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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So Bo's vet app was this friday, he has always done good with the vet, but this time wasn't a good time. I had to muzzle him and literally hold him down in the corner to get his shots, and the vet couldn't even do everything cause Bo was literally trying to eat the vet. He was snapping and growling and jumping at the vet and assistant. He was a completely different dog than i have ever seen him be.

Now i can acount for several things tht were different with this vet visit.
#1. He was sick, he had 2 days of some bad diarrhea, we told the vet about and got some meds.
#2. Different vet, our usual vet wasnt there to be seen.
#3. My wife was in the room, she never goes with us to the vet
#4. We had to muzzle him, he's never had a muzzle on and they tried to get me to use the small one tht just goes over the mouth and doesn't let him breathe very well, i made them get me a dif muzzle tht was bigger and let him open his mouth.
#5. At one time there was 5 people in this small room, all with attention on Bo, so he got very nervous/scared which led to the aggression
#6. The assistant was a male, we usually have the same girl and he tried to muscle bo down, and Bo will not be held down , he couldn't hold Bo down

and so on and so forth, i could keep going, there were alot of things tht went towards Bo getting very nervous which i fell led to the aggression and everything.

But, we have also noticed here lately he has also become more protective and won't let anyone around me or my wife. He barks his forceful bark towards people, he gets between us and them to show he doesnt like this. He has never acted like he would jump on them, but he is quite scary to people when they first see him. My big problem is we have a baby on the way in january and there wll be lots of people coming and goin around the house, an i see Bo having problems with this. My vet gave me a trainer to talk with and try to get help, but he wasnt in the lest bit convinced a trainer could help him with this.

He hasnt always been this way, it is jus been the past couple weeks i've notcied small things. He was always socialized, I've taken him everywere, we go for walks around the neighborhood, i take him to family gatherings, pool parties, games, etc. he has alway been around people and has never showed any fear/aggression until the past couple weeks. He is only 1, and if he is this bad now, he is only goin to get worse without proper help.

I was just wondering if anyone else has dealt with an issue like this, and maybe someone can give me some positive input.

thanks, Rob
 

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He was sick, all the different people in there, he was stressed...I can see why he reacted.

The best thing you can do is start taking a trip once a week into the vet's office. Weigh him, let the workers treat him. He's at the age where they have a fear stage. I would ask the vet's to come out and pet him quickly in between appts too. That way he has a good experience there so the bad experiences aren't quite so bad.

You also need to show Bo that you are in charge. He doesn't get to pick the people to protect you from..you do! Start NILIF, if you haven't already. When people come to see you, put him on a leash so you have better control. Have him sit when they approach you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah the vet thing, i believe he was overly stressed.

I've read some on the NILIF stuff, but Bo isn't like the things they say. He knows i am in charge. He is a completely different dog when nobody is around. Heck he is a big ole babyl, I can tug on his ears, roll him around on the floor, he loves to wrestle, he loves to snuggle, he isnt allowed on the furniture without permission, he gets scared and runs to me to hold him, i mean he is not at all an aggressive dog when it's just us.
 

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When he is scared and he runs to you to hold him, and you do hold him, you are reinforcing that it is ok to be scared.

NILIF is not for aggressive dogs so I don't really understand what you mean by "Bo isn't like the things they say". He doesn't know you are in charge if he is placing himself between you and others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
He runs to me, but i dont' hold him, i make him sit beside me and calm down.

Yeah i was jus reading more into NILIF, i was thinking of something all together different. Basically everything this is saying we already do, he has to give me something before i give him anything. and i see wht you are saying, about him putting himself between us, i need to work with him better with this and until he gets a handle on this, no more running around free without the leash. We live in a rural community, so we usually take our walks without the leash on, but i take it with me just in case
 

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It sounds like the combination of things took him over his threshold. Every dog has a different threshold level and different things that can bring them over that level. Often a combination of factors can bring the dog over threshold more quickly because they all add together. So while one or two factors might not cause a reaction, having multiple things happen at once might.
It sounds like the fact that new/different people were handling him may have been a big part of the problem. I would suggest working (slowly) on training him to accept handling from people calmly. It is important that he allow this, as you found out, because he will need to be handled for medical care and other situations as well. I would also recommend buying a muzzle and teaching him to accept it and be calm when wearing it. A basket muzzle is best because it will allow him to pant and breathe normally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A muzzle is our list of things to learn, jus incase we need to wear one again.

I am jus more worried about how to train him to be more calm around other people than anything, the vet visit i believe can be handled other ways.
 

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I had trouble with Onyx at the vet after she was spayed at 6 months. We did the fun visits, treats only, no pokes or anything negative, and she never overcame it. We even changed practices and she just doesn't want strangers approaching her. So muzzle, promace, and putting her up on the "operating table" is the protocol for her visits. The table makes her feel more secure as people aren't bending over her and there is no chair she can cower behind or under.
We cover her face with a towel for the blood draws and it helps a bit as she can't see who's doing what to her.
The vet has me do the ear swabs and whatever else I can do to keep Onyx feeling unthreatened.
I don't expect her to get over it, we'll just manage her visits as positively as possible.
I give her allergy injections at home. Of course Onyx is the dog out of three that goes to the vet most often because of her allergies!

As far as the behavior in daily life just keep on with the socializing and make sure Bo knows you are in control of all situations so he doesn't feel the need to.

The book Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt helped us with Onyx's reactiveness and fear aggression. At maturity she is much better.... It's still a daily management, though.
 
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