The Balance Reflex

By Dr. Robert Curran, D.V.M., B.A.

The balance or opposition reflex is part of the unconscious nervous system that controls the body's muscles of posture. We naturally lean into a force that pushes against us. Dogs and other animals are no different. This explains why a harness naturally triggers a mule, ox, horse or dog to pull a cart or sled. But just try to pull a mule forward with a rope around its neck and you will witness this same opposition reflex cause the mule to dig in its heels and refuse to go forward.


The pressure from a leash and collar on the front of a dog's neck actually stimulates the dog to pull forward as you pull back. Many dogs will even continue to pull when you add in a choker or a pinch collar. You may think he is as stubborn as a mule but really your dog is just following his natural reflexes and does not understand that you don't want him to pull!


The most unique feature of the patented NewTrix dog halter design is the "push-pulley" mechanism that attaches to the leash at the back of the neck. When he reaches the end of the leash, your dog gets a gentle nudge from behind his head that causes him to lean back into the pressure. The difference is that the pressure is coming from the direction of the leash, so he leans toward the leash.


The NewTrix dog halter pulley design works with the natural balance reflex to get you and your dog pulling together instead of struggling against each other in a tug-of-war.

 

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