Tellington TTouch® Evaluation Criteria for Companion Animal Practitioner Foundation Course Summary

This is a guide for self-evaluation, small group study or as a tool in evaluating demonstration of competence with the Tellington TTouch techniques at the Foundation Course level

This summary describes the areas of assessment and acceptable scores.  More details of exceptional and inadequate scores are available in the full Evaluation Criteria document, available through the office.

Body Work Techniques

Circular TTouches

Score 5 – Excellent

  • Is able to accurately demonstrate 12 circular touches, applying the 9 Elements 
  • Performs all circular TTouches with ease, adapting technique for a wide variety of animals and applications 
  • Demonstrates consistent, fluid movement, is grounded and breathing, always adapting position for most effective result and to maintain safe position in relation to the animal.
  • While doing touches, is present and focused on how the touches are being received, changing touch, pressure and/or tempo as appropriate based on animal’s response
  • Is able to articulate five applications for each touch 
  • Is able to articulate the power of the pause – Allows time for breaks and processing

Score 4 – Good

Score 3 – Satisfactory

  • Is able to accurately demonstrate 8 circular touches applying at least 6 of the 9 Elements
  • Adapts body and/or hand position for most effective result
  • Is able to articulate three applications for each touch

Score 2 – Limited

Score 1 – Unacceptable

  • Can demonstrate less than 5 circular touches, inconsistently applying less than 4 of the 9 Elements
  • Demonstrates touches with hesitancy
  • Can articulate only one application for each touch
Lifts and Slides

Score 5 – Excellent

  • Is able to accurately demonstrate 7 lifts and slides, adapting technique for a wide variety of animals and applications
  • Demonstrates consistent fluid movement, is grounded and breathing, always adapting position for most effective result and to maintain safe position in relation to the animal 
  • While doing touches, is present and focused on how the touches are being received, changing touch, pressure and/or tempo as appropriate based on animal’s response
  • “Listens” and appropriately responds to animal’s feedback
  • Is able to articulate five applications for each lift and slide

Score 4 – Good

Score 3 – Satisfactory

  • Is able to accurately demonstrate 5 lifts and slides
  • Adapts position for most effective result
  • Is able to articulate three applications for each lift and slide

Score 2 – Limited

Score 1 – Unacceptable

  • Can accurately demonstrate 3 lifts and slides
  • Can articulate only one application for each lift and slide
Extremity Work

Mouth

Score 5 – Excellent

  • Always positions animal for the safest, most effective result
  • Consistently demonstrates balance of confidence and caution
  • Introduces mouthwork to animal by doing touches on head first and respectfully, gradually moving to face, jaws, outside of muzzle, gradually working to gums and flews, paying attention to and appropriately responding to animal’s response to touches
  • Can articulate 6 of benefits of working the mouth

Score 4 – Good

Score 3 – Satisfactory

  • Positions animal for the safest, most effective result
  • Begins mouthwork by stroking the animal’s muzzle, then moves to gums and flews, paying attention to animal’s response
  • Can articulate 4 benefits of working the mouth

Score 2 – Limited

Score 1 – Unacceptable

  • Tries to do touches in animal’s mouth before animal is ready to accept.
  • Is not aware of safety issues while doing mouth work
  • Can’t clearly articulate why mouthwork is beneficial

Ears

Score 5 – Excellent

  • Always positions animal for the safest, most effective result
  • Demonstrates correct and appropriate use of circles and slides on all types of ears. 
  • Can articulate 6 benefits of working ears
  • Present and focused, paying attention to and appropriately responding to animal’s response to touches

Score 4 – Good

Score 3 – Satisfactory

  • Positions animal for the safest, most effective result
  • Circles and slides are tentative; demonstrates more confidence on either floppy or stand-up ears, but not both.
  • Can articulate 3 benefits of working ears

Score 2 – Limited

Score 1 – Unacceptable

  • Is not aware of safety issues while doing ear work
  • Can’t clearly articulate why earwork is beneficial

 

Tail

Score 5 – Excellent

  • Always works with awareness of potential sensitivity
  • Can accurately demonstrate 4 different techniques of tailwork
  • Begins tailwork by doing touches on hindquarters and around the base of the tail.  Initially begins tailwork with an open hand, or slides back of hand down tail to avoid feeling of being grabbed. Chooses appropriate technique based on what the tail is doing (clamped, tucked, down, up, etc.)
  • Is present, focused and respectful, while doing tailwork, paying attention to and appropriately responding to animal’s response to touches
  • Can articulate 4 benefits of working the tail.

Score 4 – Good

Score 3 – Satisfactory

  • Works with awareness of potential sensitivity
  • Can accurately demonstrate 2 different techniques of tailwork
  • Can articulate 2 benefits of working the tail

Score 2 – Limited

Score 1 – Unacceptable

  • Is not aware of animal’s potential sensitivity
  • Can’t clearly articulate why tailwork is beneficial

Groundwork

Leading

Score 5 – Excellent

  • Can clearly articulate when to use ground exercises as opposed to TTouches, and when to use specific leading methods such as Homing Pigeon, Bee-Line, single leading or other leading variations 
  • Is always aware of the surrounding environment while leading
  • Is always in most effective position relative to dog, when leading alone, in Homing Pigeon, Bee-line or other leading variations
  • Smoothly puts on and effectively uses the Balance Leash and Balance Leash variations.  Chooses most effective variation of the Balance Leash, given the situation.
  • Signals are always given smoothly and clearly
  • Signals are always appropriate to achieve optimum response
  • Effectively uses many variations for using leash and leash with handle and can clearly articulate 3 appropriate applications for each variation
  • Is always in neutral when not giving signals
  • Always communicates clearly with partner(s) in Homing Pigeon, Bee-line or other leading variations
  • Is equally effective leading on both sides of dog in any leash configuration
  • Can articulate 6 uses and benefits of TTouch leading method
  • Effectively utilizes the power of the pause – Allows time for breaks and processing
  • Sees positive outcomes with difficult dogs (i.e. dogs walking in balance on loose-leash, focused, easily redirected if distracted, recovers quickly if reacts to something, etc.)

Score 4 – Good

Score 3 – Satisfactory

  • Is effective when leading alone, but limited in techniques involving a second or third person
  • Effectively uses Balance Leash and its variations
  • Is aware of surrounding environment when leading
  • Is usually in neutral when not giving signals
  • Is more effective leading on one side of the dog than the other
  • Can articulate 4 uses and benefits of TTouch leading method
  • Sees improvement (less pulling, standing in balance, more present, etc.)

Score 2 – Limited 

Score 1 – Unacceptable

  • Struggles to put on Balance Leash
  • Is not aware of surrounding environment
  • Is often behind the dog, or pulls the dog
  • Sees little to no improvement in the dog

Equipment

Score 5 – Excellent

  • Can articulate and demonstrate pros and cons of different harnesses, comfortable fit, when to use, when not to use.
  • Can clearly articulate and demonstrate the purpose and proper use of the TTouch Connector.
  • Can articulate and demonstrate the Balance Leash and Balance Leash variations, and appropriate application of each. 
  • Can demonstrate 8 different wrap configurations, including comfortable fit, and proper introduction of wrap to the animal.  Can articulate when to use and when not to use.  Can explain the benefits of using wraps and other products such as Thundershirts.
  • Can articulate and demonstrate effective and creative uses of wand and wand substitutes for many species, when and how to use the wand, when not to use it, how to introduce it
  • Can articulate and demonstrate pros and cons of different head collars, including comfortable fit, when to use, when not to use, how to introduce
  • Can articulate and demonstrate use of different types of collars
  • Can articulate and demonstrate use of other equipment such as rope harnesses, various “rear gear” configurations
  • Uses safe and efficient techniques when putting equipment on an animal.

Score 4 – Good

Score 3 – Satisfactory

  • Effectively uses Balance Leash and its variations
  • Can demonstrate proper fit of a harness
  • Can demonstrate the proper use of the TTouch Connector.
  • Can correctly apply 5 different wrap configurations and explain appropriate application of each
  • Can demonstrate 3 uses of a wand
  • Can correctly fit a head collar
  • Uses safe techniques when putting equipment on an animal

Score 2 – Limited

Score 1 – Unacceptable

  • Struggles to apply Balance Leash
  • Is unaware of the animal when applying a wrap or harness
  • Uses head collar without attaching leash to another piece of equipment (collar, harness)
Use of Playground of Higher Learning Elements

Score 5 – Excellent

  • Can articulate the purpose and demonstrate the application of 10 types of groundwork elements, especially the Labyrinth
  • Can create a Playground with at least six different elements, being mindful of the placement of the Elements with relation to flow of movement
  • Demonstrates the ability to create Elements from different materials and items
  • Demonstrates the ability to creatively adapt an Element for a particular situation or animal
  • Is aware of the animal’s position, posture, and comfort level when leading it through the Elements, adjusting as necessary to give the animal a positive experience

Score 4 – Good

Score 3 – Satisfactory

  • Can articulate the purpose and demonstrate the application of the Labyrinth, and 5 other types of groundwork Elements
  • Can create a playground with at least four different elements, being mindful of the placement of the elements with relation to flow of movement
  • Is aware of animal’s comfort level when leading it through the Elements, adjusting as necessary for a positive experience 

Score 2 – Limited

Score 1 – Unacceptable

  • Struggles to set up a Labyrinth
  • Can’t articulate the purpose of various Elements of a Playground
  • Is unaware of the animal’s comfort level, position and posture when leading through the Elements

Theory & Application

Observation Skills 

Score 5 – Excellent

  • Readily notices small changes in balance, posture or tension and recognizes small responses to approach, contact and movement
  • Describes observations without judgment or labels
  • Readily recognizes and appropriately responds to indications of stress 

Score 4 – Good

Score 3 – Satisfactory

  • Notices changes in balance, posture or tension
  • Describes observations, but sometimes uses labels
  • Recognizes indications of stress

Score 2 – Limited

Score 1 – Unacceptable

  • Doesn’t notice any changes
  • Describes observations using judgment and labels
  • Doesn’t recognize indications of stress
General Handling and Safety

Score 5 – Excellent

  • Always uses non-confrontational body positions when working with dogs.  Can describe 5 body positions that may provoke a reactive response. 
  • Demonstrates safe handling techniques, to keep both self and animal safe.
  • Is aware of environment at all times and responds proactively and appropriately to situations that may provoke a reactive response from the dog (e.g. reactive to another person or animal)
  • Demonstrates appropriate containment techniques
  • Demonstrates understanding of various instinctual responses

Score 4 – Good

Score 3 – Satisfactory

  • Generally uses non-confrontational body positions when working with dogs.  Can describe 3 body positions that may provoke a reactive response.
  • Shows awareness of the environment and responds appropriately in reactive situations.
  • Demonstrates appropriate containment techniques with dogs

Score 2 – Limited

Score 1 – Unacceptable

  • Is not aware of how human body position can provoke reactive response in dog.
  • Is not aware of what is going on around them when working with a dog
  • Restrains rather than contains the animal
Comprehension of Philosophy

Score 5 – Excellent

  • Embodies the Tellington TTouch Mission Statement and philosophy 
  • Works without judgment
  • Recognizes the animals as our teachers
  • Welcomes opportunities presented for new learning
  • Is as considerate to the person as the animals
  • Meets them where they are (people and animals)

Score 4- Good

Score 3 – Satisfactory

  • Knows the TTouch Mission and philosophy
  • Is open to learning
  • Meets the animal where it is

Score 2 – Limited

Score 1 – Unacceptable

  • Uses judgmental terms of both the animal and the person
  • Keeps doing the same thing expecting different results
  • Forces the animal without giving it a choice
Process and Application of Skills

Score 5 – Excellent

  • Is able to choose techniques to address a wide variety of issues, achieving positive outcomes 90% of the time
  • Is creative in “chinking down” something that may be challenging for the animal
  • Demonstrates skill in observing and responding to small changes with an animal in approach, contact, movement or environmental influences.
  • Recognizes the influence the human has on the animal and maintains their own physical, mental and emotional balance

Score 4 – Good

Score 3 – Satisfactory

  • Can choose techniques to address a variety of issues, achieving positive outcomes 75% of the time
  • Uses obvious steps to “chink down” something that may be challenging for the animal
  • Demonstrates skill in observing changes in an animal
  • Maintains physical and emotional balance when working with an animal

Score 2 – Limited

Score 1 – Unacceptable

  • Uses only 2 or 3 techniques to address issues, achieving positive outcomes less than 65% of the time
  • Can’t think how to “chink down” something that may be challenging
  • Is unaware of changes in the animal
  • Does not maintain physical or emotional balance when working with an animal.



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