TTouch tail pulls are another excellent way of helping animals release tension in the spine because the stretch and slow release allow the vertebrae to relax and realign.
The technique is very simple. Taking the tail in one hand and placing the other on the animal’s body to help stabilise, we lean backwards and thus stretch the tail. Another option is to use both hands on the tail. This can be useful when working with larger animals. Independently of which method is chosen, there are a couple of important points to bear in mind in order to make the pull more effective and more accepting to the animal we are working with.
- The first point is to make the movement slowly and gently without any jerking.
- It is also important to realise that using the whole body to make the backward movement is quite different from a pull done by merely moving the arms. Using the arms only makes for a more abrupt and less agreeable sensation for the animal.
- The third thing to bear in mind is that the release should always be slow and gentle. We do not simply let the tail go but relax our body back into the animal in a slow, fluid movement.
The effect of the tail pull can be seen right up to the cervical area and the base of the skull. The more movement and suppleness there is in the spine the better. Of course the conformation of some animals will be less flexible than others. Bearded collies are particularly supple and sinuous in their bodies. I remember how surprised I was many years ago when, used to the fluid beardie movement, we took in a dog from the street (It would be more correct to say that he adopted us). He was a cross with probably some labrador in the mix anad his body was much more static and inflexible. That said, Arthur really was the perfect dog!