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Old 12-14-2012, 10:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lord Have MERCY...

Oy ve...this Grizzly character we brought home last week is a real pain in my booty! I haven't had a puppy in 10 years since Porter came home, so I'm hoping someone can give me some good input here.

Grizzly had his ears cropped last Friday. His breeder let us know that his stitches would have to come out in a week - today. She offered to take them out, but knowing that we live an hour away, she told me that I could probably do them myself. I'm a physician, so I've taken out a stitch or two...not a problem, right?

Well. There is never a dull moment with Grizzly lately! I was removing the sutures from the back of his ear, which were basically done as a running stitch from top to bottom. I was snipping away and removing them, all was well...and then one got caught. Grizzly yelped like the world was ending, and that was IT. He wanted nothing more to do with the process. My husband could no longer hold him still, nor could I. I'm displeased to say that we probably struggled with him for a little longer than we should have - likely my own ego getting in the way. We quit when it became clear that it was a totally lost cause, and now tomorrow I'll take him to the vet so he can have them removed there.

My fear is that Grizzly will now absolutely hate having his ears posted. I'm going to have start with that next week, and I'm terrified that I've scarred him for life and he'll never let me touch his ears again. *sigh*

Thoughts? Comfort? Constructive criticism?
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Puppies can be sweet, squishy little creatures. As much as Dobies can be unforgiving grudge-holding bastards... puppies tend to forgive quickly.. I'm sure the posting process will be fine if you approach it in the appropriate manner.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My current puppy Rudy was a nightmare with posting, nails ect.
He hates to be forced or handled. It's just his nature, as some past puppies were much easier. So....Now I have to spend a lot of time with treats and positive re inforcement to get him to let me do anything on him. Forcing leads to no trust. So try to not break it so you don't have to spend time re building it.

Go slow. For example. Snip a few stiches. Treat. Leave him.
30 mins later. Treats. Pull out one section. And repeat.

Same with nails. Start off with one or two. Leave the experience on a positive note.
Every day. One nail and treats.

If you try to do anything on them all at once....you'll end up having to finish with force.
Holding them down, and finishing.

Some puppies will let you. But the willful ones will refuse. ha
I put some pressure on Rudy....meaning....didn't let him get away with screaming and then I stop. Didn't want to teach him that screaming equals, he gets his way.

But I respected his freak out threshold....then scaled it back to where he could take it....and made is fun and positive.

When you get to taping. Have everything ready.
I could unpost and post quickly by the end! ha
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I would expect that having the stitches removed is not a pleasant feeling and despite you being an MD you probably don't normally have to do it on a wormy wiggly ball of fur squealing as if you are murdering him

I'm not sure how much help I can be as Khaos is my first Doberman puppy and my first experience with posting and maybe some of the breeders who deal with this frequently can chime in but I can tell you how it worked for me.

When I got Khaos his stitches were out and he still had his cup on. He managed to get it off after a week and I brought him to my breeder for his first posting (so she could show me). He wasn't too pleased to have it done but as she is very proficient at it, it got done in no time.

My first solo taping was a different story. My husband "tried" to hold him still but it took a while and I had to redo it a couple of times as he kept shaking the posts out because of my inferior posting skills.

It got progressively better and we are now at nearly 15 weeks and I do the posting myself without aid quite well. He now lays next to me on the couch and I just kind of have him in a corner where he cannot easily leap off while I tape his ears. I think its a combination of me getting better at posting and him getting better at holding still as well as his ears probably no longer itching or hurting.

I will say that I went through a ton of zonas tape and vet wrap at first because I had to redo it often, and getting the hang of putting the tape on before it twisted and stuck to itself because somebody wiggled so much.

I would second dapple on not letting him get away with outright refusing but also not pushing past the threshold. That's a fine line. I personally was terrified about the posting myself and had the support of my breeder and my vet as backup since he is a lot closer. If you have a lot of trouble at first, see if you can find support there. I would think as you get more confident in doing it, so will your puppy.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your input! It's much appreciated. Thor_Red, it's good to know that your pup calmed down after a while and now let's you post without much trouble. There's hope for my future!
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your input! It's much appreciated. Thor_Red, it's good to know that your pup calmed down after a while and now let's you post without much trouble. There's hope for my future!
There is always hope and when that fails try chocolate
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Thank you all for your input! It's much appreciated. Thor_Red, it's good to know that your pup calmed down after a while and now let's you post without much trouble. There's hope for my future!
Oh my gosh...I meant "lets", not "let's"! Darn this iPhone, making me look dumb...

Chocolate is the great healer!!! Great idea. And maybe a milkshake as well if things get too crazy.
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I remember being more than a little horrified when it was time for Elka's stitches to come out and they were a running stitch from top to bottom (this was at the vet's, I was not doing them myself). I did hold her, and she was making the most horrible noises....my next puppy is going to come home with stitches already removed and ears in the first post >.>
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Oh my gosh...I meant "lets", not "let's"! Darn this iPhone, making me look dumb...

Chocolate is the great healer!!! Great idea. And maybe a milkshake as well if things get too crazy.
I also found that it works wonders on filling out all those wrinkles
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The key to all is making sure whatever you are doing, don't do more than he can tolerate and that it ends on a good note for the puppy.

You might want to break up some treats before starting to work on your puppy, so he doesn't get too full. If he starts getting squirmy, get his attention with a a treat, let him focus on said treat for a couple of anxiety free seconds and give him the treat and 30 seconds or so to calm down more before treating again and progressing further. Take as many breaks as he needs.

You remaining calm will be the most important thing. These puppies are like sponges and they can feel you getting upset, angry, frustrated and those feelings confuse a puppy as to what he is supposed to do. All puppies can pick up your feelings, but dobermans may be more sensitive to it than others.

Dobermans are ususally very, very sensitive dogs.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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PM,

The fact that you are worrying this much tells me you are likely going to be just fine. I ended up taking my little one in for her stitch removal as well as some had grown over the knots while some were still scabby. I wasn't comfortable hurting her after she'd been here just a few days. (or ever! I've done hundreds of dog, cat, horse suture removal/bandaging etc.) It went fine to let my vet be the bad guy. That's what she gets the big bucks for.

The first posting was an adventure in wiggling puppy, but I start out rubbing the ears. She sits stock still through the process (now)and makes that "Mmhmm" contented dobe noise when I am rolling in her posts. (to be sure they seat well down) She loves the posting process and loves her ears being handled.

I can now Dremel her toenails with no fuss as each foot finished is handsomely rewarded with treats. Dremel comes on, she gets a cookie. So now I have a dog who clambors up to get her toenails done.

I will admit to having a particularly compliant pup, however. She hasn't been the easiest pup I've raised, but she's right up there in the top ranks.

You guys will be fine. I think it's legal in your state to self-prescribe chocolate, right? Winter time is perfect for after-posting cookies for puppy and cocoa for you. (add Holiday Spirits PRN)

Good luck!!

~Bev~
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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You guys are all making me feel so much better, thank you! Ginger, I dread hearing the noises that are going to emanate from Grizzly when he gets the rest of his stitches out. I may have to leave the room. LindaH and Bev, thanks for the reassurance and the tips. Bev, the "Holiday Spirits PRN" made me laugh!
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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As much of a pain as Toorc has been lately, I'm so happy that he lets me post his ears, brush his teeth and dremel his nails. Though I cheated and used treats lol I would make him lie down and place the posts in his ears and then remove them and give him a treat and act super happy as I praised him. He now gets excited whenever he sees me get the tape and stuff out because it means he gets to lay his face in my lap and take a nap as I fiddle with his ears




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Old 12-15-2012, 10:42 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Although Cadence was/is a VERY rambunctious puppy, I can and have been able to do anything I want with her including trim/paint toenails, post ears, etc. But, when she goes to the vet or needs to be still for something, I always give treats DURING the procedure/exam so that she is focused on something fun and not just trying to fight the whole time. Try giving treats continually or having someone else give the treats while you do what you need to do
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:44 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thank you guys for the help, you're all wonderful!

Grizzly didn't go to the vet yesterday but will be going tomorrow instead. The vet said we could wait two more days until the last of his stitches are set to come out. Meanwhile, I've taken the advice here and managed to get just about all of the stitches out that were running up his ear. One of them I can't get because the knot is hiding out in his inside ear wrinkles. It's just as well that the vet does them, he can clean them up and make them pretty when he's done.

You guys are great. Thanks!
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:12 PM   #16 (permalink)
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How do you break a grudge that a Doberman has held? My chihuahua was that way... never forgave my 5 yr old for hurting her.

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Old 12-17-2012, 01:16 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I thought dog's can't have chocolate?!
The chocolate is for Mama!
I LOVE the name Grizzly
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
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How do you break a grudge that a Doberman has held? My chihuahua was that way... never forgave my 5 yr old for hurting her.
Don't let your 5-year old hurt your Doberman
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:35 PM   #19 (permalink)
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How do you break a grudge that a Doberman has held? My chihuahua was that way... never forgave my 5 yr old for hurting her.
I don't really believe that dogs hold grudges exactly, but Dobermans are very good at knowing what they don't like and outsmarting their people so they can avoid it. Griff hated long down-stays, so he got out of doing them by instigating the other dogs in the class. He'd stare at the other dogs until someone else broke their stay, then he'd start a round of chase me or bitey-face. He's a little snot when it comes to formal obedience and he loves instigating trouble with the other dogs. Which is exactly why I dropped formal obed and switched to Nosework.

And then there's the case of dogs avoiding things that cause them pain- that's not a grudge, it's straight up avoidance. Your chihuahua learned that your 5 year old can and will hurt her, and so it was in her best interest to avoid the thing that hurt her in the future. My first Doberman was the same way about brooms, because one of his previous homes hit him with a broom handle. It wasn't a grudge against brooms, it was the knowledge that brooms hurt him and he wants nothing to do with them.

You can help a dog overcome that aversion by creating positive experiences and reinforcing calm behavior. It's going to sound funny, but Logan had such a peanut butter obsession that I started off feeding him PB while I had a broom in the same room. Every sesson, we worked a little closer to his threshold (the comfortable distance between him and the broom), until he eventually ate PB off the broom handle itself. This also worked to overcome his fear of rolled up magazines.

So if you have a dog who's wary around kids, give them plenty of space and time, have the kid work with the dog to rebuild the trust that was lost. With a new dog, make sure that kids treat them gently and don't injure them. I brought treats on walks after I adopted my dogs, and any random kid who wanted to pet got to make my dog sit and then feed him treats. Griffin treats all kids as potential food sources now, and he's very polite around them.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:03 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I LOVE the name Grizzly
Thank you! His name was almost Hulk Hogan, but when we saw him we knew he was a Grizzly.

Tonight he's off his rocker, running around the house like a lunatic. He just ran into our sunroom with my husband's hiking boot in his mouth! LOL That was the first time he ever had something he shouldn't have...I did correct him, but I was laughing too hard for it to matter.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:15 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Tonight he's off his rocker, running around the house like a lunatic. He just ran into our sunroom with my husband's hiking boot in his mouth! LOL That was the first time he ever had something he shouldn't have...I did correct him, but I was laughing too hard for it to matter.
Did it look something like this?
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:17 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Ha!!! And you had the sense to get a picture! Gosh, they're so darn cute...it's hard to get mad.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:26 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I did. I get the camera out quite often. Time goes by so quick and they change so fast. I got Khaos 6 weeks ago. He was right under 20 pounds, today, exactly 6 weeks later he weight in at 40 pounds. I wish he wouldn't grow so fast mostly because I worry about his bones, but I feed him exactly what and how much my breeder advised and do not give any calcium whatsoever. So all I can figure that maybe the dirt in my backyard he likes to eat is highly nutritious or full of miracle grow
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:40 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Wow, he's getting to be a big young man! Grizzly was only 15 pounds when we got him, he's about 20 now. 5 pounds in one week, and he doesn't even eat all of the food I give him. And he only gets tiny little training treats when he poos and pees. He looks small to me but I always compare him to Porter, who I brought home when he was 11 weeks. I keep looking at Grizzly and expecting to see a bigger dog!

Also, to get back on track here, I managed to get all of Grizzly's stitches out tonight. He was so calm that he fell asleep with his little face in my hands! It must have felt pretty good for him to get those nasty stitches out of there. I'm hoping that we'll have no trouble posting his ears when the time comes!
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:03 PM   #25 (permalink)
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You will be fine. I was a nervous wreck about the posting since I never had to do it before. Thank God my breeder has nerves of steel and the patience of a saint It has gotten a lot easier. I still worry that I will manage to screw up his beautiful crop and maybe when he is five or so I'll stop that particular worry.
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