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Well, Gabe and I went to the vet yesterday, and while he's never liked going to the vet, he seems to tolerate it less now.

He was happy enough in the waiting room. He was beg-whining and trying to convince me to let him play with the other dog in the room, but he stayed down when I told him to.

When we got in the exam room, though, I was sitting on the floor with him and everything was fine, but as soon as one of the vet techs came to the door, he started barking like crazy. She went and got another tech, and he barked at the both of them. I corrected him each time, but that didn't stop him.

They took him in the back for the exam, and they said he did much better. I didn't hear any barking, but they muzzled him to be safe. When they tried to handle him, he backed up into the corner and tried to wiggle away.

As soon as we got back out into the waiting room, he sat nicely and let a couple pet him and he licked their hands and behaved perfectly well.

When we go to the kennel/groomer, he lets the ladies there touch him and handle him. It seems to just be the vet.

Any advice for dealing with vet anxiety? I don't want to be the lady with the vicious dog...especially since we'll be starting to see a new vet soon.
 

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IMHO, I'd start off with a no treatment visit to the new vet where he can meet the staff, they can love on him, and you can find the vet he's most "attracted" to. It could also be the staff that's part of the problem; if the staff doesn't "like" GSDs for whatever reason, they could be giving off vibes that make your pup uncomfortable.

As for the old vet, maybe you can do the same thing...come in and maybe some of the staff will come into the waiting area and give Gabe treats and good lovins' so that he associates the people with good, happy things.
 

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It's that particular vet or tech. With one vet my dog had to be muzzled for something as simple as a rabies shot per vet's request. Current vets call him the sweetest dog ever, and he will lay down and ask for a belly rub. Previous vet was afraid of him, current vets and staff adore him. Find a few vet and do not correct him at the vet, he's scared and uncomfortable.
 

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  1. Go to the vet at least once a week, if you can (I went twice a week with Myah when she went through this!) for "happy visits" - treats, affection, weighing and letting them put their hands on him to palpate his abdomen, look in his ears, etc. Start small and work up.
  2. Keep the examination room door open when you are waiting, so pup doesn't feel confined and then fearful in a small spot when a new person comes in.
  3. Bring treats with her - the GOOD stuff :p. Reward good behavior.
  4. If you don't feel like this is the right vet place for a GSD, then switch. But if it's just pup feeling anxious and picky about handling and new people, then you have to work him through it.
As I said, Myah went through this. She was all fun and games at the vet's, until it came time for a shot or restraint, then panicked and then she snarled her best, little ferocious puppy snarl (it was kind of cute, but it's not allowed Little Girl! :cool: ). We did #1-3 above and she is totally OVER that stage now. She's their favorite and will roll over on her back for any of them. :laugh:. Took about a month.
 

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when my dog was a pup we went to the Vet 3 or 4 times a
week for treats, mock exams, petting, socializing. the Vet ot Techs
would come out and act like they were giving my dog an exam.
when i was taking him to the Vet i use to say "lets go to the Vet".
while traveling to the Vet i would say it a few more times while
giving him a treat and praise. start slow. take your dog to the Vet
for a treat in the waiting area. do that for a few visits. then go for
a treat but take your dog in the exam room and let the Vet or Tech
give him a treat, praise and petting. work your way up to a mock exam.
 

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It's that particular vet or tech. With one vet my dog had to be muzzled for something as simple as a rabies shot per vet's request. Current vets call him the sweetest dog ever, and he will lay down and ask for a belly rub. Previous vet was afraid of him, current vets and staff adore him. Find a few vet and do not correct him at the vet, he's scared and uncomfortable.
We had a similar experience with our last vet. New vet bought out the practice and Tuke, who is fine with people, didn't care for him and acted stressed. Friends recommended a vet, so we tried them and Tuke was back to her old self, she seems to like it there.
 
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