Picking up Little Wolfie

Sometimes when I pick up Wolfie, he gives a little whimp or tries to give me a little nip.  What can I do to make sure that Wolfie is fine when I pick him up?

The most important aspect of picking up Wolfie is to make sure that you are not hurting or startling him.  He must feel comfortable during the entire process and be assured that you are always keeping him safe and secure.  Here are some qeneral tips:

  • Never let small children pick up Wolfie.  Wolfie might squirm and they might drop him.  They might also squeeze him and he might nip to tell them that he is being hurt.
  • Don't pick up big dogs.  They can easily squirm and you will drop them.  If you need to get your big dog into a car or on a bed, build a ramp or get some "doggie stairs".  This will assure that Wolfie will kept safe and you won't hurt your back.
Now, let's discuss how to pick him up, assuming that Wolfie is a medium to small dog and you have the ability to pick him up:
  • Lightly stroke Wolfie to make sure that he has no sores or aches.  Trying to pick up a doggie with painful spots is not a good thing.
  • Slowly approach Wolfie and calmly grab him around his belly.  Picking up a dog by grabbing them under their front legs can, at times, be painful.
  • Wait for a moment and then slowly lift him up to your chest.  Once he is there, praise him with a high pitched "Good Puppy".
  • Turn him and hold him against your chest while holding him with both arms.  He should be "right side up" so that his belly is resting in your forearms while you have one arm holding him in place.
  • Slowly pet him by taking your hand and stroking him down his body.
  • Keep the environment calm and quiet.  Loud noises or fast movement might startle him and you might drop him.  This is not good.
  • If Wolfie displays any anxiety or begins to squirm, put him down immediately.
  • When you are ready to put him down, return to holding him with both hands under his belly.
  • Slowly lower him, letting him see where his feet will touch the ground.
  • Once both feet are on the ground, praise him with a high pitched "Good Puppy" and let him loose.
Picking up Wolfie is a process of bonding and trust that is critical in the relationship you are trying to create with your dog.  Doing it correctly helps create a great experience.  As dog trainers, we have seen that improper grabbing and picking up of dogs can create lasting behavior issues.


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