Fearful Sheltie helped by TTouch
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People ask a lot of dogs, sometimes forgetting that many behaviors we may consider a problem are in fact totally normal behavior for dogs!  In essence, we expect our dogs to adapt to and cope with our complicated world, which is sometimes very much at odds with their needs.  While dogs are extremely intelligent, they don’t have the reasoning skills of humans and require appropriate education and training to help them know what is expected.  Unfortunately, either through lack of awareness or inaccurate information, people often resort to punishment or other threatening techniques in an attempt to correct misbehavior.  Given that dogs commonly are either on a leash or “trapped” in a particular space, they are unable to escape the threat and may have no understanding of what the transgression was in the first place.  As the dog becomes more anxious or fearful, the situation only worsens.  I do believe that feeling safe is the number one priority of any being, and the first step to helping dogs with behavior issues is to create a sense of safety for them.

Course Information:   This course will present an effective and positive approach to working with dogs who exhibit difficult behavior issues such as extreme fearfulness, anxiety, reactivity to other dogs or people, noise phobias, and hyper-arousal.  TTouch offers us many tools and creative exercises designed to help dogs reduce tension and arousal while building confidence and coping skills.   The goal is to give the dog a new experience of feeling safe, calm, and in control while in a challenging environment or in the presence of other dogs or people, which previously would have elicited a fearful response. 

The course consists of an overview of the physiology of stress and the behavioral coping strategies that dogs often demonstrate, as well as a some guidance in observational skills.  There are three lessons with practical application of skills and exercises: 

  1. Building Trust With Choice.
  2. Working With Fear and Anxiety.
  3. Working with Reactivity.   

A short quiz will follow each lesson to enhance your learning and provide feedback.  Each lesson will also include a homework assignment.  Typically, homework will be submitted in the form of pictures or video clips of you demonstrating a particular skill or technique taught in the lesson.