Okay, he didn’t really bite the vet, but they now won’t examine him without a muzzle on.
We went to the vet yesterday to have his skin tested for mites. It appears to be all cleared up. His hair is all grown back between his eyes and it doesn’t seem to bother him anymore.
When we arrived, I made sure to load the clicker just to remind him that it works in public too. We went inside to check in and he was not happy when the tech came around reception to get his weight. Luckily, I was prepared and clicked & treated him in between barks.
We got his weight, 61 pounds, and practiced sitting while we waited. More barking when a different tech came to take us back. I clicked and treated as fast as I could. He seemed to calm down once we got in the exam room. I spoke with the tech then she went back to talk to the vet. When she returned she asked to take him to the back for his test.
Then, I made a big mistake. I said yes and handed her the leash. Loki quickly responded with a bark and lots of growls.
I beat myself up as she took him away. Why on Earth didn’t I make her wait through more clicks and treats? Why didn’t I have her offer up treats herself after that? Nope, I just handed him over to the “wolves” like an idiot. 😦
One more lesson learned.
They couldn’t exam him because he wasn’t about to let them. They came back with the vet and we talked some more. Turns out, the vet wanted to see if he acted any differently away from me. He wanted to know if his reactivity was all the time or just as a result of guarding me. Grrr!!! I’m pretty sure he could have found that out someway else. Turns out, it’s not just from guarding me. No surprise there.
We may be going back to our old vet where we used to live 30 minutes away after that.
Well, in all, he referred us to his office manager who is also a trainer, he didn’t test Loki’s mange, and told us we should muzzle train him for visits. Oh, and of course, he triggered Loki on purpose and nearly got his techs bit. I paid $25+ for that.
To his credit, he listened and answered my questions about non-medication & medication treatments. He has also been professional and happens to know the Belgian Malinois breed very well.
It was another frustrating day on the reactive dog front.
The good news: Today we put on a thunder shirt and sat in the Petsmart parking lot. We parked as far away as possible, clicking and treating every single person within view. Loki was very tired after we finished. I think he may even nap today.
What are your thoughts on our vet experience? Were his actions appropriate for the situation or did he just made things worse?