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Al's Dog Training Tips

What is Opposition Reflex?

Today I want to talk about opposition reflex. If you’ve ever had a dog pull you on a leash and you’re doing everything you can to hold on to them, and they’re still pulling, then you have experienced opposition reflex. 

Opposition Reflex

It’s similar to you standing at the edge of a pool, and someone tries to push you in. Your reflex will be to push against that person so you don’t fall into the pool. These are just two examples of opposition reflex that you might be familiar with. There are literally thousands of these types of situations where our dogs and we will oppose any pressure put on us. 

The other day I was watching a video on TikTok. It was of a dog trainer, who used opposition reflex to help the dog come when called. Let me go over the exercise that I typically do and then this new exercise that you may try and can actually do by yourself.

Restrained Recall

The exercise I normally have people do is something called a “restrained recall.” You have a training partner holding the dog back, either with his hands in front of the dog’s chest or a harness. As your training partner is holding the dog back, you are going to rile them up or agitate them as you run away and maybe even tease them with their favorite toy. As you run away, call the dog’s name, and then your training partner lets go, and the dog comes surging forward. It’s a great exercise, and the only problem is that you may not always have a training partner.

This video that I saw was really fascinating. The dog trainer had the dog on a pretty wide collar, probably about an inch to an inch and a half wide. He also had a 15-foot leash that he wrapped around a tree and was restraining the dog. He then began to tease the dog, and you could tell the dog was getting really excited. Then he called the dog’s name and let go of the leash, and began to run away, and the dog chased him down.

What a great way to build enthusiasm for coming when called, even when you don’t have a training partner. Also, What a wonderful way to use opposition reflex to help your dog have better obedience.

I hope this was useful. I learned something. Maybe you learned something as well? Remember you can always go to my YouTube Channel for tips like this or right here on my website

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