Originally Posted by Thecowboysgirl
So I am slow at doing this: I should have done it all along, but I am teaching him a maneuver where I sit him up against a wall, then stradel him while holding his head.
He is almost 90lb and it is hard for me to restrain him effectively for a vet to get a vein. But I did this maneuver a few times and had my husband pick up a front leg as if to find a vein.
Maybe he will overcome this dislike of the vet, he has passed through lots of other phases.
In the mean time if he is prepared because we have practiced this maneuver at home hopefully his stress will be minimal.
I was previously doing a lot of judging about this like ,"I raised him right, he ought to be fine blah blah" then I realized he feels how he feels and my thinking he shouldn't feel that way isn't helping.
I am going with hard results: when I handle him slower and more gently and ask for his cooperation he will cooperate and not growl. When I tell him to suck it up we are doing it my way he growls. I can make an extra 30 seconds in my day to do it the way where he feels ok. If it stops working I will reevaluate. I am not letting him get out of the procedure I am just doing it a little differently so he feels better about it and I don't see a problem with that.
I know me muzzling and restraining him would be less upsetting than a stranger doing it so I plan to. I also plan to ask my vet what they might be willing to do to help me work up to him feeling more comfortable being handled by them but I don't feel like it has to happen for these x rays.
Some dogs have the wind taken out of their sails once they are not around their owners. Some get even worse.
Either way, most people in the vet field HATE GSDs. They just do. As I say to them "Great dogs to live with, but classic herding dog needy control freaks". I really don't think they are that bad, and I see a lot of people in this field see a GSD and psyche themselves up before they even pick up the leash. They handle them badly because they are afraid of them, and unsure of themselves. GSDs are different from other dogs (in general) because they usually will not accept random people making them do something...as most dogs do. They are not the only breed/type like this, but they are one of them. They don't care about befriending strangers, and many people find this awkward (even offensive). They really don't care for being forced to hold a position and be poked with things! Most dogs do not like medical stuff, but many will tolerate it...and that gets taken for granted and them some. So the first dog of the day that goes "nope" gets called an a-hole/jerk/bad, when it really just wants to get away from something invasive or strange. It is a big problem in the field, IMO. There are a few people in my workplace who are like this, but in some practices it is everyone.
I have had dogs who were more than cooperative and tolerant of procedures/restraint, who still were treated badly just for having a GSD suit on. It comes from bad handling, and they do the human thing and blame the dog.
Be open with the doctor and nurses about your concerns. Tell them he may be better with you, you have no problem muzzling your dog, you would consider sedation, etc. This will help them relax = better for your dog.
Some other solutions: Counter-condition your dog to accept restraint and prodding. Also, talk to the vet about sedation. T