A dog looking to explore its surroundings

Dog Opposition Reflex: What It Is, Why It Happens, and How to Train Accordingly

Everyone wants their dogs to be obedient. When asked to sit down, they sit. When asked to stay, they stay put. When asked to shake hands, they put their little paws in your hand. The list goes on. However, some things are a bit more complicated to teach, and they come along with their own set of challenges.

Dog training isn’t as simple as it sounds. For example, getting your dog to wear a leash before going for a walk may not be that easy. You may come across a problem commonly known as the dog opposition reflex.

Read on to know more about it and how you can deal with it.

What is Dog Opposition Reflex?

To put it simply, the dog opposition reflex entails your dog displaying a sort of repulsive behavior through certain reflexes that are opposite to what they may be experiencing. For example, if you try to pull on their leash while you’re out for a walk, they might pull back. If you try to push them away, they may try to power their way into you.

Why Does it Happen?

There’s absolutely nothing to worry about, as this is a natural instinctive reaction in dogs. Their sharp sense of smell and hearing make them highly curious creatures, so you getting in the way of this might be why your dog displays such kind of a reaction.

Another instance where this might happen is when you try to bathe your dog. Indeed, bathing and grooming your dog is an essential part of dog care. But dogs may not necessarily think so.

A woman bathing her dog

Although there are various guides to bathe dogs, you can still experience some form of opposition reflex.

How to Train Your Dog Accordingly

The best way to go about it is to find out the root of the problem. If your dog wants to walk in a certain direction, pulling won’t do any good, it’ll just make it worse. Being patient in these situations is key.

Adopting a positive reinforcement approach to get the desired behavior and actions from your dogs is also a proven way to deal with this issue.

theDogHood’s dog lovers’ community is the best place for all your dog-related problems. You can find multiple dog training videos and get help from professional dog trainers to deal with issues like these. Join our dog community today by downloading our app using the QR code below.

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