Just like babies, puppies are cute and cuddly, and touching and holding them is often hard to resist. Although many puppies might enjoy these affectionate gestures, some don't and might yelp and squirm when you hold them. If Gromit belongs to the latter category, don't take it personally. Instead, determine what's triggering his behavior, and then with a healthy dose of understanding and patience, correctly deal with it.
If Gromit suddenly seems to dislike being held, he might be hurting. An ear or eye infection or an injury, which might not immediately be visible, might be causing him pain or discomfort. Your pet companion might seem less active or withdrawn, or he might slink away or cower when you reach for him or try to pick him up. A veterinarian can put your mind at ease by giving Gromit a checkup, making a diagnosis and recommending proper treatment.
If Gromit doesn't know you, don't expect him to enjoy being held by you. Bonding with your puppy doesn't instantly occur the moment you bring him home. You have to work on developing a relationship with your furry pal. Spending one-on-one time with him on a daily basis is essential. Meeting all his needs, teaching him right from wrong, potty training and obedience training are all opportunities to help him develop his trust in you.
Lack of Socialization
Neglecting to teach Gromit that it's alright to be held, petted and handled by humans might make him dislike or fear these actions. Although it's not impossible to socialize him after the age of 14 weeks, the process is easier before he reaches this age. Have different people of all ages pet and hold your puppy. Afterward, have them feed your puppy treats so he perceives the interaction as positive and starts finding it pleasant to be held.
Although to you, picking up and holding your puppy might seem normal, to your furry pal, the action isn't natural. Dogs show affection to each other by rubbing up against each other and nudging and nuzzling. When you're hugging and holding him, he might dislike it, because he perceives this human gesture as uncomfortable -- he might fear getting injured if he falls or he might feel as if he's being trapped. Stroking him on his chest or under his chin might be more pleasant.
By Kimberly Caines
ASPCA: Dogs Who Are Sensitive to Handling
PetMD: Managing Pain In Dogs
VeterinaryPartner.com: Bonding with Your Dog
Partnership for Animal Welfare: Puppy Socialization: What It Is, Why It's Essential, and How To Do It
Albany.com: Q: Why Does My Dog Hate When I Hug Him?
About the Author
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.