As a dog owner, you know how much your dog loves you, and you can’t imagine your life without it. However, even the most affectionate dog has its limits. Whether it’s a small, fluffy dog or a big, slobbery one, your dog isn’t going to let you pick it up all the time. This post will show you likely reasons why your dog does not let you pick it up and what can be done about them.

So, why doesn’t my dog let me pick it up? Possible reasons why your dog does not let you pick it up are that it has an injury, it gets intimidated, it does not like the way you pick it up, or that it is not expecting to be picked up.

There are actually a number of possible reasons why your dog does not let you pick it up and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are a number of things you can do about it.

Reasons why your dog doesn’t let you pick it up

Below are possible reasons why your dog does not let you pick it up and what would make them more likely.

Injury

The cause could be that it has gotten an injury. This would be more likely if your dog has stopped wanting to be picked up suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of having an injury such as limping and not moving around as much. In this case, the best option would be to take it for a checkup.

Intimidation

It might also be the case that it gets fearful when you pick it up. This would be more likely if it tends to stop you from doing it more when you approach it quickly and loudly. If it seems like your own actions could be making it be fearful, it would help to be calm around it and to give it positive reinforcement training as opposed to negative reinforcement.

It does not like the way you pick it up

It could also be the case that the way you have been picking it up has been painful for it. This would be more likely if you have been picking it up quickly or forcefully and it does not cry when you pick it up gently.

Excitement

The cause could be that it is excited. This would be more likely if it shows signs of excitement when it does it by doing things such as wagging its tail, having wide-open eyes and showing its tongue.

Surprise

The cause might also be that it was not expecting you to pick it up. This would be more likely if it only stops you when you pick it up suddenly or when you pick it up from behind.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.

If your dog used to let you pick it up

If your dog did used to let you pick it up, it would help to consider what else happened when it first stopped letting you do it. If it stopped letting you do it suddenly, it might be the case that there was an event that caused it to stop. If it started doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to getting injured but it might also be due to picking it up in an usual way as well.

What is different when your dog does let you pick it up

If it does not always stop you from picking it up, it would also help to consider what is different when it does it. For example, if it tends to do it more when you pick it up quickly, it would be more likely that it does it because it doesn’t like being picked up that way.

What to do about your dog not letting you pick it up

Below are some options you have when picking it up.

Be gentle

If you have been picking it up quickly or forcefully, it would help to avoid doing so and to pick it up slowly and gently instead.

Don’t pick it up

If your dog just does not like being picked up, the easiest option would be to only pick it up when absolutely necessary such as when getting it into a car.

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Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.