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12.   EVENTS
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 August to September 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!

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

    2. Midrand: 19-24 September 2012

  3. Horse Workshops – JHB 27 Sept, 2012

  4. TTouch Workshops

  5. TTouch Tips – Tips for treating Anxious, fearful, stressed & hyperactive dogs

  6. Clicker Tips – Raising the Great Family Dog

  7. Puppies – How Much Will That Doggie Really Cost?

    1. Puppy Socialization Classes in your area

  8. Behaviour / Health

    1. Behaviour: Do rats laugh?

    2. Health: Do Summer Thunderstorms Send Your Dog Into a Panic?

  9. Shanti & Friends Update

  10. Your Letters

  11. Odds and Ends

    1. Book of the month – Maxdog by Caryl Moll

    2. Website of the month

    3. Interesting Links

  12. Events

    1. a. Learn to Think "Dog"

    2. b. Dancers Love Dogs

  13. Dogs or Cats Urgently Needing Homes / Lost animals

Note that things highlighted in yellow refer to Western Cape



 Hello TTouch Friends,

We are busy getting ready for Robyn Hood’s arrival on Thursday. We are super excited about our first ever Advanced Training. This training is only open to qualified Practitioners and is their opportunity to get hands on experience with all of the latest techniques, work with the latest equipment, etc. While our Practitioner often "assist" at trainings, they often don’t get a lot of "hands-on" work with the dogs. This gives everyone a chance to get help to polish up skills and only get better and what we do. So an exciting weekend ahead!

Then onto the regular Practitioner Training here in Johannesburg for companion animals and horses and ending with our companion animal training in Gordon’s Bay. The next month is looking busy and exciting. You still have time to join us for one of these trainings, so email info@ttouch.co.za if you have any questions.

I was so happy to feel the Spring arrive with the ability to wear sandals again for the first time in many months! Of course then the annual rain started and we had to go back to the heaters…. It’s starting to feel like the cold will never disappear. Hopefully by the time this letter goes out, we will have turned off the heaters for the season!

We had a great show at WODAC with meeting so many lovely people Unfortunately on the last afternoon, I got some sort of toxin in my body and ended up passing out. Take my advice and if you ever feel like you’re going to pass out, sit or lie on the floor. I didn’t and ended up with a shiner when I fell off my seat and hit my head on the tile floor. Fortunately all is well now and the black eye has disappeared! What I want to share is that even when I was flat on the floor, I felt the swelling happening and started TTouching my eye where I could feel the lump. As a result my eye never swelled up or closed which I’m sure it would have done had I not been constantly doing circles!

I have to tell you that I just spent a week in the bush with my niece and her family. Husband, Andrew and the 3 teenagers had never been to Africa or the bush and had a simply fabulous time. It was such a pleasure to show people around who so appreciated out land and the amazing animals that we are so privileged to live near. For me, it’s one of the true pleasures of living in South Africa, that possibility of the Kruger Park or other reserves. I could go many times a year and love it when someone says "let’s go"!

Here is one of the lion Pictures "Typical bush" and an "up close and personal" with an elephant!

All the best and may you soon have your own special "bush experience",

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


CT: 06-11 October 2012

VENUE: JHB:  Broshacarm Kennels – Midrand

CTCanine Concepts, Gordon’s Bay

COST+/- R4550.00

CONTACTEugenie on 011 884-3156 or email



 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

A life without a dog is a mistake – Carl Zuckmayer

HORSE WORKSHOPS: 27 Sept, 2012 with Robyn Hood

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:


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







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 

The love for animals, enhances the cultural level of the people – F . Salvochea







Goldfields Showgrounds BEDFORDVIEW Gauteng


TTouch for Dogs - Half Day Workshop






Karen Bullivant


011 828 6201 (h); 082 900 9119 (cell); 


Cape Town


Intro to TTouch






Judy Post

021-7889437; 0827325645




TTouch and learn to think "Dog"

27 Oct & 03 Nov 2012




Scotty Valadao 082 928 0102


With the storm season already upon us, it’s time to think about how you want to work with your dog or cat to help them get through it in the easiest possible way. The Thundershirt is certainly a powerful tool and along with TTouch techniques can make a huge difference to your family. Please contact the office or go to to find a practitioner near you. www.ttouch.co.za

The Thundershirt is a tool that has been used very effectively with fearful dogs/cats by TTouch Practitioners. Also have a look at the www.ttouch.co.za website for practitioners closest to you in order to be able to incorporate TTouches with the Thundershirt in helping your dog to cope – drug free.


When u leave a dog behind because he “grew old”, your children will learn the lesson.
Maybe they will do the same to you when you are an old man. Think about it…

By Aaron Clayton on 11/01/2006

Filed in - Fundamentals

Congratulations on your new dog! Naturally, you want to raise a great family dog—one that can hang with the family at home, greet guests calmly, play nicely with all the other dogs and avoid the bullies, go to the lacrosse games without pulling you onto the field of play, and maybe even charm the mother-in-law into pet-sitting when you head out on vacation.

Training your family dog using the clicker training approach is particularly family friendly. Here’s why.

Everyone’s a teacher

The joy and work of raising a family dog should be a great family experience. Uniquely, with clicker training, young family members grasp what to do and can easily participate. Clicker training doesn’t rely on strength or physical control. Children seven and older often have an excellent sense of timing and "feel" for the process. Children as young as five or six can give cues. The very youngest children can, with their parents’ help and supervision, deliver treats and praise.

Flexibility for a dynamic household

Busy family, hectic lives. That’s your life. Yet, a lot of people will tell you that consistency is key to effective dog training. Huh? I suspect that if your dog can only learn in a consistent environment, you are in big trouble! Sure, if you and your family members all behave identically and have the exact same routine every day and always use the same cues, your dog will have to process less variation and will probably learn faster. But that’s not your life, is it?

So, what you need is a dog that’s flexible and easygoing in all kinds of environments and learns in spite of all the variation. Flexibility, not consistency, will be more important in your household because your life is full of variation. None of your kids will ask your dog to "sit" in the exact same way. But your dog ought to learn all of the ways they ask and, with clicker training, he will. One of the fun things more experienced clicker trainers like to do is "swap" dogs and show that their dog will "work" for anyone!

"In clicker training, one focuses on creating conditions where success is possible and then builds on that success. We ignore, rather than punish, the mistakes that go on while we learn".

Clicker training’s long reach

The behaviors you practice in clicker training your animal will spill over into other areas of your life and the lives of your kids. In clicker training, one focuses on creating conditions where success is possible and then builds on that success. We ignore, rather than punish, the mistakes that go on while we learn.

One of my daughters routinely thanked her elementary school teacher for providing extra comments on homework. This teacher asked me how it was that my daughter had decided to thank her for making these extra comments. Apparently, in 20 years of teaching, no student had ever taken note of the extra effort this teacher had made to write extensive and thoughtful comments on kids’ homework assignments. So why did my daughter do that? She instinctively knew that if she recognized the teacher for the effort, she’d get even more helpful feedback. And, of course, she did. Clicker training at home, brought to school. You can learn even more about human-human applications of these same principles at www.tagteach.com.

The sure path to safe play

Any family dog should be "bulletproof." Kids should be able to poke him. Babies should be able to crawl by him. Understand, I am not advocating the unsupervised play of toddlers with a one-year-old Australian shepherd, or any breed. What I am saying is that your dog should be calm and tolerant of touch; he should not feel he needs to guard his food and he should be willing to share his toys. Fear and confusion in animals often lead to aggression. Boredom leads to destructive behavior.

Clicker training keeps your dog’s mind engaged, which helps fend off boredom. There’s no punishment so there’s no training-induced fear. If your dog is temperamentally shy or fearful, you can shape his personality through clicker training to become more confident and calmer. (P.S. Any talk you hear of needing to dominate your dog and show him who is boss is pure bunk. There’s no legitimate science supporting that claim. You control the rewards your dog enjoys. That’s all you’ll ever need.)

"Any talk you hear of needing to dominate your dog and show him who is boss is pure bunk. There’s no legitimate science supporting that claim. You control the rewards your dog enjoys. That’s all you’ll ever need".

Build the extraordinary family bond

Most dogs are naturally people-friendly and chances are you’ve chosen a breed that enjoys human companionship, but you no doubt envision a relationship that’s bigger than companionship. It’s about loyalty, fealty, and chivalry; your dog will protect your home, watch over your kids at the playground, find your way home out of the dark woods, snuggle next to you while you’re camping, give you a doggie kiss when you’ve had a bad day, and know to leave you alone when you have the flu. The path that gets you on track and keeps you on the path to reaching that relationship is clicker training. A deep bond with your dog will be based on mutual understanding, caring, and respect—and those values are inherent in the clicker training process.

Each time you and your family teach your dog through clicker training, you send a clear message. Over time you and your family will send thousands of messages that each help your dog understand what it is you want. In a process that’s not yet well understood scientifically, the cumulative impact on your dog of all that clear and respectful communication is greater than the sum of the individual messages. Neurons make new pathways in your dog’s brain, his synapses fire, and then, one day, you find yourself quite amazed and reassured that your dog now is making good decisions in ambiguous situations, that he easily enhances the world you all live in together, and that he acts to give you what you want and need without you even having to ask for it. Extraordinary.

You have a great family. Go ahead and raise a great family dog.

About the author:

 Aaron Clayton is President of Karen Pryor Clickertraining and TAGteach International, and a member of the ClickerExpo Faculty.

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

Love is when your dog licks your face even if you leave it alone the whole day – Anita (4yrs old)
We can judge the heart of a man according to his love for animals – Immanuel Kant

By Belinda Thomas

I once read an article somewhere that claimed that the average dog owner spends about R9,000 per year on the family dog. I couldn’t believe this. When I mentioned this to my husband, his reply was a rather non-chalant "Ja, I can believe that." I was taken by surprise by this response. In our household, the dogs are my responsibility. I take care of all the financial aspects of the dogs, as well as feeding, vets visits, cleaning up after them and catering to their every whim – as far as he’s concerned, one end smells and the otherend bites. I expected him to be outraged, or at least a little surprised at the amount of money I spent on them.

So I did a quick calculation of what I spend per year, per dog – excluding emergencies and chronic health conditions. I came up with an amount that was a little over R9,000 a year per dog. We have 4 dogs – that’s a scary amount to be spending. So I decided to investigate a bit further and find out the true cost of a dog. Before I go on I must point out that some of these prices will vary, depending on the size of the dog and where you get your doggie supplies from and the vet you use.

A large dog will eat much more than a small dog, some breeds need professional grooming which will add to the annual costs. If your dog has a health condition, it will cost more over time than a dog without one. These figures are just guides.


This can range in price from R1,000 through a shelter upwards to about R7,000 from a breeder (breeder prices range on average between R4,500 to R7,500 based on lots of different factors.)


6 week puppy shots: These are normally done by the breeder and included in the price of your puppy. But if it’s not, you can look at paying +- R250

 10 week puppy shots: +- R250 • 14 week rabies shot: +- R300 • De-Worming: +- R70 every 3 – 6 months. • Collar: +- R100 for a good quality nylon collar • Lead: +- R170 for a good quality nylon lead • Toys: R600 – R1, 000 for the year (puppies need a variety) • Food: +- R5,500 for the year for a good quality premium food. Cost will vary based on the dog and where you get your food from. • Various Chewys: R700 - R1,000 for the year • Puppy Classes: +- R650 for a 2 month course • Basic Obedience Classes: +- R700 for a 3 month course • Spay/Neuter

: +- R1,200 Based on gender and size of the dog. You could easily spend R11,000 on your puppy in his first year. Suddenly that cheap little puppy that you had to find is turning out to be a not so cheap little puppy!


As he grows up, your dog now needs annual check-ups, vaccinations, food, more toys, treats etc.

Perhaps you are continuing with his obedience training. Add this all up for the year and you’ll be amazed at how much you end up spending. It’s easy to hit that R9,000 a year estimate – even after your puppy’s first year.


Accidents happen and dogs get sick. You could easily end up with a vet bill that runs into thousands of rands on an emergency. This is a small part of being a dog owner. If you can’t afford the expenses of basic day-to-day care, you will not be able to cope with the unexpected costs that you may incur in an emergency. There are some pet medical aids available to help cover some of the costs.

The cost of just walking into a vet for an emergency can be between R400 and R750 depending on which vet you use (your regular vet or an emergency vet) and if it after hours. A lot of vets have an ‘after hours’ or ‘weekend’ levy on their consultation fees.

I must stress, that if you suspect a serious problem with your dog,

don’t adopt the "wait and see" approach. Get him to the vet as soon as possible, as waiting may cause the problem to worsen.


Okay, so now you have your dog and you’ve managed through the first year. But now what happens if he has a chronic health problem or suddenly develops one? Will you be able to afford to take care of a dog with a chronic condition, such as diabetes or an autoimmune problem, for the rest of his life?

There could be medicines and multiple trips to the vet throughout the dogs’ life beyond what is normal for a healthy dog. You can end up spending hundreds, even thousands of Rands in a couple of weeks just on tests. If your dog has to be on constant medication, you can end up spending hundreds of Rands in a year on just the medication. This is the case with Max, myGerman Shepherd, who, at the age of 10 years, suddenly developed epilepsy.

 I have another dog, who at the age of 18 months developed severe allergies to almost everything.

 The initial testing and medication to sort out the rashes and sores that he developed, cost me close to R5,000. Then it was trying different types of prescription foods – that bill ran up very quickly, as he would be okay on the food for a while and then something in it would trigger an allergic reaction, so it was back to the vet, more medicine, more tests and a different brand of food. This was repeated a number of times before we got it right. Murphy will be on medication for the rest of his life. I’m lucky that the allergy medication he needs to take regularly is not very pricey, but the food he has to eat costs twice the price of a normal bag of dog food. I consider myself lucky that I am able to afford the additional costs to take care of the medical needs of these two.


Senior dogs have their own set of issues. Once your dog gets to ‘old age’, it’s a good idea to take your dog to the vet for a full check up twice a year. Can you afford to have the odd bump that may come up checked out? Some of them could be age related, some may not be. Can you afford all the extras that a senior dog may need to keep comfortable?



Is your dog one of those breeds that needs professional grooming? Depending on where you go, what is required and the size of your dog, you can pay between R80 & R200 a month.

Kennels or Pet Sitters:

 Do you travel a lot? Unfortunately, you can’t always take Rufus with you. Kennels can cost anything between R50 a day to R90 a day, depending again, on the kennel and the size of the dog. The going rate for a house sitter is about R120 a day. What about the time that you need to invest in them to properly raise and train your dog?

Although, it’s not financial, all the money in the world is worth nothing, if you don’t put in the time and effort. Dogs are not decorations or status symbols to make you look good.

So now you see, is doesn’t matter whether your dog came from the best breeder in the country and has a pedigree as long as your arm, or whether he came from the animal shelter up the road, it’s the day to day expenses that mount up and end up costing the big bucks. Do the maths and look at the cost of being a responsible dog owner. Now ask yourself: "Can I really afford a dog?".

Dogs are not a cheap investment. Think about it, if you spend an average of R9,000 a year on your dog and he lives to be 15 years, the cost of that pooch is R135,000. Add in emergencies, illnesses, medications, and the cost can reach R145,000 easily. This is the true cost of your dog. However, I’m sure that you’ll all agree with me on this; there is nothing in the world like the unconditional love of your dog, so in my book, the cost of keeping him happy and healthy is well worth it.

 Article written by Belinda Thomas, from Friends of the Dog Website. Many more interesting articles available to read. www.friendsofthedog.co.za

 8a) Puppy Socialization Classes:

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

  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

  Brixton / Auckland Park:

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

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

  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

  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

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

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

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

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

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


Do not call me dog, I do not deserve such a high qualification… I am not as faithful or loyal… I am only a human being

Sitting back in the evening, stargazing and stroking your dog, is an infallible remedy – Ralph Waldo Emerson

By Dr. Becker

As it turns out, yes, they do!

A neuroscientist at Washington State University by the name of Jaak Panksepp noticed that when young rats in his laboratory were grouped together, the instruments he uses to hear high frequency rat sounds picked up lots of little chirping noises.

Young rats make these same chirping sounds when they play together, and given the choice, they prefer to spend time with other rats who chirp at the same 50 kHz frequency. The chirps seem to be indicators of rat happiness – they make the same sound when dopamine circuits in the brain are stimulated. In addition, the high-frequency ultrasonic chirps are distinct from other sounds rats make.

Dr. Panksepp wanted to find out whether the rat chirps he was hearing were, in fact, the sounds of laughter. So he decided to conduct a highly sophisticated scientific experiment – he set out to tickle some rats.

Panksepp discovered the rats’ chirping increased dramatically when they were tickled. And the more they were tickled, the fonder the rats grew of the researcher doing the tickling. Scientists have also discovered rats will run mazes and press levers if tickling is their reward.

Rats Bond with Their Ticklers

Humor and laughter in animals other than humans has not been the subject of much study. According to the magazine

Scientific American : "Aside from anecdotes, we know very little about nonhuman primate laughter and humor, but some of the most significant findings to emerge in comparative science over the past decade have involved the unexpected discovery that rats – particularly juvenile rats – laugh. That’s right: rats laugh. At least, that’s the unflinching argument being made by researcher Jaak Panksepp, who published a remarkable, and rather heated, position paper on the subject in Behavioural Brain Research."

Dr. Panksepp and his research assistants have conducted many studies on rat laughter in recent years, and they’ve discovered similarities between the chirping in young rats and laughter in young children.

Rats are especially ticklish in the nape area, which is also the area young rats tend to target when they play together. Panksepp discovered the most ticklish rats are also the most playful. Even more interesting, the rats appear to bond with their ticklers – the animals seek out specific human hands that had tickled them previously.

"Young rats have a marvelous sense of fun."

Some scientists aren’t convinced the sounds rats make when tickled qualify as laughter, but Dr. Panksepp has been busy gathering evidence of the similarities between the chirps of young rants and human laughter.

In a paper  published in Science magazine a few years ago, Panksepp made this observation: "Although no one has investigated the possibility of rat humor, if it exists, it is likely to be heavily laced with slapstick. Even if adult rodents have no well-developed cognitive sense of humor, young rats have a marvelous sense of fun. We have already bred rats that exhibit playful chirping, and thereby hope to track down some of the genes for joy. Perhaps we will even stumble on new molecules to alleviate depression as well as some excessive-exuberance disorders."

Here’s a short video of Dr. Panksepp’s rat tickling experiment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-admRGFVNM&feature=player_embedded

About Dr. Becker

Dr. Becker is a licensed veterinarian in Illinois. Voted one of Chicago’s top 10 veterinarians, she is certified in veterinary acupuncture and homeopathy, and opened her clinic, the Natural Pet Animal Hospital, in 1999


9b. HEALTH:  Do Summer Thunderstorms Send Your Dog Into a Panic?

May 23 2012 |By Dr. Becker

 The spring and summer months bring thunderstorms, and if you have a storm-phobic dog, I’m sure you’re not looking forward to them.

Depending on your pet’s experience with storms, as well as the force of any given storm, your dog might simply find a place to hide. Or he might have a more dramatic reaction (for example, running away or trying to chew his way out of his crate or through a door).

Some reactions are more unsettling than others, but regardless of your dog’s response to a storm, it’s difficult to know your pet is feeling terrified and you don’t know what to do to calm him.

Dogs with Storm Phobia Often Have Other Related Conditions

In a Cornell University retrospective study of over 1,644 dogs presenting with behavior problems over a ten-year period, 2.3 percent were seen for storm phobia.

Research conducted at the University of Pennsylvania and published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association looked at a possible link between storm phobias, noise phobias and separation anxiety in dogs.

The study revealed there is a high probability (0.88) dogs with noise phobia also have separation anxiety.

The vast majority of dogs with thunderstorm phobia also had separation anxiety.

In dogs with separation anxiety, there was a 0.63 probability they also had noise phobia, and a 0.52 likelihood they suffered from storm phobia.

Dogs with thunderstorm phobia had a 0.90 chance of having noise phobia, but dogs with noise phobia had only a 0.76 probability of having storm phobia.

Another interesting conclusion was the response to noise is different than the response to thunderstorms, likely due to the unpredictability of thunderstorms, according to study authors.

The researchers recommended that dogs with any of the three conditions should be checked for the other two, and that the interaction among the conditions is important for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Storm Phobia Symptoms:

  • Storm-phobic dogs will typically display one or more of the following symptoms, which can be mild to extreme:

  • Pacing

  • Drooling

  • Panting

  • Staying close to their human

  • Trembling

  • Self-harm

  • Vocalization (whining, howling Potty accidents in the house

  • Destructive behavior

Since dogs with one type of phobia tend to have others, it can be difficult for your veterinarian to immediately determine if the phobia is only in relation to thunderstorms.

The first thing your vet might ask is whether your dog also reacts to other loud noises and/or to being left home by himself.

Typically, dogs with a combination of phobias experience more extreme symptoms than dogs with just one condition. Also, the intensity of the phobia tends to impact the dog’s response to treatment.

Storm Phobia is Distinct from Other Phobias

While there are often co-existing phobias in one dog, storm phobias actually differ quite a bit from other conditions.

If your dog has separation anxiety, she’ll be triggered by activities leading up your departure, and the departure itself. A dog with noise phobia will be triggered by the sound of the specific noise(s) she’s bothered by.

 Storm-phobic dogs can react to any number of storm-related triggers, including:

  •  The boom of thunder or the crack of lightening

  •  The sound of wind or pouring rain

  •  Darkening skies

  •  Changes in barometric pressure

  •  Smells that precede or accompany a storm

 Your storm phobic dog will know bad weather is coming long before you do.

 Another peculiarity of thunderstorm phobia is it often escalates. Dogs that have been mild to moderately upset by storms can suddenly experience a significant increase in anxiety.

 This jump in anxiety level can often be linked to a particularly severe storm and perhaps a static electric shock the dog is exposed to during the storm. Many storm-phobic dogs seem driven to find areas where electrical grounds can protect them from static charges – places like sinks, bathtubs, shower enclosures, under toilet tanks, or next to metal radiators or pipes.

It’s a fact that static electricity fields build up during storms and some animals become statically charged.

Treating Dogs with Thunderstorm Phobia

Every storm-phobic dog’s response is different, so therapy should be customized to the individual animal and the intensity of his or her response.

Make a "safe room."

This is a place your dog can escape to when a storm is approaching, and it should be available to her at all times – especially when you’re not home. The idea is to limit her exposure to as many aspects of thunderstorms as possible. The room would ideally have no windows, or covered windows so the storm can’t be seen. If necessary, sound-proofing wallboard can muffle the noise of a storm. Put a solid-sided crate in the room with the door left open, along with a bit of food, water, treats and toys.

As part of your dog’s therapy, get her used to the room before she needs it by associating it with fun activities, food treats and gentle, soothing massage. Some owners use a head collar to calm the dog and more easily put her into a relaxed down position.

As the storm approaches, turn on the lights in the safe room so lightening flashes won’t be extremely obvious, and turn on calming music

Pheromone diffusers.

Species-specific pheromones are chemical substances that can positively affect an animal’s emotional state and behavior. Dog-appeasing pheromone (DAP) is a synthetic form of a pheromone secreted by the mammary glands of nursing dogs. Studies have shown DAP diffusers are effective therapy for dogs with firework phobias and separation anxiety.

Behavior modification.

One type of behavior modification for storm phobias is to engage your dog in a behavior that earns a reward. Ask your dog to perform a command he’s familiar with and reward him if he does. This technique distracts both of you – the dog from his fear of the storm, and you from the temptation to inadvertently reinforce your pet’s phobic behavior by petting and soothing him while he’s showing anxiety.

Another type of behavior modification involves trying to get your dog busy with a more pleasant activity than storm watching. Play a game with him or give him a recreational bone to gnaw on. Be aware that if your pet’s response to storms is intense, you may not be able to engage him in another activity early in his treatment program.


This therapy involves using a CD with reproduced storm sounds to attempt to desensitize your pet. It’s best to do this during times of the year when actual storms are few and far between.

Unfortunately, desensitization isn’t always as effective with storm phobias as it is with other types of anxiety disorders. That’s because it’s difficult to mimic all the various triggers that set off a fear response in a storm-phobic pet – in particular changes in barometric pressure, static electricity, and whatever scents dogs notice with an impending change in the weather. In addition, desensitization has to be done in each room of the house, because a new coping skill your dog learns in the living room will be forgotten in the kitchen. These problems make desensitization more of a challenge in treating storm phobias.

Storm jackets.

There are a number of different brands of storm jackets to choose from these days, and they have proved very helpful for some dogs with thunderstorm phobias. Storm jackets are designed to be snug-fitting to mimic the sensation of being swaddled, a feeling that is comforting to dogs. You might also consider a calming cap.

TTouch and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).

TTouch  is a specific massage technique that can be helpful for anxious pets. EFT is a tapping technique that can be used to deal with a wide variety of emotional and physical problems.

Natural supplements and remedies.

Talk to your holistic vet about homeopathic, TCM and other natural remedies that may help relieve your dog’s stress. These should be used in conjunction with behavior modification. A few I like are the nutraceuticals l-tryptophan, valerian, GABA, homeopathic Aconitum and the TCM formulas that Calm the Shen.

A U.K. study evaluated a treatment program that used two self-help, CD-based desensitization and counter-conditioning programs, plus DAP diffusers, plus a "safe haven" for dogs with fireworks phobia. The severity of the dogs’ phobias was significantly improved, as was their generalized fear.

If nothing you attempt seems to help your storm-phobic dog, don’t despair. Talk to your vet about a temporary course of drug therapy (usually with anti-anxiety meds or anti-depressants) in conjunction with behavior modification and some of the other recommendations outlined above.

By combining a few different therapies (and trying several to see which have the most impact), you increase the likelihood of bringing your dog’s phobia under control.

Editor’s Note: We love that Dr. Becker, like many great Vets are recommending TTouch as one of the methods of working with storm phobias. We have certainly had great success in this area and we’ll be talking more about it as the summer goes on.




If a dog does not come to you after
looking you in the face, it’s better that you go home and examine your conscience – Woodrow Wilson
Women and cats will do what please’s them
Dogs and men should relax and get used to the idea – Robert A Heinleim

Well the winter is finally over (I hope) and I had the privilege of having Shadow, our cat in the bedroom every night! This is the first time in the years she’s been with us that this has happened. She comes in in the evening with the dogs and has her spot on top of the dog crate where she feels relatively safe. The dogs were so easy to train to go out "to the bosies" and to come inside when called. Cats, however seem to have other ideas.

It was interesting with such cold weather to experience Shadow coming in with the dogs when called as she really didn’t want to be stuck outside at night. Now I don’t know about you, but we alarm our houses here in JHB and so all animals have to be in their proper spaces or you risk having alarms sounding at night and all that entails. Occasionally I know Shadow’s in the house but simply can find her. It’s often on my desk but can also be behind the couch in the lounge where there are multiple dog blankets. Or of course, it could be anywhere!

It will be interesting to see when the weather warms up a bit more if the feline remains in the bedroom or chooses to sleep in elsewhere!

Dogs …
The dog has made man their God, if the dog was an atheist, it would be perfect – Paul Velery

Will miss all my TTeam buddies this time(at the TTEAM training). Hope you all have an amazing time. I will hold the fort in KZN. Quick share: A boxing story

I went to help a client with her horse who was not boxing easily, he was rearing on the ramp and giving her a difficult time.

When I arrived, we did some ground work, including the labyrinth. Bodywork including mouth work (deworming problems). I put a face wrap on him and a full body wrap.

More ground work than we let him chill in a paddock while we got the box sorted.

I put the body wrap on him again and the client led him to the box. On route she asked "What should I do" I answered " Just walk him straight on while breathing"

Needless to say he stopped, put his head down, sniffed the ramp and not even a minute and he was in the box. We took him out re-boxed him, closed the gate and gave him carrots........

Tracy Moxey – Equine Practitioner from KZN

It doesn’t matter if an animal can reason. It matters only that it is capable of suffering ant that is why I consider it my neighbour – Albert Schweitzer


Book of the Month:

MAXDOG is the story of a Golden Retriever who becomes a rock of emotional support for his owner after she faces a series of devastating life events that plunge her into deep depression. Years later, the tables are turned and roles are reversed, when Max is diagnosed with a cancer that will soon take his life. In her journey to personal healing, Max’s owner rediscovers her love of writing and begins an inspirational internet blog sharing Max’s final months with her readers. MAXDOG of South Africa, the blog, captures a world-wide audience giving Max’s owner new purpose and direction in her life. MAXDOG is filled with laughter, tears and bittersweet moments that will pull the reader into its pages. This heart-warming tale is testimony to the enduring power of the human spirit, and the unconditional love shared between a Golden Retriever and its owner

An easy read, beautiful book taking you through the laughter, tears, hardships and discoveries of Caryl Moll, her family and her animal family. Chapters short and sweet, with beautiful pictures included. I loved the book.

c. Interesting Links 

Brilliant... This Happened on a Beach in Brazil

...... http://elcomercio.pe/player/1384898

When elephants retire:


Helpful (overworked) Jessie….


Mari Borain



12.   EVENTS

Learn to Think "Dog"

When we learn to understand our dog’s body language and why they do the things they do, this gives us tools no only to change or better the behaviour and deepen our existing bond, but to see and take recognition when our dogs are stressed in any way, and from there we can help them to cope.

Date: Saturday 20 October 2012

Venue: Happy Tails Doggy Daycare, Fourways (1 Albatross Drive)

Tickets: R100 – lunch will be provided

Time: 12.00 – 13.30

Join us for this fascinating talk by Behaviourist

Scotty Valadao

Contact info@happytailsdaycare.com for more information

All proceeds go to the PETS Empowerment in Townships


Dancers Love Dogs

Brigitte Reeve-Taylor Started this not-for-profit organization entitled ‘DANCERS DOGS’ for an annual show involving dancers who love animals and commits to producing a show each year with ALL proceeds going towards "MASS STERILIZATION’. The very first show was staged in Cape Town in May and raised a staggering R135 037.71 which has already sterilized 511 dogs. Now Johannesburg and Durban have come on board with Tina Fraser (Global Dance Conventions) facilitates the Johannesburg event and Leigh Meyer facilitating the Durban event. The Johannesburg Event is to be held at the Wits Theatre on the 12th October and all involved are doing so for free so that the animals can enjoy 100% of the proceeds.

Please have a look at the website: http://dancerslovedogs.weebly.com for all information and to see the FANSTASTIC work which is being done with the love and commitment of Animal Organizations and Vets.

 Please support this wonderful cause. As tickets are R250 , each person present is responsible for giving one dog a sterilization, vaccination and deworm.

 Please feel free to become involved in this wonderful cause in any way possible to improve the lives of our trusted best friends, our dogs.



Zoey is looking for a home with a garden . She is a Husky cross whatever dog got to her mom. She is two and half years old and has the most wonderful temperament and personality. She is sweet and adoring and a beautiful specimen. She is very energetic though. Contact Robert Fourie at 012 460 2246 or rfourie@boyshigh.com

Jemma looking for a loving home.  Beautiful black and white cat, 7 months old, had all her innocolations and has been sterilized. Contact Heleen De Jager at +27(11)207-1362 (Phone)or E-mail: Heleen.DeJager@t-systems.co.za

Whisper is looking for a loving home.  She is about 8 weeks old. I have met her she is a lovely little girl, such a gentle soul, responds to TTouch 100%. Please if you know of someone who is willing to foster or home her contact Claudia. Whisper is currently boarding at the Daleside Veterinary Clinic until she can find a home. Claudia: 082 5184293

My elderly (83-year old) Dad has sold his house in Johannesburg and is moving to Cape Town. He has 2 fantastic dogs - Buster (Boerbul cross) and an Mutt (Alsation). The dogs need to be re-homed and I though the TTouch family would be a good place to put out the word. If anyone is interested or knows of anyone who may like to give these 2 friends a new home, please let me know. Mary-Jane Morris 082 789 4139

We are desperate in need of a foster home for BRUCE.  His owner was retrenched & had to move into a townhouse with his family. Bruce is not allowed to be there & thus is owner trying desperately trying to find a foster home for Bruce for a few months until he can be reunited with his owner. If you can assist, please let me know urgently. Contact Jasper van Jaarsveld Cell: 083 231 2290


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

PO Box 729, Strathavon 2031

Tel: 011 884-3156

Fax: 011 783 1515



echopin@icon.co.za, Website:


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