Too Cool for Obedience School

I do not envy the vet or groomer for that matter, in the exam room with an aggressive dog accompanied by an uneducated handler.   They will do their best under the circumstances but these are not the dogs and handlers they look forward to seeing.  The handlers have turned a simple office visit into a traumatic experience.  They will also have all sorts of excuses instead of actually doing something about it.

No more excuses

Bobo bit the vet because he doesn’t like like getting shots.   Well, Bobo baby; get used to it.  Newsflash!  You’re a dog.  Therefore, exams and needles are going to be a part of your life.  Deal with it.   (As soon as your owner gets over their needle phobia, you probably will, too!)

Poopsie doesn’t like anyone touching her back end because she still remembers the last time her anal glands were expressed.    Hey Poopsie, do you think your vet enjoys squeezing your anal glands?  You should be kissing the ground he walks on.

Floppsy had a bad ear infection a while back and from that day on, will not let anyone touch her ears.    Ms. Floppsy;  vet says your ears are fine now.  From now on you cannot use this as an excuse for your selective hearing problem, either.  We will look into your ears 3x per day if necessary just because…

“Muffin growls because she doesn’t like the antiseptic smell at the vet’s office.”  Sooooo…Muffin told you that?  She would prefer it to smell like apple pie?  I see…so just put some vapo rub right under your noses next time and practice your deep breathing exercises.  You  will appreciate the clean office smells next time.

“Nutters has to be pulled through the office door because his manhood just up and disappeared here last year.”   Nutters forgot how pleased he was a couple of days after the procedure. Things swelled up a bit and he looked twice the size in his nether regions.  Believe me, he forgot all about the vet’s office even before the swelling went down.  OK, I know you still think he could have been a Westminster Champion.  But, ya never proved it.  Let it go.  In your eyes, he’s still your cute little stud muffin.  He’ll be just fine.  Possibly you should have invested in a set of Neuticals prior to the procedure 🙂

“While clipping Peanut’s nails 6 years ago, the groomer accidentally cut the quick so now no one can get near his nails or feet.  They stay trim from his walks so we just never touch his feet but I think he might have a sliver now.”   (Double justification there.)   OK,  I don’t think three inch nails are considered acceptable; which means the hard surfaces are not doing a very good job;  just as dry dog food doesn’t clean their teeth.  If you are squeamish when it comes to nail clippers then try a grinder to keep them under control.

Don’t leave home without it

“Chopper hates having his teeth brushed which is why he won’t open his mouth for anyone and I’m pretty sure he broke a tooth.”  Poor Chopper…he likes showing those pearly whites any other time except when it really matters.  Teach him to open his mouth on command.  Make a game out of it.  He will learn to love getting his teeth brushed. Better yet, carry his toothbrush while out walking and show it to him every time he starts to get a bit uppity towards another dog…

And finally there’s Egore who had an eye infection last year. “He won’t let me go near his eyes.  How am I supposed to administer these eye drops?”  Who writes the checks and pays the bills in your household?  Egore?  Uh, huh, thought so.  Don’t be so serious with your hand shaking as the dropper going towards his eyes.  Smile.  Relax. Practice on a stuffed animal.   Do it from the side or over his head.  Just do it.  You have no choice to avoid further infection.

If you can’t touch your own dog, then you should not put the burden onto someone else.

Yes, they are professionals.  Sure, they can clip his nails.  Take him into the back room, muzzle him while 4 people hold him against the wall while 2 others clip.  That fun day will certainly leave a lasting impression.

You need to be asking, “How can I get out of the habit of making excuses?”

You do realize it has become a habit, right?  Simply put; you work through the issues.  If Bubba doesn’t like being touched in the rear end, you work through it by touching his butt whenever you can until it’s as common as breathing.  Start out slowly.  Let him know you are approaching from the side.  Make the movement very casual, praise and walk away.  Do this when he’s eating, as well.

If Jaws doesn’t like getting his teeth brushed, you start with one tooth and end on a success.  Put a bit of chicken flavored tooth paste on a finger and let him taste it.  Next time casually work under the lips and touch a tooth and that’s it for the day.  Same with the nails.

The more you clip or grind Tank’s nails, both of you will become more comfortable with the process.   If Gator doesn’t like other dogs, you will safely use other dogs as your distractions during obedience classes and while out doing your homework.

Many of these dogs have to be sedated just to get them through the office door.  Even if the dogs are muzzled, it can still be a rough time controlling them just for an exam.  If the exam cannot be completed, the dog wins again!  You will need to be confident at the vet’s office.  Work through these issues prior to the appointment.  Arrange some “practice runs” with your vet’s permission.  Just go to the office, hang out a bit, chat with folks, then leave.

I like my veterinarian

I want her to be of sound mind and body (with all the original parts) the next time she examines my dogs.

If your dog does not like to be touched or examined, how are you going to get the best exam possible?  This is such an injustice to you, your dog and  the veterinarian.  Heck, these days you want to get your money’s worth.

How can your dog be your best buddy if he won’t allow you to brush him, clean his ears, clip his nails, brush his teeth and give him a pill?  You need to realize most of the above are at least weekly activities.  Even if paying for the above doesn’t bother you, learn to do it yourself.  Go slow and be gentle.  If he cries out because you brushed too hard, quickly apologize and continue.  Don’t make too big of a deal with the apology.  Just a quick “sorry, baby” and continue.  Always end on a success.

These handling and grooming exercises should be covered in your obedience classes as the dog progresses in his “stand for exam” exercise.   If your obedience instructor is strictly “just that” and cannot assist with behavior modification, find someone who is capable of working with you on that level.

Always pick up after your dogs!

Content copyright 2010 . My Dog Never Did That Before, Dog Notes, Inc.. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted in Dog Obedience, Dog Training, Free dog training tips, funny dog stories, Responsible dog ownership, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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