Canine Massage

Dog Soft Tissue Massage Techniques 

Massage is a therapy that reaches back across time and cultures. It has also been the focus of much positive contemporary research and discovery.

Dog owners who have had a good to great experience with massage may also be keen to seek this treatment for their dogs.

Primary aims of canine soft tissue massage and techniques include relaxing muscles, reducing muscle pain & improving muscle function.



Canine massage

plus more...


Aligning Canine- integrating muscles & joint therapies 


muscle massage plus joint manipulation and as indicated acupuncture


Conditions treated with massage combined with manipulation & mobilization

  •  Back (lumbopelvic) problems  
  •  Mid-back (thoracic) problems
  • Neck (cervical) problems
  • Osteoarthritis-joint degeneration
  • Myofascial trigger point syndromes
  • Muscle tightness & strain
  • Lameness / limping
  • Hip & gluteal problems
  • Shoulder & scapula problems
  • Sciatica & brachial neuralgia




  • Effleurage massage
  • Cross friction massage
  • Myofascial Trigger point massage
  • Acupressure massage


Joint mobilization & Manipulation

  • Full spine joint manual  mobilization
  • Full spine joint manual manipulation
  • Pectoral & shoulder girdle manual therapy
  • Spinal instrument adjustments-Activator 



  • Musculoskeletal Acupuncture
  • Myofascial Trigger point-Dry needling 
  • Acupressure


Some of the therapeutic aims of soft tissue massage include:

  • Reduction of musculoskeletal pain
  • Myofascial trigger point pain reduction
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Improved muscle function
  • Improved joint motion & flexibility
  • Sports injury minimization/ prevention 
  • Athletic performance enhancement 
  • Enhanced sense of wellbeing



Therapeutic Canine Massage

& more...

Many dog owners who have had musculoskeletal care from Chiropractors, Osteopaths and manual Physiotherapists will be familiar with the therapeutic styles of massage & soft tissue techniques they use, such as:

  • Myofascial trigger point therapy
  • Circular & longitudinal effleurage massage
  • Cross-friction massage
  • Acupressure
  • Muscle Positional Release


Also like many Chiropractors, Osteopaths & manual Physiotherapists-at Aligning Canine we also integrate joint mobilization and manipulation with soft tissue massage techniques for enhanced effectiveness.


How Canine massage and Canine manipulation & mobilization may compliment and enhance each other:  

Massage, as well as being an effective muscle relaxation treatment in its own right, it can also assist in making joint mobilization & manipulation more comfortable & effective. 

It may surprise many people, that similar to massage, one of the key objectives of joint mobilization & manipulation are to help relax & improve muscle function-especially of the very deep & intermediate muscles of the spine.

Less joint irritation achieved by joint mobilization & manipulation, means less need for reactive or ‘protective’ muscle spasm.

So canine joint manipulation & mobilization itself may also play an important, direct & potent role in improving muscle function & relaxation. 

In other words, tactile massage and manual joint therapies can effectively complement each other in helping to relax muscles & improve joint function and to help reduce pain.


Aligning Canine 

The principal canine musculoskeletal therapist at Aligning Canine is:

Dr. Shane Watterson a fully qualified university trained Animal Chiropractor.


Masters (Animal Chiropractic)-RMIT university  

Grad. Dip. (Animal Chiropractic)-RMIT university

B.App.Sci (Human Chiropractic)-RMIT university


Dr Watterson has over 10 years of experience integrating tactile soft tissue massage and joint mobilization & manipulation therapies for dogs and over 28 years of experience with humans.


Dr. Watterson is the only chiropractor in Australia with a  Masters Degree in Animal Chiropractic.


He is also one of the few animal chiropractors in Australia who focuses exclusively on dogs.

Also unique is his emphasis on the integration of Canine muscle massage with Canine joint mobilization & manipulation and as indicated Canine musculoskeletal acupuncture.

All up the Masters Animal chiropractic is a 8-year university program.

The university ‘Animal Chiropractic Degree’ is a significantly more advanced qualification than that required for a human only Chiropractor.

  • First is the 5-year full time university human qualification,
  • Then an additional 3 years for the post-graduate Animal Chiropractic Masters Degree.