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Old 09-26-2018, 11:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
OMK
 

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Question handling by others and vet

Hi all,

I'm an experienced dog owner (German Shepherds), but got my first Pitt/Lab mix from our shelter. He's been great with me and my other female dog. I've been working with an experienced trainer who uses positive training methods, and his leash agression has improved markedly, and no more lunging at cars, or bikers/joggers. He even goes into a total down when we're walking and only people pass by. (It's been alot of work, but totally worth it.) We're even doing some nosework. The problem is he seems to be less open to having someone other than me on his lead, and still lunges at new people. Obviously, I don't let strangers get close, and I manage greetings with a "let's say hi" exercise with the other person having an open hand, and that's it. But, it's become a problem at the vet because he's not allowing the vet to examine him or give him shots.

We're going to try some counter-conditioning, but I was wondering if others have experienced this and know that it can change. I'm by myself, so I need him to let others handle him for boarding when I travel etc. Right now I have a great pet sitter whom he trusts and is OK with. But, I need to have a back-up, and he needs to get his shots. And, let me add that this was his 3rd try at the vet (after being heavily sedated on 3 different meds)--and in a fear free facility, but it didn't work. Just looking for some encouragement and/or guidance if anyone had a similar situation. This one is new to me.

Thanks.
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Old 09-27-2018, 02:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Try a basket muzzle for vet visits. Take trips there to just weigh him and praise him. (in muzzle) Do this as many times as you can to desensitize him.
As far as boarding goes. Try to find a facility with no contact runs. Cocoa kennels out here boards local police dogs when handlers are on vacation. They have no contact runs. The handler puts the dog in and there's a drop door between inside and outside so they can clean and feed without ever interacting with the dog.
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Old 09-28-2018, 10:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EckoMac View Post
Try a basket muzzle for vet visits. Take trips there to just weigh him and praise him. (in muzzle) Do this as many times as you can to desensitize him.
As far as boarding goes. Try to find a facility with no contact runs. Cocoa kennels out here boards local police dogs when handlers are on vacation. They have no contact runs. The handler puts the dog in and there's a drop door between inside and outside so they can clean and feed without ever interacting with the dog.
Thanks. I do use a basket muzzle on him at the vet; he still gives the snap response which unsettles everyone. Obviously, with the muzzle everyone is safe, but there is still the need to physically restrain him (which would stress him out more). Anyway, your point is well taken; will schedule some happy visits, for as long as it takes. Thanks also for the tip on the runs you mention; that's new to me (as I've never had to deal with this). But, it's something I can look into. I've had a German-Shepherd/Rottie mix who was afraid of people and would growl at them (never lunged though); it took her about 2 years to get over it, and she did. I guess I'm hoping that Pitts will do the same; just not sure if their temperament is that different.
Thanks again.
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Old 09-29-2018, 03:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Pit dogs (one T, unless related to Brad) aren't bred for human aggression or guarding, as a rescue though, there's really no telling what else has been mixed in her regardless of what they think she's mixed with, without knowing the pedigree of the dam and sire, it's a crap shoot.
Try exercising her until she is completely exhausted before working with her on her people manners and desensitization. Tired dogs are more receptive to learning new behaviors.
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