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This may not be popular (and I know you probably won't like it WD...), but my dogs absolutely love going to the vet, so I want to share why: they do playcare at the same vet clinic.

My vet offers really high-quality playcare for dog-social dogs, and great boarding with playcare incorporated. Mine go about once a week. The staff is fantastic with special needs dogs (blind, deaf, physically challenged, whatever...they make sure they have a good experience, and are super-careful in putting dogs together). While there, mine are sometimes the only dogs out in the yard, or they're out with a few regular, good-natured buddies. The staff throws the ball, lets them splash in the shallow pool, wears them out, and then gives them nap time. They know my dogs very, very well, and they're fantastic with them.

My dogs have had some VERY painful procedures done in that clinic, but they don't seem to remember them. They remember the staff who throws the ball instead of the one who emptied the infected anal gland, so it's an overwhelmingly happy place to visit. They're always sure we're going to play and swim, and usually they're right.

My vet said that the playcare clients the most anxiety-free patients because they're so conditioned to good stuff happening at the clinic. It's also made ortho exams a lot more comprehensive: he can watch them romp and run, take them for a walk in between appointments, and spend a lot more time thinking about subtle things in the gait if they're spending the whole day there.

Not all vets offer this, or have a good, stable, well-loved staff that sticks around to get to know the dogs as individuals, but it's been an absolute game-changer in making our appointments really easy on the dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
That may work for some but I know the fully 100% that Deja will enjoy these activities but will go into bronco-mode (thanks for the term, GSDSAR) the second a medical treatment arises. She does remember the procedures I am sure. She was fine that time before.
 

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This may not be popular (and I know you probably won't like it WD...), but my dogs absolutely love going to the vet, so I want to share why: they do playcare at the same vet clinic.

My vet offers really high-quality playcare for dog-social dogs, and great boarding with playcare incorporated. Mine go about once a week. The staff is fantastic with special needs dogs (blind, deaf, physically challenged, whatever...they make sure they have a good experience, and are super-careful in putting dogs together). While there, mine are sometimes the only dogs out in the yard, or they're out with a few regular, good-natured buddies. The staff throws the ball, lets them splash in the shallow pool, wears them out, and then gives them nap time. They know my dogs very, very well, and they're fantastic with them.

My dogs have had some VERY painful procedures done in that clinic, but they don't seem to remember them. They remember the staff who throws the ball instead of the one who emptied the infected anal gland, so it's an overwhelmingly happy place to visit. They're always sure we're going to play and swim, and usually they're right.

My vet said that the playcare clients the most anxiety-free patients because they're so conditioned to good stuff happening at the clinic. It's also made ortho exams a lot more comprehensive: he can watch them romp and run, take them for a walk in between appointments, and spend a lot more time thinking about subtle things in the gait if they're spending the whole day there.

Not all vets offer this, or have a good, stable, well-loved staff that sticks around to get to know the dogs as individuals, but it's been an absolute game-changer in making our appointments really easy on the dogs.
What a wonderful thing, I am seriously jealous!!!

I have nothing like that where I live, but I will say one thing about expectations.

The first time I took Newlie to the vet's office, the vet's son (who is studying to be a vet) said "You all are crazy!" I just laughed because I know what he and his Dad were probably thinking. Here we walk in with this large German Shepherd, we are both not young and my husband was already terribly disabled from the disease that would eventually kill him. I am sure they thought we had lost our minds. But after they saw Newlie a time or two, they began to change their opinions. The vet's son actually came to my house a time or two in the beginning to help me get medicine in Newlie's infected ears. Jack is a big guy, but he had everything he could do to hold on to Newlie to get the drops in. Newlie wrestled with him, but never growled, snapped or bit. Another time at the vet's office, the vet had just finished trimming Newlie's toenails, I believe, and as soon as the son turned him lose, Newlie gave the vet a big, sloppy kiss right in the face.

The point I am trying to make is that they know Newlie well enough to see that, despite his rather intimidating appearance, he really is a sweetheart. People that see him maybe just a time or two don't always get to know him that well. They see him, they make assumptions and they are afraid, who can blame them? I wouldn't want to get bit either.

I am never afraid that my dog will bite me and that is why I am perfectly willing and able to hold his head even during procedures that are uncomfortable or somewhat painful. He always just sticks his nose down between my knees and growls and cries and carries on till it's over. Once, at the surgeon's office, he had enough of his back leg being manipulated and starting bucking like a horse. I don't have anything against muzzles, per se, and I have even told people at times that they could muzzle Newlie if they needed to. But as long as they will let me hold him, I will be glad to do so.
 

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We solved that by going to a fear free vet with our trainer so they could have a successful exam and see how he needs to be treated. They are very good with him. He has learned good things happen when he is restrained and quiet, and we finally have been able to have good exams. I go in when they are not busy. I restrain him, the tech treats him when he shows calming behaviors and the vet works quickly to get the job done.
 

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This may not be popular (and I know you probably won't like it WD...), but my dogs absolutely love going to the vet, so I want to share why: they do playcare at the same vet clinic.

My vet offers really high-quality playcare for dog-social dogs, and great boarding with playcare incorporated. Mine go about once a week. The staff is fantastic with special needs dogs (blind, deaf, physically challenged, whatever...they make sure they have a good experience, and are super-careful in putting dogs together). While there, mine are sometimes the only dogs out in the yard, or they're out with a few regular, good-natured buddies. The staff throws the ball, lets them splash in the shallow pool, wears them out, and then gives them nap time. They know my dogs very, very well, and they're fantastic with them.

My dogs have had some VERY painful procedures done in that clinic, but they don't seem to remember them. They remember the staff who throws the ball instead of the one who emptied the infected anal gland, so it's an overwhelmingly happy place to visit. They're always sure we're going to play and swim, and usually they're right.

My vet said that the playcare clients the most anxiety-free patients because they're so conditioned to good stuff happening at the clinic. It's also made ortho exams a lot more comprehensive: he can watch them romp and run, take them for a walk in between appointments, and spend a lot more time thinking about subtle things in the gait if they're spending the whole day there.

Not all vets offer this, or have a good, stable, well-loved staff that sticks around to get to know the dogs as individuals, but it's been an absolute game-changer in making our appointments really easy on the dogs.
None of my dogs has any problem with the vet, and none of them have gone to any play care there. In fact Ramona has been no where since she was 4 months old when I took her to a single class for my nieces. Now where. She is not 15 or 16 months old and I took her in on Saturday for an ear infection. She was fine. They put painful swabs and a scope into the inflamed ear. She ate treats from the people.

I think some dogs are going to have issues and others are not. I don't think letting the play at the vets with other dogs is going to make it any easier for most dogs. For some dogs, who probably wouldn't have had issues anyway, maybe.
 

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That may work for some but I know the fully 100% that Deja will enjoy these activities but will go into bronco-mode (thanks for the term, GSDSAR) the second a medical treatment arises. She does remember the procedures I am sure. She was fine that time before.
My girl did all her training classes at the vets, she knew them all but something flicked a switch in her head after one stay and she didn't forget. Vets know what they are doing but you are the owner and you know your dog best. Personally for a simple procedure, I chose to restrain her than sedate her but having read all this thread realise that the US has different rules.
 

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Sensitive subject. As a tech, in all my practices, owners are not allowed to restrain their own pets. Only exception is LE K9. Why? Insurance and liability. Many o many a practice has been sued and lost when the pet bit the owner. It's our society and it sucks, especially for the good and capable owners.

Muzzle training is good. But you also need to be more forceful. TELL don't ask how he needs to be handled. If the tech or Dr are hesitant or scared, ask for different ones.

As a tech I have dealt with plenty of jerk GSD. They are not known for being cooperative in the vets office. I just go in and get stuff done. Less is more.

When you say you dog doesn't cooperate, can you explain better? Is he is a bucking bronco? You say no snapping or biting, but is he growling, getting very still? Challenging the staff?

I love GSD, I was always the one called to help with them. But please remember that I( as a tech) have had more bites from a dog right after being told (oh he's friendly), so yeah. I don't trust most owners.
YES to all of this!

I don't even ask if dogs are friendly anymore. Even if they are, the stress of illness and a trip to the vet can really change things...not to mention restraint, pain, etc.

FYI: Because of the reputation of the GSD in the vetmed community (most of the vets you meet are completely terrified of them, I have met a few who actually hate them...one in particular was really nasty about it) people come at your dog with fear. With fear, commonly comes aggression. Many vets/techs/assts working with your dog will be impatient or rough with dogs who scare them. It honestly helps to just be neutral and to give the dog some sort of structure.

Others will baby talk and try too hard to be nice, which can also set dogs off. Some places are very fear free/less is more, others will get five people to lay on a dog as it screams during a blood draw. The latter then wonder why the dog is a huge pain in the neck to handle the next time it comes in. It really sucks to see that, and then the person just blaming the dog..."just a shepherd" they say. ugh I just want to slap people who think like that. As a tech myself it just kinda boggles my mind a bit lol. A little empathy goes a long way.

The dog is afraid, and commonly reacts with aggression. Many dogs shut down, which allow procedures to be done with them. Those dogs that shut down reward that type of handling, because it works for the person doing it. GSDs are typically dogs who don't do that (they are not alone!!!!) and will react in some way. Most just wiggle around or move/buck, some will try to bite. They are generally intuitive and opinionated, which can make them difficult to work with. Most of the "bad" breeds/dogs just need somebody to put a little brainpower behind how they do things. All of them need counter-conditioning and some empathy...and occaisionally some meds lol.
 

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My dogs don't enjoy it. My girl just goes under my chair and I will have to pull her out and hold her while they do whatever. She has never been nasty and I doubt ever will be. Just resists slightly but mostly just tense with scared eyes. I tell her she is okay and good girl for holding still.

I have always been so wary of letting anyone take my dogs in back to do whatever. But I finally have a vet I really trust and I did find out she behaved better for ultrasound when I was not there so I made myself scarse.

My boy resists by tensing up and being uncooperative but no flailing or bucking. He has grumbled a few times....I don't quite want to call it a growl because it wasn't quite but it was something. So he now wears a muzzle if he is face to face with anyone but me. he was not a hard dog to muzzle train so a no brainer. He is not friendly or social once we are in an exam room. He knows whoever comes in is going to do something to him and he isn't there to make friends. But he so far minds his own business or makes gestures like he would like to get out of the room. You know, he'll look at the door, look at me, asking me to let him out. Pretends he doesn't see the vet. This i am ok with...I get it...bad things happen there. Just want to be sure it doesn't escalate with him because he is a very big strong dog who is willing to growl to defend himself from something he thinks will be painful. He too does better with matter of fact handling and no hesitant "it's ok baby" stuff. it's not ok, he knows it, and the anticipation of all that nonsense just makes it worse for him. My one vet just treats him like a horse, once he lays hands on he does not break contact he just calmly gets it all done because letting go and then touching him again gets that anticipation going too.

This reminds me I was going to take him in for some visits with nothing painful...just to try and balance the scale so to speak. Last time he just had a little blood draw for a tick panel and he wasn't very upset about that. I think he will be ok with a little good preventative work
 

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I think it is a good idea to bring them in on simple
Visits or just getting weighed. After max had that retained testicle surgery and then the corn cob surgery -I was worried how he would be at the vet. I voiced my concern and they were good with him. He was a good boy. He was a bit more nervous then he usually was he always just took a nap before his turn. He was wide awake. We went back two times to get stitches out which they brought him in the back and they were not ready to be removed so I felt better. I did not want him going in the back every time feeling something drastic was going to happen. The third time he went back to have stitches out which is pretty painless. I like they way they handle him. he does good with firm and calm and confident handling and if he is uncomfortable - less is more at the vet. As mentioned earlier I agree vets who are afraid which there are many -do handle gs to rough or go out of their way being extra mushy.
 

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I have ALWAYS restrained my own dogs at the vet, with a few rare exceptions (x-rays, ear flushing, ultrasound of abdomen.)

When Eska had pyometra, and needed numerous ultrasounds of her uterus, I was present for all the examinations, and allowed and even encouraged to help. Eska was an absolute angel through it all, and the only time she went to jump off the table was when someone opened a cupboard door, and she thought she was getting a treat!

One of the few times the vet wanted me to leave was when both Tasha and Ranger objected to having the kennel cough vaccine shot up their noses. I gave them no argument. It didn't help, though...they were just as unco-operative without me in the room! :rolleyes2:

I would be quite upset if I was told to leave because they were afraid I'd sue them. I'd be looking for another vet, PDQ!

I firmly believe the owner's presence can help calm the animal, as long as the owner themselves is able to remain calm.

My older female wanted to follow me into the vet clinic recently when I had to go and pick up some medication for Eska. The vet was very happy to find out she was so popular with my girl! :D
 

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Yikes if I did not trust my vet to handle my dogs. During a extensive procedure I would not bring them there. It is hard to care for a dog when they are hard to treat.-I had one -we would have a vet come to the house and I would handle him- this was for basic care. Many vets do not want the liability. I know of one vet who was a snake and had this young girl hold her Rottweiler who was be putting down for severe behavior issues. The dog did not even have a muzzle on and as the vet injected the dog with euthanasia the dog took a huge chomp out of this young girls face. So sad and so irresponsible. I always felt bad for this girl when I heard this story what an awful experience for this owner of this dog to go through I had heard she had massive scars. It so important to find a good vet.
 

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If they want to restrain, I am perfectly happy to give them the lead. For one thing, they know what they're going to do, and they've trained their techs to watch their back. If I am holding the dog and it bites the vet, my fault.

But I am really not worried about my dogs. They seem to be fine at the vets. The closest I or anyone ever got to being bitten by one of mine was when the vet and the tech were trying to get a big singleton pup out of Babs. Now I already had my hand up in her trying to hook the head and help him be born, but he just wasn't coming, and I got her up to the vet and I was holding her head while they were trying to get him out, and Babsy was being hurt, and her mouth pressed down on my thumb. It wasn't a bite, it was just pressing. The vet did ask if I wanted a muzzle, but then they got the pup out, and everyone was happy and fine.
 

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Selzer, you were lucky. I've heard of birthing stories where the person holding the dog didn't fare as well as that!

The happy part of it was the bitch's owner felt so badly, she gave her assistant a free puppy!
 

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I don't ask, I don't tell, I just take hold of Newlie's collar and wait for the surgeon or whoever it is to do what they have to do. Nobody has objected yet.
 

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Selzer, you were lucky. I've heard of birthing stories where the person holding the dog didn't fare as well as that!

The happy part of it was the bitch's owner felt so badly, she gave her assistant a free puppy!
Once upon a time, I had three bitch puppies. I sold them all. The one that had all the confidence and was a people-dog, came back to me when the family wanted to do a lot of camping, and didn't want to take the dog with them, and didn't want to pay for boarding. I love her to death, nice bitch.

The second bitch, the one with all the drive, came back too. They had injured her. I had to let her heal, and kept her for about 6.5 years, and finally let her have another go at a family of her own. That is working out ok.

The third bitch went to her new home at a year old. She was less confident. In my opinion, she would make a great deterrent, but not a protection dog. Time marched on. Her owner got another pup from me, and 2 years later she called to say that her girl was pregnant. Ok, I knew she wanted this, but it was an accident, and I offered to help with the whelping. The bitch had grown VERY protective of the home/people -- exactly what they wanted. Generally, she did not let people get out of their car. But then, I came over, having only seen her once she went to her new home. She greeted me with booming barks.

To be perfectly honest, when I sat down on the couch in the basement, I wasn't sure if she was going to eat me or not. But I talked with my friend, and she came up on the couch and nestled up next to me. She slept with me that night!

When she had the babies, 5 out of 6 had huge heads and I had to stick my hand where human hands were never meant to go, and I wondered again if she would eat me, but she understood that I was helping, and, well, I was able to deliver them all. They were all alive, but they did lose one later on. What a trip. If I could make a living being a doggy-midwife that would be my dream-job. I could have my tool box filled with thermometer, rickrack, notebook, scissors, alcohol, hand cleaner, dental floss, kitchen scale, and a bag of clean, new wash clothes, and a few books, maybe a can of carnation condensed milk or two. I would be like Super-Nanny, coming to your home, to deliver your whelps and get you started off on the right track.

Watching baby puppies start to breath, then start to nurse, and watching a momma GSD become a dam, and watch the instincts kick in, an after the pups are dry and nursing and she is paying attention to all the little squeakers, and you can sit back on your heels, hands off, and just watch for a few minutes -- best feeling ever, 'cept maybe seeing a human baby begin breathing and thriving, but I wouldn't know about that.
 
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Once upon a time, I had three bitch puppies. I sold them all. The one that had all the confidence and was a people-dog, came back to me when the family wanted to do a lot of camping, and didn't want to take the dog with them, and didn't want to pay for boarding. I love her to death, nice bitch.

The second bitch, the one with all the drive, came back too. They had injured her. I had to let her heal, and kept her for about 6.5 years, and finally let her have another go at a family of her own. That is working out ok.

The third bitch went to her new home at a year old. She was less confident. In my opinion, she would make a great deterrent, but not a protection dog. Time marched on. Her owner got another pup from me, and 2 years later she called to say that her girl was pregnant. Ok, I knew she wanted this, but it was an accident, and I offered to help with the whelping. The bitch had grown VERY protective of the home/people -- exactly what they wanted. Generally, she did not let people get out of their car. But then, I came over, having only seen her once she went to her new home. She greeted me with booming barks.

To be perfectly honest, when I sat down on the couch in the basement, I wasn't sure if she was going to eat me or not. But I talked with my friend, and she came up on the couch and nestled up next to me. She slept with me that night!

When she had the babies, 5 out of 6 had huge heads and I had to stick my hand where human hands were never meant to go, and I wondered again if she would eat me, but she understood that I was helping, and, well, I was able to deliver them all. They were all alive, but they did lose one later on. What a trip. If I could make a living being a doggy-midwife that would be my dream-job. I could have my tool box filled with thermometer, rickrack, notebook, scissors, alcohol, hand cleaner, dental floss, kitchen scale, and a bag of clean, new wash clothes, and a few books, maybe a can of carnation condensed milk or two. I would be like Super-Nanny, coming to your home, to deliver your whelps and get you started off on the right track.

Watching baby puppies start to breath, then start to nurse, and watching a momma GSD become a dam, and watch the instincts kick in, an after the pups are dry and nursing and she is paying attention to all the little squeakers, and you can sit back on your heels, hands off, and just watch for a few minutes -- best feeling ever, 'cept maybe seeing a human baby begin breathing and thriving, but I wouldn't know about that.
Give up their dog because of camping?? Boarding ? This makes no sense. Of course maybe they're talking about trailer park "camping" where everyone has an assigned lot all in close proximity.

My dogs love camping, what we call camping anyways. They get to be free for the most part, no collars, leashes, roads or people, just miles and miles of forest, creeks, and mountains.
 

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I don't ask, I don't tell, I just take hold of Newlie's collar and wait for the surgeon or whoever it is to do what they have to do. Nobody has objected yet.
That is basically what I do. Sometimes I'll ask where they want me but It's basically understood I intend to participate. It never occurred to me to not be part of the process. My vet is very tolerant of me and my boy.
 

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Give up their dog because of camping?? Boarding ? This makes no sense. Of course maybe they're talking about trailer park "camping" where everyone has an assigned lot all in close proximity.

My dogs love camping, what we call camping anyways. They get to be free for the most part, no collars, leashes, roads or people, just miles and miles of forest, creeks, and mountains.
Glad to have her back, really. She was a little under a year, and I was going to take her CGC test with her that week, but a buyer with a small girl came and it was a good fit. I told them to continue with her training. But it was winter, and well, people get lazy in the winter.

So, I was contacted about boarding her and a few weeks before I was going to take her, the man e-mailed me whether there would be any cost. It was an e-mail, so I called some breeder-friends and asked what they charged. The going rate seemed to be $20/night. So I e-mailed back, $10/night. I heard nothing back until the week I was supposed to take her.

It was, "I've had enough, you need to come and get her." I called quickly and asked what was going on. He told me that they usually shut the bedroom door but they just put up a new venesian blind and she chewed it up. I said, "I am on my way." I went and got her.

The mother was crying. The little girl was crying. She drew a picture of her and gave it to me. I was so sad for them. The mother and she walked me to the car. They told me they were going to do a lot of camping this summer and she is too interested in the neighborhood cats that come into the yard, so they don't want to take her. They had her for five months and did absolutely no training with her. Doesn't matter. she is spectacular. I took her through CGC. I can get a title on her if I want to. She has never destroyed anything of mine and she has never gone after any small critters either. But whatever. The little girl is grown now.
 
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Discussion Starter #39 (Edited)
The vet clinic and I have a plan for Deja's bronco behavior. By no means is she afraid or aggressive; just refuses cooperation. On a regular bases, come in with her, muzzled, put her on the table (she is fine with that), no talk, no squealing sweetness, no treats; just a quick no nonsense hug from tech and vet and release (no treatment). Repeat a few times, go home, no treats. Vet suggested after I mentioned the prong, to bring her in on her prong so she already has a certain mindset. Hooray for my vet, I am impressed. Will start in a few months when my back is healed. Excited about this plan.
 

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The vet clinic and I have a plan for Deja's bronco behavior. By no means is she afraid or aggressive; just refuses cooperation. On a regular bases, come in with her, muzzled, put her on the table (she is fine with that), no talk, no squealing sweetness, no treats; just a quick no nonsense hug from tech and vet and release (no treatment). Repeat a few times, go home, no treats. Vet suggested after I mentioned the prong, to bring her in on her prong so she already has a certain mindset. Hooray for my vet, I am impressed. Will start in a few months when my back is healed. Excited about this plan.
This is a great plan!!!
 
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