Barking and growling at the Vet
I took Russ to get his shots. He barked at a 11 yr old boy at the dog park a couple weeks ago and I took him out of the park. I have a trainer coming for an eval next Saturday. I've not owned a dog that has barked at children so I need training and quick how to nip this behavior. Russ is 2 years old.
When we got to vet, Russ was excited and a bit fearful. They have cubby sitting areas so you are semi isolated while you wait. Russ got a treat at the weigh in and was pleased. Then we sit and some people come out of an examining room. They set down their little mop dog, no lead and this dog comes running straight to Russ followed by their 4 year old daughter. I calmly say, this is not a good situation. They get the dog and one of them takes the dog out while the other pays. The little girl continues to stare at Russ. I have Russ look at me and give him a treat. He is doing ok, no reaction to all that just went on.
An assistant takes us to an examining room and he really likes her. Until she goes to take his temp and then he whined in concern, she said ok, we don't have to do that. Then we wait and wait for almost an hour. Russ is breathing fast and he is worried, he hears sounds in the back of dogs barking and crying. I pet him and stroke him telling him it's ok, we'll go bye bye soon. Then we explored all the drawers in the room to distract him, what's in this drawer? They were all empty but gave us something to do. The woman vet comes in and Russ starts barking and growling. He is barking LOUD and he is rather intimidating. She leaves and comes back with a muzzle, which settles him down. When he was barking, there was no getting his attention, he was 3 sheets into the wind. I tried to get his attention by using the lead to draw him closer to me and telling him that it's ok, he is safe. Probably not the proper thing. Would it have been better to be forceful and telling him to cut it out? Since he was fearful, I didn't know how to 'comfort' and calm him down.
What is the proper approach to this?