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Discussion Starter #1
I wasn't sure where else this could go, so I put it here. Hope that's 'ight.

My blood pressure must be through the roof. I am LIVID. It's not even that big of a deal in retrospect, but I'm still VERY pissed off about this. I can kind of see where the vet is coming from in this whole ordeal, but it still ticks me off.

The story;
I sent in a foster home application to a small dog rescue nearby a few days ago because as some of you know I was very interested in getting a small dog recently, but decided it was not the best time. So, along with fostering for the Weim rescue, I wanted to foster some small dogs. Frag had a neuter scheduled, so I went ahead and sent the form. Lady emails me from the rescue and asks if he's been neutered yet. I say No, this is the date, call the vet with the number from the application. She does. Emails me back tonight and says that I can't foster because the vet said my German Shepherd would be a bad match for small dogs based on previous aggression. My first thought- WTF!?

Okay, the dog growled at the vet because he was uncomfortable, or now, I'm thinking, in pain from possible hip issues or pano. Does the vet recommend every dog that growls at her in a new situation not be kept with other dogs? I can see her concern- if I were applying to foster or adopt a child I would be a little -little- more okay with it and understanding. How on earth does a scared dog in a completely NEW situation with a woman man-handling him equal past aggression though!?

Upon the first visit there where Frag displayed the behavior, she played 50 questions with us and new Frag's history and life more than our family knows him. She KNEW he went to the dog park weekly, loved little dogs and cats, and was socialized extensively since we got him. She KNEW he had zero guarding issues with food/toys/bones, etc. with people AND dogs. She SAW him get along well with the office cat there and we told her he got along great with our kitten that we brought in for shots.

So why would she tell a rescue that he shouldn't be around other dogs because he's aggressive? She didn't even tell them that it was towards a human, not a dog, and that it was HER because she was poking and proding and he was uncomfortable. She just told them he was aggressive and now they won't even give me a chance to foster. :(

I know it's not the end of the world because I can always foster with another rescue, but giving Frag a bad reputation really boils my blood. Frag gets along better with small dogs than he does big ones!

Does anyone think that she was in the right doing this? Because I know I certainly don't. She had no right to do that, in my opinion. We will be changing vets and Frag WON'T be going under at her practice.

/rant.

Maybe Frag was right about her. :doh:
 

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First thing I would do is call her. Ask her 'point blank' why she deemed your dog 'aggressive.'
 

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I would be pissed too, and definitely would make a phone call to the vet herself as well as immediately find a new vet.
 

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I would also ask the rescue why they would take a vets word over actually meeting your dog themselves/ they should be experienced with evaluating a temperament.
Why don't you just foster for the local SPCA? They hardly screen their fosters.
 

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Love how vets think they are the be all experts on training and behavior issues. The first vet I worked for was very honest with people and told them the extent of education he received at vet school pertaining to training or behavior had to do with restraining an animal for medical procedures! I rarely run across any that are that honest about that area of their knowledge.
 

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confront the vet. and try to explain to the rescue group. If they're a good rescue, they'd be willing to MEET Frag and basically temp test him themselves to determine if he's good or bad. Sorry for the rough experience.
 

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I would be very upset and would get a new vet. I would also let her know why you are doing so.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I sent an email to the rescue group explaing Frag's REAL temperment right away and will ask them if they'll meet him with other dogs/animals to decide for themselves first, but I'm afraid they're going to say no because they're too far away and oh em gee, a vet said he's aggressive! They're dealing with small dogs; I don't know if they have the knowledge or compassion to take the time with us. :(

I do foster for the SPCA Jane, but unfortunately there is nothing there right now that fits our lifestyle well enough, and my boyfriend is a little concerned by the lack of guidlines/help the SPCA puts forth towards employee fosters. I like more structured foster situations, personally.

eta; after talking to the vet about what was said I will be letting them know that I'm taking my money elsewhere. I'm cancelling Frag's neuter right now. Whoops, sorry, I WON'T be dropping 350 at your clinic next week. ;)
 

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Good for you! I have had my share of vet problems over the years, I swear some should never become a vet. I have a great holistic vet know, gotta drive 40 minutes but that is ok. I do have one closer if there is an emergency. Start interviewing your vets, I let mine know right up front I was not happy with previous services and was going to be very picky.
 

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DJ,

I feel your pain. I had to take Kai to the vet a few months ago and it was our first time going to a vet in this area. It was a bad experience, Kai growled at the vet (as she was prodding at her sensitive swollen anus area) and then she was labeled as agressive. They told me she would have to be muzzled anytime she came in from now on. I told them we wouldn't be coming back...
Sounds like you already did what I would recommend... take your money elsewhere.
 

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My vet said Niko was a dominant dog, just based on the fact that he went still when she examined his eyes. I like her medical skills, but she's not an animal behaviorist. He also growled (not really at the vet, but just in discomfort I think) the last time he got his rabies shot (as he was being injected). I don't think anyone could classify Niko as aggressive!

I wonder if anyone on the forum could tell us about how vets are trained in animal behavior? Is there any required coursework in their training that deals specifically with small animal handling and interpretation of behaviors? Or is it just something the vet learns more about the longer he/she is in practice?
 

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I think it's similar to human doctors - there are specialists in those areas - and for the general practitioner it is part of the picture but isn't a focus. You can look up curriculi at veterinary teaching hospitals to get an idea of what it is they do cover.

And I think there are frames of reference - where they get their thinking - I am betting Tuft's graduates are different from some other schools because of their behavioral clinic's way of thinking, and some who probably watch Cesar or Victoria just like everyone else. ;) OR who watched Uncle Mattie and that Walkies lady if they are older! And from their experiences with animals from birth til profession. And experience can help, unless it is someone who doesn't learn from experience (as seen in every facet of life)!

And just like non-doctors each person has a different level of "feel" for behavior and understanding of it. Each of my dogs has their own vet that they regularly see, who seems to click with them. That vet seems to get the type of behaviors that each of these dogs tosses at them. And my most dangerous animal, my cat, that vet left and so it's back to the drawing board for someone who understands her!
 

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I get so frustrated when people think they know your dogs personality based on one (stressful) meeting :(
I've (slowly) learned to ignore what people say about skylar, i know that she's good around strangers, dogs, etc. if she's stressed about something of course she'll act different, but she's not aggressive. I've let too many people lead me to believe she's fear aggressive and after talking with multiple trainers and vets and she's NOT.

You know your dog best and i think it's so awesome that you foster dogs! I'd love to do that but don't have enough experience yet.
 

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Good grief!! I think that was uncalled for! I’m glad you’re going to confront the vet. I’d like to hear why, exactly, she said those things about Frag. :mad:

Does your vet know you currently foster dogs and there have been no issues in the past?
 

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Wow I would be so mad if that happened to me, especially since it interferes with fostering. I thought vets were used to dogs disliking them and would only label them aggressive if they truly were.

I'm interested in seeing what my vet wrote about Chrono. Last time she called him a big wuss for yelping when he got a vaccine and pulled the needle out, and he usually spends the entire appointment trying to lick everyone's faces. But he's actually a very dominant, clumsy dog who smashes his head and other body parts on so many things but never seems to feel any pain. He's just silly around strangers.
 

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I do foster for the SPCA Jane, but unfortunately there is nothing there right now that fits our lifestyle well enough, and my boyfriend is a little concerned by the lack of guidlines/help the SPCA puts forth towards employee fosters. I like more structured foster situations, personally
As an employee of the SPCA, is there a way that you can help change that policy? I quit fostering there because of the way they did NOT screen fosters, and adopted out dogs(without thoroughly screening adopters) just to boost their numbers and increase the income...
Does the vet know you foster for the SPCA? I wonder, really if that plays into anything. There is a bit of bias for some in this area (if they know your affiliations with other rescues).
 

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Yep, time for a new vet, and I would confront the vet with the information.

If the rescue did not tell it straight, the vet should be given the opportunity to tell her side.

Some people, even vets, are not GSD people. They respond very differently to any sign from a GSD than they would from a beagle or a Yorkie. Unfortunately, most people do not give this much thought. They do it and would swear on a stack of Bibles that they do not.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I get so frustrated when people think they know your dogs personality based on one (stressful) meeting :(
I've (slowly) learned to ignore what people say about skylar, i know that she's good around strangers, dogs, etc. if she's stressed about something of course she'll act different, but she's not aggressive. I've let too many people lead me to believe she's fear aggressive and after talking with multiple trainers and vets and she's NOT.

You know your dog best and i think it's so awesome that you foster dogs! I'd love to do that but don't have enough experience yet.
The vet told me I should be aware of what he's capable of now and not to take him around strangers. :(

I enjoy fostering a lot, it's a very rewarding experience and I highly encourage you to look into it in the future when you feel more experienced and comfortable with it. :)

Good grief!! I think that was uncalled for! I’m glad you’re going to confront the vet. I’d like to hear why, exactly, she said those things about Frag. :mad:


Does your vet know you currently foster dogs and there have been no issues in the past?
Yep. At his initial vet exam she asked if we had other pets. I let her know I was fostering a weim puppy from a rescue and she asked about his previous animal experience socialization. I told her he was raised with three other dogs, four cats, and went to the dog park multiple times a week.

Wow I would be so mad if that happened to me, especially since it interferes with fostering. I thought vets were used to dogs disliking them and would only label them aggressive if they truly were.
I though they were used to it, too.

As an employee of the SPCA, is there a way that you can help change that policy? I quit fostering there because of the way they did NOT screen fosters, and adopted out dogs(without thoroughly screening adopters) just to boost their numbers and increase the income...
Does the vet know you foster for the SPCA? I wonder, really if that plays into anything. There is a bit of bias for some in this area (if they know your affiliations with other rescues).
I do not believe I ever told her that I fostered or worked for the SPCA. I just told her I fostered for the weim rescue because I had charlie during our initial visit.

I don't know what I could do to change the policies there, either. I'm at the bottom of the totem pole, we don't have a director, and no one takes me seriously because I'm young. I really have no idea what the policy is like as far as all of that is concerned either, and I don't really want to know. This is only going to be a temporary job I'm thinking anyway.

Yep, time for a new vet, and I would confront the vet with the information.

If the rescue did not tell it straight, the vet should be given the opportunity to tell her side.

Some people, even vets, are not GSD people. They respond very differently to any sign from a GSD than they would from a beagle or a Yorkie. Unfortunately, most people do not give this much thought. They do it and would swear on a stack of Bibles that they do not.
That's what I figure. I'll give the vet the benefit of the doubt, but I don't know what they could have said that the rescue would lie so blatantely about.
 

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Can you pm me the vet you are writing of?
 
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