I got inspired today after my boss admitted a dog for surgery. He was shaking his head because the owner had told him before the exam that his dog was "not very social". Sure enough, the dog tried to bite him during his evaluation. Huh. What a surprise. Any guesses on what breed this little snapping turtle was? Yep. 5lb Chihuahua. (How many guessed it right?). I had to laugh. What the heck does "not very social" mean? Really. Not very social = NOT social. What benefit or warning does the owner think we get from that extra adjective? And that made me think; where does this dog fall on the social scale? Here's what I came up with:
5-Worse than a land shark, this dog is going to come at you and eat your face. And he has no problem telling you this from the get-go.
4-Gives the premise that you and he are 'alright' then snaps at your heels the minute your back is turned.
3-Shoves a wet nose in your crotch and then pees on your shoe, followed by wagging tongue and tail wagging.
2-Gives the premise that you and he are 'alright' then gooses you the minute your back is turned, followed by wagging tongue and tail wagging.
1-Slobbers on you, lays against your leg and/or constantly wants you to 'shake' with them. Tongue hanging out and tail wagging the entire time.
It gets a little confusing, as some dogs are multiple hits up the scale. 2 and 3 on the scale could almost switch places so that can be somewhat confounding. Going through the social scale is almost like getting all those prizes at each level of a school fundraiser.
Now 3 and below is somewhere at what is considered a normal social level. And 4 and above can be indicators that you just might stand back no matter what the owner says. Here are a few of my favorite owner classics:
"He's never bit anyone before".
"I'll hold him-he'd never bite me".
"He's never acted this way before. I don't think he means to bite anyone".
Hmm. I'm thinking he's NOT very social.
And here's how to top it all off. Afer you've wrestled and rolled on the floor, been scratched, popped your knee out, gotten anal glands, poop and pee all over you and the exam room just to get the muzzle on---the owner asks if you can do a nail trim while you're at it.
SURE! NO PROB!
Flagging notifies the Veterinary Community webmaster of inappropriate content. Please flag any messages that violate the Terms of Service or Rules of Engagement. Please include a short explanation why you're flagging this message. Thank you!
Your First Name (optional)
Email Addresses (comma separated)
Message to Friends (optional)
Are you human?
Or, you can forward this blog with your own email application.