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We rescued a shepherd mix from the South and have had him 3 weeks. Neutered male, 3 years old. No signs of aggression with us, but had a bad experience at Vet yesterday...had to be muzzled due to growling. He also got a little anxious during out first visit with obedience trainer. However, he’s great with other dogs, well behaved indoors, and has been gentle with our cat. I’m a nervous wreck. His aggression threw me, and now I am very unsettled around him. Worried that he is picking up on this. Any good resources out there about rescue dog adoptions, etc.?
 

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Your best resource for this is your trainer. I would be asking them about muzzle training so that becomes non traumatic, counter conditioning for the Vet and the best way to prevent further aggression.

Everyone on the internet is an expert and I find that articles by trainers often have a "my way is the only way" bias.

I will say that what you are describing wouldn't put me off the dog and certainly he doesn't seem like a lost cause. I would move forward carefully though, you won't see the real dog until about 3 months when they are more comfortable.

Good luck!
 

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I had a very similar experience with a 6 yr old rescue, my vet said he probably had had a bad experience himself at a vets in the past so he spent time with him gave him a few treats and they were good friends after that. Stick with him do not worry all problems can be solved just finding the right trigger.
 

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All four of mine are angels until we get to the vet then, I have to muzzle them for the vet's safety. I can give them injections, stick my hand in their mouths, grabbing the tongue, teeth rubbing the gums, shoving pills in there by hand, etc... no problem but, let the vet try any of that and they go off on the poor vet.

They are all raised here so, no bad experience with a vet, they simply don't approve of a stranger doing anything remotely unpleasant to them. Thankfully, my vet allows me to do most things he wants done, under his supervision and, I don't mind drawing blood, getting fecal samples, giving shots, etc.. so, we get on alright at the vet. I muzzle them when it's something I can't do and, the vet has to do to them. They are muzzle trained so, wearing it is no big deal to them.
 

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I agree with the theory that he probably had a bad experience at a Vets previously. Ours did at the shelter that rescued her from the streets. She had multiple fox tails in one ear, raging ear infections in both, and to this day, over eight years later, though she is not aggressive, if our Vet even looks at her ears, she starts screaming. This even before he touches them. I can do almost anything to her, even put drops in her ears when needed, but not the Vet.
 

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I mean bad experience could easily be getting neutered, shots, thermometer stuck up the anus, etc. None of that is what a dog would consider pleasant. Even most humans donÂ’t like going to the doctor but at least we can reason itÂ’s for our health. Dogs donÂ’t know that. They must think weÂ’re bringing them to a stranger that does rude, even painful things to them for no good reason.
 
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