The Tellington Touch: TTouch Training for Dogs

TTouch, also known as the Tellington Touch, was developed by Linda Tellington-Jones, PhD, as an alternative to traditional massage for injuries and behavior problems in pets. The TTouch is used on cats, dogs and horses for a variety of different problems.

TTouch Method

TTouch is based on the circular movements of the fingers and hands on all parts of the body with the intent of activating cell function. Several different types of touches, lifts and exercises are used to increase your pet's healthy cell functioning in a way traditional petting and massage don't.

To try TTouch on your pet, imagine a clock. Place your fingers at 6 on the clock and push the skin around the clock for a full circle and a quarter, to 9 on the clock. Use all of your fingers and thumb for this and don't pick up your fingers before moving to the next spot, just glide them along the skin. Maintain a steady rhythm and pressure based on the type of injury you are trying to relieve.

Clockwise circles work to strengthen and rehabilitate the body as well as improve self-confidence and performance. Use counterclockwise circles to release tension.

Appropriate Pressure

The scale of TTouch pressures range from one to nine. To determine what a one feels like, place your thumb against your cheek. With the tip of your middle finger, make a TTouch circle on your eyelid with the lightest possible pressure. Use that same pressure on your forearm where the skin is less sensitive to get a gauge for what it will feel like on your dog.

For a three, make the same circle on your eyelid but with the firmest pressure you can while still feeling comfortable. Try this on your arm. To do a six, press twice as hard. Only on horses and humans will you ever need to press more firmly than that. The smaller your pet, the less pressure you will use. If your pet seems uncomfortable, use less pressure.

Using TTouch

TTouch is advertised as a positive training solution for reducing problem behaviors without creating a fear response. Indeed, it can even reduce fear responses. It is also recommended for reducing excessive barking and chewing, pulling, jumping, aggression, shyness, resistance to grooming, excitability, nervousness, car sickness and problems associated with aging.

It may take your pet some time to get used to TTouch, especially if he doesn't enjoy handling. Start with a light pressure and a short session. If your dog starts to get uncomfortable with a particular area, for example feet, move on to something else. You can try to spend longer on that area during the next session. If he seems to be uncomfortable in general, stop. You want this to be enjoyable. Most dogs become accustomed to the touch if you work at their pace.

Different touches can be used for different injuries or behavior problems. For specific exercises, visit to pick up a book or video. If you don't feel comfortable trying TTouch on your own, a TTouch practitioners directory is also listed so you can find a trained professional in your area.