin sensitive makes it all the harder. As a TTouch Practitioner, having a dog that is sensitive to a body wrap, harness or anything on her body really stretches the imagination on how to “chunk it down” to a truly bite size portion for her. So although Niki and I have been doing many behavioural things with Shanti including clicker training and behavioural modifications, I thought I’d write this month on exactly how we’re tackling working with her body.


As most of our regular readers know, we have a tool we use called a body wrap. This is just an elastic bandage that goes around the body, but it has the amazing effect of often calming the dog down along with bringing more awareness to the body and focus to the mind.  The wrap can be configured in many different ways, including over the muzzle. (See the full article on Body wraps at www.ttouch.co.za) When Shanti was a puppy she scratched at her collar for a full 3 months before accepting it as part of her attire! German Short-haired Pointers have very short hair and somehow even a fly landing on her bum will get Shanti to whip around and chase it away!


Understanding that changing the body can change the behaviour, Niki and I have decided to move forward with seeing if we can get Shanti to accept more bodywork as well as equipment on her body. We know that changing the physical can change the emotional state of the dog (or human!) and this is what needs to happen with Shanti. There are a few things that have been ongoing with her throughout her life, but as I didn’t really have a problem, it didn’t seem to matter. (This by the way holds true for most things in life. Until it becomes a problem, we usually let it go.) The first is the tension in her hindquarter and back legs. Shanti was breed for longer back legs (the better to point with, my dear) and so is slightly out of balance there. She has always been sensitive to touch in that area and more so when she is excited. She does a small type of growl when one touches her there some of the time and while I know she’s just telling me it’s sensitive there rather than “I’ll kill you if you don’t stop” – it certainly gives us lots of information on how she’s feeling.


I know her hips are 100% so there should be no pain in that area. When we do try to do bodywork in her hindquarter area, she usually moves away. However, she’s more amenable when we use the Troika touch, light pressures and other “sliding” types of touches like Zig-Zags or Tarantulas. Of course what we really want is to do python lifts on her legs as well as some leg circles. She does struggle with the stiffness and tightness in her legs and getting those back knees to bend isn’t easy. If a dog is truly physically in balance, then one should be able to lift one leg with the dog being well balanced on the other three. Shanti finds this difficult so there’s more to do in this area.


Interestingly, if we put a body wrap on her, she will stand still for the touches, but it’s more of an immoveable feeling she gets with the wrap on. Because it stops her in her tracks, I find myself tossing treat or toys for fetching when I add something to her body that is hard for her to take. This at least shows her that she can move, eat and have fun with a body wrap on!


On the other hand, we have tried to desensitise her by having something as small as a thin piece of elastic around her neck only. One would think that wearing a collar would make this easy for her, but it obviously feels different! So even this is a challenge. From that we progress to a thin piece of elastic around her body as well. This does help her focus and be more “with us”. I have also been putting an elastic over her nose and playing with her and feeding her. The time will come when I’ll have to let Shanti lose with Angelique without a lead and I’d like to be able to have a muzzle on her when that happens. I’d rather not take too many chances and a muzzle will certainly help me remain calm and collected while being with them. So each day we try to help Shanti become more aware of her body, get used to having on some sort of wrap or just have her on a lead with Angelique in the room.


Last week I decided to give Shanti a chance to be on the bed. I had her tethered so that I could be relaxed and amazingly Angelique came and lay in the dog bed at the foot of the bed, not a foot away from Shanti’s nose. I was so impressed with them that I made the critical mistake of reaching over to tell them what good dogs they were. This was too much for Shanti who then needed to protest at Angelique’s presence. If I had just let it be, the result would have been totally positive.  I was thinking that some praise would be a good thing, but in hindsight I can see that just allowing them to be would have been far wiser!


The progress is slow, but being so busy and away so much of the last 2 months, I’m learning patience to just let things be, without the pressure of “having to fix it” yesterday!


NOTE: Shanti also has a medium fear reaction to thunder and fireworks and doing specifically this work on her hindquarters and use of the body wrap may very well help this as well.

“When you want your way, stomp hard on the nearest foot.”  


Since so many of our readers have sent this to us, I have included it in this Newsletter.

November Fireworks days (Guy Fawkes – 5 Nov and Diwali – 9 Nov)

Statement on official Fireworks policy of City of Johannesburg

Issued by: Cllr Tim Sargeant  DA Council Spokesperson on Environmental Matters

Rights of residents and domestic and other animals

Annual illegal noise and consequent animal terror

"Fireworks Month" (November) is around the corner and the annual Johannesburg fireworks noise frenzy is about to affect every resident of the City as well as their pets and other suburban animals and birds.

Improper use of fireworks is illegal in Johannesburg and it is important to remind residents about the City’s strict fireworks regulations and about the rights of residents to demand Council action against illegal fireworks usage.

A few facts:

¨       Unless special Council authorisation has been applied for and granted, there are only 11 days annually when residents are allowed to "light or ignite" fireworks. Guy Fawkes and Divali are such days. (R 500 fine on other days).

¨       Except for New Year’s Eve, the only permissible time period for igniting fireworks on these days is between 19h00 and 22h00 (7 to 10 pm). (R 500 fine at any other time).

¨       No person may light or ignite fireworks in any place where animals are present (R 1 000 fine). This includes domestic homes.

¨       No person may allow any minor (child) under his or her control to "use, light or ignite" fireworks  (R 1 500 fine). No exceptions to this rule.

¨       No person may use fireworks on any agricultural holding or at any school or senior citizens’ residence without special Council authorisation ( R 1 000 to R 1 500 fine). This authorisation must be sought well in advance of intended day.

¨       No person can use fireworks within 500 metres of any petrol depot or petrol station without special Council authorisation ( R 1 500 fine).

¨       No person or organisation can "present a fireworks display" unless formally authorised to do so by the Council (at least 14 days’ notice before the display is required by Council to consider such an application). Authorisation is also required from the Civil Aviation Authority and the Chief Inspector of Explosives. (Multiple fines of R 1 500 are applicable).

¨       At such a display (should permission be granted) a pyrotechnist and SA Police Services explosives expert must be present at all times. (R 1 500 fines).

¨       No person may deal in fireworks (sell or make available) unless they hold a fireworks license in terms of the Explosives Act as well as the written authority of the Chief Fire Officer.(R 1 500 fine).

The reign of terror which afflicts Johannesburg’s large pet population when people indiscriminately (and often criminally) ignite noisy fireworks at all times of the day and night gets worse every year.

Firm enforcement of the bylaws will assist in reducing the noise and panic levels and allow people (and their pets) to plan for "noisy" periods thus producing a quieter, safer environment for all concerned.

This mail came from a dear friend and I wanted to share it with you. E


Circle of Days .. a Musing


Summer’s left and Autumn’s arrived in all her glory and the geese are flying ... so many V formations now, all honking encouraging melodies as they fly overhead and make their way South.  The forest splendid in her golden colours, watches over her creatures rushing round collecting for the winter ahead. It’s harvest time and it’s time for giving thanks for natures bounty and beauty.


On Sunday, our little Chelsea United Church held a Blessing of the Animals service in honour of St Francis of Assisi and everyone brought their favourite dog, cat, goldfish ..... I brought a handful of Nando and Bibi’s feathers because I figured this was good enough and it left lots of free hands to cuddle all the other animals.

What Joy ! There were so many folk there and so many animals ... each one a personality on it’s own and the sounds were loud and curiosity I think between them the big happening.  Sam and I grinned (face splitting grins) the whole service through. Being surrounded by so many lovely spirits is a lot like being in heaven.  The animals lined up and Jane blessed each one, giving thanks for the loyalty, love and comfort they gave to their owners ... and everywhere surrounding this were children (the grownup kind too) craning their necks to see each others pets and hands reaching out to touch the special animal.


Thought I’d share the an excerpt of some of the words of Jane’s Blessing,a song and then a poem. 


God of a thousand ears,

the music of your creatures

resounds throughout creation

and in heaven a symphony is made.


... Song ...


God of the sparrow

God of the whale

God of the swirling stars

How does the creature say Awe

How does the creature say Praise                                 (Roeder)


... and the poem created by Reeve Lindbergh (daughter of Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh) who inspired by St Francis of Assisi blended her words with his to honor the elements, the animals, the heavens and the very breath of Life.


The Circle of Days reminds children and adults alike to pause and wonder at and to give thanks for the beauty of our world.


Lord, we offer thanks and praise

for the circle of our days.


Praise for radiant brother sun,

who makes the hours around us run.


For sister moon, and for the stars,

brilliant, precious, always ours.


Praise for brothers wind and air

serene or cloudy, foul or fair.


For sister water, clear and chaste,

useful, humble, good to taste.


For fire, our brother, strong and bright,

whose joy illuminates the night.

Praise for our sister, mother earth,

who cares for each of us from birth.


For all her children, fierce or mild,

for sister, brother, parent, child.


For creatures wild, and creatures tame,

for hunter, hunted both the same.


For brother sleep and sister death,

who tend the borders of our breath.


For desert, orchard, rock and tree,

for forest, meadow, mountain, sea.


For fruit and flower, plant and bush,

For morning robin, evening thrush


For all your gifts, of every kind,

we offer praise with quiet mind.

Be with us, Lord and guide our ways

around the circle of our days.                                       (Reeve Lindbergh)

“In times of crisis, take a poop.”  

a.   Book of the Month – The Tellington TTouch

There are so many newer books out that we forget the original book written by Linda Tellington Jones. It is a gem and explains how the work started, Linda’s background and experiences throughout her life.            When I did my training, it was the only book on the market and I treasured it greatly! I strongly urge anyone interested in this fascinating work to have a good read!

Books available from the TTouch office at R250                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Return to Top


b:  Website of the Month:  http://kindnesscanine.com/

Enjoy getting to know Claudeen E. Mc Auliffe, a TTouch Practitioner from the States!

   Return to Top

c: Interesting Links


d. Sandton SPCA Looking for Dog Walkers

Hi guys

Sorry about the all mailer thing, would come and speak to each and everyone personally but unfortunately I do not have that much time in my day.
The Sandton SPCA desperately needs volunteers to walk the dogs on Saturday mornings.  
They only get let out their cages once a week on a Saturday and the less volunteers they have the less time they have out and about.
So if you are in the least bit interested and can spare at least 2 hours out of your Saturday morning to come and walk the dogs, please let me know and then I’ll send you all the relevant information.
Thanks so much
Kati Sillo piggeroo@gmail.com 

“Act dumb when faced with a task you don’t want to do.”  
14.   EVENTS

- Ian Dunbar Seminar. – Highly Recommended


The ABC of SA is hosting a seminar in Cape Town and Johannesburg by Ian Dunbar and Kelly           Gorman.







Cape Town

Shelter talk

Friday 7th Nov 2008 - evening


Kelly Gorman

Cape Town

Behaviour & Temperament Problems

Saturday 8th Nov 2008


Ian Dunbar

Cape Town

Pet Dog Training


Sunday 9th Nov 2008


Ian Dunbar


        Shelter talk

Friday 14th Nov 2008 evening

R 195

Kelly Gorman


Aggressions – Fighting & Biting

Friday 14th Nov 2008

R 750

Ian Dunbar


Training Adult Dogs

Saturday 15th Nov 2008

R 750

Ian Dunbar


Off leash puppy classes


Sunday 16th Nov 2008


Ian Dunbar


Dr Ian Dunbar is widely recognised as the pioneer of “lure and reward” training and the father of puppy socialising classes.

Kelly Gorman ‘s talks on animal shelters regarding program implementation, layout, staff and animal training protocols.

If you are interested please contact Yolanda Beukes082 856 4030 or e mail

events@animal-behaviour.org.za. The price includes lunch and refreshments  



Learning the Language of the Lions

At Drakenstein Lion Park, Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa

Friday 28th & Saturday 29th November 2008

Overnight workshop, with one day option


Please contact Wynter for bookings and further details

Tel: 078 115 4894 or Email: wynter@animaltalk.org.uk


“Follow the herd. That way, you can’t be singled out to take the blame.”  



Missing Dogs:

Male yorkie ‘Milan” lost on 29/10/2008 in Emmarentia area. Weighs 1.3kg







Storm and Nushka, Siberian Huskies went missing in Northcliff and went towards Die Burger high school, then down Long Street in Greymount, on the 7 October 2008.

Thanks and regards


082 769 4921


Chivas. Spayed Jack Russell female. 8 years old. Very small for a JR. Has a microchip. Disappeared at about 17H30,22 September 2008 from 816 Lisbon Ave, Little Falls.
Michael 083 459 5055.


Dogs looking for homes:

Contact Ian 083 415 4101

 2 Dalmatians, who are +- 5 years old. ,Speckles and Freckles, brother & sister, owners have to downsize.


Troy, who a few months ago was rescued in Khayelitsha with serious mange and covered in motor oil.  His foster home will no longer be available. He’s extrovert and incredibly playful and lovable. Sometimes shows signs of aggression towards men. Will need to be resocialised with other dogs as he has been on his own for the last 5 weeks. It will be better if he goes to a home with non-aggressive or submissive dogs.

Contact "Derek at   justd@connectit.co.za

“Love those who love you back, especially if they have something good to eat.”
Submitted by Tammy Whiting
© 2006 TTouch - eugenie@ttouch.co.za.   All Rights Reserved.