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12.   EVENTS
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June to July 2012 


(Print and read at your leisure – copyright - Eugenie Chopin

Unless otherwise stated)

www.ttouch.co.za - for more info on any subject!




  1. Eugenie’s Letter

  2. Practitioner Training- for Companion Animals –JHB & Cape Town!

                                                              i.      Gordon’s Bay: 6-11 October 2012

                                                            ii.      Midrand: 19-24 September 2012 

  1. Horse Workshops – JHB 27 Sept, 2012

  2. TTouch Workshops12 & 19 August 2012

  3. TTouch Tips – Helping a fearful dogs accept strangers

  4. Clicker Tips  – What?  Train a Rabbit?

  5. Puppies–  Getting to grips with the collar and leash

    1. Puppy Socialization Classes in your area

  6. Behaviour / Health

    1. Behaviour: How to Greet a dog

    2. Health: Horses that suffer in Silence

  7. Shanti & Friends Update: Shadow moves to the bedroom

  8. Your Letters 

  9. Odds and Ends

    1. Book of the month–  All Wrapped Up – for Humans

    2. Website of the month: Interesting Links

  10. Events

    1. New COAPE Courses

    2. SAINT’s Gorgeous T-shirt sale

    3. The Joey Gracie Mc Connell Animal Foundation

    4. Ways to support Four-Paws

  11. Dogs or Cats Urgently Needing Homes / Lost animals


Note that things highlighted in yellow refer to Western Cape 


Hello TTouch Friends,

We had a fabulous time at WODAC, the World of Dogs and Cats, this year again at Gallagher Estate in Midrand. It was great fun to meet all the people visiting our stand – thank you to all the people signing up for the newsletter. Things started of Friday, July 20th and run all weekend. Ttouch had a booth there and we’ve done Demos during the course of the weekend.

 I did 3 Lectures at the WODAC’s Demonstration Pavilion;

Friday: 3:00 p.m. TTouch for Healthcare

Saturday: 1:00 p.m. Learn TTouch basics - active participation

Sunday: 1:00 p.m. TTouch for Healthcare 

We’ll look something like this!


Don’t forget that a new Clicker class starts on July 28th. I hope those of you who have been asking for these are able to come. Or check out the 2 day TTouch workshop for dogs in August. You’ll find both listed below.

 All the best,


Warmest Regards,

Eugenie Chopin

Tellington TTouch Practitioner 3 for Companion Animals





With Robyn Hood!

JHB: 19-24 September 2012

Cape Town: 6-11 October 2012

 This program is designed so that you can start at any time. We love mixing beginners with more experienced students. It seems to benefit everyone. We have also been inspired by the number of people interested in this program and don’t want you to have to wait for 2 or 3 years to join us.

 And YES, we are coming back to the Cape! The Venue in Gordon’s Bay belongs to one of our Practitioners, Claire Grobbelaar, who has opened a fabulous new indoor training facility in Gordon’s Bay and has offered it to us as a Venue. You can find out more about Claire, Canine Concepts and the venue at www.canineconcepts.co.za.   We are really looking forward to being back in that beautiful space, place and atmosphere.

The training runs over 3 years, with 2-week long sessions per year lasting between 6 days. You do NOT need to have any previous experience to join this training. However, you might like to join a 1 or 2 day workshop before then if you are keen to start. Having a basic knowledge can help you retain more of your first session, but again this is not necessary for you to be part of the TTACT IV class. If you are interested in a workshop, please go to our website at www.ttouch.co.za and have a look at the workshop page.

After the Introductory Session and between sessions, students are encouraged to assist at workshops for further experience and do case studies. The program comprises only 2 sessions a year in order to help students with their finances and the need to get time off work. The workshops are scheduled to include a weekend in order to make it as convenient as possible.

The Program is a comprehensive training of hands-on work with Companion Animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, etc.

 DATE:           JHB: 19-24 September 2012

OR                   CT: 06-11 October 2012

VENUE:        JHB: Broshacarm Kennels – Midrand

                        CT: Canine Concepts, Gordon’s Bay

COST:            +/- R4550.00

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


Advanced Training for Companion Animals - open only to Practitioners of Tellington TTouch with Robyn Hood

 Date:               15-17 Sept 2012

Cost:               R2300

Venue:            Brochacarm Kennels - JHB
Contact:        Eugenie on 011 884-3156 or email eugenie@ttouch.co.za

There was once…
A handyman whom had a dog named Mace…
Mace was a great dog except he had one weird habit…

Come and get a taste of this wonderful work to help your horse be the best he/she can be.

 TTeam, a technique developed over the last 30 years, uses TTouch and non-habitual movement to help make the lives of our equine friends a little easier, and to enhance the relationship between horse and owner/rider.

 The 5-day Horse Clinic can be used as one of the 4 Clinics necessary to become a Horse Practitioner. (For more information on How to Become A TTEAM Practitioner go to: www.ttouch.co.za. This clinic is suitable for both professionals & novices alike. This 5-day Clinic includes TTEAM philosophy, bodywork, ground exercises, riding and is also a good overall view of the Horse work.

 Learning the TTEAM techniques will help each rider increase communication with their horse, identify and relieve areas of bodily soreness or discomfort, and help solve training blocks while enabling the horse to learn without fear.

 A truly inspirational method for influencing behaviour, health and performance, including the following:

  • Increase your horse’s willingness to learn and ability to perform

  • Identify and alleviate soreness without drugs

  • Train your horse safely, with confidence, even if you are inexperienced in handling horses

  • Overcome resistances without fear, pain or force

  • Enhance healing and speed recovery of injury  related problems

  • Learn ground exercises to improve balance and develop coordination










Introduction to TTOUCH

With Lindy Dekker

19 Aug







Midrand Donnybrook Stables


5-day TTEAM with Robyn Hood

              Starts 27 Sept 2012


Lindy Dekker on equibalance@iafrica.com or   083 616 0577 or Eugenie Chopin on         011 8843156

There was once…
He liked to eat grass. Not just a little bit, but in quantities that would make a lawnmower blush…
One day the handyman lost his wrench in the tall grass while he was working outside








Sandton    Sandown

   2-Day TTOUCH dog  

12 & 19 Aug 2012



Eugenie Chopin on         011 8843156 or eugenie@ttouch.co.za


Goldfields Showgrounds

TTouch for Dogs - Half Day Workshop  

09 Aug 2012

R250 – with dog R100 – no dog

Tracy Bullivant  


082 809 0028 (cell)

Karen Bullivant  


082 900 9119 (cell)



Introduction to TTouch

19  Aug 2012





2-Sundays for dogs An opportunity to spend quality time with your dog, learn how to read your dog’s body language, learn what you can do for your individual problems like fear of thunder & fireworks, reactivity, excessive barking, leash pulling, hyper excitement & much much more or just bond!

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

 Date:            12 & 19 Aug 2012

Time:           Sun.  - 9:30-4:30

Venue:         Sandown, JHB

Cost:            R800

Contact:       Eugenie on eugenie@ttouch.co.za  or  phone  011 884 3156 


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 Use 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


Perfect for dogs who are:

 Scared of Fireworks

Fearful of Thunderstorms

Hyper & Excitable

Shy or Fearful

Old, arthritic or have HD

Jumping up or Leash Pulling

Aggressive or Bullies


Fearful of Strangers, men, etc.

Or just deepen you bond with your dog and do something he will love!!!


Editor’s Note: Carmen is a TTouch Practitioner 1 for Companion Animals. She runs Broshacarm Kennels in Midrand with her Mother and often uses TTouch to help settle and calm animals.


As you know I don`t do workshops or presentations but I do ttouch on a daily basis in the kennels and cattery and am always blown away by the power of this work.I decided to write about a recent very special case that I did.


Caspro is a 9 year old Pyrenean Mountain dog. About two years ago he and his friend Lushka came to live with their present guardian called Anne. They came from a home where people had left them behind as they had immigrated. Caspro and Lushka lived their lives locked in a small, walled back yard and never got to see the outside world and never really socialized with people. There were also signs that they had been beaten as they did not like it if you raised your arms and would cower. As a result when the Anne  took them over, both dogs  were very suspicious of strangers  and one had to approach them very cautiously and watch  for signs that they  may bite. Anne soon found out that Caspro was completely deaf.


When he comes to the kennels Caspro needs suntan lotion  applied to his nose and cream  on his private area as he is incontinent and the urine burns his skin. This is a difficult  task with any male dog and Caspro having trust issues and  being deaf makes it all the more difficult. It also places us in positions where we could easily get bitten so I decided  to do ttouch on Caspro, to build his confidence and to let him  have a pleasant touching experience.


I started off with Noah`s March all down his body and legs.  I find this a less invasive touch and it tends to calm the dogs.   I then progressed onto  very slow zig zags all along Caspro`s  body.


 It was amazing to see his expression change from being  wary of my motives to actually enjoying being touched. He then sat down and let me move closer and I did Clouded Leopards all along his body. With fur like this how could you not do hair slides. I did joining circles all along , ending with hair slides.


Feeling very brave I went on to do mouth work. Starting with gentle strokes along his mouth and then just doing connected circles all along his muzzle. Soon I felt the full weight of his head in my hands as he finally relaxed completely. I knew I had at long last won his trust .


From then onwards whenever I entered the kennel area and  Caspro was out he would come running over to me   and press his body into my legs. He would lift his head and as I lowered my hands he would place his head in my hands

  and wait until I did ttouch. To feel his whole body relaxing  and actually see his expression soften was  such an amazing feeling. Applying his lotions was definitely not a problem at all. Not only had Caspro gained confidence but he had probably for the first time in his life actually enjoyed a stranger touching him so much that he could ask for more.

There was once…
He looked and looked, but it was nowhere to be found.
As it was getting dark, he gave up for the night and decided to look the next morning.
When he awoke, he went outside…..

Rabbits are furry and lovable, of course; quirky and silly, sometimes; full of energy and mischief, undoubtedly; but trainable? You bet! You’re probably training your rabbit without even realizing it. Is he litter-box trained? Does he come to see you when you go to his cage? Then you’ve already taken your first steps.

There’s so much more your rabbit can learn! Have you ever seen a rabbit fetch? Or play basketball? (Rabbit-sized, of course.) What about navigating a course of jumps and weaves and tunnels? These are all tricks you can teach your pet bunny. You can also teach her some tricks to make your life together easier. How would you like it if your rabbit sat still while you trimmed her nails or came when you called her name? All it takes is a little training.

Training is actually good for your rabbit. In the wild, activities such as finding food, creating a home, and staying safe require quite a bit of physical and mental effort that a pet rabbit just doesn’t get to do. When the training is based on positive reinforcement, or what is popularly called "clicker training," it is not only good for your rabbit, but fun for both of you. Clicker training is a kind of "mental enrichment" that replaces many of the activities and problem-solving tasks that your rabbit would do naturally in the wild. This contributes to a longer, healthier, happier life for your pet.

Clicker trained rabbits are also able to spend more time out of their pens or cages and more time with you. Isn’t it easier to have him out and about if you can trust him to use his litter box or to come out from behind the refrigerator when you call him? By teaching your pet just a few basic behaviors, you’ll be able to reduce the amount of time he spends in his cage, increase his socialization, and improve his quality of life.

"Clicking with small pets brightens their lives, exercises their surprisingly lively minds, and brings out their endearing personalities." —Karen Pryor

One of the most important benefits to clicker training, however, is stress reduction. There’s probably nothing as scary to a rabbit as living in an animal shelter. Andrea Bratt Frick and Jean Silva of B.U.N.S. (Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter) in California have been clicking shelter rabbits to enrich their lives and make them more adoptable. "Once you get started and learn how to clicker train, you and your rabbit become hooked,’" they rave. "It’s simple to do, and the results are so powerful! We have been clicking to get all our bunnies to come to the front of their cages to appear friendly and help them become more adoptable. Also, we have taught them little tricks such as give me ten’ so that the bunnies (who were fearful at first) would now interact with potential adoptees."

Your rabbit may not ever experience life in a shelter, but that doesn’t mean his life is stress-free. To many rabbits, anything new is stressful. Being restrained and having his nails clipped is terrifying. A trip to the vet can be traumatic. Even trips to the fair or to playgroups with other rabbits and their owners can be scary. Training your rabbit gives you tools to make those experiences easier and less stressful—and, in some cases, as fun as you hoped they’d be.

And, you can learn to train your rabbit all on your own. You don’t have to find a professional rabbit trainer or go to rabbit obedience classes to learn how. All you need is a small noisemaker called a clicker, some tiny food treats your rabbit loves, props for your tricks, and a sense of humor. In the following chapters we’ll explain how to use these simple tools to teach a variety of fun and useful behaviors and to solve some common behavior problems.

Skeptical? Not sure your rabbit is the learning type? We have yet to encounter a pet that cannot be clicker trained. Even fish can be clicker trained. Some pets learn more quickly and some will work longer and some get bored easily, but any pet that can be motivated by something you have can be clicker trained.

Not all rabbits learn at the same pace—and that’s okay. Sometimes it takes a bunny a long time to get used to the sound of the clicker or to learn that the sound of a click means a treat is coming. Some catch on right away. We have trained many rabbits, and even within this one species there is a wide range of aptitude and acceptance for training. Some rabbits take weeks to start playing the clicker game, and others are right with you after a few clicks. But they can all learn!

As you begin to experiment, don’t be surprised if you find a creative, engaging, intelligent personality hidden behind those long ears and that wiggling nose. In just a few short lessons, you may find you have a livelier, more interesting pet than you ever suspected.

Training your rabbit to jump on cue

There are many different ways a bunny can jump. She can jump over a pole, through a hoop, onto a platform, or into a basket. This trick teaches your bunny to jump over a pole, but with some creative baby steps, jumping can easily be generalized to jumping in other situations. Be certain that you train this trick on a non-slippery surface.

  • Place a wooden dowel or other "bar" for jumping on the floor of the training area. Train your bunny to follow a target stick over the bar. Use a target stick to guide your rabbit over the bar. Click when the back feet go over. Sometimes rabbits will jump over an object just because it is there. Terrific! Click at the height of the jump.

  • Raise one end of the bar about an inch. Use the target stick to lead your rabbit across, clicking when the back feet go over the bar, or, click when she jumps on her own.

  • Set both ends of the jump about one inch off the ground, and click for crossing it. To avoid a risk of injury, make sure the bar will fall if it’s bumped by your rabbit. Don’t click if she knocks over the bar.

  • Use baby steps to raise the bar to the point that your rabbit is jumping, rather than stepping, over it.

  • Add a cue, "Jump." Give the cue, then present the target stick, if necessary, on the other side.

  • If you’re still using the target stick, fade it from the picture. Give the verbal cue, but don’t present the target stick. Click your bunny for jumping the bar.

  • Place your rabbit a few inches further away from the jump. Cue the jump.

  • Use baby steps to add distance between your rabbit and the jump.

About the author

Joan Orr is president and co-founder of the nonprofit Doggone Safe and co-founder of TAGteach International. She is also the producer of the award-winning Clicker Puppy DVD, co-creator of the board game Doggone Crazy!, and co-author of Getting Started: Clicking with Your Rabbit. Part of the first advisory board that established Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior, Joan was also a ClickerExpo faculty member for nine years.


Thanks to Karen Pryor and www.clickertraining.com - Go to this website for many more interesting articles.

There was once…
And saw that his dog had eaten the grass in the area where he had been working. His wrench now lay in plain sight, glinting in the sun..

By Scotty Valadao – Accredited Animal Behaviourist (Canine) (ABC of SA™)

Many people will put a collar on a puppy and just leave it on, believing that the pup will get used to it in time – used to do the same thing myself! However, since turning professional I have seen umpteen dogs that have collar issues and on asking their owners what the pups reaction was when the collar was introduced (if they had the dogs from pups), every single one of them reacted badly the very first time it was put on. This can be inadvertently reinforced by the owner if they take the collar off whenever the pup objects – who wins? – the dog, it has successfully trained the owner to not use the collar and later attempts will prove harder and be less likely to succeed. This does not mean that all dogs will react in this way, but as we are unsure as to how this new experience will impact on our pups, rather go slowly.

It is a known fact that a traumatic experience can impact on a pup (one event learning) and cause problems later on and who are we to determine how traumatic the putting on of a collar may be – I would imagine that if somebody put a collar around my neck I would find it rather uncomfortable for a while although I am sure I would eventually get used to it - rather safe than sorry! If we bear in mind that going for a walk will be one of your dog’s most pleasurable experiences, why take the chance of spoiling a wonderful outing by having a dog that is afraid or hesitant to have a collar on or to go on lead?

Our main aim here is to make the introduction of the collar a pleasurable experience. The underside of a dog’s neck is a very vulnerable place and his innate behaviour will be to protect it and to get rid of anything that is touching this area. If one looks at dogs fighting, they will endeavour to get hold of the neck. Also look at a dog exhibiting dominance towards another, it will often either put its own head over the back of the neck area or a paw will be placed on this area. For this reason, we start off by using a very light collar which can be fastened, instead of one which slips over the neck, which may make a puppy panic. Personally I suggest a cat collar initially as they are much softer and more pliable than dog collars.

Firstly, have some really nice treats (or a full meal) with you and make sure your puppy is hungry. Use, as stated above, a light collar. Place it over the back of the neck and fasten it very loosely under the neck, not even touching the skin. Do this slowly and gently. Give a few treats or even a full meal, given one piece of kibble at a time, and then take the collar off. Do this over the next one or two days, as many times per day as possible. You can even feed your pup its daily rations from your hand at the same time as doing this exercise. Once the puppy is happy with this, start to leave it on for a minute or two, keeping the interaction with your puppy going, by treating and even playing with a toy with him while the collar is on. The end result of this is that the puppy will associate the collar being put on as a rewarding experience rather than a traumatic experience.

When he is happy with this, repeat the above process, very slowly making the collar a little tighter until it fits snugly on the neck. Practice this way for another few days until your pup is completely happy with the collar. Don’t rush this, your pup has just come home and every experience it has is a new experience. Puppies grow very quickly, so keep on checking that the collar is not getting too tight for your pup.

The next step is to clip on the lead. Once again ensure that you use a very light lead with a small clasp and repeat the process of treating. Once the pup accepts this, leave the lead on the floor and move about 3 steps away from him and call him to you and treat from a kneeling position. (Kneeling down initially will make it easier for the pup to come to you) Gradually make the distance a little further making sure that there is nothing that can snag the lead and jerk the collar. Many people suggest letting the pup run around with the lead on to get used to it – I have seen too many pups who have got the lead snagged and been badly jerked to use this method (which could lead to problems on lead at a later stage) – I would rather control the situation and by doing this I can ensure that the experience is a positive one for the pup.

Now, have the puppy sitting, pick up the lead, and move one or two steps away, repeating the process as above, kneel down, calling the puppies name and treating as the puppy comes to you. Gradually make the distance a bit further. If your puppy shows any resistance, go back to the last step and practice that until the puppy is comfortable with it. If your puppy refuses to go with you, don’t pull on the lead as this is the beginning of a bad habit, and every time the puppy ‘wins’ the behaviour of sitting and refusing to go, is reinforced.

It is important to work with ‘where your puppy is at’ as we say at TTouch. This will ensure that he is not forced to take steps he can’t deal with. All puppies learn and accept new things into their lives at different rates. Some puppies can become used to collars and lead within a day, showing no signs of stress as you progress, while others can take up to a week to accept the restraint around their necks. If the pup is still not accepting the collar at a later stage, then I would suggest trying equipment such as the step-in harness which is often easier for pups to accept.

The next step is to start to get the pup to walk next to you while on lead. Put on the lead and using a lure (food) held in our left hand and the lead in the right hand, encourage the pup to walk with  you for a few steps, gradually building up the distance until your puppy can happily walk around with you for a fair distance. I suggest to clients not to go further than this until they go to puppy school where this work will be taken further. This is because we don’t want the pup to get into the habit of pulling, rather let the professional’s show how it is done. If the puppy has already got into the habit of pulling, it will take a little longer to change. It is far easier to teach a new behaviour than change an existing one.

It is advisable to teach this as soon as possible and not leave it to the last minute before the puppy course starts. Puppy school is a new and alien place for a puppy, which it has never seen before. There are new dogs; new people, new objects and noises to deal with, and we don’t want to add any unnecessary stresses.

Many clients ask me, ‘should I leave the collar on my dog’. My general (there are exceptions) answer to this is no. The reason for this is that it is very easy for a pup or dog to get the collar caught on an object and strangle itself, or to give itself a huge fright which may impact on its life. There are collars on the market that when they have a lot of pressure exerted on them, the clip opens by itself and the collar comes off, but this can still be a stressful experience for the pup.

 Article from www.friendsofthedog.co.za, written by By Scotty Valadao – Accredited Animal Behaviourist (Canine) (ABC of SA™ ) & TTouch Practitioner 1 for Companion Animals


Puppy Socialization Classes:


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

 õ  Bedfordview/ Edenvale/Linksfield/Orange Grove: Puppy Starter Session -One private session with comprehensive booklet; Contact Scotty on 011 882 2418 (h); 082 928 0102 or scotty@scottysdogs.co.za   

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

õ  Riverclub Vet in Parkmore on Saturday mornings with Puppy 1 and Puppy 2 classes. Niki Elliott 082 451 0433 or niki@thinkingpets.com

õ  Bryanston on Wednesday evening, Thursday morning and Saturday afternoons for Puppy 1, 2 and Advanced Open classes. Private sessions on request. Niki Elliott 082 451 0433 or niki@thinkingpets.com

õ  Gordon’s Bay: Puppy Classes for pups under 4 months. On-going: new every 6 weeks. Claire Grobbelaar 021 856 5886 or 082 784 7524 Claire.g@mweb.co.za

õ  Heidelberg: Jordaanpark, contact Ilze van der Walt:

zafira.ilze@webmail.co.za or 082 921 4448

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

õ  Oaklands, JHB: Puppy Socializing Tersia Kock 082 828 0505 tkock@telkomsa.net

õ  Parkwood: Puppy Classes, 6 Week courses Tersia Kock 082 828 0505 tkock@telkomsa.net

õ  Cape West Coast - Langebaan, Puppy 1 Classes. Adult classes. Private Sessions on request. Wendy Wilson – overthemoon@iafrica.com 083 336 1761.


There was once…
Going out to get his wrench, he called the dog over to him and said,
“A grazing Mace, how sweet the hound, that saved a wrench for me

Notice to people who visit my home…
The dog lives here. You don’t

Dogs are better than kids. They eat less, don’t ask for money all the time, are easier to train, usually come when called, never drive your car, don’t hang out with drug-using friends, don’t smoke or drink, don’t worry about whether they have the latest fashions, don’t wear your clothes and don’t need a gazillion dollars for college. And if they get pregnant, you can sell the pups.



By Debbie Conradie


Tellington Touch practitioner & animal behaviourist


Recently a few articles on conditioned suppression (or learned helplessness) in dogs have come my way and they have highlighted for me how concerned we should be as behaviourists, animal workers and pet owners regarding the huge fallout that is possible in our pets with certain styles of treatment and training.


 Simply put conditioned suppression means that when dogs are habitually exposed to punishment (including unpredictable, disorganised punishment) they cannot escape or avoid, the resulting lack of control causes learned helplessness. A common scenario is when an owner punishes a dog minutes or even hours after it has misbehaved. Like when the owner punishes a dog after he comes home and finds the hosepipe shredded or a large, gaping hole in the lawn. Exposed to prolonged, unpredictable, and excessive punishment, the dog eventually seems to show a lack of response to the punishment, becomes insensitive to pain, stubborn, withdrawn, overly cautious and resistant to learning new things.


This condition of learned helplessness has also been observed by behaviourists in horses. Most people mean well by their horses but there is a considerable amount of consistent and continuing punishment that is being metered out in the training and handling of horses. Just as with dogs, horse owners fail to interpret the appeasement signals and avoidance/pain responses from their horses and so they remain unaware of their horse’s predicament.




 Unfortunately for horses they do not yelp or cry out when in distress, which for us humans, is a primary signal that our pet is distressed.  But with horses there are indeed small signals that can give us a clue as to how our horses feel about what we do to them. We need to take note of these so that we can take preventative measures against learned helplessness setting in. These signals are meant to ward off an unpleasant situation and they include holding the breath or moving away from being saddled or bridled, biting when being girthed (often a sign of back pain), flattening of ears and wrinkling of noses, head tossing, and many more. If these go unnoticed and the horse has to resort to more overt signs such as bucking, rushing under saddle, kicking, biting, high headedness, stubbornness, etc people often get a trainer in to “deal” with the problem.




Many horse trainers say that one should never use punishment on horses yet some of their methods are full of punishment. It’s just that they do not understand what defines punishment and they do not understand the effects of punishment. Trainers will often say that their methods work because the horse no longer engages in the so-called bad behaviour but at what cost? The trainer thinks the horse is now properly trained at exactly the same time that the horse begins to show learned helplessness. Is a horse that accepts a bit in his mouth really relaxed about this piece of equipment or has he learnt that when his owner appears with it he has no escape from what is about to happen?






When you turn on the TV you see how literally thousands of racehorses are either in state of panic or conditioned suppression. Consider the “perfect” riding school pony that never puts a foot wrong. They seem so safe and bomb proof but in reality are often in a state of conditioned suppression. They behave robotically, do what they are expected to do, and offer no more than that. They seem to have no personalities, no interest in humans and have resigned themselves to the inevitability of an unpleasant training regime from which they have no escape and no control over. Many horses live a life of unrelenting rounds of unpleasant events such as competition, repetitive schooling, and long periods of stabling, social deprivation and a consistent regime of punishment. Not to mention the use of many uncomfortable tack options that can also contribute to learned helplessness.




On the other hand we know that conditioned suppression actually helps animals to survive and it makes sense from a biological point of view that he should “give up”. Giving up means the horse actually learns to adapt his behaviour in the presence of humans and is demonstrating submissive behaviour in the hope that it may stave off further punishment. But there is a real downside to this strategy. The cost to the horse’s health mentally and physically is huge, not to mention the impact on the human/horse relationship.




This article seems to imply that only harsh treatment that includes physical punishment such as brutal beatings contribute the most to learned helplessness but researchers have found that it is the loss of control and the inability to use escape-avoidance behaviour even in the presence of mild discomfort that produces the anxiety and the eventual shut down state.




It seems inevitable that our horses will have no control over what we do with them and this is true. So in what ways can we make it easier for them to enjoy their interactions with us? In my opinion it takes a mind shift and a new level of awareness of our horses (such as noticing small appeasement signals, facial expressions, body language, signs of pain, etc)  to “see” whether something is pleasant or not. Other things such as learning what actually constitutes punishment, positive reinforcement (such as clicker training), a predictable learning environment, lowered expectations, comfortable tack, a varied training schedule, regular body work such as Tellington Touch, companionship and natural living can go a long way to offset some of the negative impacts our interactions have on our horses.






 “Suffering in silence” - Horse and Rider magazine


 “Learned Helplessness” by Joyce Kesling, CDBC.




Notice to people who visit my home…
If you don’t want dog hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture

Notice to people who visit my home…
Yes, he has some disgusting habits. So do I, and so do you.
What’s your point?
New research shows almos 20 percent of Americans share a bed with their dog or cat. Another 20 percent sleep on the floor in a basket while the pets have the bed to themselves


By Eugenie Chopin


With the winter weather, Shadow, our black & white cat has decided that the bedroom, the only warm room in the house at night, is the place to be. She has for years done her own thing about sleeping spots and does tend to move on whims. However we recently put a favourite blanket on top of the dog crate in the bedroom and she now sleeps there nightly. Of course, we also put in an under carpet heating pad in the dressing room and she often migrates to there in the middle of the night. Leave it to cats to find the best spots!


I am sure however, when the weather changes and things warm up, she’ll be back to changing patterns. It will be interesting to see what happens.


Shanti in her old age seems to becoming a TTouch addict, but only with a few touches. He all-time favourite is the Troike. The Troike is more of a slide type of touch, but done in circles. So it looks a bit like a small clockwise circle and the arcs onward to the next spot. Hmm, I wonder if I can draw it… I don’t seem to have a steady hand, but this will give you an idea.   The circles should slide lightly over the body from left to right, although I found that Shanti loved all directions, then I could eventually make the smaller circle into a proper “move the skin” type of circle as long as I did lovely slides in=between. This is great for dogs that have trouble handling too much bodywork.


Notice to people who visit my home…
Of course, he smells like a dog…

Hi Helen,


I purchased the Thundershirt for my dog a few months ago.  I would like to follow through to let you know what a great success the thundershirt has been. I must admit I was a bit dubious at first, but decided to try it out as I had heard of its excellent results through a lot of my dog friends and the local dog community.

Our family have experienced a stressful few months packing up a house and moving property. Lots of different scenarios going on at the same time, from  a number of workmen moving through our home every day  to lots of suitcases being packed and constant cardboard box’s being packed. Many different situations to cope with taking them out of the daily routine and added on to that a very stressed out owner! Followed by the move into an unknown property and a new location to get used to.


My Boxer is used to wearing coats in winter so the initial introduction to the thundershirt was easy. I noticed an immediate improvement in her body language she became very calm and relaxed almost immediately. She absolutely loves wearing it. I also use it for long car journeys too and she just curls up and sleeps!  It acts like a security blanket for her.


I can certainly recommend the thundershirt to anyone when their dog is going through stressful periods.


Kind regards

Fay Roberts



Good Day

Just want to thank you (and your team) again for the course you presented at our Academy at Roodeplaat. I definately learned so much. I started using what I learned the very next day after  you guys left.


Friends of mine have an eleven year old lab. She has very bad arthritis, to such an extend that she could only walk halfyway down a set of stairs and then "get stuck". She couldn’t move up or town. Needless to say walking was also effort for her. So, on Saturday morning I did some bodywork on her, put on a wrap and walked her a few times around the house ( this was even effort for her and she had to rest at stages.) On Saturday evening she looked better to me as she RAN towards me when I went outside. ( I thought it might be my imagination.)

I repeated everything on Sunday morning again.


This afternoon her owner thanked me and said they could not beleive the change in her. She was running and basicly ’bouncing’ around like a young(er)  :-) dog  the entire week. She says they haven’t seen her act lke this in YEARS. ( So it wasn’t my imagination.) I am convinced it was the Ttouch that helped. I will continue with her on weekends.

 Therefore, thank you so much and please extend my gratitude to the rest of your team.

 Kind Regards


One of the SAPS Dog Unit members that attended a 5-day workshop with Eugenie and her team of assistance.    

Notice to people who visit my home…
I like him a lot better than I like most people

  1. a.       Book of the Month: All Wrap Up – For You

By Robyn Hood with Mandy Pretty

Price: R195
Improving balance, posture and overall well-being with Tellington TTouch Body Wraps

Simple & Easy to Use

Effective & Non-Invasive

Improves:  Balance, Posture and Body Awareness 




  1. Website of the Month:    http://drsophiayin.com/

Worth a visit!  Under behaviour we placed the poster – have a look at this website for much more interesting information.  


Meet Veterinarian and Animal Behaviourist, Dr. Sophia Yin

Dr. Sophia Yin knows what it’s like to have a problem pet and nowhere to turn for professional help. And she has witnessed countless fractured relationships between misunderstood pets and their frustrated humans companions.

As a result, her mission in life is to improve our understanding of animals and their behavior so that we can care for, appreciate and enjoy our time with them better.


  1. c.       Interesting Links:      


Humming birds feeding from the hand – watch this.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUEZkwJulBY&feature=relmfu


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=341rybZ42vA. HP printer add



Deaf mute rides horse bareback – no bridal – Stacy Westfall



Heroic Donkey



Meet 3 rescued Racoons



Dog Aerobics – crazy dog tricks!!


Notice to people who visit my home…
To you he’s a dog. To me he’s an adopted son who is short, hairy, walks on all fours, doesn’t speak clearly and hates cats. I have no problem with any of these things
12.   EVENTS

  1. a.   Interested in a career in Animal Behaviour or just want to understand your pet better?


Why not do one of our internationally accredited courses on Dog and/or Cat behaviour and then progress to the prestigious COAPE Diploma which will give you a recognised qualification in Animal behaviour. All these courses have been awarded CPD qualification status by the SA Veterinary Council.


For more information please contact us on info@thinkingpets.com or visit us on www.thinkingpets.com



  1. b.  The ThinkingPets First Aid Workshop for Pets

            Presented by Kenneth Joubert BVSc MMedVet, (Anaes)


  • Be better equipped to deal with emergencies

  • Learn about CPR and Bandaging Techniques with practical exercises

  • Receive information about common poisons and caring for your geriatric pets

This workshop is presented in Johannesburg and Cape Town!

Johannesburg Date: 29 July 2012
Cape Town Date: 12 August 2012

We have limited seats available, so if you’d like to join us for this amazing workshop, please send us a mail: info@thinkingpets.com




  1. c.   SAINTs is kindly assisting our Fundraising efforts and have some gorgeous Fleece jackets and T Shirts on offer.

This year’s ones have a new logo!

ALL proceeds from this email go to Four Paws, please NB state that on your email to Viv. order by emailing vivsaints@live.com. Thank you!



  1. d.      We run an ANIMAL FOUNDATION-The Joey Gracie Mc Connell Animal Foundation where our goal is to change the world one paw at a time. We are looking for sponsors in any form and/or amount-we are currently in urgent need of a sponsor for our foundation shirts as well. You can view the work we have been doing since 2008 on our website:
    www.jgmanimalfoundation.org.za and please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you have. We are open to any form of assistance we can receive so we can help as many animals as possible.
    Kind regards,
    Lynda Mc Connell-072 868 1993



  1. e.    WAYS TO SUPPORT Four-Paws:

“Bounty Hunters” in Melville has kindly taken us on as one of their charities.  They sell any items we collect on our behalf, so please donate all your clothes, shoes, home and kitchen items, garden tools, any item from your office and anything else you have no need for anymore, whether it is in working condition or not!

Merinda Brits, FOUR PAWS, Nedbank, Fourways, Branch code: 168405, Acc no: 1684110750


  1. f.      Winter Pet’s Picnic in the Park

Inviting pets to bring along their families.

Sunday 5th August 2012, Rietondale Park, Queenswood. 

Please join us and help us raise funds and grow as a foundation so that we can keep on changing the world one paw at a time! :)

We welcome old and new items of any value to any animals from birds, fish, horses, dogs, cats, hamsters the whole world full. :) (please ensure old items are clean and usable).  We welcome donations of any kind.


  1. g.     Canine Zone together with Ster Kinekor is hosting a screening for the movie Darling Companion. Thursday 26 July 2012, Sandton City, Jhb, at 19:30pm.  Entrance is a donation and all donated items will be donated to Four Paws and Fora.No tickets will be available on the day.  Contact Kaz on admin@cesarsway.co.za   


  1. h.      We are still unable to carry on with the building of our shelter due to a lack of funds!


We have to put up a fence and start building our catteries and kennels, and WE HAVE RUN OUT OF FUNDS!  If everyone who receives this email donates only R100, we will be able to carry on building our shelter.


We need physical help to break down our current structure and move it to the new premises.  PLEASE, if you or your company can assist us, let us know.


We also need assistance with building small walls around the office and storage containers and volunteers to help with cleaning out grass, weeds, etc.




Lulu - This little girl has been with AWS since Feb 2012.  She is so scared that she will  not even walk.  You have to carry her.  She does not want to take snacks, as she is depressed, terrified and desperately longing for a home with lots of cuddles, love and safety.  She is an app 2, maybe 3 years old  Please if you can open your home and your heart for her ADOPT 041 366 1660  AWS Ref # 18617 PE



Friendly, beautiful cat needs a forever home

Friend of mine who sings in choir with me and is a vet, saved a cat last Sunday from under one of the cars it had crawled under during meditations. Beautiful, friendly, loving black and white cat. It has had its pelvis smashed by car. Responding well. He’s going to operate when it’s up to it. Are any of my t-touch friends able to offer home? This cat will need a lot of love, but everyone at the vet place loves it.



AMANI, APOLLO & ZEUS – 3 shy boys looking for a home please

we are looking for kind people with big hearts, with hands that will only caress and voices that will only speak softly to them.  For more info, please phone us on 0828519576 or email us on manuela@huskyrescue.co.za

Amani is now around 2 years old and has a wonderful personality, he is very goofy and funny. He is a real water baby.  

Apollo, the black & white boy, is fast turning into a real cuddle bun and even fell asleep in our volunteers lap yesterday, while Zeus is still keeping his distance.





CHICKY:  She is about 6-7 yrs old. She is a gorgeous little mixed breed girl. Andreas describes her as a bit of a Janis Joplin – a real enigmatic character!

SPOKIE: She is about 6-7 yrs old. Seems to be a Maltese x girlie and is the size of a Yorkie.  She was Mom’s favourite. She has a food allergy and must use hypo-allergenic food which is available from a vet. Andreas has offered to contribute towards that on a monthly basis.  She is adorable and is a really little lap-dog. Contact pawsrus@gmail.co.za for adoption application forms, or to get more information


Lulu & Chicky - two little drummer girls available for adoption (Gauteng / Pta)These two sweethearts are destined to become little pom-pom cheerleading girls, but their cheer have been suppressed after they became unwanted victims of a divorce when their former caregivers split up.They crave human attention and is a bit skinny for their own good.  :  Lulu (Maltese);  Chicky (Maltese X Yorkie), Age:  Lulu (±3 years young); Chicky (±5 years young), Sex:  Both females.  Dorette or Theo on Cell: 084 581 2383 (after 16h00 or e-mail: dorette@sagateway.com


Twiggy needs a home. She is small med, short hair, house trained and sterilized. She needs a home with NO cats, she is having a hard time in my current pack and is prefering to stay home rather than come out walking and working with us. Please help find her a loving home.Contact Lana Ackermann <lana333@acker.co.za>


Two kittens looking for love and homes

Two female kittens, long hair. Approximately 13 weeks old. Found next to a busy crossing, the mom was run over. The area where they stayed was "demolished" for building purposes, so I could not return them. They remain wild, can be caught and handled with patience, but will not be suitable as pets. They are de-wormed and inoculated and I will have them sterilized before they go to a new home.  Jo’Anni Opperman Cel: 084 5000 414 (Bloemfontein)


Editor: Eugenie Chopin, Certified TTouch Practitioner III for Companion Animal

PO Box 729, Strathavon 2031

Tel: 011 884-3156

Fax: 011 783 1515

Email: echopin@icon.co.za, Website: www.ttouch.co.za  

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