Why Does My Dog Hate Being Held?


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Sometimes we as humans do things to make our dogs happy, but our dogs despise them, and holding or hugging your dog is one of those things that some dogs despise. Humans enjoy holding their dogs as a form of affection, but have you ever considered how dogs feel when we do? Do dogs enjoy being held? If the answer is “NO,” then why does my dog dislike being held?

Dogs typically despise being held. It is due to the fact that it is extremely unusual and unnatural for dogs. When your dog is held up too high from the ground, it can be very uncomfortable for them. In fact, it strains their arms and shoulders, potentially resulting in dislocation.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons dogs despise being held.

Why Dogs Hate Being Held?

1. Fear & Anxiety

Many studies in psychology today show that when dogs are held, they show increased signs of stress and anxiety in about 82 percent of them.

When a dog is held up too high from the ground, he or she may feel threatened. They are afraid of falling and getting hurt.

When dogs are held, they may bark or bite as a result of their fear and anxiety.

Certain collars are designed specifically to provide relief to your anxious and fearful pup. They are commonly referred to as pheromone collars. To calm herself and her pups, the mother dog emits a calming pheromone. Adaptil On-the-Go Calming Collar AND CPFK Calming Collar are some of the best options that are available on CHEWY and AMAZON respectively. These collars release calming pheromones, which are clinically proven to help soothe anxious dogs. 

2. Pain & Discomfort

It is possible that holding or even hugging a dog will cause pain and discomfort. Pain could be caused by any type of injury or infection.

Not only that, but improperly held dogs can cause discomfort and, in the worst-case scenario, strains on their arms and shoulders, which can lead to dislocation.

It is best advised to consult your vet in case of any injury or pain.

3. Wrong technique

The incorrect holding technique may also be uncomfortable, causing your dog to back off when you try to pick him up.

Puppies and dogs who aren’t used to being handled, as well as dogs who aren’t picked up correctly, will have a tense, rigid body and may growl or even bite when touched and lifted.

Never lift your dog by the arms, collar, or tail. This is not only cruel and inhumane, but it is also painful for your dog. This can also result in muscle and ligament damage.

4. Lack of Trust

When a new dog owner tries to pick up their dog, he may growl or show his teeth. This occurs as a result of a lack of trust. Dogs carve out their own space, they require time to adjust to their new surroundings, and, more importantly, they prefer to do so alone. And, believe me, as soon as your puppy begins to trust you, he will come to you.

5. Lack of Socialization

Your dog may dislike being held because of poor socialisation or a lack of socialisation. The most important thing you must do during puppyhood is socialise your dog with new people and other dogs. If he was not accustomed to being helpful when he was younger, this could be the reason your dog dislikes being held.

6. Mistreated & Abused

If your dog has been mistreated or abused in his early life or puppyhood, he may be afraid of humans who want to approach and pick him up–and all of this can happen before you ever adopt him.

How do you properly pick up a dog?

Picking up or carrying your dog may not appear difficult, but most dog owners do it incorrectly. It appears to be quite simple! However, there are some techniques you can use to lift them in the safest and most comfortable manner possible.

When picking up a puppy, place your dominant arm beneath the dog’s chest and your hand between its front legs. If your dog weighs less than 20 pounds, you should pick him up carefully.

If your dog is large and heavy, you will need to enlist the assistance of another person to lift him. If you are able to pick him up yourself, begin by supporting his hind legs with one arm and supporting your dog underneath his chest or neck with the other arm.

If your dog has back problems or an injury, place one arm between his front legs and the other between his back legs, making sure to support the entire length of his body to avoid strain on his back.

Final Thoughts!

Many dogs dislike being held for the simple fact that they aren’t used to it.

Some dogs, like people, are more dramatic than others and will let you know right away if something bothers them. If he feels uneasy or feels pressure on any of his body parts, he will let you know.

If your dog is small or young, he must be nervous when you pick him up. Allow your dog some time to adjust to new people and surroundings, and trust me when I say he will come to you on his own. In other cases, a dog simply does not like being held for no apparent reason.

If your dog still refuses to be picked up or even growls when you lift him up, he may be suffering from a medical condition. In this case, you should see your veterinarian right away, or it could lead to serious problems in the future.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

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