Tellington Ttouch is a form of bodywork that activates the nervous system in the dog’s skin, by means of gentle non-invasive stroking, lifting and manipulation of the dog’s skin, extremities and limbs, whereas massage’s focus is on the muscular system. It consists of three main elements namely:

Bodywork: 25+ different touches, strokes, combinations thereof, lifting of the skin, gentle manipulation of the legs, ears and tail & the different style of body wrap

Leading exercises: uses different types of leads & harness and combinations thereof

Groundwork : mini obstacles

When doing the Ttouch bodywork the tactile system processes information from the different type of touches via the receptors under the skin. These touches that differ in pressure, speed and motion have a calming and soothing effect on the nervous system and stimulates the release of the neuro-transmitter called dopamine.

When doing groundwork, combined with leading exercises the non-habitual movement increases proprioception (awareness of where your body is in space and time).  Proprioceptive input (via movement) enhances serotonin release, which know as your “feel good” chemical. Non-habitual exercises also enhances Nor-epinephrine release, of which your dog needs a certain amount of in order to focus and learn new things. When leading your dog through, over and around the obstacles, information is also processed by the vestibular system (in the inner ear) that is critical for balance and postural security.


Ttouch™ can help with the following:


Physical responses

  • Reduce car sickness
  • Resistance towards handling / grooming
  • Speeds up post-op healing
  • Postural adjustments i.e. tucked tail to a relaxed tail
  • Releases tension patterns
  • Lowers internal physiological changes i.e. respiration rate, blood flow, heart rate
  • Provides comfort for dogs with medical issues
  • Improves mobility for dogs that have conditions such as arthritis and hip dysplasia
  • Improve performance in sporting dogs by improving balance, co-ordination & body awareness

Emotional responses

  • Overcoming fears
  • Changing aggressive responses
  • Anxiety / Stress related behaviours (excessive behaviours)

Behavioural responses

  • Shifts arousal states of flight, flight, shutdown, displacement & avoidance behaviours to a more exploratory behaviour i.e. ability to learn new skills, adaptive responses
  • Calms over excited behaviour


© Claire Grobbelaar