Case Study: Using Opposition Reflex – Bad Dog Agility Academy

Case Study: Using Opposition Reflex

You cannot view this unit as you're not logged in yet.
  • denisethor says:

    Very clear! Can’t wait to try it

  • zenipenn says:

    Oh, whew! I am a tall person with a short dog & he doesn’t value the “bar” toys enough to want to run away with them (or tug with them! just to tug it away from me so he can chew it up. Do Terriers often want to just “kill”?
    So I went up in value to fur. I can push him away from me a little bit (weird to him, to have tug toy pushing! Also he is very careful with his body – bubble around it so he resists touching) but then he is just glad I let go & doesn’t pay me any more attention – it’s all about the toy.
    SO, new to me is Loud YES! when he gets pushed back & *doesn’t take off with the toy*. And then how do I get him off that toy to even look at the new one? He isn’t going to look at me or take a step towards me unless he sees the higher value toy (doesn’t look up at the normal YES – he knows when we’re tugging he isn’t getting treats!) And yes, I did try raising intrinsic value of tugging to wean off of treats, BUT – I am not encouraged by that at all, so have mostly tried to make tugging more fun.
    His Obedience retrieve/release is lovely, but not high energy! It was trained like a trick, with food. And in order to make sure he will bring it back, I have to say Bring just *before* he gets to the toy. Should I train all new words??? Should I train the step forward some other way. We didcussed previously getting him to jump up on me & tug, but have not made much progress with that, and we have a long history of not jumping up unless asked to (Paws Up).
    I feel like we could be your demo dog of what NOT to do, to get a tugger!

    • Esteban Fernandezlopez says:

      Yes, terriers often want to “kill” their prey. Since he is running away with the toy, don’t let him win it except for the very last repetition of the session when you know you are finished.

      I recommend stopping your retrieve work until you build more value for tugging. When a dog loves to tug, they will be more likely to bring the toy back in order to restart the tugging game.

      When you get a chance, send me a video of a tugging session (no retrieve) so we can focus on your mechanics there.

  • Paula says:

    How would this work with using a soft tug toy, such as a braided fleece toy? I would have to have 2 hands on it and push it back into the dog? What if the dog does not move forward back to the handler? Or I am doing something wrong ?

    • Esteban Fernandezlopez says:

      Yes, you can use it with any toy, with two hands on it you can gently push back with care or you can quickly let go of the toy and slide your hands (or one hand) to the chest and gently push back there. The dog does not need to move forward toward you–the idea is that the dog will not run away (which they often do when you let go of the toy). The “reflex” sets them firmly in place or even gets them to move toward you for a step, and that’s all the time you need to mark the behavior (behavior=not running away with toy), and then present the second toy. So if your dog doesn’t spring forward toward you, don’t worry, that’s not the actual point of the technique–we’re just trying to create a “markable” behavior.

  • cynthia says:

    omg–SO FANTASTIC! I love this.

  • >