German Shepherd Dog Forums - Reply to Topic
Thread: Vet pins/grabs muzzle & 13wk puppy bites at hand Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

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:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


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.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-02-2014 08:45 PM
Lauri & The Gang
Originally Posted by Jedi'sMom View Post
The vet and tech forced him to his side and held him down while trying to palpate his groin. He starting whining and struggling to get up. He was biting the vet tech's hand. She then grabbed his muzzle and squeezed it shut, at which point he became frantic and whining and wanting up even more.
This is why i NEVER let the vet or tech hold my dogs. I know my dogs - they do not.

You did nothing wrong. Personally, I would switch vets or at least tell them next time YOU will hold the dog.
05-02-2014 08:40 PM
Jedi'sMom Thanks for the reply. He is crate trained. We are working on him accepting lying on his side and allowing his muzzle closed. It's not his favorite, but he does it even for the kids. He is a great puppy, in my limited puppy experience, having only had 2 others of different breeds. Thanks to the toddler tossing him food, our newest issue is begging at the table
04-23-2014 08:11 PM
selzer In the safety and security of your own home, getting your pup used to a crate -- even if you never intend to use one, because he may need to be in one when boarded or for a surgery at the vet, and getting him used to a muzzle is an excellent idea.

I would not muzzle him at this point. If people are afraid of a 13 week old puppy, then they are in need of a change of careers. It would be far better to go and experience the office and environment when he is not scheduled for berry checks, probes, and shots, so that not all vet visits are predominantly unpleasant.

What I think the vet tech was saying, was that due to how the puppy reacted, this puppy could become a real problem if you do not train it properly. She's right. With the wrong leadership/management/training your puppy can be dangerous. I am sorry that you took offense to that.

Everyone is an expert, and everyone wants for you to benefit from their expertise. Not every GSD puppy would have responded as yours did. That doesn't mean yours is defective. It doesn't even mean that yours is more likely to bite someone at the vet. It may mean that your pup will have trouble with some parts of the vet visit.

So cheer up. A dog that is afraid of its own shadow is far more likely to nail someone in the waiting room or in the exam room from being startled. Your dog may be more likely to object to specific things, things that you can largely control and/or condition him to accept.
04-23-2014 02:20 PM
Sabis mom Not aggressive, just a puppy being a puppy.

I do not approve of teeth on skin, but I also disagree with forcing a dog down and manhandling it. My recommendation to find a new vet was based on that, and the attitude you were given about the breed.

My dogs are always muzzled at the vet, at least for the first few minutes. I have found that the muzzle puts peoples mind at ease and we all relax more. Be sure to condition your dog to a muzzle though. I have two types, an exam muzzle that holds the mouth shut and is made of canvas, and a metal basket muzzle that really hurts if the dog hits you with it but is awesome for allowing the dog to drink and pant.

Fair warning though, I have bruises all over my legs from Shadow smashing me with the basket muzzle. She caught me in the face with it one day and left a serious mark.
04-23-2014 02:05 PM
Jedi'sMom So I muzzle him now? Is that what you are suggesting?
04-23-2014 01:38 PM
Sunflowers I don't think your pup was aggressive, but he could very well be, when he gets older. Many GSDs are vet aggressive, especially if they have experienced lots of pain there on a regular basis.

This can be resolved with a muzzle. I see zero problems with that. You muzzle your dog, things get done, no one gets hurt, and you move on.
04-23-2014 01:33 PM
Originally Posted by selzer View Post
As for the temperament of the owner, we know that the blood pressure is through the roof for hearing that the breed is an aggressive breed.
My reaction was to the situation in total; not just this particular aspect. Her approach with me was with the insinuation that the puppy showed what she considered to be an (dangerous) aggressive nature. He mouthed at her hand when pinned. He will mouth at my hands during belly rubs on occasion, "no bite" stops him. And when I say he mouths/bites, keep in mind he is applying little to no pressure.

Originally Posted by selzer View Post
We do not really know if the OP is not actually over-reacting to a relatively benign situation, where the puppy showed that it isn't going to accept some handling.
I did not overreact. I handled myself with calmness and respect, as is my nature. I am not the type of person to show my ass. Even if I were, a small town animal hospital where I have a friend working would not be the place. I guess you will just have to take my word for that. I did not come on here screaming that I was changing vets. I wanted to know if this puppy's behavior could really be considered aggressive and what level off concern I should have with that information.

Originally Posted by selzer View Post
When a puppy starts eating the hand of the vet tech, closing the mouth doesn't seem like the crime of the century.
Perhaps my puppy responds better to a different technique. Maybe if he can learn not to mouth they can learn not to be so forceful.

Originally Posted by selzer View Post
I think it is pretty silly of us to get a bug up our butts when someone (at a vet clinic) tells us we need to train the dog because it is an aggressive breed.
I disagree. GSDs are also known to be amazing family pets. (g)People can have all the bias about the breed they want but I expect educated animal practitioners to treat each animal for it's own individual temperament. Don't come at me with the aggressive speech unless my puppy has shown a truly aggressive nature that warrants raising a red flag. He behaved with what I consider to be excellent obedience for a pup of his age, except for this incident. Hence my asking for tips on helping him not be bothered by being pinned and forcefully grabbed at the muzzle. Perhaps they need to be a little less forceful and he needs to be a little less worried about being on his back/side. I'm not saying it's all roses and butterflies that my puppy mouths a vet tech.

Originally Posted by selzer View Post
Kudos to the vet tech for suggesting training on the puppy.
She did not suggest training because all puppies need training; she suggested training because my puppy would end up dangerous otherwise. Trying to convey her posture and presentation is impossible on a forum. My training is in people behavior and I can say without a doubt her suggestions were specific to the situation. There is no doubt in my mind that a lab acting in the exact same manner would have walked away without any warnings. Perhaps she could have been more acute when he was aptly following commands during all other aspects of his checkup.

So again I ask,
Is his reaction aggressive? I've been working on touching him all over etc. He does fine usually and is getting better all the time. Not sure what I should be doing differently, if anything.
04-20-2014 02:41 PM
selzer Since you asked my responses are in blue:
Originally Posted by David Winners View Post
It is ironic to me how safety minded you are in most situations when dealing with potentially dangerous dogs, when concerning new arrivals, kids, dogs with bite history etc, but in a vet situation, you think having a person the dog has just met restrain the dog and stick something in it's butt is totally normal for the dog and should be handled well automatically.

How does that make sense at all? Well that bitch that I imported was 3.5 and possibly ready to whelp when I got her off the plane. I had never met her. I had to stick my hand in her crate and get a leash around her so she wouldn't rush out onto the busy highway and become dead. And I had to stick a thermometer up her bum to monitor her temperature to determine when she would whelp, as they did not give us any idea of when she had ovulated or was bred. So a total stranger has to restrain a dog, and invade their nether regions.

I have also restrained another of my bitches, Babs, while the vet actually pulled a puppy out of her that I could not get out. But she knew me, still we are talking about charged and scary stuff. And yet the dogs do not bite willy nilly.

If you just meet a new dog, do you put it up on a slick table, wrap your arms around it with your face close to theirs and reach around behind for a quick "who's your father?" If a PPD trained dog reacts in this situation, you would be surprised? It sounds like I shouldn't be, but if a show-line dog reacts to a judge he never met, doing a berry check, the dog will get disqualified and will have to work at being reinstated if there is a bite. I have taken a dog into the ring for his very first berry check at about 2.5 years old -- lots of showline breeders start having strangers do this at 8 weeks old. The dog was startled but wasn't going to bite the guy. He just never had anyone check his junk before. Wow, I guess it isn't all about just trotting around the ring. But I digress.

If your SchH titled dog handles the vet well, great. It doesn't mean others will. Some dogs have more attitude with strangers than others. I've met some really soft SchHIII dogs that wouldn't last 10 seconds on the field with a decoy putting real pressure on the dog. They may do great at the vet. Strangers are a party to them and they don't expect otherwise.

You bring up an emergency situation where you arguing to get into the exam room may delay treatment. Actually, I am not arguing. And in any situation where I think my dog might bite (scarey/very painful), I suggest a muzzle. What if I don't make that argument and the dog goes ballistic because the tech restraining the dog is afraid and inexperienced? How is treatment going to go then? For most of us, including the OP, by the initial post, the ER vet techs are probably much better equipped to restrain an injured or scared dog properly. Maybe not me or you, but probably a LOT of people on this forum would be better off letting the vet techs protect themselves and the vet.

It is ALWAYS better to train handling with a dog so they get used to accepting it and are under less stress when being examined. That stress can some from fear or from trying to exhibit self control.

To the OP. You can marker train handling so the dog is used to being placed in strange positions and remaining calm. You can also classically condition being at the vet as a good thing. I believe you should do both frequently to help alleviate stress in this type of situation.
04-19-2014 10:14 PM
Sabis mom
Originally Posted by shepherdmom View Post
Because she was obviously uncomfortable with the way the vet handled her dog.

Right or wrong on the vets part that does not make for a good vet/owner relationship.

It can be the most highly recommended vet in the world, if I don't like them, I'm leaving. No matter how many letters they have after their name.
Yes! So agree with this.
04-19-2014 10:08 PM
David Winners Did you miss my reply to your post selzer?

I'm interested in your responses if you have the time.
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

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

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome