What to expect at a Tellington TTouch workshop for companion animals
One thing is for sure, each and every TTouch Companion Animal training is different. The dogs and other animals that are brought by the participants add a unique flavor to each week and no matter how many clinics you attend, you always walk away with some new insight in animal behavior and new tools to help solve common as well as not so common issues.
A variety of instructors who have a well rounded education in TTouch as well as other modalities trade off teaching clinics in different parts of the world. Each clinic is well staffed with knowledgeable assistants who are always there to answer questions, help with concerns or lend a hand with more challenging animals. The TTouch organization works closely with a number of private shelters, the SPCA and animal humane societies. During most of the clinics participants have the opportunity to visit a shelter and learn to observe and work with dogs, cats, rabbits or any other animals that might be available.
Dogs represent the majority of animals at most clinics and you will learn to see their posture, body language, calming signals, gait and behavior with new eyes. The same assessments are applied to other animals with minor variations. Observation and evaluation are followed by a hands-on exploration of the animal’s body (if the animal is ready to be touched safely) to find areas of tension, soreness or change in the body. During the week the clinic participants will get the opportunity to TTouch many different dogs and other animals honing their observation skills and using the TTouches to help the animals overcome issues, physical and emotional.
The ground and leading exercises get everybody moving and teach the dogs and handlers to move in balance with the help of a variety of harnesses and canine halters and ground obstacles. The confidence course teaches dogs to slowly negotiate a series of obstacles and use their bodies in a new way. Suddenly incorrigible leash pullers are walking carefully over a series of boards on a loose leash and dog aggressive canines are passing each other in the labyrinth without concern. Dogs that were glued to their owners the first day of the training are happy to go for a walk with a stranger.
Clinic participants enjoy the light hearted, positive learning environment and lifelong friendships are often formed. They share fun and laughter, practice the TTouches and leading exercises on each other in a supportive environment.
Whenever possible, depending on the clinic location and availability a variety of other animals are brought to the clinic for those people who are interested in working with different species. At the Vernon BC clinics for instance, people have the opportunity to work with horses one afternoon, and other species including rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, snakes, turtles, bearded dragons, chameleons and of course cats.
Participants who are striving to become practitioners have the opportunity to work with clients and their animals in a supportive environment. Other sessions include marketing, client relationship and setting up an animal business. It is impossible to walk away from a weeklong TTouch clinic without a new understanding and appreciation for the animals in our lives.