(Closed) Frustrated by Vet’s note about my puppy. Am I overreacting?

posted 10 months ago in Pets
  • poll: What should I do?
    You’re overreacting, calm down momma bear : (70 votes)
    57 %
    Ask them to clarify on report and switch vets : (44 votes)
    36 %
    Stay with the same vet if he clarified the report for you : (9 votes)
    7 %
  • Post # 16
    Member
    188 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2015

    I would ask to meet with the vet and hear why the note was written. You’ve listed the things you think may have caused the note, but what if the vet saw something that you didn’t and it’s unrelated? It’s worth asking rather than making an assumption, especially since this is a trained professional and not just some opinionated passerby at the park or etc. 

    Just keep an open mind and ask what the behavioral problem is and go from there, IMO. Either way you’ll get helpful feedback from the conversation—that he or she noticed something behavioral that you can incorporate into your training, or maybe just that you don’t care for this vet. 

    Post # 17
    Member
    428 posts
    Helper bee

    What a cute puppy! I’d switch FWIW. We had a super active, abnormally large black lab pup. He tried to dig up the vets flowers on the front walk, peed on their floor twice and definitely jumped and mouthed on his first visit. We were mortified but the vets and techs were totally loving and understood he was a 6 month old rescue in a new environment and nervous/excited. See if you can get the note removed so it doesn’t stay on his vet records and find a vet that you feel warm and fuzzy with. As another poster said your anxiety will make your pups anxiety worse . 

    Post # 18
    Member
    10687 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: City, State

    BeepBopB00p :  

    Your vet has no understanding of German Shepherds.

    Your puppy is absolutely gorgeous. From his looks, it’s a pretty safe bet he is from European working lines, which are my passion. His coloring is the tip off, American and European showline breeders don’t breed for sable coat color. There are always exceptions, of course. I would not have any other type of GSD, except in rescue situations, of course.

    If I’m right, your baby will be different than the GSDs than you may be used to. The working lines are bred primarily for the sport of IPO, formerly known as Schutzhund. Thus, much of their natural behavior should reflect the drives and skills necessary for the sport. Not all of them inherit what’s needed and are placed in pet homes. That can create a challenging puppyhood, but they are magnificent adults. I would encourage you to watch some IPO videos. I’ll post a link to one of the two parent IPO clubs in the US, Schutzhund USA for some information.

    They are mouthy as hell.  This is completely normal for GSDs, especially those with working line ancestry of some kind. And when they mouth you, they can bite frickin hard. I have a splendid collection of “distressed” t shirts provided by one of our GSD pups. Our current youngster kept his mouth to himself. Sometimes, you get lucky.

    When you’re raising a puppy for IPO, you don’t correct the puppy for biting you. You tolerate that and quite a lot of other puppy antics. It’s crucial to avoid doing anything that could lower the pup’s confidence. Discipline comes later. This is not how you raise pets, however.

    The best way to get a puppy off your hand or arm is to offer a substitute. It has to be a toy that is either his favorite or genuinely fascinating. Dangly things might work well with your boy.  Does he like tug?

    The chomping serves a legitimate purpose. Eventually, the pup is going to learn to use a deep, full mouth grip when he’s playing sleeve games with the helper on the training field.

    They’re often exceptionally good with their noses and love scent games.

    And, geeze, are they smart. Another suggestion would be to take him to actual training. He’ll love it and it will deepen your bond. Caveat: do not go to any trainer who lacks experience with working dogs, preferably GSDs. I would give you the same advice irrespective of your pup’s suspected bloodlines.  Pet dog trainers rarely really understand the breed. 

    Here is the good news:  these dogs thrive on training. They are born to have jobs. Without steady employment, they invent their own careers. You may not like their choices. They are super trainable, especially puppies. The more training and imprinting you can do now, the better. Is he food motivated? That really helps. We use Natural Balance, cut into small pieces for training treats.

    My recommendation for excellent trainers to observe would be: Malinda Weber, of Weberhaus; Dameon Berry, East Tennessee K9 (our trainer); and the super star, Ivan Balabanov. Those are just off the top of my head.

    If he’s a power chewer, you may want to invest in a couple of Kongs. We get the big black ones, made for maniacs.  They last longer.

    As for vets, same advice. Try to locate one with working dog experience. If your local police department has a K-9 unit, call and ask who they use. Or your trainer. Or anyone affiliated with IPO in your area, they’re usually helpful. Those vets won’t get pissy about a mouthy working line GSD puppy. The working dog people will find this quite hilarious.

    If you see police K9s working as patrol or dual purpose dogs, you will likely see some that look like your boy. And a lot of Belgian Malinois. 

    If it would help, just send me your location and I will see if I can find local trainers who look worthy.

    Congratulations, Bee! You are going to have a relationship like no other. A German Shepherd demands much from you, emotionally. But, oh, what you receive in return, there are no human words.

    And, you won’t ever have to pee alone again!

     

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    Post # 19
    Member
    893 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    Certified Vet Tech here….

    That behavior is a problem.  But not an “abnormal” problem.  While it is “puppy behavior” – letting it pass now will turn into big problems down the road.  The vet cannot speak for how your dog behaves outside the clinic, only what he sees in the clinic.  And in the clinic your puppy misbehaved.  

    Jumping and mouthing – while it may not seem serious to you – can be very very serious down the road.  They need to learn bite inhibition early on.  

    That being said, you can always ask for clarification from the vet.  And if you don’t feel comfortable, you are always entitled to switch. 

    Post # 20
    Member
    4824 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: January 2017

    sassy411 :  lol love the black Kong suggestion, “made for maniacs”.  I got a mental image of all the German shepherds we’ve had obliterating every toy in their way. 

    Post # 22
    Member
    6444 posts
    Bee Keeper

    We have the best vet and our dog is a jumper, and she didn’t write behavioral problems, she chalked it up to the fact that he is a puppy!  The thing is your dog is a big dog, and if the vet isn’t really experienced in larger dogs he probably was scared of him.

    Post # 23
    Member
    796 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: January 2016

    Worth noting that the doctor didn’t write “abnormal behavior problems”, they wrote “behavior problems” under the abnormal section which is probably reserved for issues that they observe whether it be health or behavioral. I don’t think this will be a strike for life against your dog seeing as they were a young puppy at the time. If anyone asks, it can easily be explained as a mouthy, jumpy, excited pup. Particularly if your dog becomes well trained, it will be easily observable. I’d be more worried about a comment that said something about aggression. Behavior problems can cover a wide range of areas and was probably just a note so that they will remember to check in with you as to how training is going, especially since you mentioned that you are working to train you dog out of the mouthing. You noted that the dog had been doing well with it, but under the circumstances they understandably got excited and forgot the training. It’s worth checking in again from the vet’s perspective. 

    I would just call the vet and ask. And yes, it’s absolutely your right to get a new vet if you didn’t get a good feeling from this one.

    Post # 24
    Member
    4053 posts
    Honey bee

    A 4 month old puppy jumping is not a behavioral problem. Change vets. Best way to curb jumping is to have the dog wear a collar and a leash in the house. When he attempts to jump on someone, step on the leash. Then reward with a dog cookie. It doesn’t take long for them to learn that no jumping = cookie.

    Post # 25
    Member
    893 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    BeepBopB00p :  “Abnormal” in the medical records doesn’t really have the negative connotations you are giving it.  Please be assured it’s not going to follow him like a dark cloud over his head for the rest of his life.  Is he in puppy classes yet?  

    Post # 26
    Member
    893 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    ITT, a lot of people with no veterinary experience making assumptions about the vet…..  Sigh… 

    Post # 27
    Member
    2460 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I used to work at a vet office and it isn’t a big deal. It’s probably just noted in the records for techs and others to know about it to handle your dog. It doesn’t sound like the vet was worried about it so I don’t think you should be either. 

    It’s just a note for anyone else who has to deal with your dog. If you would like you could call and clarify and Im sure it will be something really simple. 

    I think you are overreacting but I get it. My dogs are my babies but notes like that in your pets records are usually for safety reasons. 

    Post # 28
    Member
    483 posts
    Helper bee

    What a stud!!!! He’s a puppy so I don’t think his behavior was unusual in the least. 

    Post # 29
    Member
    110 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: November 2020

    If it was put in his file it absolutely should have been discussed with you! The issues and how to resolve them. I absolutely would have the report amended to reflect what actually happened and if the vet shows any resistance I would switch. They can’t write things like that and not explain or discuss it with you, that is their job. I would feel the same as you. 

    Post # 30
    Member
    10687 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: City, State

    BeepBopB00p :  

    If Gunner has some Dutchie in him, take everything I said and triple it.

    The Dutchies are very much working dogs. Our trainer is an expert on the breed. They can be a bit much for some, but very trainable.

    Have you done much research on Dutchies?

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