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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone.. something that's been on my mind lately and I'm struggling with how to deal with it.

As I've posted about before, Sam has some leash aggression issues that were brought on by a dog attack last year. We've been working on them since, and are making progress slowly but surely but still have a ways to go.

Needless to say, I'm a bad mama, and have been putting off his annual vet visit mainly because I worry about him spazzing out at the inevitable other dogs in the waiting room area.

I need to get him into the vet for his heartworm test, and also plan to have him neutered early next year when Jeff gets home from deployment so I'd like to have him get a checkup before then of course as well.

Has anyone gone through this with a leash aggressive or generally dog aggressive dog? Have any advice??

Just as background -- Sam is 100% fine and playful with other dogs while off-leash and has no aggression there.. he just goes ballistic when he's on a leash and sees other dogs. Obviously having him off leash in the vet's office is not an option I'm sure.
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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Let your vet know. Keep him in the car until it's time for him to be shown to a waiting room. Clear a path from the front door through the waiting room and walk him in with a fist full of roast beef attached to his snout.
 

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Do you have any treats that he loves more than anything in the world? If so, you can use those to work on "watch me" or "look" before you go to the vet (a couple of weeks of working on it would be good before your vet visit). You give the command and as soon as he looks your way, you treat him. Do this over and over. Then make sure you have those super yummy treats when you go to the vet. Use the command and treat the instant he looks at you. Ideally, this will break his focus on the other dogs. You may have to do that every time he starts to react to another dog.

The other option is to leave him in the car until they tell you there is a room ready for you....
 

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Daisy - my heart
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I don't trust Daisy with small dogs and the vet's waiting room is really small. I always leave her in the car and then when they're ready for her, I take her in the side door and straight to the examining room. They know the drill.

Relax, call your vet ahead of time and explain. They have ways of dealing with this, Sam isn't their only client with aggression issues.

Sorry you're still dealing with this, hang in there :)
 

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I work a lot on my dogs being comfortable being between my legs. That way when I am in an area that has a lot of dogs, I can stick him between my legs and provide a bit of a buffer zone. I keep my hands in the collar so they can't get away. The dogs love to be there, they'll often stick their heads between my legs on their own to initiate play.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys.. I really have so much anxiety over this issue, which I know makes Sam's way worse... I'll definitely take the advice given!
 

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Also, with a foster I had with the same problem, I was able to get the first appointment of the day when I explained it to the vet's office. There may be other dogs who have come in early, but not the back-up you can get later in the day.
 

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Kristy
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I had a trainer work with me and Baxter on just this issue. He had me arrive at the vets office early and work on some obedience in the parking lot, heeling, changing direction etc. so that the dog was focused on me. Once in the office he had me put Baxter in a down, stay even if I had to stand on the leash. Believe it or not, the obedience practice beforehand really seemed to help him. I understand where you're coming from, I had to struggle to keep from being anxious about it. I continue to be amazed by the people who don't have their dogs under control in the waiting area, they just let them walk right up to anyone's dog.
 

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Loving goldens since '95
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Let your vet know. Keep him in the car until it's time for him to be shown to a waiting room. Clear a path from the front door through the waiting room and walk him in with a fist full of roast beef attached to his snout.
I was going to say the same thing, keep him in the car until his appointment is ready, and use treats to lure him in to the exam room.

Others' suggestions of booking the first appt is a great idea, I wouldn't have thought of that!
 

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Just Some Guy
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I've had this problem with foster dogs and with Jackson when we first adopted him. Our vet knows how to handle it. They let me check in and give my cell phone number. They called me in the parking lot when it was time and had a vet tech open the side door for me to go straight to an exam room without going through the lobby.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's pretty dumb of me to assume that a vet wouldn't know how to handle a situation like this... :eek: I'm such a worry wart about everything.. I just hate seeing my sweet dog turn into Kujo and the whole situation still just makes me very upset.

Thanks again for all the suggestions guys.
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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Check out the book Fiesty Fido. It's all about leash aggressive dogs.
 

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Check out the book Fiesty Fido. It's all about leash aggressive dogs.

I did get that book on your recommendation! We have been using the methods from that book and he's much better on our walks when he sees toy breed dogs that are yapping at him from their yards.. but still gets really riled up and crazy about any big dogs we see, mainly if the other dogs are barking and going crazy about him too.

It's a slow process, I have seen much improvement, but unfortunately it's still a real problem.
 

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Let your vet know. Keep him in the car until it's time for him to be shown to a waiting room. Clear a path from the front door through the waiting room and walk him in with a fist full of roast beef attached to his snout.
Having just adopted a rescue Golden I am reading as much as I can on this forum and your post made me LOL. I'm sure your approach would work and dogs everywhere would love to be given the chance to test it out.
 

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I'm sure the vet has their tricks as to how to deal with that sort of thing. They can either book you in at a time when there isn't other dogs there (like post op, first thing in the morning or late in the day when it's just dogs getting picked up) or they might have a side door. Either way you can leave him in the car till they're ready for him to go right into the exam room, which is what I've done quite a few times. My guys are fine with other dogs but often it's easier to not have to deal with other people's dogs on flexis etc... charging up to us.

Lana
 

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You certainly aren't the only one with this problem as you can see. I think one of the key things here is RELAX!!! :)

Sammie my first golden in her final months was struggling with an insolinoma which meant that excitement / anxiety could lead to low blood sugar and result in a seizure which I was told she may not come out of. Of course going to the vet prompted both of these reactions in her and it totally stressed me out.

My vet is a great guy and understood so I'd just wait in the car with Sammie until they were ready for her and then we'd bring her in a side door. And I was able to do this with more than one vet - one even came out to the car to check up on her.

So try not to worry so much as hard as it is and talk to your vet before taking him in.

It'd sure be nice if all dog owners were as conscientious as you are - quite a few aren't.

Pete

 
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