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12.   EVENTS
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March and April 2013


(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. Cape Town: 04 -09 October 2013

ii. Midrand: 17-22 September 2013

3.   Horse Workshops – 18-23 May in Cape Town

4.  TTouch Workshops – May and June 2013

5.  TTouch Tips – The Benefits Of Touching Your Dog

6.  Clicker Tips – 101 Things to Do with a Box

7.  Puppies

a. Play as Behaviour Therapy

b. Puppy Socialization Classes In Your Area

8.  Behaviour / Health

a. Behaviour: If You’re Aggressive, Your Dog Will Be Too

b. Health: 10 of the Most Dangerous Foods for your Dogs

9.   Shanti & Friends Update:

10.  Your Letters

11.  Odds and Ends

a.  Website of the month: Funda Nenja website

b.   Interesting Links

12.  Events

a. April Animal Awareness Drive-Car window stickers

b. Royal Canine Dog Day 2013

c. Bodies in Balance – Pet Care and Training

d. Winter Blanket Drive for Shelter Animals

e. Horse Lovers Weekend

13. Dogs or Cats Urgently Needing Homes / Lost animals



I have just had a special treat! DSTV is screening Walt Disney’s "Lady and the Tramp", one of my favourite movies as a child. Now you might think that this animated film is outdated and certainly there are things that would be different today but what a pleasure it was to watch again. Harley and I shared the experience and he had no trouble seeing the dogs for what they were, even in animated form! So do have a look if you get the chance.

We have just finished our International Trainings and Instructor Edie Jane Eaton was really on form for teaching these classes. It’s such a pleasure to find someone who really thinks about

what she’s teaching and who is innovative about how she goes about helps people understand the principles of what we do. If you’ve never experienced a Ttouch course, you’ll learn a lot about observing your animals, learning what they are saying to you and making contact in a way that supports trust and partnership.

Of special note is the 5-Day Horse Training happening in the Western Cape in May. This rarely happens so do take advantage! (See horse trainings below)

We had the pleasure of being back in Durban at WODAC in February and met many wonderful people interested in our work. We hope to be doing more workshops in that area in the future, but are still seeking a suitable Venue for people and dogs. If you have any ideas, please do let me know.

New on the horizon:  is an idea to do some 3-day trainings as part of our Practitioner Program. This would mean that those people who have trouble getting off work or finding the money for the 6-day training, would have the opportunity to experience the TTouch work over a weekend (including the Monday) This means we could come to you, in which ever city you like as long as we have a few people to cover expenses. So again do let us know if you are interested in this idea.

Stay warm and don’t forget a humidifier if you’re in Gauteng as dryness promotes viruses!

Warmest Regards,

Eugenie Chopin

Tellington TTouch Instructor for Companion Animals




JHB: 17 – 22 September 2013

Cape Town: 04 -09 October 2013

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.

The Cape Town Venue will have to be confirmed later according to the size of the class. We have used both Canine Concepts in Gordon’s Bay and Timour Hall in Plumstead and loved both of them.

The training runs over 3 years, with 2-week long sessions per year lasting 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 V 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: 17-22 September 2013


CT:  04-09 October 2013

VENUE: JHB:  Tellington TTouch Office Sandown/or Broshacarm Kennels Midrand

CT:  Gordon’s Bay or Plumstead

COST+/- R4550.00

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

Basic Rules for Golden Retrievers who have a House to Run…
If you have to throw up, get into a chair, QUICKLY! If you can't manage that in time, get to an Oriental rug. If no Oriental rug is available, any good rug will do (middle of the bed is good too)

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










Midrand Donnybrook Stables

5-day TTEAM with Debby Potts

25-29 Sept 2013



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

Steenrots Stud HOUT BAY Western Cape

Five Day Horse with Instructor Edie Jane Eaton

18 May 2013



(R300 discount if paid by March 18


Catherine Williams

021 790 0792 082 569 8641 or quadrisenses@gmail.com

SARDA 8 Key Ridge Road


Intro &Level 2 to TTEAM per day

Understand your horse

11-12 May 2013


R450 per day

Tracy Moxey & Lynn Selby

Tracy Moxey

tracy@dbmelectro.co.za 031 7053946 (w); 0731414876 (cell)


Basic Rules for Golden Retrievers who have a House to Run…
ALWAYS accompany guests to the bathroom. It's not necessary to do anything; just sit and stare (and then always jump up and look in the bowl when they flush)






Victory Park



Intro to TTouch for Dogs workshop


05 May 2013




Heleen Prinsloo


082 497 0499 (cell)


Bryanston Johannesburg


TTouch for Dogs


01 & 02 June 2013




Niki Elliott & Nicky Lucka


011 706 2320 (h); 082 451 0433 (cell)



By Claire Grobbelaar DipCABT (COAPE, UK) NOCN, CertCAB (Tech Pta).TTouch Practitioner

Cape – Canine Concepts Behaviour & Training


Touching and petting your puppy or older dog provides a very valuable reward for them. Studies conducted (by Tuber) in 1986 have found that dogs that respond to petting as a reward exhibit cardiac deceleration while being petted. Close social interaction between people and dogs results in a cascade of neurobiological events that facilitate enhanced attachment and comfort. These types of interactions produces an elevation in circulating neuropeptides (endorphin, oxytocin and prolactin) and other neurochemicals that mediates pleasure, affiliative emotions and social attachment. Oxytocin actively mediates social bonding and exerts a pronounced cardiovascular change and has an anti-stress effect, while exerting a potent decreasing effect over irritability (Lund et el. 2002) and aggression ‘reducing all forms of aggression that have been studied’ (Panksepp, 1998).

TTouch – another form of tactile stimulation – helps to stimulate the release of dopamine, which is associated with bonding, attachment, motivation and focused thinking and serotonin, which is associated with a positive emotional state and feeling content. A reduction in these neurotransmitters can lead to impulsivity, aggression, irritability, anxiety, difficulty learning and a diminished positive feeling.

Hennessy and colleagues (1998) have reported that the way in which petting is done is also very important. Long, firm, slow and continuous strokes (such as the Noah’s March touch from Ttouch) produces the best stress-reducing and calming down effects, whereas quick and light touches increases arousal, stimulation or even irritation. In 1994 Gantt observed that slow firm petting exerted a potent inhibitory effect over conditioned anxiety in dogs.

Teaching puppies (or adult dogs) to relax, by means of petting and massage, is just as important as any other training activities. Before coming into its new home the average puppy is exposed to a tremendous amount of physical interaction, excitement and playful competitiveness with their littermates. These puppies are now accustomed to a high level of social stimulation that is now no longer available in their new home, thereby triggering unwelcome attention-seeking behaviours towards to the humans (and resident canines) in the household. Owners are

sometimes frustrated by the new puppy’s incessant search for stimulation and interaction and this could, therefore, lead to improper disciplinary practices or excessive confinement of the puppy.

Puppies that exhibit such competitive and stimulation seeking behaviours should be exposed to graduated relaxation exercise e.g. slow petting, massage or Ttouch to reduce agitation and decrease competitive tension, instead of using force or domination tactics.

Early tactile stimulation in the form of massage, gentle-firm touching or TTouch exerts a profound and long-lasting influence on activity levels, learning and problem solving abilities, confidence and emotional reactivity. Failure to obtain the correct early tactile stimulation may represent a significant source of stress for newly adopted puppies and can induce a variety of compensatory behaviours such as hyperactivity, excessive contact seeking and proximity seeking behaviours, over-excitability and increase aggressiveness associated with frustration and irritability (Slabbert and Rasa 1993).

Together with sufficient environmental enrichment, exercise, play, daily positive training activities and tactile stimulation, which includes gentle restraining efforts, can help modulate a puppy’s social competitive and stimulation needs. During these gentle manual restraint, (as some of you might have practiced in my puppy courses) the puppy is exposed to mild limit-setting actions. An example of that is to gently contain the puppy while stroking him; when he wriggles, mouths or tries to get away (Posture communicates behavioural intention and reflects underlying emotional and motivation states.) is to simply carry on with the gentle stroking and using vocal reassurance until the puppy calms down and is then released. The relaxation period is then extended over time before he is released. The puppy then gradually learns to submit to handling as a source of increased comfort and safety rather than evoking competitive reactivity and resistance. The restraint in this case is gentle, consistent and clear but not overtly intimidating or threatening. In the case of puppies (or dogs) becoming aggressive, professional help should be sought.

The objective of such exercises is to help the puppy accept a level of control with minimum reactively, thereby improving its willingness to submit and ultimately achieving enhanced feelings of affection, comfort, safety with his owner and to progressively become more relaxed and compliant. Massage induced relaxation or any other tactile method such as Ttouch makes tasks like grooming, nail clipping, giving medication, having sutures removed, giving ear / eye drops, examining feet, tail, ears, teeth less stressful for the puppy or (and owner!).

Temple Grandin (author of ‘Animals in Translation’) who is autistic, has found that deep touch pressure (e.g. massage or firm continuous touches) alleviates the touch aversion exhibited by many autistic persons. In addition to becoming less aggressive and tense, she reported becoming more receptive of human touch and gentler in her own touching contacts with other people and her pet. The Ttouch Body Wrap placed on dogs has a similar effect. This body wrap exerts a gentle continuous pressure that helps to calm the dog down.

All though not ‘doggy’ related, but very interesting, Field (1995) discovered that premature babies given tactile stimulation consisting of light stroking failed to gain weight, whereas babies who received tactile stimulation in the form of gentle firm strokes did gain weight.andnbsp; In addition Field and his colleagues (1996) also discovered that massage therapy helped to alleviate stress related physiological and behavioural symptoms exhibited by babies born to depressed mothers. Over a 6 week period with regular sessions it significantly increased serotonin levels. This increased the contact responsiveness and sociability in the infants.

Massage, TTouch or whichever tactile stimulation you choose to use is far more beneficial than just a feel good activity to do with your dog or puppy. Make time to touch your dog mindfully every day. Ten minutes (or hopefully more!) of focused, mindful and intentional petting/stroking is far more beneficial than a casual touch here and there throughout the day.


Lindsay, Steven – Applied Dog Behaviour , Training Vol. 3

Grandin, Temple – Animals in Translation, Using the mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behaviour

Cascade, Kathy. Article – The sensory side of TTouch

Basic Rules for Golden Retrievers who have a House to Run…
Do not allow closed doors in ANY room. To get a door opened, stand on your hind legs and hammer with your forepaws.

By Karen Pryor on 04/02/2013

Filed in - Fun & Handy Tricks - Karen’s Articles

Originally published: 3/01/2009

Eugenie’s Note:   This is a classic exercise to help dogs learn to think "outside the box" (sorry for the pun) It is perfect for those dogs who have been trained only to react to "commands" and shows them that they can get rewarded for many types of behaviour, thus helping them start to offer new behaviours. Needless to say, it’s also great fun for all dogs as they get lots of rewards in the learning process!

This training game is derived from a dolphin research project in which I and others participated, "The creative porpoise: training for novel behaviour," published in the

Journal of Experimental Analysis of Behaviour in 1969. It has become a favourite with dog trainers. It’s especially good for "crossover" dogs with a long history of correction-based training, since it encourages mental and physical flexibility and gives the dog courage to try something on its own.

Step one

Take an ordinary cardboard box, any size. Cut the sides down to about three inches, and put the box on the floor. Click the dog for looking at the box. Treat. If the dog goes near or past the box, even by accident, click. Next, after you click, toss the treat near or in the box. If the dog steps toward the box to get the treat, click the step and toss another treat. If he steps into the box, great, click again, even if he is eating his previous treats, and offer him another treat in your hand.

Sometimes you can cook up a lot of "box action" in a hurry this way: click for stepping toward or into the box. Alternately toss the treat in the box and hold the treat out in your hand so the dog has to come back to you. If the dog is reluctant to step into the box, and so doesn’t eat that treat,

it doesn’t matter: he knows he got it. If treats accumulate in the box, fine. When he does step into the box, he’ll get a jackpot. If you decide to stop the session before that happens, fine. Pick up the treats in the box, and put them away for a later session. Remember, never treat without clicking first, and always click for a reason: for some action of the dog’s.

If you need more behaviour to click, you can move yourself to different parts of the room so the box is between you and the dog, increasing the likelihood of steps in the direction of the box. Don’t call the dog, don’t pat the box, don’t chat, don’t encourage the dog, and don’t "help" him. All of that stuff may just make him more suspicious. Click foot movements toward the box, never mind from how far away, and then treat. If you get in five or six good clicks, for moving in the direction or near or past the box, and then the dog "loses interest" and goes away, fine. You can always play "box" again later. In between sessions, the reinforcements you did get in will do their work for you; each little session will make things livelier the next time.

You are, after all, teaching your dog new rules to a new game. If you have already trained your dog by conventional methods, the dog may be respecting the general rule, "Wait to be told what to do." So the first rule of this new game, "Do something on your own, and I will click," is a toughie. In that case, the box game is especially valuable, and the first tiny steps are especially exciting—although they would be invisible to an onlooker, and may right now seem invisible to you.

End the first session with a "click for nothing" and a jackpot consisting of either a handful of treats, or a free grab at the whole bowl. Hmm. That’ll get him thinking. The next time that cardboard box comes out, he will be alert to new possibilities. Clicks. Treats. Jackpots.

"That cardboard box makes my person behave strangely, but on the whole, I like this new strangeness. Box? Something I can do, myself? With that box?"

Those are new ideas, but they will come.

If your dog is very suspicious, you may need to do the first exercise over again once, or twice, or several times, until he "believes" something a human might phrase thus: "All that is going on here is that the click sound means my person gives me delicious food. And the box is not a trap, the box is a signal that click and treat time is here, if I can just find out how to make my person click."

Step two

Whether these things occur in the same session or several sessions later, here are some behaviours to click. Click the dog for stepping in the box, for pushing the box, pawing the box, mouthing the box, smelling the box, dragging the box, picking up the box, thumping the box—in short, for anything the dog does with the box.

Remember to click WHILE the behaviour is going on, not after the dog stops. As soon as you click, the dog will stop, of course, to get his treat. But because the click marked the behaviour, the dog will do that behaviour again, or some version of it, to try to get you to click again. You do not lose the behaviour by interrupting it with a click.

You may end up in a wild flurry of box-related behaviour. GREAT! Your dog is already learning to problem-solve in a creative way. If you get swamped, and can’t decide which thing to click, just jackpot and end the session. Now YOU have something to think about between sessions.

On the other hand, you may get a more methodical, slow, careful testing by the dog: the dog carefully repeats just what was clicked before. One paw in the box, say. Fine—but right away YOU need to become flexible about what you click, or you will end up as a matched pair of behavioural bookends. Paw, click. Paw, click. Paw, click. That is not the way to win this game.

So, when the dog begins to offer the behaviour the same way, repeatedly, withhold your click. He puts the paw out, you wait. Your behaviour has changed; the dog’s behaviour will change, too. The dog might keep the paw there longer; fine, that’s something new to click. He might pull it out; you could click that, once or twice. He might put the other paw in, too—fine, click that. Now he may try something new.

And? Where do we go from here? Well, once your dog has discovered that messing around with the box is apparently the point of this game, you will have enough behaviour to select from, so that you can now begin to click only for certain behaviours, behaviours that aim toward a plan. It’s as if you have a whole box of Scrabble letters, and you are going to start selecting letters that spell a word. This process is part of "shaping."

Step three

Variations and final products: What could you shape from cardboard box behaviours?

Get in the box and stay there

Initial behaviour: Dog puts paw in box. Click, toss treats. Then don’t click, just wait and see. Maybe you’ll get two paws in box. Click. Now get four paws in box. Get dog in box. Options: Sitting or lying in box; staying in box until clicked; staying in box until called, then clicked for coming.

Uses: Put the dog to bed. Put the dog in its crate. Let children amuse themselves and make friends with the dog by clicking the dog for hopping into a box and out again (works with cats, too). One third-grade teacher takes her Papillion to school on special events days, in a picnic basket. When the basket is opened, the dog hops out, plays with the children, and then hops back in again.

Behaviour: Carry the box

Initial behaviour: Dog grabs the edge of the box in its teeth and lifts it off the floor.

Uses: Millions. Carry a box. Carry a basket. Put things away: magazines back on the pile, toys in the toy box. A dog that has learned the generalized or generic rule, "Lifting things in my mouth is reinforceable," can learn many additional skills.

Behaviour: Tip the box over onto yourself

I don’t know what good this is, but it’s not hard to get; it crops up often in the "101 Things to Do with a Box" game. If the dog paws the near edge of the box hard enough, it will flip. My Border terrier, Skookum, discovered that he could tip the living-room wastebasket (wicker, bowl-shaped, empty) over on himself, so that he was hidden inside it. Then he scooted around in there, making the wastebasket move mysteriously across the floor. It was without a doubt the funniest thing any of our dinner guests had ever seen a dog do. Since terriers love being laughed with (but never at), clicks and treats were not necessary to maintain the behaviour once he had discovered it—and he learned to wait until he was invited to do it, usually when we had company.

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









Bryanston, Sandton Johannesburg


Fun Obedience


Every Wed evening, Thursday morning & Sat afteroon


R400 per month


Niki Elliott, Kay Aitcheson


011 706 2320 (h); 082 451 0433






Clicker Staying Power


4 x 30 minute sessions




Tracy & Karen Bullivant

tracyb@twob.co.za or 011 828 6201 (h); 082 809 0028 (cell)


Gordon’s Bay

Cape Town


Clicker Training


For dates see www.canineconcepts.co.za




Claire Grobbelaar

021 856 5886 info@canineconcepts.co.za


Basic Rules for Golden Retrievers who have a House to Run…
When supervising cooking, sit just behind the left heel of the cook. You cannot be seen and thereby stand a better chance of being stepped on, picked up, and consoled with food. (And to get twice the number of treats, demand one before you go out and another when you come back in . . . two treats for only a few drops of urine)

Daniel Estep, Ph.D. and Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D.


Copyright ABA, Inc.

Joanne has a four-month old Labrador retriever named Sammy that jumps up on her and her children, nips at their clothes and barks and runs at them constantly. An evaluation of Sammy revealed that he wasn’t being purposefully aggressive – he was just out of control in his play with them. We see many dogs like Sammy that don’t seem to know how to control themselves around people. It seems that what Sammy and these other dogs need is to learn how to play!

This is not as strange as it may seem. At a conference of applied animal behaviourists we attended last week, Karen London, Ph.D. of Dog’s Best Friend, Black Earth, Wisconsin,

discussed the value of play as a part of the treatment for some problem dogs. She pointed out that play has many benefits for animals including providing physical and mental exercise, teaching basic manners, teaching dogs how to pay attention to people and teaching boundaries for their behaviour. By teaching dogs how to play appropriately, they can learn important lessons that can carry over to non-play situations such as basic manners and boundaries in interacting with people. Joanne can teach Sammy not to mouth and nip at people, not to jump up or to launch himself at people and not to steal things that aren’t given to him by teaching him specific games that promote appropriate behaviour and discourage inappropriate behaviour.

Dogs can be taught not only how to play but also when to play and who to play with. Joanne can work with Sammy to teach him specific signals that tell him when he can play with the family and when play is finished. She can also work with Sammy and the children to teach them games that are appropriate for them and to teach Sammy the rules for playing with children. These rules will need to be different than those for playing with larger adults. In some households with small children and very physical dogs, it may be that play between the children and dog should not happen at all until the children are older and the dog is better behaved.

Dogs can be taught a variety of social games such as fetching a ball or object, hide and seek, finding a hidden treat, and finding and bringing a specific toy or object. Each type of play has it’s own value and benefits. Dogs can be taught and encouraged to play with other dogs or even with other animals in the household such as cats, as long as limits and boundaries are taught as well. Dogs also should be taught how to play by themselves. They can be encouraged to toss and catch balls or other toys, or to play with puzzle toys such as objects that contain food treats. Play not only enriches our lives with our dogs but can be used as a way to help deal with problem behaviours.

This short article were written by Daniel Estep, Ph.D. and Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D. Certified Applied Animal Behaviourists. They were first published in the Rocky Mountain News, Denver, CO. Any reproduction of or quotation from any of these articles must cite both the authors and the Rocky Mountain News.

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

  • 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.



Basic Rules for Golden Retrievers who have a House to Run…
Once a door is opened, it's not necessary to use it. After you've ordered an outside door opened, stand halfway in and halfway out and think about several things. It's particularly important during very cold weather, rain, snow, and mosquito season

Web address:


If You’re Aggressive, Your Dog Will Be Too, Says Veterinary Study

Aggressive Behaviour: Many confrontational training methods, whether staring down dogs, striking them or intimidating them with physical manipulation does little to correct improper behaviour and can elicit aggressive responses, according to authors of a new study. (Credit: iStockphoto/Yuriy Zelenenkyy)

Feb. 18, 2009 — In a new, year-long University of Pennsylvania survey of dog owners who use confrontational or aversive methods to train aggressive pets, veterinary researchers have found that most of these animals will continue to be aggressive unless training techniques are modified.

The study, published in the current issue of

Applied Animal Behaviour Science , also showed that using non-aversive or neutral training methods such as additional exercise or rewards elicited very few aggressive responses.

"Nationwide, the No. 1 reason why dog owners take their pet to a veterinary behaviourist is to manage aggressive behaviour," Meghan E. Herron, lead author of the study, said. "Our study demonstrated that many confrontational training methods, whether staring down dogs, striking them or intimidating them with physical manipulation does little to correct improper behaviour and can elicit aggressive responses."

The team from the School of Veterinary Medicine at Penn suggest that primary-care veterinarians advise owners of the risks associated with such training methods and provide guidance and resources for safe management of behaviour problems. Herron, Frances S. Shofer and Ilana R. Reisner, veterinarians with the Department of Clinical Studies at Penn Vet, produced a 30-item survey for dog owners who made behavioural service appointments at Penn Vet. In the questionnaire, dog owners were asked how they had previously treated aggressive behaviour, whether there was a positive, negative or neutral effect on the dogs’ behaviour and whether aggressive responses resulted from the method they used. Owners were also asked where they learned of the training technique they employed.

Of the 140 surveys completed, the most frequently listed recommendation sources were "self" and "trainers." Several confrontational methods such as "hit or kick dog for undesirable behaviour" (43 percent), "growl at dog" (41 percent), "physically force the release of an item from a dog’s mouth" (39 percent), "alpha roll" physically -- rolling the dog onto its back and holding it (31 percent), "stare at or stare down" (30 percent), "dominance down" —- physically forcing the dog down onto its side (29 percent) and "grab dog by jowls and shake" (26 percent) elicited an aggressive response from at least 25 percent of the dogs on which they were attempted. In addition, dogs brought to the hospital for aggressive behaviour towards familiar people were more likely to respond aggressively to some confrontational techniques than dogs brought in for other behavioural reasons.

"This study highlights the risk of dominance-based training, which has been made popular by TV, books and punishment-based training advocates," Herron said. "These techniques are fear-eliciting and may lead to owner-directed aggression."

Prior to seeking the counsel of a veterinary behaviourist, many dog owners attempt behaviour-modification techniques suggested by a variety of sources. Recommendations often include the aversive-training techniques listed in the survey, all of which may provoke fearful or defensively aggressive behaviour. Their common use may have grown from the idea that canine aggression is rooted in the need for social dominance or to a lack of dominance displayed by the owner. Advocates of this theory therefore suggest owners establish an "alpha" or pack-leader role.

The purpose of the Penn Vet study was to assess the behavioural effects and safety risks of techniques used historically by owners of dogs with behaviour problems.

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by

University of Pennsylvania.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal Reference:   

1. Herron et al.

Survey of the use and outcome of confrontational and non-confrontational training methods in client-owned dogs showing undesired behaviours. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 2009; 117 (1-2): 47 DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2008.12.011

University of Pennsylvania (2009, February 18). If You’re Aggressive, Your Dog Will Be Too, Says Veterinary Study.

ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 2, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2009/02/090217141540.htm

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.




Basic Rules for Golden Retrievers who have a House to Run… Begin people-training early. You'll then have a smooth-running household. Humans need to know the basic rules. They can be taught if you start early and are consistent  

If you’ve been getting our Newsletters, then you know we have now introduced Lifewave patches which are amazing in many ways, but I have finally bitten the bullet and started using them on Shanti, who has Spondylitis and is getting older with all of the ramifications attached. She’s been on supplements for years for pain, joints, etc. I have started using the Ice Wave patches for pain and the Glutathione patches for general aging health and issues. I can see that it’s making a difference already so I’m very excited about this.

The only reason why I hesitated was the doubt about "where" to put them! It’s not easy to know exactly where an acupuncture point is on the dog’s body and of course, Shanti couldn’t tell me exactly where the pain was or if it had disappeared when I patched her. And I didn’t feel competent enough with muscle testing to use that method of ascertaining where to place the patches.

So I simply did the best I could with the information I had from articles & pictures and then by doing gentle pressure on her body to see where she twitched or had some discomfort, I simply started patching! It’s that old adage that just starting a job is the way to get something done! It’s now starting to remind me of our students who hesitate to get started with their case studies because they don’t think they know how! JUST DO IT and you’re halfway there!

IN the meantime, this picture below says it all about Harley! Of course all I really need is some sort of food treat to help him let go of the retrieve object. Easy to train if you take the time to do it!



Above is a short success story sent to me by one of our Practitioners in the Netherlands. It really demonstrates how small amounts can go a long way. It’s also very timely since foaling season is just around the corner. TTouch is incredibly useful to prepare maiden mares for nursing, or to help foals who are having difficulty - Mouthwork is an excellent tool for stimulating the sucking reflex (it works a wonder for lambs as well.) — with Ellen Angelino


 a)  Website of the Month: Funda Nenja website - http://www.fundanenja.co.za. FUNDA

NENJA roughly translates as "learning with the dog" and describes what an enthusiastic group of people are doing in Mpophomeni outside Howick in KwaZulu Natal. Every Friday afternoon about 10 volunteers and 65 dogs with their handlers gather to share interspecies and multicultural communication.

Our vision is to develop respect and compassion for all living things by promoting a bond with a dog, using dog training as a vehicle. Education on animal welfare, the need for sterilization, humane handling of animals, as well as kind, gentle dog training methods are included in the weekly classes. The dog handlers learn the need for self-discipline, commitment, responsibility which, in the long run, develops personal growth and self-worth. The dogs learn that interacting with humans can be fun and rewarding, resulting in increased confidence and happier dispositions.   

Have a look at the picture (by clicking on the JPG or PDF link below) of Funda Nenja at WODAC Durban


. DAILY NEWS (Late Final)

25 Feb 2013




Big day out







b) Interesting Links


Tips to helping the horse to relax through a range of motion

Posted by Robyn

Cats.wmv 4787K Download  

Very funny! Enjoy


12.   EVENTS

 April Animal Awareness Drive-Car window stickers

This is to make people aware of animals in general but especially when they are driving on the road-be aware of cats, dogs, birds and other creatures when driving

Car window stickers available to order all proceeds will go towards the JGMAF so we can continue to change the world one paw at a time. Stickers are R20-00 each and R30-00 for 2. Please help us create animal awareness.

For any food, blankets, toys etc. donations please drop us a mail through our "CONTACT US" page and we’ll arrange for the pick up-www.jgmanimalfoundation.org.za

Royal Canine Dog Day 2013

Venue: Avianto Clubhouse, Muldersdrift

Date: Sunday 5th May 2013

Time: 9am

Costs:  Human entry: R60; Dog entry: R60;   R10 per dog and human entry fee will be donated to the charities present on the day

Please contact the Dog Day Office on 011 367 0661or info@dogdayonline.co.za

Or http://www.dogdayonline.co.za


Bodies in Balance – Pet Care and Training

Caregiver’s Course for Dogs

Course Dates:  Sunday 28 April 2013 andSunday 19 May 2013

Full Course fee:  R1,250.00


Payment Options:  A R500 non-refundable deposit is payable upon registration.

The full course fee must be settled at least 7 days before the first Sunday


Kay Aitcheson kay@puppiesinbalance.co.za




Cell: 083 448 2522


Pet Sitters Course

Suitable for, but not restricted to:


  • House Sitters

  • First time pet owners


Full Course fee:  R2500


Payment Options:  A R1000 non-refundable deposit is payable upon registration.  The full course fee must be settled at least 7 days before the first Sunday



Course Dates:  Sunday 28 April 2013  and Sunday 19 May 2013 and Sunday 26 May 2013


Kay Aitcheson






Cell: 083 448 2522



1st Aid Workshop for Dogs and Cats

Presented by Dr Kenneth Joubert BVSc MMedVet,(Anaes)

Date:  5th May 2013


Venue:  Fourways Sandton


Time:  10:00 – 15:00


Cost:  R500.00 (payable before 30th April 2013. Space is limited. A non-refundable deposit of R250 payable on registration will reserve your booking)


To Book mail:   ashleigh@puppiesinbalance.co.za or call 082 451 0433


Blanket and Food Collective Drive 2013 for the Shelter Animals.

10 years of Helping those who do not have a voice.

The Winter Blanket Drive is an initiative that was launched 10 years ago. It was initiated to provide support to the Animal Shelters working at grass roots to alleviate the pain and suffering of abandoned and neglected animals. In the years that it has been running we have extended our reach country wide and to in excess of 50 shelters and organisations.

The Drive has only one focus and that is the animals. Whether it be by way of providing blankets, food, medical care, sterilization campaigns or a few toys to brighten some sad eyes. This is why we are involved and with your support we can get what is needed to where it is needed.

For ways you can help please visit our www.blanketdrive.co.za website or call Melissa on 083 276 2962

Horse Lovers Weekend

Book Early - limited space available.

31st May to 2nd June, 2013

3 nights: R3,000 per person sharing or

2 nights: R2,000 per person sharing

Rates include:

Luxury accommodation, all meals, non-alcoholic drinks and Saddle Clinic with Norman Hyett, PAKAMISA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE

res@pakamisa.co.za, www.pakamisa.co.za, Tel: +27 (0) 34 413 3559

Fax: +27 (0) 866 229 403 or Mobile: +27 (0) 83 229 1811



Tigger is 7-8years old Beautiful Cat. He is ’house trained’, sleeps at her feet at night, prefers to be an only cat - he likes people and children, doesn’t like being carried around and eats any pellets and is brushes regularly. Please contact Daleen Barnard Tel:010 594 8012; Fax: 0866741325; Cell: 082 520 4097 or E-mail: daleen.barnard@bwhouse.co.za

Have you seen this cat? Yuma has been missing since 5th January 2013 In the vicinity of Lombardy East, JHB. He is a long haired black classic tabby Maine Coon. He is 2 years old, is neutered and micro-chipped.If somebody brings him in for a consultation, please would you scan him to check if he belongs to me. Please call Jo-Anne on Cell No – 082 854 7224 or Home No - 011 443 6604

MISSING Male Husky (microchipped) from Windsor Glen (near Cresta, JHB).  Frankie, missing from 17 April 2013 . Please contact Bridgette at 083 623 0565 or 083 261 4806 or email bids.blooms@gmail.com. Reward offered!!

SS0205 SHEILAGH Husky cross GSD has been in kennels way too long NOW!!  Female, Husky Cross GSD, Black & Cream, 3 years, Sterilised, vaccinations up to date, SPECIAL: This girl desperately needs her forever home as she has been in kennels since November 2010. She is friendly and craves human companionship.

Siobhan Kelly at zoola@mweb.co.za or 083 399 3999 after hours Neapolitan Mastiff hondtjies wat ons grootgemaak het. Hulle is nou reg om na nuwe huise te gaan. 2 Tefies 8 weke oud KUSA geregistreer. Hierdie is nie n baie bekende soort hond nie dis waarom hulle so uniek is. Kontak Prof Dr. Pixie Pascoe at or 082 467 3924 or 012 662 3394 dr.pixie@telkomsa.net

Two Ridgebacks:  They have to go together as they share a deep connection. They need love and walks and tons of attention, they will protect you with their life in return. They are very sensitive and placid. They lie in their baskets practically the entire day. But if they hear the leashes being taken out they go crazy! They are blood donors at Honeydew Animal Clinic in Randpark Ridge and as a result their vaccinations are free every year. They need to go to a family that has the time and patience for them, they are obedient but the female is a bit skittish, always has been, I don’t know why as we’ve only had them the past 2 years so are unsure about their upbringing. If they are gradually introduced to other dogs then they will accept, as long as the other dog does not invade their space too much too soon. They don’t mind cats, they are actually scared! As long as the cat stands his ground and gives a swipe or 2 they will purposefully avoid the cat in future!  Nina is the sister and Rocco is the brother, they are 7 years old and in perfect health, they have both been spayed/neutered. Contact Nicole Hattingh on +27 (82) 807 6318 or E-mail:  icole.hattingh@dimensiondata.com

Editor:  Heleen Prinsloo, Certified TTouch Practitioner 1 for Companion Animals

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.