Playing nice with kitty, leash biting, hating the vet and other goals for training - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-19-2016, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Playing nice with kitty, leash biting, hating the vet and other goals for training

Hi all.

I have some questions about training our 16 week old Lando. We have had him for 8 weeks now and doing well on training. He has been doing great with the crate and we have potty-trained him and taught him to ring a bell to go outside. He knows basic commands - his name, come, sit, stay, down, go to your bed, go to your crate. We are having a couple of issues though:

1. We also have a maine coone cat who is 1 year old and they love to play together but sometimes Lando plays too rough and hurts the cat - pulls his fur out, steps on him, bites with his sharp puppy teeth which is painful and causes the kitty to yelp. How can we train him to be more gentle with the cat? Also sometimes the cat gets tired of playing and is clearly annoyed but Lando insists on playing more.

2. He has been biting the leash and trying to "play" with us sometimes on walks by grabbing and shaking his leash. We're having a hard time getting him to stop this behavior.

3. He absolutely hates going to the vet. He bucks, kicks, screams/cries while being examined by the vet. It appears that it is specifically the examining (looking in the ears, mouth, palpating his body and hips) and being high on the table that bothers him the most (yes, even more than getting vaccines). Any tips on improving behavior at the vet's office?

Also what other things should we be working on at this time? He is starting a basic obedience class next week. We have started taking him on off leash walks also.


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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-19-2016, 03:02 PM
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Welcome, your pup is adorable!!

1. Correct the puppy when he gets too rough with the cat. It's cool if they play, but if he gets to rough, a firm "no" and then remove the puppy from the cat.

2. Walk faster. If he gets all jumpy and mouthy again, "no" and move forward.

3. Practice everything the vet is going to do at home. Get him used to you holding him still, looking in his ears, opening his mouth, lifting his tail. Reward him for being calm. Also take him to the vet and have nothing done except get treats and sit nicely, then leave. Change his expectation of the place.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-19-2016, 08:17 PM
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Nice dog, pretty cat! May I ask a Question? Is your Maine Coon a jumper/climber, or do they stay on the ground more?

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-19-2016, 08:29 PM
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for the vet, practice everything the vet does at home, as gsdsar says. even more important, go to the vet clinic for just a "fun" visit. stop by to chat and get a few treats. Get on the scale and have some treats. I wouldn't use a clinic that wasn't willing to help get a new puppy to LOVE the vet's office.
I took Hemi to his first exam today. Dr. Connor spent over 30 minutes petting, giving treats, and making friends with the exam mixed in the middle of all that.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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for the vet, practice everything the vet does at home, as gsdsar says. even more important, go to the vet clinic for just a "fun" visit. stop by to chat and get a few treats. Get on the scale and have some treats. I wouldn't use a clinic that wasn't willing to help get a new puppy to LOVE the vet's office.
I took Hemi to his first exam today. Dr. Connor spent over 30 minutes petting, giving treats, and making friends with the exam mixed in the middle of all that.
Our vet doesn't seem too understanding of the situation with our puppy.. We are considering getting a new vet. The vet doesn't spend any time with him or pay attention to him - he just walks in, writes a few notes down then starts examining him and poking/prodding. Lando has gone to the vet 3x so far and each time he was kicking and crying during the exam and now the vet has begun telling us some pretty negative statements - that we need to see a behavioralist, our dog is not well trained, the german shepherd breed "has been ruined" in more recent years and "all the GSDs" he knows are aggressive or not sociable, etc and just generally making us feel bad. We're going to try to find somebody else but regardless, we know he is difficult during the vet visit and want to work on that.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Nice dog, pretty cat! May I ask a Question? Is your Maine Coon a jumper/climber, or do they stay on the ground more?
A little bit of both, I guess it depends on the setting. He investigates everything so he will jump and climb onto every surface of our home. He actually eats off the counter now since the puppy always eats his food if its on the floor.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by LandosMommy View Post
Our vet doesn't seem too understanding of the situation with our puppy.. We are considering getting a new vet. The vet doesn't spend any time with him or pay attention to him - he just walks in, writes a few notes down then starts examining him and poking/prodding. Lando has gone to the vet 3x so far and each time he was kicking and crying during the exam and now the vet has begun telling us some pretty negative statements - that we need to see a behavioralist, our dog is not well trained, the german shepherd breed "has been ruined" in more recent years and "all the GSDs" he knows are aggressive or not sociable, etc and just generally making us feel bad. We're going to try to find somebody else but regardless, we know he is difficult during the vet visit and want to work on that.
honestly, the vet wouldn't have finished the initial exam. I would have walked out the second the vet didn't take a few minutes to get to know any dog that is new to him. Most especially a young puppy.
I would find a new vet immediately. And I would go in and explain exactly why I am leaving. I would also tell him that his actions are likely at least partially the reason that all the GSDs he knows have problem behaviors around him.
This honestly isn't a case where you TRY to find someone else but where you absolutely need to never see this guy again. At least in my opinion. This man's treatment of him can not only impact how he views all future visits to the vet but how he may view other strangers.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 10:12 PM
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I agree, I would find a new vet. My vet tends to come in, pat the dog on the head and then start. But the vet techs go out of their way to pet and make the visit very positive, giving treats, etc.. So vet techs can also make the visit a good one. But if your's is saying what he's saying as well as nothing good happens there, you need a new vet. At Lando's age you'll need to have him weighed often for his heartworm and flea meds. Mine is the same age and we go in every month for a weigh in and treat. She gets lots of positive attention and the treat. Going to the vet is a positive experience.
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