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twillobee
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Discussion Starter #1
My wonderful little boy was a terror at the vets office. At 21 wks, he's been there a few time due to arriving full of worms, and getting into things.

The vets office is use to seeing me with my very well behaved group of goldens and he wasn't quite as good on this visit. For some reason we started out with car issues. Granted he's gone on rides with me before and was getting good at sitting nicely in the back. This time, he whined all the way there. When we go to the vets, he decided he was big enough not to wait for me to help him down. He was lucky I had a hold of the leash.

Inside the vets office, he was happy to meet and greet everybody (people wise). This happened to be the time of the morning it was busy in there with a lot of dogs coming in. Little butt started growling and barking at all the company. They had to put us in a room because they were afraid he would start a fight with the growling. Even in the room he was growling at them. Didn't mind all the people, he just didn't like their dogs.

Now, this wasn't the first time he's been around other dogs. I have another golden and he constantly plays with my daughters dog who lives on my property along with visiting the neighbors dogs. The other dogs were a happy, friendly group. Guess my rotten boy was a little scared with so many new dogs in a small place. The vet's office couldn't believe my boy was acting like that since all my others have always been so well trained.

Guess that means more socializing in areas with "stranger" dogs. Not sure if it was because of the small waiting room or if he was just being a snot.
 

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Premium Member
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1,444 Posts
My last boy was always excited to meet and greet every other animal at the vets office in the waiting room, even some kitties that didn't appreciate him so much. The only problem I ever had was he just didn't like hopping up on the scale. I always had to pick him up and plant him to get a weight. Something about it always made him nervous.
 

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Noreaster
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Five months can be when the "where do I fit in to the world" questions start. Some boy dogs decide to try macho on for size, at least until something else comes along!

One thing I did with my fear reactive Aussie puppy was drop by the vet office every month for a year just to say hi. We'd pull in the parking lot, say hi to the receptionist, hang around for five minutes, get lots of treats, and then leave. Our vet found out about it and told us to make an actual appointment so that she could see our dog in the exam room just long enough to give her a treat or two--at no charge.

Obviously you don't have as serious an issue as we had, but it did really work--8 years later she still whines to get in the front door of the vet's office and into the exam room (of course, she's just as enthused to leave again, but she can be examined and worked with, which is what we were going for.)

So maybe add a recreational drive to the vet or even just the parking lot to your socialization plans to get some practice?
 

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If you aren't doing lab work that requires fasting, I'd take some treats and reward for sitting nicely, watching you and behaving properly- make it a teaching moment. We did that with our Yogi to teach him to wait patiently. That said, some dogs just are excited at the vets and bark like crazy. I have a 10 1/2 year old golden who is always vocal at the vets, very excited to be there. They always know when he's ill when he gets quiet. I worked an arrangement with our former vet clinic (7 vets-large practice) where I would call from the parking lot and we would wait outside or in the car until a room opened up. That way his excessive greeting and vocalizations would not upset other dogs also waiting for their appointments.
 

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He could be going through a "fear period". It's a time in their life where they're figuring things out, but fear of the unknown takes over a bit and puts them in a more cautious and defensive mode.

It's a phase he'll grow out of. Great opportunity for some positive reinforcement training though.
 

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twillobee
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136 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
He wasn't afraid of the vet, it was all the activity of all the other happy dogs in her small waiting room that was causing a problem. He loves the vet (she has treats and the techs love to pet him). I don't want him to think growling and barking is acceptable behavior. I keep treats in my pocket to reward when he was sitting good.

He even got on the scales without a problem.
 
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