Dogs vary in temperament just as people do. In addition to intrinsic personality differences, a dog’s tendency to be fearful vs outgoing is very much influenced by their experiences when they are young.
For the fearful animal, every frightening or painful experience reinforces this fear. Some dogs are clearly nervous in the exam room but may be OK during the physical exam especially if they are handled correctly and gently. However, the pet’s anxiety may skyrocket if procedures such as having blood drawn or being radiographed are necessary. In such cases, this heightened anxiety may lead to aggression or an extreme fight or flight response such that the dog will not tolerate any restraint.
We are proud to have received the Silver Certification in Low Stress Handling Techniques. These techniques help to decrease an animal’s anxiety level by proper handling methods and positive reinforcement for calm behavior. We offer counter conditioning sessions to deal with specific issues such as fear of nail trims. We also have literature and training tools available for rent to help you deal with overall behavior issues you might be having in the home environment.
Our goal is to try and make your pet’s visit to our clinic a positive experience. Extreme fear with or without aggression will make it difficult and sometimes impossible to provide your pet with the proper medical treatment, thus we believe that dealing with such issues in a proactive and positive way is an important part of providing good veterinary care.