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Emma went to the vet today for shots. She is 4 month 1 week old and got her last shots including rabies. Weight is now 37 lbs

Vet was more hands on and wanted to check the bones on front legs to assure proper growth. The joints looked bony to her and she wanted to check for tenderness in the joints. Turns out to just be where she is in growth.

During her physical exam of the front legs, Emma growled - I immediately grabbed her nose and jaw shut, to prevent any chance of a bite. This worked and she settled down. Vet was not phased at all and just ignored it. Vet then went on to trim her nails. Emma struggled a bit, but did not growl at least, even when one got trimmed to short. I need to work more on messing with Emma paws more to get her used to the handling so I can trim

The while checking out another lady came in and Emma was barking with some growling.I I worked hard on correcting with Hush, nose pressure and collar corrections. I got her to sit and stop after a minute. I told the lady Emma was still young and socializing. She understood as she has two dogs at home.

I held Emma by the collar and asked the lady if she wanted to approach, which she did very slowly. She held the palm of her hand in front of Emma for her to sniff which she did, then Emma growled again. I jerked her back while getting my hand in front of her nose saying no. I said sorry to the lady.

I asked the vet if I should have done anything different. She said next time I should have quickly put her on her back with a no correction. What would you have done?

She thought from watching that Emma was protecting me from the scary lady. She also said the obedience class we start next week would help a lot, but to let the trainer know.

Thoughts?

I am gaining a bit more comfort with this vet too. We got talking about her experience.
 

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I believe Emma was already stressed and was reacting out of fear.
Four month old dogs are not old enough for protecting anything.
Don't put her on her back.

Tell the instructor about the experience. She needs a lot of good controlled one on one positive interactions with people and other dogs. If she gets overwhelmed in class, back up to a location where she is relaxed and comfortable. Hopefully you have a good positive trainer for a puppy this age.
 

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The vet gave you the WRONG answer, I would continue socalizing and training. Definately talk to your trainer when you start class. If your going to continue using that vet see if you could just pop in from time to time for socialization toshow your pup its no big deal going to the vets office.
 

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the 'alpha roll' is OLD and with a truly aggressive or strong dog may make it more advarsarial....

you have a baby who was frightened and overwhelmed....take the class....limit her to positive places and when she is really comfortable, then add another place...don't take her to tons and tons of things/places to socialize...go slow and make sure she is happy before making her confront another new situation...and yes - let the instructor know she is not highly confident in new situations...

Lee
 

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This isn't really an "alpha roll" in the true sense of the word. And there is nothing wrong with asking your dog to down (a very submissive position) when they're growling and trying to act aggressive towards something that they shouldn't be. An "alpha roll" usually involves a violent roll of the dog on its back, followed by you sitting on the dog showing that you are dominant...this seemed to just be advice to show the dog that she is submissive to any and all humans (which is good advice for pets and dogs that will be expected to not react to humans). At my club if any dogs growl at each other, or react, they get downed right away (most of the time they know what down means so you don't have to force it). This way they understand that no matter what, they are still submissive to you and this is not an acceptable action.

This was definitely a fear reaction, not protective at all, and after all the stress its understandable. You just need to socialize her, and get her into obedience training. Getting her to down in those types of situations isn't the worst thing you can do...but I do not suggest a true "alpha roll."
 

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I believe Emma was already stressed and was reacting out of fear.
Four month old dogs are not old enough for protecting anything.
Don't put her on her back.
Completely agreed with all of this.

Your pup was stressed and confused. She's definitely not protecting you at that age. Your pup may have just needed a break from the situation. The corrections, the hands in her face, the growling was probably just a little too much for her. Remember, she's pretty much still a baby at that age.

Don't be afraid to walk out for a nice 5 minute break to regroup and then try again.
 

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Start taking her into the vet's to weigh her. Let her get treated by the front desk and any vets/techs that you see. Then leave. Make being there a good experience so when it's a not so fun experience they can deal with it.
 

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I disagree with the vet, no roll!. I would have had lots of treats in my hand and fed treats while the vet or tech was doing something I think might have disturbed her. When new person walks in feed treats, they always knock first so no surprises. My vet and the vet techs have treats in their pockets too, they approach gently and give our dog a few moments to adjust to them. I've never given my dog a correction at the vet, if she's stressed I hug her or pet her, using soothing voice commands.
 

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My Gabby has been socialized from day one, but when she meets new people, I have to tell them to let her come up to them, not the other way around. If they approach her first, she will growl. I do think you have been given some good advice.
 

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Let Emma approach people she's wary of, not the other way around, I would have asked the lady to extend her hand, squat down and wait patiently. THen, if Emma relaxed, Emma can move forward at her own pace, there's not another way other than growling to tell the lady that was too fast and uncomfortable for her because you were holding her in place.

Jerking her and saying no when she's frightened of a lady is just making the experience of meeting someone new even more stressful. I would have instead said nothing if she growled, told the lady to just stand there and ignore her - maybe started a conversation with the lady, and if Emma was quiet and approached even a step to sniff I would have given her a ton of praise.

If you act calm and ignore the behavior like that completely and just smile and chat with the lady she will pick up on your vibes and realize her 'protection' or fear is just plain ridiculous in the situation. I feel like holding her collar and being tense about how she may react will get her a little more on edge.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow - lots of good advice here - Thanks. So folks know, the vet uses a lot of treats - mostly pieces of dog biscuits. I also had treats in my pocket. When the event happened it was a good 10 minutes after the exam. Vet was showing me her facility's for having Emma spayed (clean, net and well organized) Emma was fine with this, walking and sitting calmly beside me as we talked. It was as we were paying up the bill the nice lady came in.

Emma did not want to get out of the truck at the vet, but once inside remembered Jessica the assistant, who had a treat in hand waiting for her. Emma was fine after that, until things started to happen

When Emma gets into barking mode, she gets very very stubborn on obeying commands. If she is on a leash, one quick jerk and she snaps out of it and pays attention.

I called the trainer and let her know. Next week is the first class. I also may take Emma back to her puppy social hour another trainer puts on at a local boarding kennel. She does separate and supervise the groups that meet. I posted on that experience.

I am a bit concerned she is so afraid of stuff (except the cat that she wants to play with - only problem is the cat does not want to play:eek: with her) Cat also knows he can whip her at will but is actually being good to her. Someday Emma will learn to respect the cats space:crazy::).

Example of fear of stuff - I was fertilizing the pasture and threw an empty bag in the back yard to pick up later. Emma was barking at it, until the wind picked it up and moved it closer. Emma ran off yelping with tail between her legs. I tried to have her come back and see the bag, treat in hand, but she would have nothing to do with it. She barks at brooms and shovels too when they are in use.

One good thing about the vet trip, is Emma did not get car sick :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
 

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Good Vets are very rarely good trainers and vice versa.

Get the puppy some socialization with other dogs and other humans.
 

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When Emma gets into barking mode, she gets very very stubborn on obeying commands. If she is on a leash, one quick jerk and she snaps out of it and pays attention.
She is not being stubborn, she is over threshold and is not capable of hearing and listening at that point. Repeating commands over and over again will do nothing but dilute your commands and the correction is not going to help her trust in you if it is out of fear. Better option is to remove her from the scenario (far enough that she can actually think and listen) and try again.
 

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Everyone has given great advice on the behaviors, I just wanted to point out that one thing I'd never do again~ and that is have the rabies vax with other injections. Space them out by two weeks!
Especially for a young puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Thanks again.

I thought Emma might be out of it with the shots today, but she is one furry terror tonight. Tug, chew toy, bully stick, balls ( fetch), fox, raccoon, my hands :eek:, her squeaky toy that squeaks no more :laugh:, and back to the tug. We just finished what I call soft wrestling, with lots of licking, and rubbing (she loves tummy rubs and will now roll on her back if I say tummy rub) I added in messing with her paws while trying to have her stay mouth off my hands (future nail clipping). Pretty good - only drew blood once:crazy::eek::D I will keep an eye on her though. her apatite is good and she is drinking as usual.

She was out barking at the bag in the yard again, so I took some treats out and got her to get close, not bark, and get some treats off of the bag - went well I think. Ill keep it around and work her around it tomorrow in the training (try to get her to walk over it if she will).

Thanks again
 

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A good vet will distract the dog. Our Vet put some peanut butter substance on the table, totally distracted our guys attention from the needles and nail clippings. All he wanted to do was lick the table until the treats were gone.

Dogs react on our emotions. If you are tense, the vet is tense, the dog will also be tense.

As an owner, you need to keep calm, and be positive. Dogs can bring out the best in peoples own personal confidence...or can be the worst. Remember you are the boss, and everything is going to go smooth. Be happy and relaxed, keep your own heartbeat low. Dog will fall in line.
 
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