Barking and growling at the Vet - German Shepherd Dog Forums

Increase font size: 0, 10, 25, 50%

GermanShepherds.com is the premier German Shepherd Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-24-2013, 10:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 23
Default 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?
Rusty Dogess is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-24-2013, 12:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
Nigel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,856
Default

Were you able to socialise him as a pup? He sounds nervous and fearful, hopefully the trainer will provide you with some help to overcome this. You don't want to reinforce his insecurity with praise or coddling when he is like this, I've made the same mistake. I have mine sit/stay and if there are lots of distractions, a down/stay. I also use "settle". I've read others who take their dogs to the vet for a random visit (no apt) and treat it like its fun with treats and praise for good behavior.


We just recently changed vets (vet retired) and the new vets waiting area is small so we leave them in the vehicle until its time. Something I noticed about the new vet was how quickly my girls warmed up to these people, it was immediate. My old vet was good, but my girls were usually a bit nervous. I can't point out any huge difference, different location, smell, I don't know, but my dogs are much more relaxed and don't mind going at all.
Nigel is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-24-2013, 12:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
Knighted Member
 
Blanketback's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,424
Default

When you're comforting your dog, you're reinforcing his fears. It would have been better to just tell him to lie down and wait patiently. Then again, an hour is one heck of a wait! I'd find another vet, unless there was a huge emergency that forced you to have to wait that long. Even then, someone should have told you about it - you could have gone for a walk or something. I wonder how he would have reacted if you had ignored his behavior and you only had to wait 10 minutes?
Blanketback is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-24-2013, 12:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
Moderator
 
gsdraven's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Mont Co, PA
Posts: 5,661
Default

Myth of reinforcing fear | Fearful Dogs

I think you handled it fairly well. An hour is a long time to be waiting in such a stressful environment, good job on finding something fun to keep your dog's mind off that wait! Next time, you might try hiding treats in the drawer and engaging his mind.

The vet should have taken some time to just hang out and let him settle down but I know they are busy (especially if you waited an hour).

Make frequent visits to the vet to get weighed and receive treats from the staff. If you have someone able to go with you, they could walk your dog outside until you are ready to be seen so it's not so stressful listening to the other dogs barking and carrying on.

If you have a reason to be seen by the vet again soon, ask them and your trainer if it would be possible for the trainer (hopefully using positive methods) to accompany you.
__________________
Jamie

Raven (GSD) - December 8, 2007
Kaiser (GSD) - November 2009
Holly (GSD) - March 24, 2011
Best Paw Forward
Champ's Fund

Last edited by gsdraven; 02-24-2013 at 12:55 PM.
gsdraven is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-24-2013, 01:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
Sunflowers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The Sunshine State
Posts: 7,429
Default

I took Hans to the vet on Friday, and this time I grabbed his favorite ball on the way out of the house.
During the wait, we had a fantastic game of catch. I used it to distract him as he was getting blood drawn from his neck. I also teased him with it as I was waiting at the counter to pay the bill.
He was so focused on me and the ball, that he didn't care about much else. Once the ball got away, and the guy who was sweeping grabbed it, and Hans sat nicely for the guy to throw it for him to catch in his mouth.
It was by far the best vet visit we ever had.
If your dog has a favorite toy, you might want to try bringing it next time. Might work.
__________________
Norden von Narnia (Hans) DOB 1-15-2012

Last edited by Sunflowers; 02-24-2013 at 01:29 PM.
Sunflowers is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-24-2013, 01:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
Courtney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 5,871
Default

I can only imagine what a vets office smells like to a dog...talk about sensory overload. The smell of death, sickness, male, female, throw intact vs tact in there, human emotions, etc. That was a long wait, I also like how you engaged him. There are some dogs no matter what will despise their visits to the vet. Some good suggestions in this thread.
Courtney is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-24-2013, 01:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
Sunflowers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The Sunshine State
Posts: 7,429
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Courtney View Post
I can only imagine what a vets office smells like to a dog...talk about sensory overload. The smell of death, sickness, male, female, throw intact vs tact in there, human emotions, etc. That was a long wait, I also like how you engaged him. .
I very much agree with this. That was a ridiculously long wait.
Usually, Hans will go around sniffing and licking the floor, and I really don't like it.
There are dogs in the back that are boarded, and they bark their heads off. Hans's ears went up and he listened to the barking the other day, but did not respond. Never has. But the sniffing and licking was prevented by the toy, and I was very happy with that.
__________________
Norden von Narnia (Hans) DOB 1-15-2012
Sunflowers is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-24-2013, 01:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
Nigel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,856
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gsdraven View Post
Myth of reinforcing fear | Fearful Dogs

I think you handled it fairly well. An hour is a long time to be waiting in such a stressful environment, good job on finding something fun to keep your dog's mind off that wait! Next time, you might try hiding treats in the drawer and engaging his mind.

The vet should have taken some time to just hang out and let him settle down but I know they are busy (especially if you waited an hour).

Make frequent visits to the vet to get weighed and receive treats from the staff. If you have smeone able to go with you, they could walk your dog outside until you are ready to be seen so it's not so stressful listening to the other dogs barking and carrying on.

If you have a reason to be seen by the vet again soon, ask them and your trainer if it would be possible for the trainer (hopefully using positive methods) to accompany you.
Thanks for providing the link. I had assured my dogs in stressful situations for some time and was told not to because of reinforcing behavior blah blah blah. I didn't like ignoring their discomfort! It bothered me. If only my pessimistic attitude toward some "training" would have held out just long enough to know differently.
Nigel is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-24-2013, 01:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
Sunflowers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The Sunshine State
Posts: 7,429
Default

I like to use yawning and massage for reassurance and calming.
__________________
Norden von Narnia (Hans) DOB 1-15-2012
Sunflowers is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-24-2013, 05:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
llombardo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Illinois
Posts: 8,274
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Dogess View Post

What is the proper approach to this?
Have you thought about bringing him to the vet even if he doesn't have to go? Just do short visits so that he can see whats going on and be comfortable.
__________________
Misty- Samoyed Mix
Tannor- Golden Retriever CGC
Robyn- German Shepherd CGC, TC
Midnite-German Shepherd CGC, TC
Brennan- Golden Retriever CGC
Batman- Husky/Greyhound
llombardo is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:13 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.3.2
PetGuide.com
Basset.net DobermanTalk.com GoldenRetrieverForum.com OurBeagleWorld.com
BoxerForums.com DogForums.com GoPitbull.com PoodleForum.com
BulldogBreeds.com FishForums.com HavaneseForum.com SpoiledMaltese.com
CatForum.com GermanShepherds.com Labradoodle-dogs.net YorkieForum.com
Chihuahua-People.com RetrieverBreeds.com