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Tilley Farm has also been the temporary home for puppies on foster from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home over the years. It is here that the puppies learn the basics of clicker training and TTouch groundwork and enjoy the many benefits of TTouch bodywork.
Some of the puppies came on foster because they had handling issues and were under immense stress and some because they had not been taught how to interact appropriately with humans. Two had physical problems that meant that they needed one to one help to minimise the chances of behavioural problems developing as they matured.
Hogarth is a large mixed breed dog. He came on the Cool to be Kind course here at Tilley Farm when he was five months old and was on foster for several weeks. He was a wonderful pup and we thoroughly enjoyed having him here teaching him some important skills that enabled him to find his perfect home.
Denzil was found as a stray when he was ten weeks old. He was extremely defensive and used his teeth when touched. He was possessive over toys and was highly frustrated and stressed. He also pinned other dogs. It is all too easy to label puppies such as Denzil and put them to sleep.
Sarah worked with Denzil at Battersea Old Windsor over a two day period. She was concerned that there was something wrong with him as he did not progress that much during the two day workshop and agreed to take him home to Tilley Farm to see if he could be helped.
Over the following weeks Denzil began to change. Using a combination of clicker and TTouch he learned self control and began to relate to humans in a new and more appropriate way. TTouch Practitioners and dog trainers Marie Miller and Maria Johnston also worked with Denzil and he developed excellent play behaviour with other dogs thanks to Maria’s lovely collie called Inka.
He was re-homed and has matured into a wonderful adult dog. He is a true gentle giant and lives happily with a family, another dog, cats and an assortment of wildlife.
George was born at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home along with seven siblings. He is a Sharpei x Staffordshire Bull Terrier. He took part in a photo shoot for Sarah’s book Unlock Your Dog’s Potential and it was during the shoot that Sarah and the Manager at BOW realised that George had a problem.
His right ear was significantly higher than the left ear which is often indicative of tension in the neck and/or an unlevel atlas. He had thickening through the musculature on the right side of his neck from the base of the ear through to the right shoulder and as a result he was extremely concerned about contact around his neck. It is likely that he had been born this way but had this gone undetected or not been addressed it is probable that George would have developed issues with the collar and being handled.
George came to Tilley Farm along with his sister Moomin and learned some basic training games with the clicker. He also received plenty of TTouch body work to teach him that contact on his neck was nothing to fear and became a master at all the ground work. He sister excelled at all of it too.
Both puppies were homed to sisters and are loyal and much loved members of the family.
Colin is an American Bull Dog and was born deaf. He was a little mouthy and came to Tilley Farm for one month to learn some sign language!
Sarah trained him using American Flags and Colin quickly learned to watch for the signals from the flags. He was socialised well and went on holiday to Suffolk and visited Sandhurst Military Academy on Independence Day. He was extremely intelligent as a lot of mouthy pups are but learned incredible self control. He was a delight to train and he performed a wonderful routine on television for Pet Rescue Live which was aired, as the name suggests, live on BBC1.
Colin learned to sit, lie down, spin left and right, and run to a Stars and Stripe mat when Sarah gave him a ‘time out’ signal with her hands. Although the canteen was open and the smell of cooking sausages filled the air right next to the area allocated to Colin for his television debut he immediately focused on Sarah without faltering when his flags appeared. He was paw perfect and finished his routine by targeting a button that said ‘that was easy’ in an American voice when pressed and the phone rang off the hook for him.
Battersea struggled to respond to everyone that contacted the charity to offer him a home. He lives with a great couple near Cardiff who have stayed in touch with Sarah and they send in regular updates.
Cookie Dough Dynamo
Cookie Dough Dynamo was left in a box outside Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London when she was approximately twenty weeks old. She was rather full on and grabbed hard with her mouth causing bruising and drawing blood. She behaved this way because she had not learnt any other way of communicating with people and not because she had learned to defend herself.
Cookie Dough was brought down to Tilley Farm by Battersea staff and it was intended that she stay at Tilley Farm until she was ready to be rehomed. She was another highly intelligent puppy and kept Sarah on her toes as she was constantly having to think several steps ahead to keep this clever pup’s brain in gear. It was impossible to sit down with Cookie Dough and the TTouch ground work exercises provided a great stepping stone to teaching her that a change in human posture was not an invitation for a manic game.
Sarah and Marie Miller were working on the book 100 Ways to Train the Perfect Dog during Cookie Dough’s time at Tilley Farm and she was a wonderful model for the publication. She was a part of all the photo shoots and learned several new and very beneficial skills. By the time the book was completed Cookie was fantastic around animals, was socialised and well travelled and had gained many new friends as she had been taught a more appropriate greeting behaviour than the grabbing and holding on with her mouth which was all that she knew in her early days at the farm.
Months passed but with so many Bull Breeds in desperate need of homes, no one came forward to offer Cookie Dough a home and Sarah decided to adopt her. She is a wonderful companion and has become a truly perfect dog.