You know simply where that dog sweet clues is the gets her pup"s foot moving. Yet what bring on the reflex? space dogs ticklish? Does the itch? go this dog scratch reflex show that they love it or dislike it as soon as you touch their bellies?

Through some investigation, researcher have found a scientific reason why dogs gain their kicks native a great ol" scratch session.

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What Is a Dog scrape Reflex?

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The scratch reflex is one involuntary an answer that protects dogs from fleas, ticks and also other resources of irritation, says well-known Science. A swarm of nerves located under the skin makes up the dog sweet spot. When you scratch your pet"s tummy and also hit this spot, these nerves gain activated and also send a article to the hind leg, via the spinal cord, to start kicking in an effort to dislodge the resource of irritation.

This doesn"t necessarily mean your dog doesn"t gain the sensation of being scratched in the spot. You have the right to gauge your pup"s level of enjoyment by paying fist to human body language, pet Planet suggests. Dogs who either don"t favor it or are worn down of the sensation will typically shot to relocate away. Also, a dog that commonly turns over to expose their ship to girlfriend is signaling the they room comfortable v you and also likely they space comfortable through the ship scratches you tend to give them in ~ this time.

Why It typically Works through Belly Scratches

With few exceptions, the dog scratch reflex many gets activated once you scrape or tickle details areas that the belly and not, because that example, the rump or the head. That"s due to the fact that the nerve clusters specific to this reflex room only located within a saddle-shaped region of the belly, recognized as the "receptive field of the reflex," claims DogDiscoveries.com.

One theory on why this nerve reflex is localized come this an ar is that this area is not as mobile or defended as other parts of the body, leave it an ext vulnerable come parasites and also other irritants.

How the scratch Reflex Works

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At the rotate of the 20th century, English neurophysiologist teacher Charles Sherrington ended up being intrigued through this dog behavior and devoted considerable resources to that is study.

According to his findings released in The Integrative activity of the concerned System, the dog scrape reflex manifests in four stages:

The Latency Period: This is the slight delay between the time you begin scratching your dog"s sweet spot and the time the leg starts to kick. The hold-up is brought about by the time it takes for the nerve to send scratching signals up the spinal cord come the brain, and also then for the signal come travel back down to the leg and also activate the kicking motion.

The Warm-Up: This is the time it takes because that the leg to really gain going. The kicking movement usually start slowly and then build in intensity as you proceed scratching or rubbing the sweet spot.

The after Discharge: This refers to exactly how sometimes the kicking motion will continue after you stop scratching or relocate your hand away. Just as the signal to start kicking bring away time to reach the leg, for this reason does the signal the it"s OK to stop.

Fatigue: Scratching because that too long in the exact same spot can cause the reflex to tire out, which is why sometimes your dog"s kicking slows and stops even though you save tickling the exact same spot. It requirements time come rest prior to it have the right to become active again.

The dog scrape reflex can be amusing, however it serves a function in protecting her dog from pests and provides key insights into their neurological health. Whether her dog is aware of any of this, or even if it is they just like the sensation of gaining their sweet point out scratched, one point is almost particular — ship rubs room pretty awesome.

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Contributor Bio


Jean Marie Bauhaus

Jean Marie Bauhaus is a pet parent, pet blogger and also novelist native Tulsa, Oklahoma, wherein she normally writes under the supervision the a lapful the furbabies.