If you are the caregiver of a dog suffering from fear of a storm or fireworks, this article is aimed at you!
Storm season is a frightening time for many dogs, including us, caregivers, who often feel powerless in the face of their dog, who begins to walk nervously around the apartment, squeal and hide with fear around the corners. Yes, I think this powerlessness, along with ignorance about how to help your dog in such a situation and how to support it, are the worst.
From the observations of my and the trainers of the Tellington TTouch method, from which I learned, it appears that anxiety dogs often do not have awareness of their own body and are not “well established” in it. In addition, under the influence of anxiety and the stress that accompanies it, tensions form in the body of such a dog, which, like such a self-winding spiral, will in turn drive the anxiety emotional state of your quadruped.
The body-mind connection that speaks of mutual correlation is already being talked about in the context of us humans. Interestingly, the same dependence also occurs in animals, and this knowledge can be used precisely to support your dog in a stressful situation.
When working with anxiety dogs, a lot of focus is devoted to the dog’s mind, but in order to be holistic about a given behavior, it is necessary to work in parallel on his physical body. By relaxing physical tensions- much faster and effective we will affect the “relaxation” of emotional tensions, as well as to obtain a more supportive attitude to make the dog feel safer and more confident.
I know, all this may sound quite high-flying, and you’re probably wondering how you’re supposed to do it without being, for example, a zoo physiotherapist and not knowing the dog’s anatomy. I’ll comfort you – there are ways to do it and it’s much easier than you think!
What is tellington TTouch?
The Tellington TTouch method is designed for the average animal caregiver who wants to learn how relaxing the body of his dog (or horse or cat) can positively affect his emotional state, well-being and behavior.
For this purpose, various types of simple movements on the body are used together with the techniques of wrappers (so-called body wrap), which can really work wonders m.in. in the case of dogs panicically afraid of thunder and arrows.
The magic lies in how we use our hands…
As humans, we have a great need to touch our dogs without paying much attention to where and how we do it. If we approach touching our quadruped inacitably, probably in a state of high stress, we will touch it to cause even greater stimulation of the nervous system or frustration and discomfort. If, on the other hand, we start using touch consciously, while finding places that are pleasant for the dog, we can show the dog extraordinary support and even make it completely different over time to perceive a given stimulus, such as a storm or fireworks!
What does Tellington TTouch have to offer in the event of a storm and New Year’s Eve night?
In this particular context, we use 3 elements:
1. Movements on the body – properly used touch in the form of circular, lifting and gliding movements performed with a firm, but still gentle emphasis on the skin of the dog interacting with the nervous system, not the muscle; these movements have various funny names, such as “clam”, “python” and “zigzag”. Especially in such situations, we focus on stimulating the points on the dog’s head and mua, ears, sternum area and tail. These are strategic areas that, at the moment of proper stimulation, most soon allow us to put the dog in a state of relaxation.
2. Wrappers – the appropriate use of elastic bandages wrapped in a specific way on the head or on the dog’s body (depending on his preferences) also exert similar pressure to movements on the body, although it is passive and constant, which in the case of dogs that are “on high emotions” is often much better tolerated than the active touch of the hand.
Both TTouch movements and wrappes promote the secretion of serotonin in the dog’s body, which entails improving its well-being and silencing. In addition, it was noted that the use of touch exerting gentle pressure on the skin, promotes the secretion of oxytocin, thanks to which, by the way, we further deepen the bond between us and our dog and build a relationship based on trust with him. Oh, such a nice side effect. 🙂
3. Intention and breathing – the third, equally important element of the use of TTouch is to remember to take care of the calmness of the mind, slow breathing and relaxation in the body. If we forget about this point, our touch will automatically become more stiffened, nervous, and thus we can get the counterproductive effect.
TTouch teaches you to put your hands on yourself first, and only then transfer that peace and love to your dog. 🙂
A huge plus of using TTouch on your dog is that we ourselves also feel the effect of relaxation, also benefit from both sides of the dog-human relationship.
Want to learn TTouch techniques to help you with storms and fireworks?
Specifically for this purpose, I recorded a 1.5-hour webinar, in which I teach how to correctly perform movements on the body of my dog along with the wrappens, which I presented in the above text.
Click HERE to purchase it.
See Monica’s opinion on this webinars.
Finally, remember – you are able to do much more for your dog than you think and without having to immediately reach for pharmacological agents that can cause side effects. Just learn these few simple techniques, which will surely not harm the dog, and can even help him amazingly!