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What To Do About Ticks & Fleas
What Should I Do About Fleas and Ticks?

United Animal Nations is pleased to share these tips on how to deal with fleas and ticks, which are usually most troublesome to pets in the warm summer weather. Fortunately, prevention and treatment are fairly simple, as you’ll discover in these Frequently Asked Questions.

The information below offers suggested remedies, and should not be regarded as comprehensive. Please contact your veterinarian for more information.

How often should I check my pets for ticks or fleas?

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Stress and TTouch

Article By: Claudeen E. Mc Auliffe, M.Ed.

The Chicken or the Egg?

As we and our animals live our lives, our environment makes demands upon us. A thunderstorm, an injection from the vet, the departure of a caregiver, may place us in a situation perceived as threatening, thus evoking an acute stress response. This is called distress. It’s important to realize that distress is not the situation itself, but rather the way we react to the situation. For a state of distress to occur, we must experience something as dangerous. This generates a feeling of anxiety. [1 ]

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House Training Your Puppy by Niki Elliot

Puppies are instinctively clean animals and have a natural instinct to “pee & poop” away from their den or sleeping place. Puppies also naturally develop habits of where they would like to eliminate. For example, pups that have a habit of eliminating on grass or dirt would rather not eliminate on concrete or gravel. You can use these natural tendencies for rapid and successful house training.

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Tellington TTouch For Cats

During the Seminar on Cats, various speakers discussed many of the problems that are common in cats. They include aggression, spraying, unwanted scratching, nervousness etc. What all of the speakers agreed on was that most of these things included some stress and anxiety. The good news is that TTouch addresses exactly this! Below is a hands on guide on HOW TO DO THE TTOUCH.

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Eugenie’s Letter - March 2017

Dear TTouch Friends,

I’m sitting here on a Sunday afternoon and it’s raining again! How wonderful that the dams are filling up here in Gauteng, I just wish it were the same all over the country. From my animals perspective however, they love being outdoors and have been restless with all of the time spent indoors. Fortunately we had a good day yesterday and everyone got a bath - Things were getting a bit “spicy” in the house…

It’s actually hard to believe that it’s already March and Robyn will be here in a couple of weeks’ time. I am excited to say that we have added a week-end workshop for Humans – i.e. how can TTouch bodywork and body wraps help people in so many ways.



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Eugenie's Letter - February 2017


2017 is certainly well on its way!

I can’t believe that January is just about over. I hope you all had some quality Holiday time and came back rested and ready to go!

Here in the TTouch office, it’s all systems go for the trainings which are already happening in March. The good news is that the great Robyn Hood is back with us for not only horses and dogs/cats but also for humans. It’s your chance to use TTouch to help family and friends in a variety of ways.

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Seven Reasons to Use Reward-Based Dog Training
It’s amazing what we can do when we use rewards to train our companion animals. Here are some reasons to give it a try.
Dogs Trust recommend the use of rewards in dog training. “In order to be effective and to gain the best results, all training should be based around positive rewards. Positive reward training works because if you reward your dog with something he wants as soon as he does what you ask, he is far more likely to do it again.”

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Article By: Niki Elliot

The day you get your puppy the clock is running. Your puppy’s critical period of socialization will begin to wane by three months and it’s most impressionable learning period starts to close by five months. There is so much to teach & almost all of it needs to be taught in the first twelve weeks of getting puppy home. It is vital to know what to teach & how to teach it. Going to puppy classes, reading behaviour & training books and watching puppy videos it the quickest way to learn.

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The Importance Of Socialization
Article By: Niki Elliot

The day you get your puppy the clock is running. Your puppy’s critical period of socialization will begin to wane by three months and it’s most impressionable learning period starts to close by five months. There is so much to teach & almost all of it needs to be taught in the first twelve weeks of getting puppy home. It is vital to know what to teach & how to teach it. Going to puppy classes, reading behaviour & training books and watching puppy videos it the quickest way to learn.

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Puppies Are Wonderful

Article By: Niki Elliot

Puppies are wonderful! They stir our instinct to nurture, cuddle & care for a cute little bundle of squirming, living, responsive animal. What better smell than “Puppy Breath”! But puppies are not little children in furry coats and they grow very quickly into adult dogs. Sadly the majority of puppies fail to live long enough to enjoy their second birthday. They suffer from the terminal illness of being unwanted, once the novelty of puppy hood wears off, and they become biting, barking, digging, and chewing tornados. Messing on the Persian carpets and needing to be taken outside at all hours of the night, even in winter. Most prospective owners are simply unaware of the problems that lie ahead.

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Optimal health through Smart Nutrition - Feeding your puppy correctly.

Article by Niki Elliot

Proper nutrition for a puppy is key to helping him live a long and healthy life but not many people understand how to correctly care for a young animal. Your new puppy’s first meals, in your home are very important. Continue feeding him the same food used by the breeder or owner you got the puppy from for a day or two after you bring him home. Then if you want to change his diet, gradually introduce a new formula over several days, to avoid tummy upsets.

Proper nutrition aids your puppy with:

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Puppies: Developmental Periods

Article By: Niki Elliot

All puppies have to go through development periods just as children do and it will help to understand these periods, not only for you to understand that a certain behaviour is quite normal but also to understand that it is not forever! The stages of development can differ with each puppy, and between different breeds. It is important to treat each puppy as an individual and not to compare it with your “last” puppy. Some times a puppy might skip one of the stages or stay in a stage longer – especially if it is a difficult one! Each stage should be worked through with patience and understanding.

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Crate Training Your Puppy

Article By: Niki Elliot


Crate training is one of the most efficient and effective ways to train a dog. Crating is based on the idea that dogs are den animals. However, while a useful tool, crating can be over-used and abused. Crate training can be accomplished in several days, or may take weeks, depending on the age and temperament of your puppy. There are two important things to be remembered when training your puppy to the crate.

1.     The crate should always be associated with good things.

2.     Training should always take place in small steps, do not rush too much too fast.

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Developmental Priorities

Article By: Dr Ian Dunbar

Extracted with kind permission from the Dunbars from the Dog Star Daily Website

Once you have completed your doggy education and chosen the best possible puppy, you will find there is much to do and little time to do it. Here are your puppy priorities listed in order of urgency and ranked in terms of importance.

1. HOUSEHOLD ETIQUETTE - from the very first day your puppy comes home. Housetraining, chewtoy-training, and teaching your dog alternatives to recreational barking are by far the most pressing items on your puppy’s educational agenda.

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Time Alone - Setting Your Puppy Up For Success

Article By: Laura-Jade Durrheim

Treat dispensing toy

Teaching your puppy the valuable skill of being comfortable alone is one of the most important exercises you can teach your puppy. It is important that you start during your puppy’s critical development phase between 8 -16 weeks.

This period is the onset of the first hazard avoidance phase. This is the period where your puppy is learning to perceive potential hazards. During this period your puppy can show discomfort with new situations and frightening or traumatic experiences should be avoided, as they can have permanent effects. All learning should be fun and safe.

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Debunking Dominance Theory

Article By: Karen Pryor

Explain it all away

Throughout the pet business right now, "dominance theory" is a popular explanation for absolutely anything that happens, from a puppy tugging on your trouser leg to birds flying up instead of down. Conquering "dominance" has become justification for absolutely any punishment people can think up, from shocking dogs to stuffing parrots into the toilet. (Yes, seriously.) And the awful thing is that otherwise sensible people believe this nonsense. Apparently the idea that some animal is trying to "dominate" YOU really resonates. Yikes—got to stop that, right

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How to Tame Your Kitten, Clicker-Style

Article by Joan Orr

Canny cats

From tiny tigers to diminutive panthers, all with entertaining antics and adorable little faces, kittens are one of the great joys of life. But young cats are not just charming; they can be formidable as well.

Despite their fluffy exteriors, house cats come armed with the same weapons as their larger cousins, and with an instinct to hunt and kill. Kittens begin testing their teeth and claws on their siblings, but soon learn to temper their assaults or be left out of the game. Left to their own devices, kittens will grow into cats that are capable of survival on their own without human help. The self-reliance and independence of cats are traits that many cat owners value in their pets. At the same time, owners do not appreciate furniture torn to shreds or children in tears as a result of a kitten playing too roughly.

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What Is Clicker Training?

Article By: Melissa Alexander

From Melissa Alexander’s book “Click for Joy”

Clicker Training is both a technology for training animals and a training philosophy.
As a technology, clicker training relies on positive reinforcement rather than coercion or punishment. As in other positive methods, the trainer reinforces a desired behaviour with something the dog likes or wants. Positive reinforcement makes it more likely that the dog will repeat the behaviour in the future.

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What Is Clicker Training?

Article by Karen Pryor

The click is a marker signal

Clicker training is a science-based system for teaching behaviour with positive reinforcement. You use a marker signal (the sound of a toy clicker) to tell the animal (or person) when it’s doing the action that will pay off. The system was first widely used by dolphin trainers who needed a way to teach behaviour without using physical force.

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Timing of the Treat

Article By: Karen Pryor

Click and wait?

Discussion from the Berkeley ClickerExpo from Karen Pryor’s Mail

Here’s an interesting clicker training issue that sparked a lot of discussion in Berkeley.

One of the great benefits of using a conditioned reinforcer, such as the clicker, is that it allows you to identify and strengthen a precise behaviour even though you cannot give food at that particular instant. The click functions as both a marker signal, identifying movement, and as a bridging stimulus, bridging the gap in time and space between action and reinforcer. That is the very basis of all the wonderful shaping we can do with the clicker. We can reinforce in the middle of a jump, or at a distance. We can catch the flick of an ear, a lifting paw, a tiny shift in weight, that will be past before food (or some other reinforcer) can be delivered. We can even click the moment an animal makes a good decision: turning away from a temptation, controlling an urge to jump up.

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Tips on Dispensing Treats In Clicker Training

Article By: Eugenie Chopin

One of the common complaints about Clicker Training is that people are uncoordinated when it comes to using the clicker, treats and sometimes the leash as well. (Not to mention the target stick!). While there is certainly truth to the complaint, try to think back to when you were first learning to drive. How easy was it to remember the 3 pedals: accelerate, brake and clutch; Change gears and remember where they are, look where you’re going, in the side mirrors, the rear view mirror, watch the lines and don’t hit the pedestrians!! Stop for stop signs and traffic lights; don’t forget the read the road sign as you go or you might end up in the wrong part of town or going up a one-way street. And don’t even mention Street signs! AND YOU NEEDED TO DO ALL THESE THINGS AT THE SAME TIME!

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Why does Clicker Training work in the shelter?

Article By: Karen Pryor's Website -

Clicker Training uses a clear, distinct signal that is unemotional and consistent. Animals learn quickly from an occasional click and treat, here and there, for desirable behaviour such as sitting instead of jumping on the kennel door, or being quiet instead of barking. The more information an animal receives about its environment, the more calmness and confidence that animal will display. The calmer and more confident the animal appears, the sooner it will be adopted.

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Basic Manners - Clicking for No Barking and No Jumping Up!

Article By: Karen Pryor

1. Make your Shelter a Bark-Free Zone

Constant barking is stressful for owners, patients, and staff. A small shift in routine management can reduce the noise level to zero.


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How Do You Do Clicker Training?

What Do You Need?

  • The Clicker (or marker) To be most effective, the marker should be:
     Unique – consistent – immediate
  • Treats and other positive Reinforces
  • Maybe a treat bag
  • Collars & Leashes
  • A good Clicker Book and Video is great to have on hand for Staff.

How Do You Do It?

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Teaching Loose Leash Walking with the Clicker

Article By: Dee Ganley and Nancy Lyon, Upper Valley Humane Society

Get your dog to walk without pulling! But how? We are masters at allowing our dogs to drag us down the street. The most asked question at obedience classes and private consultations is " how can I get my dog not to pull on his leash?"

As far as dogs and leashes are concerned, we want to arrange things so that loose leashes "pay off" and tight leashes don’t. Historically trainers encouraged folks to act like a tree the moment their dog began to pull on the leash. This method does work nicely with puppies, but it just doesn’t work for the adolescent or older dog who has learned to pull you around.

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The Limited Hold - Part 1

Article By: Karen Pryor

The limited hold is scientific terminology—laboratory slang, really—for a good way to use the marker and reinforcer to speed up response to a cue. We’re all used to sluggish responses. You call folks for supper, and in due course, they come; meanwhile the soufflé falls or the soup gets cold. You ask the class members to be quiet, and some sit down and shut up, but it’s quite a while before the last few stop talking. You call your dog to come in the house and it comes, grudgingly, finding half a dozen new things to sniff at before actually reaching the back door.

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What? Train A Rabbit?

Rabbits are furry and lovable, of course; quirky and silly, sometimes; full of energy and mischief, undoubtedly; but trainable? You bet! You’re probably training your rabbit without even realizing it. Is he litter-box trained? Does he come to see you when you go to his cage? Then you’ve already taken your first steps.

There’s so much more your rabbit can learn! Have you ever seen a rabbit fetch? Or play basketball? (Rabbit-sized, of course.) What about navigating a course of jumps and weaves and tunnels? These are all tricks you can teach your pet bunny. You can also teach her some tricks to make your life together easier. How would you like it if your rabbit sat still while you trimmed her nails or came when you called her name? All it takes is a little training.

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How Much Will That Doggie Really Cost?

By Belinda Thomas

I once read an article somewhere that claimed that the average dog owner spends about R9,000 per year on the family dog. I couldn’t believe this. When I mentioned this to my husband, his reply was a rather non-chalant "Ja, I can believe that." I was taken by surprise by this response. In our household, the dogs are my responsibility. I take care of all the financial aspects of the dogs, as well as feeding, vets visits, cleaning up after them and catering to their every whim – as far as he’s concerned, one end smells and the otherend bites. I expected him to be outraged, or at least a little surprised at the amount of money I spent on them.

So I did a quick calculation of what I spend per year, per dog – excluding emergencies and chronic health conditions. I came up with an amount that was a little over R9,000 a year per dog. We have 4 dogs – that’s a scary amount to be spending. So I decided to investigate a bit further and find out the true cost of a dog. Before I go on I must point out that some of these prices will vary, depending on the size of the dog and where you get your doggie supplies from and the vet you use.

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