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Teaching Your Small Dog To Love Getting Picked Up

Teaching Your Small Dog To Love Getting Picked Up

Most puppy owners, especially new puppy owners, worry about how they can bond with their puppy.

November 14th, 2021

Most puppy owners, especially new puppy owners, worry about how they can bond with their puppy. They also wonder how to teach their small dog or puppy to feel comfortable when they pick them up. Most puppies do not love being picked up for various reasons, such as they see this as a threat. Learning how to work things out with your puppy is important.

Taking your dog to an obedience training class is also a good idea. Most pet owners do not seem to understand why it is important for them to take their dogs to these classes. If you wonder when it’s time to find a dog obedience trainer, we will help you work this out. This applies to dogs of all sizes but is especially important for small dogs who will likely have to experience being picked up more frequently throughout their life. If you are unsure of how to do this before taking the dog to an obedience class, here are some tips to help you.

Limit Use

Whenever possible, keep your dog (or puppy) off-leash. Using a leash can make it difficult to try and interact with your dog on their terms. This might make them feel caged while their little legs are still fully pre-adapted to the hunt-and-chase game. Make them feel comfortable and gain freedom. This will be the first step to bonding with them.

Rally Your Dog

Rallying your dog will go a long way in helping you figure out the basic body language of your dog. The dog will be well trained and comfortable being touched and held by people. Remember, most dogs are not for the idea of being held or touched without them feeling threatened.

Use A Cue

One of the main reasons you want your dog to like being picked up is that it will lessen the chances of them biting or trying to run away. A great way to make your dog feel comfortable around your arms when you pick them up is to use a cue to do so.

This means that when you reach for your dog or puppy, you should first give them a cue (such as a word or a movement). This can be done in two ways: using a direct cue, for instance, using the word ‘pickup’ or lending a hand to your puppy to see how it reacts. This is helpful because it gives your dog a choice to either obey your command or avoid your hand.

Keep It Pleasant

This idea is mostly for small dogs, especially when they are young and can appreciate the attention. This is something that pet owners mostly forget to give their pets. It creates a bond between you and the dog, making it easier for you to pick up the dog. One simple solution is to give the dog a chance to get used to being picked up at an early stage in their life. We do this by rewarding them for being picked up with an affectionate petting session or a treat. Many small dogs will learn that being picked up is a great thing, but unfortunately, we may never know how many dogs go their entire lives without ever being picked up because their owners never offered it.

Train To Calm The Dog Down

It might be hard to calm down your dog if you are not calm, so you should first be calm and relaxed. With this, you can now teach your dog to remain calm, relaxed, and willing to be picked up. It’s one thing to have a big dog who doesn’t mind getting picked up, but how do you explain why you want to pick them up to your puppy? A calm and confident dog is a safe dog.

Be Kind To Your Dog

Be gentle when you pick up your small dog. You’re probably going to have to move him around a bit, but keep your tone calm and relaxed. Relaxed dogs know what it means to be picked up by their parents. Keep your arms open and let the dog fall gently to the ground if he gets scared. Don’t get angry or jump back; it’s okay just to be aware of his feelings and be okay with him getting scared or nervous around you.

It could seem like a big task to teach your small dog how to be fine with being picked up, but it should feel overwhelming. If you continue to struggle to keep your small dog calm and relaxed while picking it up, then it might be time to call in the professionals to give you and your dog a hand.



Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.