Mentoring Canine Massage.

I love to massage dogs. Even more than massaging dogs, I love training and mentoring others to massage dogs.  I envision the workshops we teach as vocational training. I have a vision of canine massage as a serious, respected, and professional career.

I’m thrilled that the concepts I introduce during workshops, along with the manual skills, have integrated into the practice of PetMassage graduates.

One of the concepts I proffer refers to dogs’ psychosocial relationships with their people. Dogs are phenomenally empathetic. They are so profoundly connected with their person that they may mirror their symptoms. The mirroring may not be virtually kidney for kidney; rather they feel the emotional responses to living through the trauma, the survival, the treatments, the complications, the whole “story.”

We often have to have heartfelt conversations with people to make them aware of how impactful their personal traumas are having on their dogs. We remind them that every time they replay their tape in their conversations or in their minds their dogs experience it as if it were their story.

The 3 Gates of speech apply to our dogs as well as people. Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates.

  1. Is it true?
  2. Is it necessary?
  3. Is it kind (to yourself and the ones hearing you)?

For my final “Jonathan’s Helpful Hints” blog of 2019, I’d like to share a holiday greeting we sent to our graduates and one of the responses we received. We are all members of a community of like-spirited, like-intentioned people. It represents the kind of continuing connection we strive to maintain with graduates of the PetMassage program.

We wrote:


It’s the end of the year. For me, it’s a time of reflection, gratitude, and connecting with people who have become special to me.

Thank you again for choosing PetMassage for your canine massage training. Please let us know how your practice is progressing. We are always available to talk and be your mentor resource.

Have a healthy, loving, and purpose filled holiday and new year.

Warmest regards,

Jonathan Rudinger


Thank you for the holiday greeting.  I am doing GREAT!!!  20+ clients for laser, a couple of whom have morphed into ongoing massages.

I just engaged with a herding dog – schnauzer/mix, female 12 years old whose owner has, in the last 18 months had a broken knee, breast cancer, broken hip and depression.  We discussed how the poor dog has gone through everything the owner went through and then some.  The pooch is untrusting (she spent 5 weeks with a pet sitter who had a bunch of construction workers through her home – it was not good).  She is afraid, she doesn’t know her place and she’s very tentative of strangers.

I did all the right stuff:  I sat and let her come to me as she wished . . . eventually, she settled enough for me to begin the massage . . . I checked and balanced the chakras as best I could (there are still a couple of blockages, but we will address them in future sessions).  The owner was mesmerized and SO grateful for my assistance with Ashley.

This is the stuff of which your massage training is made!  Thank you for your expertise and your continued education via videos and emails.

Have a great holiday season and stay in touch!

Susan M.

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