Tellington Touch: “It’s Important to Believe that You’re Really Doing It.”

February 1, 2008

Toby was a young, enthusiastic dog. He had a hard time focusing and was reactive to all kinds of things, including other dogs, and unresponsive to training. His owners were frustrated. When Debby Potts first met Toby, she made note of the fact that his tail had been docked.

She began working on him, using different TTouch techniques. When she started to work on his “phantom tail” – the space where his tail used to be – he turned around to look at her as if he were curious about what she was doing. Potts did TTouches on the existing stump of the tail, and then continued beyond the physical tail into the air where the tail would be had it not been amputated.

“It’s amazing how many dogs with docked tails really clamp it to their body,” says Potts. She recommends gently working with all docked tails, even if there is just one vertebra, to ease the tension. Over and over she has seen noticeable changes in dogs, in their bodies, movement, and demeanor after working with their existing and phantom tails.

After Toby’s session, he was more focused, able to stand in balance, and less likely to pull on his leash. “It’s not uncommon for a dog to act more balanced after this kind of work,” says Potts. She does add that she hasn’t ever just worked on the tail or other amputated part of an animal, but regularly sees a clear reaction from dogs when working on their phantom parts, such as how Toby responded by looking at what she was doing.

This can look a little odd, Potts admits. “When I teach people how to work on their dog’s phantom parts, I usually suggest they do it in the privacy of their own homes!” She adds that it’s important to believe that you’re really doing it and can “see” the tail as if it were there. Just moving the hand and fingers around the area doesn’t have the same impact, she says.

The Whole Dog Journal
Debby Potts,TTouchInstructor/Practitioner,Licensed Veterinary Technician,The Integrated Animal, Portland, Oregon (503) 704-7499


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