Lily growled at vet. ? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Lily growled at vet. ?

Lily went for ck up and shots. She is 16 weeks now and weighs 6lb 3 oz. getting big I think. Wonder how big she will get?? I was holding her in my lap bc she was so nervous and when the nice young female vet came in the room she growled at her. I think vet was surprised. She had me hand her to her bottom first and then she got handle of her quickly and you could tell Lily respected her. Lily wasn't fighting. She is timid w strangers and esp adults. I think she is very protective of me. Vet said we need puppy training and to not let her sit on chairs , couches w us so she doesn't feel superior. And make sure I leave her alone in pen more. I work from home so she is always w me. Vet said she doesn't want timid dogs to defensive bite so need to get a handle on it now. I introduce her to a lot of people and she is still apprehensive at first. She is still not completely warmed up to my husband but oh boy after we got home from vet she actually went up to him and let him pet her for the first time. She usually barks at his feet but tail wagging. We start puppy training mon evening. Here we are at the vet. Any suggestions are welcome. ?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 02:30 PM
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have a talk with a trainer to see what may be your best approach . here's an article Don?t Socialize the Dog! | Karen Pryor Clicker Training
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 02:31 PM
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You DO need a good, positive trainer, and to NOT take your vet's training advice! Growling is a warning. A warning that your puppy was afraid and overwhelmed. It has NOTHING to do with respect or lat there of. Yes, she needs LOTS of socialization, more than a more out-going puppy. That DOESN'T mean forcing her into situations where she is uncomfortable. It ASLO doesn't mean that she will "feel superior" if allowed to sit on the couch or a chair with you!

Yes, I would put a dog down immediately if they started to act resource-guard-y about me. I don't allow that. We have one who, given her druthers, would keep the other dogs off our bed in the evening. She has learned that the little dog who gets snarky with the others on the bed is the little dog who ends up OFF the bed. Now she puts up with sharing.

But that is a COMPLETELY different thing from a "get away" growl from a frightened dog in a brand new situation, with strange people at the vet's office. She needs lots and LOTS of trips to the vet's office, where all she does is walk in, perhaps get weighed on the scale in the lobby, has some cookies, and walks out. Make her comfortable with the space, don't force her unless there is a medical need.

Dogs that learn that it's not OK to growl are the ones who bite "without warning", because they are feeling defensive, and have had their voices taken away from them.

Again, please find a good trainer to help you with this. Vets are NOT trained to train dogs.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 02:39 PM
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BTW... My puppies had a much different experience at the vet's when they were little. My vet sat down on the floor and, told me to let the puppy go. She then waited with cookies for the puppy to come and meet her. No force involved. With my shyer one, who did't dare get close to start with, she dropped cookies to her from across the exam table. Only when she got braver did we put her up on the table and start the exam.

There is also a BIG difference between a puppy "respecting" someone and "shutting down" and becoming motionless. The first is joyful. The second may subdue the animal in the moment, but does NOTHING to gain that animal's trust.

It's too bad that they aren't running this course now, but consider taking it in Oct. when it is offered again: https://fenzidogsportsacademy.com/in...course-details

In the mean time, there are TONS of cooperative care videos available on YouTube that can start you on the right track.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 02:39 PM
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Lily is just beautiful

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 02:42 PM
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Pretty girl. Dave and Karen gave you good advice.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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Oh thanks. That makes me feel better. I know Lily has been a little guarded and shy from the start. She hid the first day we got her and didn't use the restroom at all. I felt like I was totally doing everything wrong after that visit. I felt like I couldn't hold her at all or let her sit w me. I value your opinions from your experiences. I do know that training will help and I won't put much concern at her growling at the vet. The vet did give her a treat right away once she got her but I like that idea of getting on the ground w her and would have like that. I have a learned a lot from this site and thanks again!!
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 04:20 PM
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Working with a trainer and, at a later point, a behaviorist vet, the best advice I got:

If your dog is nervous with people, don't force your dog to let people touch her, even well meaning, friendly folk, though the vet is, obviously, an exception. Find favorite treats and carry them with you. You can do a combo of having others give her a treat, treating her for not backing up if people approach, treating when she sees someone or something scary (sometimes rapid fire) while saying "look there" or something similar while at a safe distance. I worked with a "touch" command, teaching her to touch my hand in different positions, then taught "go touch" where she got treats for going toward and touching someone else's hand (I told them what we were working on prior). I then taught "go pet" where she'd get treats if she let others pet her, never pushing her towards someone she really didn't want to touch her. Whatever you do, don't reward her or coddle her for being anxious and growling or scold her. Treat her for staying calm. Distraction is another choice. Most importantly, get her socialized as much as possible.

My boy dog can be very protective of both me and Lola. He never gets to sit on my lap in public, as he'll perch there, and start guard duty. We, sadly, rarely can sit on a park bench together, as he'll jump off and want to bark at or chase people or dogs who dare to wander by. The first sign of that, we're done. He goes through phases, but I do have to control his environment, and I wish I'd known more about positive behavior training when he was a puppy. He was my first dog and I did a lot of things wrong that I thought were right, like soothing him and picking him up when afraid, rather than working on him being confident.

My Lola was afraid of strange women, and gets worried around children. I worked daily with her for about six months and I'd say she's had a complete turn around with all adults. She still likes things to be on her terms, but she's confident and not afraid anymore. She'll even jump up on a park bench to sit next to them and let them pet her. I still won't let her near children unless I'm right there, and won't let them touch or pet her unless I'm also petting her at the same time and she's showing signs of being okay. Better safe than sorry. She's always loved men and seeks them out, even preferring boys to girls with kids.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Great advice!! Lily actually is much calmer around younger kids , like 5 and under. She will let any of them come right up to her. Would you recommend I work individually with a trainer and not the puppy class? Or do both? It's interesting.,Some adults she will go up to more than others in the leash on walks , I think it's the ones who don't force themselves on her.

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Originally Posted by boomana View Post
Working with a trainer and, at a later point, a behaviorist vet, the best advice I got:

If your dog is nervous with people, don't force your dog to let people touch her, even well meaning, friendly folk, though the vet is, obviously, an exception. Find favorite treats and carry them with you. You can do a combo of having others give her a treat, treating her for not backing up if people approach, treating when she sees someone or something scary (sometimes rapid fire) while saying "look there" or something similar while at a safe distance. I worked with a "touch" command, teaching her to touch my hand in different positions, then taught "go touch" where she got treats for going toward and touching someone else's hand (I told them what we were working on prior). I then taught "go pet" where she'd get treats if she let others pet her, never pushing her towards someone she really didn't want to touch her. Whatever you do, don't reward her or coddle her for being anxious and growling or scold her. Treat her for staying calm. Distraction is another choice. Most importantly, get her socialized as much as possible.

My boy dog can be very protective of both me and Lola. He never gets to sit on my lap in public, as he'll perch there, and start guard duty. We, sadly, rarely can sit on a park bench together, as he'll jump off and want to bark at or chase people or dogs who dare to wander by. The first sign of that, we're done. He goes through phases, but I do have to control his environment, and I wish I'd known more about positive behavior training when he was a puppy. He was my first dog and I did a lot of things wrong that I thought were right, like soothing him and picking him up when afraid, rather than working on him being confident.

My Lola was afraid of strange women, and gets worried around children. I worked daily with her for about six months and I'd say she's had a complete turn around with all adults. She still likes things to be on her terms, but she's confident and not afraid anymore. She'll even jump up on a park bench to sit next to them and let them pet her. I still won't let her near children unless I'm right there, and won't let them touch or pet her unless I'm also petting her at the same time and she's showing signs of being okay. Better safe than sorry. She's always loved men and seeks them out, even preferring boys to girls with kids.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilysmom View Post
Great advice!! Lily actually is much calmer around younger kids , like 5 and under. She will let any of them come right up to her. Would you recommend I work individually with a trainer and not the puppy class? Or do both? It's interesting.,Some adults she will go up to more than others in the leash on walks , I think it's the ones who don't force themselves on her.
Your puppy class is really important in terms of socializing her with other dogs. But, since she is so uncomfortable with strangers, it would also be extremely helpful for you to work with a good positive trainer to help you learn to build her confidence with people as well as dogs.


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