The proper way to pick up your dog.

We were conducting a Veterinarian Training Seminar in Hall County covering behavioral dog training and canine safety tips the other day when a Vet Tech had a question on the proper way to pick up dogs.  “Sometimes when I go to pick up a dog, they whimper or try to give a little nip.  What am I doing wrong and what is the best way to approach and pick up a dog?”

As dog trainers, we face this issue multiple times every day.  We like to tell our clients and anyone who asks is that the most important thing you must understand when picking up any dog is not to startle them.  You must also determine the most appropriate way to pick them up without hurting them.  The dog must feel comfortable during the entire process and must remain assured that you are always keeping him safe and secure.  Here are some general tips:

  • This is a biggie! Do not let young children pick up your dog.  Many times your dog could wiggle and he might be dropped and hurt.  Small children also don’t understand that your dog isn’t a squeeze toy.  They might squeeze and hurt him.  Your dog will naturally become afraid and could give off a nip to the hand or face.
  • If you have a big and heavy dog, do not try and pick him up.  As with the situation with the young kids above, your dog might wiggle and you could drop him.  This could scare or hurt him and might also have him run away if you are outside.  If you need to get your big dog into a car or on a bed, build a ramp or get some “doggie stairs”.  It is your responsibility to never act to create a situation that scares or hurts your dog.

If you have a dog that you are able to pick up without dropping him or hurting your back, here are some tips:

  • Make sure that your dog has no painful spots by lightly stroking him.  He will whimper if you touch a sore spot.  Make sure that you do not touch this spot when you pick him up and be sure to inspect this spot closely as soon as possible.
  • Approach your dog slowly and calmly handle him around his belly.  You don’t know how much pressure around your dog’s joints might be painful, so grabbing him around his legs could hurt him as you raise him up.
  • After you have grabbed him, wait a minute so that he can focus on your and see that everything is fine.  Next, slowly raise him up.  Praise him with a high pitched “Good Puppy”.
  • Hold him against your chest while keeping him in both your arms.
  • Pet him calmly and slowly by taking your hand and stroking him down his body.
  • Make sure that everything around you is calm and quiet.  Loud fast movement loud noises could startle your dog and you might drop him.  This is not good.
  • If your dog begins to become nervous, put him down immediately.
  • When you are ready to put him down, return to holding him with both hands under his belly.
  • Lower him slowly so that he can see his feet as they approach the ground.
  • Praise him with a high pitched “Good Puppy” as soon as all four feet are on the ground.  Let him loose.

Please call us at (770) 718-7704 it you are in need of any dog training help.  We have a lot of good dog training advice at Best Dog Trainers Hall County Georgia.  Find all our phone numbers, text addresses and email contacts at Dog Training Help Center Hall County Georgia.