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10.   HEALTH
14.   EVENTS
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Hello TTouch Friends,

Well, the Holidays are truly upon us! It’s already the middle of December and the first chance I’ve had to think about a Newsletter! I plan on staying in Johannesburg this season enjoying the quiet and playing a lot with dogs! I have a special place in my heart for Christmas. For me, it’s about a Season of Giving, of Receiving, and of sharing with not only Family and Friends but with those who have less than we do. I tend to feel generous and Joyful during this Holiday Season. I wonder if South Africans realize how lucky we are in SA to have this be our summer Holiday so that we can enjoy an extended Christmas? In the US where my family is, the 25th is the only Holiday and many people have to be back at work on the 26th! So Christmas can be very “short”!

Please note that new Clicker Classes as well as TTouch classes for dogs start the last week of January! Book now to avoid disappointment!

We are already getting excited about next year. After our 6-week classes,  Linda Tellington Jones will be here in March/April and the public will have an opportunity to meet her at either the Dog Demo on March 28th as part of the Companion Animal Training or at the Horse Demo on April 5th. Linda is always an inspiration to everyone who meets her and I know this time will be no different!

Then of course we start our Practitioner Training for Companion Animals Oct. 1-5. Robyn Hood, Linda’s sister will be here to teach it and she is a dynamite teacher! So 2009 looks to be a fantastic year!

We have just finished teaching a 6-day workshop for the South African Police Dog Unit in Roodeplaat. This is our second year there and it was great to connect with these people who have such a tough job setting up dogs to be successful in their training program. Hopefully giving TTouch tools will help them to keep the dogs less stressed and in more focus for the work they need to do!

I wish you all the very best of this Holiday time and hope that you all start the New Year invigorated and eager for what 2009 has to offer!

Warmest Regards,

Eugenie Chopin

Certified Practitioner III for Companion Animals


Dogs 12 Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me:
A collar to keep away fleas.

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!


Please contact Eugenie if you are interested in more information at eugenie@ttouch.co.za


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

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Two Rawhides


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

On the third Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
3 Slow Squirrels






Donnybrook Stables Johannesburg

5 Day TTEAM with Linda


April 4-8, 2009



Lindy equibalance@iafrica.com        083 616 0577

On the fourth Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Four long Walks

: Why you should NEVER suppress a yawn.


EDITOR’S NOTE: When we teach “Calming signals” in dogs, we often discuss that one of the major ones is Yawning. This gives some good insight to what happens in the body when either you or your dog yawn!


I was reading "Leap Before you Look", a raising awareness book by Arjuna Ardagh and this information jumped out at me as something we all could use.


Have a yawning session-


Just hearing the word makes you want to yawn doesn’t it?


When you feel the urge to yawn, never suppress it.


Here’s why...

Yawning brings fresh fresh oxygen into the body cells, eyes, heart and brain.


A really great yawn will exercise the muscles in your whole body and release a great deal of tension.


The key is to Yawn ON PURPOSE-

Once you do the first one- the body will take over and you will do it for a few times.


Let your self really get "all up in that thang" by relaxing into the yawn.


When you expand your jaw, open it even wider...put your arms out into a big embrace and feel the stretch.


As you exhale make a contented yawning sound.


The more you over-emphasize the yawning process, the more good it will do you.


To release tension in a group- try yawning, it is sooooo contagious, they cannot help but respond and tensions will ease.


Try this right now and see.


Doctors say that yawning changes the PH of the blood to a more alkaline state thereby reducing toxicity in the whole system.


According the Chinese medicine, yawning cleanses the liver and it’s meridians.


So yawn my dears, yawn, and let your self go!

(Try a five minute yawning and sighing session)

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Five Neutered Men

:  Marley and Us: Clicker Training on the Movie Set – Part 2

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.

Getting ready for film day

At the conclusion of rehearsal, Nanci told us to be back on shoot day, and mentioned that taking pictures on the day of the shoot was prohibited because the stars would be on the set. She looked around, and said to those who wore flip-flops that they should wear closed-toed shoes on shoot day. But Mark overturned that instruction and gave the OK to wear flip-flops, as, he said, "It is Miami." Nanci and Phil mentioned that they teach real obedience classes in Miami and would send anyone home who showed up to class in flip-flops, but Mark’s decision stood.

Sometime around the lunch hour on rehearsal day, Nanci sent an e-mail that the shoot date might be changed due to weather concerns. Within a of couple hours the date was confirmed, and we were told to be at the park by 6:30 a.m. the next morning.

I spent the evening packing Leissl’s crate with blankets, towels to wet to keep her cool, towels to keep her comfortable, an ice chest full of frozen chicken breast pieces I’d spent the weekend preparing, sun block, dog brush, people brush, chair, dog toys, water bowl, several pairs of shorts and tops for wardrobe to chose from, and a host of other miscellaneous items that Nanci suggested we bring along. There were people in hospitality whose job it was to make sure there would be plenty of water for everyone, which was a thankful bit of news, but I brought a jug of our water, too. (I packed my camera, too, just in case they’d change their minds, but they didn’t.)

At midnight, I set the alarm for 4:00 a.m. Because I feared not hearing the alarm at such an early hour, a friend who is regularly up that early volunteered to call me. It worked. I was on my feet saying "Hello" while the sun was still hiding. I had barely slept, but Leissl had no problem getting shut-eye.

An orchestrated event

We arrived at Jose Marti Park 10 minutes early. After setting up our crates, unpacking, and eating breakfast, it was time to get on to the set, which was now full of people doing all sorts of jobs. The entire park was rented for the day and unless you were meant to be there, you weren’t allowed entry. The cost of this day had to be remarkable. The Labs’ Marley-type behaviors had to be in place and reliable by now. Reputations, and the movie’s success, depended on that.

The entire park was rented for the day and unless you were meant to be there, you weren’t allowed entry.

I walked out in blue shorts, tank top, tennis shoes, Doberman Rescue cap, and sunglasses, and was given the OK except for my sunglasses. They were too contemporary and not resistant to the stage light glare. I was fitted with a huge ’90s-style pair of sunglasses, while the other extras’ outfits were also evaluated and fixed where necessary. All of us were photographed in our outfits by the continuity department, in case we needed to return for a second day. Then it was on to the first scene.

The three stars—Kathleen Turner, Jennifer Aniston, and Owen Wilson—arrived on the grassy set. All of us stood quietly. Of those handlers I spoke to in our group, none had done movie work before, so seeing the celebrities took a few moments to absorb. There were stand-ins for each star, too. Their job was to go through the physical motions of a scene so cameras and lights could be set correctly. The three stars each had personal assistants, who were right beside them with shade umbrellas whenever the camera was not rolling. The Marleys had their crates beneath the shade trees. The extras got to go under shade trees between scenes, but between takes handlers could provide shade for their dogs by standing over them.


The first scene included the arrival of the class. A few of us were chosen to be latecomers, and Leissl and I were the latest. Gigi, the Labradoodle, was picked to walk up to Kathleen Turner, who was having a conversation with Owen Wilson. Kathleen reached into the black treat bag hanging off her hips (we saw red "scratches" which had been painted on her arms to show the effects of wrangling imaginary dogs into submission), and she threw kisses to Gigi as she fed her a treat.

John Grogan, the author of the book Marley and Me, had described the real-life trainer Kathleen Turner was portraying as a dominatrix dog trainer, and the actress was true to the role. (In real life, I’d never seen a staunch jerk-and-pull obedience instructor wear a treat bag, however. This would be too close to "cookie training," which is not a compliment. Cookie trainers and dominatrix types have opposing training theories that do not integrate, but Hollywood is known for making the impossible happen.)

Hollywood is known for making the impossible happen.

Encounter with the author

A few new members were added to our obedience group on the day of the shoot. John Grogan and his wife Jennifer were flown out from Pennsylvania to the set to join the class. Mr. Grogan was given a lovely terrier mix to handle, while his wife handled the Weimaraner who had attended rehearsal. I had brought my Marley and Me book on the chance the author would be on the set. I approached Mr. Grogan for an autograph at the end of our lunch break, and later, during a scene break, I darted across the drill circle to ask him a burning question.

"If I don’t ask you this," I said, "I’ll shoot myself."

This is why I like writing more than speaking. In writing, I could delete that "shoot myself" part and say something more like what a sane person would say, such as "I’ll be very disappointed in myself." However, I just kept barrelling along and said, "Has the obedience instructor this scene revolves around ever contacted you? I could not believe she kicked you out of class. Obviously, you and Marley needed more help than anyone."

He told me that a lot of people had recognized themselves in the book and had written to him, but she was not one of them.

"What? How could she not see herself?"

I was obviously more annoyed than he was by then, but training rescue dogs will do that to you. Marley could very well have become a statistic after being exiled from an obedience class if his dog parents weren’t John and Jennifer Grogan. Mr. Grogan decided that the trainer was just not able to see outside herself, so I accepted his conclusion and walked back to my mark.


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/

On the Sixth Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Six Smelly Shoes

Next 6 week class STARTS JANUARY 2009








Clicker Classes for Dogs
6 week course

Starts 28 Jan 2009
Wed. evenings for 4 weeks Plus either Fri. evenings or Sat. mornings

R 1400 
Includes Book, Notes, clicker, etc.

Eugenie Chopin

011 884 3156



Saturday Afternoons or Friday evenings


Train Your Dog without Force and with Fun!


This class will include 4 x three hour sessions on How Dogs learn (Wed. without dogs)

Plus: 6 practical sessions of 2 hours on Clicker Training (Fri. or Sat. -with Dogs)



DATES:          Without dogs: Wednesdays: Jan. 28, Feb. 4, 11 18                   6:00 – 9:00 p.m.


                        With dogs:      Saturdays: Jan. 31, Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28, March 4             9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

                                                Fridays: Jan. 30th, Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27, March 3               6:00 – 8:00 p.m.


VENUE:         Gayre Drive, Sandown Ext. 9 – Johannesburg

BOOK:           Eugenie Chopin at eugenie@ttouch.co.za or phone 011 884 3156 for more info.



What is Clicker Training all about? Basically it’s about re-enforcing Behaviour that you want. It works on the principles of giving reward for correct behaviour rather than using corrections and aversives for unwanted behaviour. As a result, you can establish true respect from your dog without fear. It’s fun to do, the dogs love it and therefore gain in confidence; and you can finally understand why they do the things they do and how your Behaviour and actions influence them daily!


The Class will teach basic behaviour at whatever level you and your dog are at as well as targeting, tricks and how to shape any behaviour you’re interested in teaching. It’s really about teaching you how to “Up your game” in the training arena.


This class is also designed to teach those who want to truly understand the concepts of Operant Conditioning, how animals learn, how to get through the barriers that stop the learning process and how to move forward in small enough steps to be successful in anything that you want to teach. If you are a Trainer, are interested in being a Trainer, or just are a dog owner who wants to understand more, then this might be the class for you!


 COST: R1400: this includes the cost of the course, notes, the book “Click for Joy”, treat bag, target stick and a clicker. When you have paid your R700 deposit you are welcome to come and get your book early.


If you have always wanted to learn a method of training that doesn’t need aversives to be effective, then join us for a Clicker Experience! Although Operant Conditioning and the Clicker have been around for many years, especially in the Marine World and in training many species of animals for film, it’s only in the last 10 years that it has started to become Mainstream in the Dog Training World. Here is your chance to catch up!




EUGENIE CHOPIN is a TTouch Practitioner, level 3 and runs the South African TTouch Training Program. She has studied Clicker Training both here in 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 work beautifully together as both work with gentleness and respect, as well as teaching the animal to think for themselves.


On the Seventh Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Seven Treats for Cooking

Early Spay-Neuter Considerations for the Canine Athlete

One Veterinarian’s Opinion

© 2005 Chris Zink DVM, PhD, DACVP


EDITOR’S NOTE: As Harley is now 9 months old, I have to consider when to neuter him. This article reaffirms for me to wait a bit longer. While this article is focus on the Canine Athlete, I wonder why it would not apply to all of our dogs!


Those of us with responsibility for the health of canine athletes need to continually read and evaluate new scientific studies to ensure that we are taking the most appropriate care of our performance dogs. This article provides evidence through a number of recent studies to suggest that veterinarians and owners working with canine athletes should revisit the standard protocol in which all dogs that are not intended for breeding are spayed and neutered at or before 6 months of age.


Orthopedic Considerations

A study by Salmeri et al in 1991 found that bitches spayed at 7 weeks grew significantly taller than those spayed at 7 months, who were taller than those not spayed (or presumably spayed after the growth plates had closed).(1) A study of 1444 Golden Retrievers performed in 1998 and 1999 also found bitches and dogs spayed and neutered at less than a year of age were significantly taller than those spayed or neutered at more than a year of age.(2) The sex hormones, by communicating with a number of other growth-related hormones, promote the closure of the growth plates at puberty (3), so the bones of dogs or bitches neutered or spayed before puberty continue to grow. Dogs that have been spayed or neutered well before puberty can frequently be identified by their longer limbs, lighter bone structure, narrow chests and narrow skulls. This abnormal growth frequently results in significant alterations in body proportions and particularly the lengths (and therefore weights) of certain bones relative to others. For example, if the femur has achieved its genetically determined normal length at 8 months when a dog gets spayed or neutered, but the tibia, which normally stops growing at 12 to 14 months of age continues to grow, then an abnormal angle may develop at the stifle. In addition, with the extra growth, the  lower leg below the stifle likely becomes heavier (because it is longer), and may cause increased stresses on the cranial cruciate ligament. In addition, sex hormones are critical for achieving peak bone density.(4) These structural and physiological alterations may be the reason why at least one recent study showed that spayed and neutered dogs had a higher incidence of CCL rupture.(5) Another recent study showed that dogs spayed or neutered before 5 1/2 months had a significantly higher incidence of hip dysplasia than those spayed or neutered after 5 1/2 months of age, although it should be noted that in this study there were no standard criteria for the diagnosis of hip dysplasia.(6) Nonetheless, breeders of purebred dogs should be cognizant of these studies and should consider whether or not pups they bred were spayed or neutered when considering breeding decisions.


Cancer Considerations

A retrospective study of cardiac tumors in dogs showed that there was a 5 times greater risk of

hemangiosarcoma, one of the three most common cancers in dogs, in spayed bitches than intact bitches and a 2.4 times greater risk of hemangiosarcoma in neutered dogs as compared to intact males.(7) A study of 3218 dogs demonstrated that dogs that were neutered before a year of age had a significantly increased chance of developing bone cancer.(8) A separate study showed that neutered dogs had a two-fold higher risk of developing bone cancer.(9) Despite the common belief that neutering dogs helps prevent prostate cancer, at least one study suggests that neutering provides no benefit.(10) There certainly is evidence of a slightly increased risk of mammary cancer in female dogs after one heat cycle, and for increased risk with each subsequent heat. While about 30 % of mammary cancers are malignant, as in humans, when caught and surgically removed early the prognosis is very good.(12) Luckily, canine athletes are handled frequently and generally receive prompt

veterinary care.


Behavioral Considerations

The study that identified a higher incidence of cranial cruciate ligament rupture in spayed or neutered dogs also identified an increased incidence of sexual behaviors in males and females that were neutered early.(5) Further, the study that identified a higher incidence of hip dysplasia in dogs neutered or spayed before 5 1/2 months also showed that early age gonadectomy was associated with an increased incidence of noise phobias and undesirable sexual behaviors.(6) A recent report of the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation reported significantly more behavioral problems in spayed and neutered bitches and dogs. The most commonly observed behavioral problem in spayed females was fearful behavior and the most common problem in males was aggression.(12)


Other Health Considerations

A number of studies have shown that there is an increase in the incidence of female urinary incontinence in dogs spayed early (13), although this finding has not been universal. Certainly there is evidence that ovarian hormones are critical for maintenance of genital tissue structure and contractility.(14, 15) Neutering also has been associated with an increased likelihood of urethral sphincter incontinence in males.(16) This problem is an inconvenience, and not usually life-threatening, but nonetheless one that requires the dog to be medicated for life.

A health survey of several thousand Golden Retrievers showed that spayed or neutered dogs were more likely to develop hypothyroidism.(2) This study is consistent with the results of another study in which neutering and spaying was determined to be the most significant gender-associated risk factor for development of hypothyroidism.(17) Infectious diseases were more common in dogs that were spayed or neutered at 24 weeks or less as opposed to those undergoing gonadectomy at more than 24 weeks.(18) Finally, the AKC-CHF report demonstrated a higher incidence of adverse reactions to vaccines in neutered dogs as compared to intact.(12)

I have gathered these studies to show that our practice of routinely spaying or neutering every dog at or before the age of 6 months is not a black-and-white issue. Clearly more studies need to be done to evaluate the effects of prepubertal spaying and neutering, particularly in canine athletes.


Currently, I have significant concerns with spaying or neutering canine athletes before puberty. But of course, there is the pet overpopulation problem. How can we prevent the production of unwanted dogs while still leaving the gonads to produce the hormones that are so important to canine growth and development? One answer would be to perform vasectomies in males and tubal ligation in females, to be followed after maturity by ovariohysterectomy in females to prevent mammary cancer and pyometra. One possible disadvantage is that vasectomy does not prevent some unwanted behaviors associated with males such as marking and humping. On the other hand, females and neutered males frequently participate in these behaviors too. Really, training is the best solution for these issues. Another possible disadvantage is finding a veterinarian who is experienced in performing these procedures. Nonetheless, some do, and if the procedures were in greater demand, more veterinarians would learn them.


I believe it is important that we assess each situation individually. For canine athletes, I currently recommend that dogs and bitches be spayed or neutered after 14 months of age.



1.   Salmeri KR, Bloomberg MS, Scruggs SL, Shille V.. Gonadectomy in immature dogs: effects on     skeletal, physical, and behavioral development. JAVMA 1991;198:1193-1203

2.   http://www.grca.org/healthsurvey.pdf

3.   Grumbach MM. Estrogen, bone, growth and sex: a sea change in conventional wisdom. J     Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2000;13 Suppl 6:1439-55.

4.   Gilsanz V, Roe TF, Gibbens DT, Schulz EE, Carlson ME, Gonzalez O, Boechat MI. Effect of sex steroids on peak bone density of growing rabbits. Am J Physiol. 1988 Oct;255(4 Pt 1):E416-21.

5.   Slauterbeck JR, Pankratz K, Xu KT, Bozeman SC, Hardy DM. Canine ovariohysterectomy and orchiectomy increases the prevalence of ACL injury. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2004 Dec;(429):301-6. Spain CV, Scarlett JM, Houpt KA. Long-term risks and benefits of early-age gonadectomy in dogs. JAVMA 2004;224:380-387.

7.   Ware WA, Hopper DL. Cardiac tumors in dogs: 1982-1995. J Vet Intern Med 1999 Mar Apr;13(2):95-103

8.  Cooley DM, Beranek BC, Schlittler DL, Glickman NW, Glickman LT, Waters D, Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2002 Nov;11(11):1434-40

9.  Ru G, Terracini B, Glickman LT. Host related risk factors for canine osteosarcoma. Vet J. 1998 Jul;156(1):31-

10. Obradovich J, Walshaw R, Goullaud E. The influence of castration on the development of prostatic carcinoma in the dog. 43 cases (1978-1985). J Vet Intern Med 1987 Oct-Dec;1(4):183-7


12. Meuten DJ. Tumors in Domestic Animals. 4th Edn. Iowa State Press, Blackwell Publishing Company, Ames, Iowa, p. 575

13. Stocklin-Gautschi NM, Hassig M, Reichler IM, Hubler M, Arnold S. The relationship of urinary incontinence to early spaying in bitches. J. Reprod. Fertil. Suppl. 57:233-6, 2001

14. Pessina MA, Hoyt RF Jr, Goldstein I, Traish AM. Differential effects of estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone on vaginal structural integrity. Endocrinology. 2006 Jan;147(1):61-9.

15. Kim NN, Min K, Pessina MA, Munarriz R, Goldstein I, Traish AM. Effects of ovariectomy and steroid hormones on vaginal smooth muscle contractility. Int J Impot Res. 2004 Feb;16(1):43-50.

16. Aaron A, Eggleton K, Power C, Holt PE. Urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence in male dogs: a retrospective analysis of 54 cases. Vet Rec. 139:542-6, 1996

17. Panciera DL. Hypothyroidism in dogs: 66 cases (1987-1992). J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., 204:761-7 1994

18. Howe LM, Slater MR, Boothe HW, Hobson HP, Holcom JL, Spann AC. Long-term outcome of gonadectomy performed at an early age or traditional age in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2001 Jan 15;218(2):217-21.

With thanks. More about Chris can be found at http://www.caninesports.com/SpayNeuter.html 

On the Eighth Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Eight Hands for Petting

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    Hermanus, Gordon’s Bay, Somerset West Puppy l & ll. Tel 082 490 1650 and e-mail janina@krugerphotography.co.za

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

“On the Ninth Day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me:
Nine Mailmen Running
10.   HEALTH


From Animal Behavior Associates May 2008 Newsletter

One key to understanding the motivation and emotions of animals is their body language. Among the most expressive body parts of our four-legged friends are their tails.

In cats, the position and movement of the tail can help indicate mood and intentions. For example, cats that are fearful tend to hold their tails down and tuck them underneath their legs. Cats that are agitated and threatening will lash their tails back and forth. What does it mean when a cat holds his tail straight up when approaching another individual?

This tail-up posture is not only an indicator of friendliness, but also serves as a friendly social signal, according to research by Charlotte Cameron- Beaumont. She observed interactions among feral cats and found that the tail up posture tended to precede other friendly behaviors including sniffing and face rubbing

To show that it really was the tail position, and not other behaviors or postures that were signaling friendliness, she performed an experiment. Cameron- Beaumont presented cats with cardboard silhouettes of other cats that either had the tail up vertically or the tail down below the horizontal plane.

She found the cats exposed to the tail up models tended to raise their own tails and approach the silhouette more quickly than cats exposed to the tail down silhouettes. Cats exposed to the tail up model were also less likely to respond with tail lashing or tucking their tails. What the tail up posture probably signals is that the cat showing it isn’t a threat to other cats or people and intends to engage in friendly behavior.

An interesting application of this information involves introducing unfamiliar cats to each other, such as when a family brings home a new cat to join their resident cats. The initial interactions between cats are very important, and if the cats can be friendly and relaxed, it will reduce stress and make for a smoother introduction.

If both the new cat and the resident cat could be induced to raise their tails at the sight of the other cat, it might facilitate friendly interactions. It is certainly possible to train cats to engage in a variety of behaviors on cue and training cats to raising their tails should be possible. Using clicker training to teach the cat to raise his tail on cue would be one way to do this.

It may be difficult to get a fearful or threatening cat to raise his tail, because of the way that strong emotions influence behavior, but if the cat isn’t already fearful or threatening, having him show the tail up posture may facilitate further friendly interactions and make the introduction more successful. The alternative might be to strap a cardboard cut-out of a tail on the cat’s back and hope the other cat thinks it’s real (just kidding!)


---Written by Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D., and Daniel Estep,

Ph.D.  An edited version of this article first appeared in the Rocky Mountain News. Reprinted with permission from http://www.animalbehaviorassociates.com/  where you can find more articles, services and products, and subscribe to :

Pet Behavior One Piece at a Time?, a free ezine.-----

On the Tenth Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Ten Crotches for Sniffing

Well, the pups are all relatively happy. Harley is getting bigger and more demanding so I plan to use the Holiday time to do some serious training. Actually not too serious – the idea is to have fun with him, but to challenge his mind. For so many dogs (and especially the young ones) being idle is the way to get into trouble. I find that even if I do short training sessions, all dogs are more satisfied and more likely to settle. It’s really true that mental stimulation can be just as important as physical exercise (if not more)!

My old girl, Angelique is finding it harder and harder not to be next to me – wherever I am! And she will demand to be there, even if Shanti is staring her in the face. It’s challenging to see how I can make that happen for her without excluding Shanti from the room. So sometimes I put Shanti on lead and just tether her to something solid. That way the dogs can be in the room together without getting into trouble. If Shanti gives Angelique “that look” – which is usually a stare – I just move her out of the way and try again a minute later. If she then settles, she gets to stay. For those of you who understand Learning Theory, it’s a bit of Negative Punishment. I.e. Shanti lies on the bed. If she postures at Angelique, I move her to the crate for 30 seconds. I then quietly bring her back to the bed and if she settles, she gets to stay.

I wonder if any of you know of a good chew treat that is safe for dogs? With the Holidays here, I tend to give more goodies than usual, however there is always one dog that will have to throw up that last bit of the chew that was swallowed! Any and all ideas welcome!

“On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Eleven Toys – a – Squeaking

Dear Eugenie

Here are some of the interesting things I’ve noticed while spending time with our four-legged friends.  These questions don’t have to be answered personally, if you could put them in the news letter or on the web-page I’ll keep an eye out for them.

 Question 1

 Last year I worked at a stable yard and the owner told me something very interesting.  She bought her dogs stainless steel bowls because they were chewing the plastic ones.  Then after a couple of days she noticed that her dogs were very dehydrated.  She checked the bowls every morning and evening to make sure there was water in, but the problem remained.  Then she started observing them and noticed that they only drank water from the saltwater swimming pool and refused to drink from their stainless steel bowls.

Then one morning I noticed something with my own dog.  I have a stainless steel water bowl in my room for him as well as a plastic one in the kitchen.  But when he drinks from the stainless steel one, he approach the water very slowly and start licking at the water about 10inches away from it, lowering his head slowly until his tongue reach the water, then drinks normally from there.  But with his plastic bowl he just goes right up to it and starts drinking, immediately touching the water with his tongue and drink.

Now I want to know why this is the case.  People say dogs can smell the water, but why the different approach to the stainless steel bowls then?

ANSWER: The stainless steel bowls reflect light differently and this sometimes worries dogs that are not used to this. It is also difficult to judge the depth of the water or where it starts. Move the bowls under cover and away from the light and the dog will probably not be bothered. The temperature of the water also differs especially if the bowls are  in the sun for some of the day. Maybe this particular dog got his tongue burnt on a hot day and is now wary when he starts to drink.

Question 2

 One of my case studies involved a horse with cancer in his leg (not sure what kind).  Now this may sound stupid, but the fear suddenly overwhelmed me.  We say that TTouch helps with blood circulation, but I suddenly wondered if, because of this, could the cancer spread to other parts of the body.  I was so scared that this might happen that I did very little on that leg.  Please could you let me know if this is possible or not and why.

ANSWER: I seem to remember this exact question coming up a number of times before. Linda’s answer to this particular query of a dog with bone cancer in the shoulder was:

Over the years we have known of TTouch for animals and people with cancer. If you are acquainted with Deepok Chopras extensive work you will be aware of the power of intention. Consider the difference between massage and TTouch. I would suggest a one pressure Lying Leopard TTouches with 2 second circles with PAWS - holding the intention of awakening the perfection and holding the image of an enhanced state of "well-being" and that you are working for the dogs highest good. In terms of where to work, follow your inner knowing. Blessings, Linda


Another request to Linda about a cancerous tumor:

We have worked on many soft tumors on dogs and cats using the tiny, very light > Raccoon Circles around and on tumors and have them soften slightly.   It doesn’t seem to stop the progress but has brought temporary relief to the animal friend and a feeling of being able to do something beneficial.  Every person working with these tumors with TTouch has reported a greater sense of connection and a lessening of grief.

Whether it will give the same relief for hard tumors I do not know, but our experience has been that it can’t hurt because there is no rubbing or massaging, which is said to be counterproductive in the case of tumors.  Use no more pressure than you would comfortably on your eyeball, and make the tiniest circle you can imagine-it’s really like rolling the tip of your finger around on your fingernail.  There is no rubbing and minimal moving of the surface.  Imagine light emanating from the cells and think of all the great times you have had together rather than the negative thoughts often connected to tumors.  Hold those pictures in your mind as you do the TTouch.

In addition, I want to let you know about a sometimes successful medical treatment for equine melanoma involving the human antiulcer medication cimetidine (available over the counter as Tagamet).  Please consult your veterinarian to determine whether your horse is a candidate for this therapy Good luck.-Linda Tellington-Jones


Question 3

 My last question is about my own dog’s behavior.  Whenever I approach or work at the power switch in my house he goes mad.  He barks, cries and jump up against me until I move away from the switch.  Could this be that he senses the danger or is there another explanation for this behavior?

Answer: This is one of those "depends on the dog and the situation". Could be the dog got a fright when the trip switch was activated, maybe during a thunder storm. Maybe it happened at night and the lights went out and you tripped over your dog or shouted out loudly. Where is the power switch, is it at a level where you have to bend down and are at the dog’s level? Maybe he interprets this as play time. There could be any number of scenarios for this one. I doubt if he senses "danger" relating to electric shock - rather an association of something that has happened that you may not even be aware of.    

 I’ll keep an eye out for the answers.


NOTE: Thanks to Niki Elliott for providing the answers!



Most people know the traumatic effect that fireworks have on domestic animals as they witness the behavioural changes  and attempt to cope with them. However, most people don’t realize how much urban wildlife there is and how badly these animals and birds are affected.

Globally, humanity is striving to elevate consciousness and awareness concerning environmental issues. We’re now aware of our carbon footprints, recycling our waste, planting indigenous, bringing Nature into our space and making informed decisions on these issues.  Despite these positive steps, holding fireworks displays negates the sound environmental decisions made by communities, schools and organizations!  While trying to maintain an unemotional response to this issue, the facts remain disturbing.  Fireworks displays happen during the early weeks of November, in the middle of breeding season!! Johannesburg is home to an extraordinary number of bird species and each year we record new species moving into the well treed habitat we’ve created ie: White-faced Owls and Grey Hornbills.  During fireworks, birds crash off their nests and roosts and fly blindly into trees, fences etc fracturing wings and legs. Once birds have abandoned their nests due to fright, do they come back that night or ever? Do their eggs and chicks die as a result? Are territories lost because of displacement?  Many mammals and reptiles such as Lesser Spotted Genet, Yellow and Slender Mongooses, Bats Hedgehogs, Porcupines, Bushbabies,  small antelope, monitors etc, also habituate our suburbs. There is no doubt that all of these animals are affected too. I have personally monitored wildlife at Woodmead Country Club’s 2007 firework display and can assure you that the response of birds, antelope and small mammals was extremely disturbing to watch.  The Fourways Gardens display is clearly audible at our Centre, and I stayed here that night to monitor the reaction of our patients.  A young Eland calf I was raising jumped the paddock fence and crashed blindly through the bush on this 50acre reserve, badly lacerating himself. 

Arguments for fireworks include various decibel tests done, but these test the noise levels for human beings not animals. Also cited is that there has been no conclusive research done on the effects of fireworks on wildlife. Over the years, I have been documenting my own observations which I shared with Dr Marianne de Vries before she did her report on the 2007 Woodmead Country Club display. There will be no JCC fireworks this year due to “ huge costs, public opinion and the reputational damage suffered.”


Internationally, every animal welfare organization condemns fireworks.  FreeMe’s stand on this issue is to support urban wildlife on every level. I am appealing to every Fourways Gardens resident to help us do this by using your vote NOW!



Senior Animal Manager




Lucky Dog....

    Anyone who has pets will really like this. You’ll like it even if you don’t and you may even decide you need one!  
   Mary and her husband Jim had a dog named ’Lucky.’ Lucky was a real  character. Whenever Mary and Jim had company come for a weekend visit they would warn their friends to not leave their luggage open because Lucky would help himself to whatever struck his fancy. Inevitably, someone would forget and something would come up missing.  
   Mary or Jim would go to Lucky’s toy box in the basement and there the treasure would be, amid all of Lucky’s other favorite toys. Lucky always stashed his finds in his toy box and he was very particular that his toys stay in the box.   

    It happened that Mary found out she had breast cancer. Something told her  she was going to die of this disease . . . in fact, she was just sure it was fatal.
   She scheduled the double mastectomy, fear riding her shoulders. The night before she was to go to the hospital she cuddled with Lucky. A thought struck her . . . what would happen to Lucky? Although the three-year-old dog liked Jim, he was Mary’s dog through and through. If I die, Lucky will be abandoned, Mary thought. He won’t understand that I didn’t want to leave him.  The thought made her sadder than thinking of her own death.  
   The double mastectomy was harder on Mary than her doctors had anticipated  and Mary was hospitalized for over two weeks. Jim took Lucky for his evening walk faithfully, but the little dog just drooped, whining and miserable.  
   Finally the day came for Mary to leave the hospital. When she arrived home, Mary was so exhausted she couldn’t even make it up the steps to her bedroom.  Jim made his wife comfortable on the couch and left her to nap. Lucky stood watching Mary but he didn’t come to her when she called.  It made Mary sad but sleep soon overcame her and she dozed.  
   When Mary woke for a second she couldn’t understand what was wrong.  She couldn’t move her head and her body felt heavy and hot. But panic soon gave way to laughter when Mary realized the problem. She was covered, literally blanketed, with every treasure Lucky owned!  While she had slept, the sorrowing dog had made trip after trip to the basement bringing  his beloved mistress all his favorite things in life.  He had covered her with his love.  
   Mary forgot about dying.  Instead she and Lucky began living again, wal king further and further together every day. It’s been 12 years now and Mary is still cancer-free.  Lucky? He still steals treasures and stashes them in his toy box but Mary remains his greatest treasure.  
   Remember . . . live every day to the fullest. Each minute is a blessing from God. And never forget . . . the people who make a difference in our lives are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care for us.  
   If you see someone without a smile today give them one of yours! Live simply. Love seriously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

“On the Twelth Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Twelve Hours of Napping
Eleven Toys – a – Squeaking
Ten Crotches for Sniffing
Nine Mailmen Running
Eight Hands for Petting
Seven Treats for Cooking
Six Smelly Shoes
Five Neutered Men
Four long Walks
Three Slow Squirrels
Two Rawhides and
A collar to keep away fleas

a.      Book of the Month – “Control Unleashed” by Leslie McDevitt

Leslie McDevitt’s versatile Control Unleashed program is designed to help “dogs with issues” learn how to relax, focus, and work off leash reliable in either stimulating or stressful situations. This if for:

·        Dogs that are uncomfortable or unable to work off lead around other dogs

·        Dogs that are easily distracted and have difficulty concentrating

·        Dogs that are reactive or easily aroused

·        Dogs that are anxious or stressed and shut down

·        Dogs that are unable to control their impulses when excited

·        Great for helping dogs doing Agility!


Here is a great paragraph:                                                                                                                “People sometimes perceive reactive behaviour as aggression, but a reactive dog is not rushing in to do damage; he is attempting to assess the threat level of a given situation. His assessment strategy is intensified because he is panicking as the adrenaline flows through his body. If a reactive dog learns to feel confident about something, he is less worried about that thing and therefore reacts less to it. People also sometimes perceive reactive behaviour as “dominance” because they view a dog that flies at this triggers as a dog that wants to take charge. This is absolutely not the case. Reactive dogs are anxious, and their response is intense because they are freaking out.”


“That is why clear rule structures are necessary for anxious dogs. They need to know what is happening next, and they need to know they are safe. If left untreated (or if treated inappropriately with physical punishment), reactivity can escalate into aggression. Much, but not all, aggression is anxiety-related. Reactivity and anxiety-related aggression are simply different levels of response to a stressful situation. Anxiety-related aggression will occur when the dog is put in a situation that pushes him beyond what he can manage with a measured response. In these cases the dog’s anxiety takes him to the next level of response.”

                                                                                                                                Return to Top

 b:  Website of the Month:  http://www.dragonflyllama.com/

this site will give you a step by step guide on how to clicker train many Behaviours!

   Return to Top

c: Interesting Links
http://bewareofthedoghouse.com/video.aspx - this is for all our male readers who are buying presents for their Female partners!


* http://faltu.tv/animals-pets/10-animals/128-an-elephant-paints-an-amazing-self-portrait.html An elephant paints an Amazing Self-Portrait!


*  From Debbie Conradie: It sad to see that things like this still happening in our "modern society". Please follow this link and sign the petition. There are no sensative pics on this page but this will help stop the live skinning of thousansd of cats and dogs in China on a yearly basis.



* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Fe11OlMiz8 - Treat Yourself to a great version of the 12 Days of Christmas!


* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-L1Fg-iIlU&feature=related - Interesting inter-active treat/food dispenser toys shown on You Tube


d. Job in the Animal World Up for Grabs


VETERINARY PRACTICE/VET SHOP/GROOMING PARLOUR-Pets World Veterinary Clinic - Elardus Park, Pretoria. 082-5576351012-345-3586

14.   EVENTS


Amelia Kinkade is an international speaker and the author of Straight From the Horse’s Mouth: How to Talk to Animals and Get Answers, and The Language of Miracles.  She was featured in The 100 Top Psychics in America, and hundreds of publications worldwide such as The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Good Housekeeping, The London Sunday News of the World, and on countless talk shows and news programs around the globe such as Carte Blanche in S. Africa, the Animal Planet Network, and The BBC News. Her passions include working with White Lions, cheetah, and elephants in Africa and helping charities worldwide with their fund-raising.

Note: Animal teachers will be present for the workshop and provided by the facility. Please do not bring your animals from home, but all participants will be invited to bring a photograph of one of their beloved animals to practice reading & swapping with other participants.

Johannesburg                        Delta Environmental Centre, Delta Park, Victory Park

Dates:                                       7 & 8 February 2009        10h00 to 17h00

Cost:                                         R700.00 per day,   R1300.00 for both days.

Contact:                                  Sandy on 082 372 3388     sandy@deltaenviro.org.za



Please can you go through your books, dvd’s, cd’s, puzzles and games
(we take jumble for our new shop too)

We need them for FORA (Friends of rescued animals).

The Northriding Book Sales have had such good support (R9 780 from 3 sales!) my stock is really really low, I want to make a last ditch effort to get fantastic books for everyone at the next sale! (29 Nov & 6th Dec) and raise some funds for the holiday period. With the holiday season around the corner, we will have an influx of pets that have been abandoned or have run away from fireworks
at present FORA is feeding and taking care of over 800 animals while trying to find loving homes.

Don’t forget the "free coffee with breakfast" deal we have with BJ’s
It is becoming a great meeting place for the animal / book lovers
 I am collecting all and any books, please contact me.  I have been asked for some specific books – can you help?
Francine Rivers, Sandra Brown, Greg Isles, Jodi Picoult, Lesley Pearce, Karen Kingsberry

My sincere thanks to everyone for forwarding the mail, donating books and coming to the sales without your help we would not be able to feed our fury charges, bless you.

Viv Elliott

082 259 0905

011 460 0560 work

FORA Friends of Rescued Animals

Fora is a no-kill animal shelter that at any one time is taking care of and trying to re-home 800 abandoned, lost and abused dogs and cats.

300 kgs of food a day is required to feed our fury charges and our Vet bills are sky high.

Just a little helps a lot – thank you

www.fora.org.za (currently under construction)




Missing Dogs:


Dogs looking for homes:

CLEO and PATRA two little female dogs looking for a loving home. MUST go together. CLEO is 8 years old and Patra 6 years. Both been spayed.

Please phone Tracey on 072-2191980.


Three cats: Please contact tammy on 011-679 1042 if you would like to give these precious creatures a home


We’re looking for a new home


We’re two gorgeous dogs:

Paris: Jack Russell terrier, female, 4 years old - spade

Wicks: Fox terrier male 4 years old - neutered

Both have full medical history.


Would like to try and keep them together or if necessary will split them.

Owner is leaving the country in January.

Contact: Nicola 082 411 2330

© 2006 TTouch - eugenie@ttouch.co.za.   All Rights Reserved.