The Power of Touch at Both Ends Of The Lead

We have probably all felt we need a reassuring hug or even just the touch of a caring hand when we are having a tough time. To help us soothe our fears, anxieties and just to remind us we are not alone.

For some of us just to be close to our dogs and hold them and share that bond between us can have the potential to turn a life around at both ends of the lead.

Our dogs give unconditionally to us, but they also need the power of that loving, therapeutic touch as much as we do. We can hide behind words, but our intentions can always be felt in the quality of the touch we give and receive.

I would like to share a few words from a lady called Margaret Atwood – “Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language and the last, and it always tells the truth”.

Maybe this is a good reminder for us all to be good to ourselves, others and of course our wonderful four legged friends.

Many studies have shown that the power of touch is truly fundamental to communication, bonding and our health. We can certainly get a sense of what emotion someone is conveying to us through touch, and given how sensitive and in tune dogs are with us, you would have to consider they can too.

So the importance of being aware of how we feel when we are touching others and our dogs cannot be denied.

There are different ways we can show our four legged friends how much we care, such as a simple hug, or gently and soothingly stroking them. Some of us may have also felt how much better we feel in ourselves when we do this too.

So I just want to focus on one method of therapeutic touch that can help us all at both ends of the lead and that is Massage.

Here are a few Massage tips that you could use on your four legged friend from time to time.

  • With the palm of your hand gently stroke down from the shoulders down the front leg, then either side of the spine, and finally down the hind legs in a smooth flowing motion.
  • With your thumbs, use small gentle circular movements either side of the spine on the muscles that run down either side of the spine. Be careful not to push downwards. Just keep the pressure light and gentle.

These are two simple yet effective techniques that can be very therapeutic for your dog and yourself and a great way to experience the power of touch at both ends of the lead.


[two_third_last] Tim Norris is a Canine Physical Therapist living in Sydney, specialising in Canine Myofunctional Therapy, Laser Acupuncture and Onnetsu Heat Therapy. He spent over 15 years working with people in the area of health and wellbeing before working with dogs.

His business ‘Both Ends of the Lead’ offers a range of wellbeing services for dogs and owners.

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3 Comments

  • Great write up Jen. Love getting a treatment from Tim when we see him at agility trials and have even had him come to our house for a treatment when m thought I had injured my leg (probably jumping off the lounge in a hurry).
    Highly recommend Tim to anyone dog in Sydney… And it doesn’t have to be for an injury… A preventive massage is awesome.

  • Joanna says:

    Great post – my dogs love massage, and I love the idea of being mindful about the way we touch dogs (or people!) as it can communicate so much. Hug someone today! 🙂

  • Great article! I always hug and touch my dog everytime I got home from a tiring day. My dog can ease my tiredness. If I’m not that tired enough I give my dog a massage since he loves massage too.
    Thank you for sharing these two simple techniques.

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