@mikesull I posted recently about my finicky eater (at 12 weeks old). I was willing to try anything because she was getting bigger yet losing weight. When ribs start showing on a puppy it's not good, imo. Things have turned around for us. I started feeding raw which she would mostly eat (chicken w/ veggies preferred). She walked away from raw turkey/beef heart.
I was hard core about timing. MY timing. I learned in the last couple weeks - leave the fixed portion down for her to eat when she was ready. It worked. Mixed in kibble slowly. Her eating habit is to eat 10% now, 50% 30 minutes later, the rest in the next hour. Fine. She ate. She gained weight. Now I mix in chicken broth (Petco's Petcoach that looks more like human chicken stew) with Honest Kitchen kibble and we're good! I will start making my own cooked "stew" for cost and convenience and freeze in small portions.
The lesson for me is to let go of hardcore pedantic methods. I will probably never "free feed" but this puppy eats on a different schedule than any other dog/puppy I have ever cared for. This schedule works for us.
Thanks for all the input and reality checks. I think I will add "desensitize to muzzle" at home to the list of training stuff. I will also opt for a mobile vet that comes to my home - we have lots here in CA. NH? Probably not so much.
A possible factor in CA (the lawsuit capital of the world) is vets simply won't take any risks. No vet that I have been to here in the last 15 years has allowed me to restrain my own dogs. And I was a vet tech long ago! They don't care; most vets here won't take the risk.
@tanza The head petting bit that humans do to dogs ... she, like most dogs, does not appreciate it but she let it be known in no uncertain terms (most dogs tolerate it). I will try to desensitize her to this but she tolerates it from me. Mostly I will make sure people don't go up to her and slam their human paws on top of my dog's head. Much easier with covid ... not too many people are coming up to strangers right now.
The ear recommendation was simply to clean them with cleaner that contains a drying agent. The vet was not able to scope her ears though. I think she's probably fine.
I think her socialization was pretty good, actually. She remained with the sire/dam and littermates until 12 weeks old. There was construction in the home and yard guys. She's oblivious to loud noises which is really nice. But I seriously doubt the family did much body handling work. I started on that immediately and she's great with me.
I would have liked a video conference. Some vets are doing that. She will bite at hands trying to pet her - only twice because I won't allow that to happen now. The story was the same at both vet offices and they don't know one another so they weren't sharing stories, not that they have time for that anyway. Both said "can't examine because she can't be restrained without biting". I doubt it was puppy biting. One vet spent time with her, went slowly, tried treats that she wouldn't eat, and still said "medicate" next time for her own good to reduce fear aggression. I don't know what they use for drugs but my understanding of acepromazine is that the dog appears relaxed but they are not. Bottom line for me is no more vet visits until I can get in there with her.
Not sure what can be done about the fact that my little puppy is biting vet techs to the point where she cannot be treated. I've been to 2 vets now; first for puppy "wellness" and fecal test (they wouldn't do a fecal without seeing her). The second, different vet, to check her ears because bad smell coming from them and rash-like appearance. I had to wait in my car for both because of covid. Reports from both vets is "they cannot treat her because she is trying to bite the vet tech holding her". Both vets say I would need to drug her. This is disconcerting to me, to say the least. I can't even imagine what's going on in there but I'm sure it's accurate. Any thoughts? I don't like the idea that I have a dog that seriously wants to bite people and want to work with this.