Dog Scratch Reflex: Have you ever noticed that when you scratch your dog’s belly, something unusual happens?
This happens every time you scratch the “sweet spot”. You know one. Suddenly, your dog starts kicking his back leg as if running towards him.
Dogs are full of ingenious habits, but it is vague. What about that sweet spot that makes a dog’s leg twist or kick? Are they getting irritating or is it something else?
What is Dog Scratch Reflex?
The scratch reflex is an involuntary response that protects dogs from flies, ticks and other irritants.
The group of nerves under the skin is the dog’s sweet spot.
When you scratch your pet’s stomach and touch this area, these nerves become active and send a message to the back leg, through the spinal cord, to begin kicking in an attempt to eliminate the source of the irritation.
Dog Scratch reflex redux
What happy dog doesn’t like a good belly rub? Most pet owners will agree that drawing their pets is a pleasure. They all have their favorite spots. For most people, the belly is a favorite – from small to large dogs, this is true.
What happens when you draw… Sometimes your dog’s back leg starts shaking or kicking. These kicks caused by a belly scratch look like a running or swimming motion.
Well, it’s not that mysterious. We call this response the scratch reflex. This is an involuntary response that occurs when the doctor presses below your knee (the “knee-jerk” reflex). Our reflexive kicks are similar to our dog kicks.
The nerves under the skin that are connected to the spinal cord transmit the message to kick your dog’s leg without going through the brain.
When your pet kicks in response to a scratch, it looks very funny to us, right? Is this funny even for our pets?
Not too much. It really will amaze your pet. Like a bug landing on their nose. That’s why your dog dazzles with their own behavior.
The same kind of reflex that occurs when your cat lifts its butt when you draw the base of the tail.
What’s even cooler about this reflex is that it can help your veterinarian find potential problems.
By activating this reflex, your vet can determine if there is nerve damage or nerve damage in certain areas.
Other examples of known involuntary reactions are:
Shine when there is something near the eye
Sudden movement in response to surprise or pain
Does your dog kick when you scratch their belly? Do you want to stop? If your dog enjoys a good belly rub, continue to gift them that way.
You do not want to be frustrated if you cannot get the right pitch so invest in a good capo. Interact is good for them and for you!