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Old 01-16-2013, 11:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hates to be held

I've noticed a new behavior starting with Rex this week. He hates being held for longer than 3 sec (Yes i timed it! LOL). When we picked him out of the liter I held him for at least 10 minutes, even flipped him on his back and he was fine then. I used to have to carry him outside for potty time, he was fine then. Now all of a sudden if he's held he whines and thrashes all around to try and get loose. Does he just have better things to do as a 7 week old pup right now? The ol' "I ain't got time for this, mom!" act? Or is this the start of something else, cause he does it even when he's sleepy, not just when he's wound up.
Sounds kinda silly now that I've got this all typed out, but I figure it's worth asking.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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More like "I'm the puppy here, grow up mom".
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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We had the EXACT same issue with our 9 week old. Twice even he would thrash around, whip his head back and growl and air bite at my girlfriend's face. We asked our puppy preschool trainer about it and he even was able to have it happen when he picked up Whisky to hold him. He said it is completely normal and is just a puppy tantrum similar to what a toddler would throw when they aren't getting exactly their way. The way he instructed us to cure it is to sit on the ground and hold the pup with one arm underneath their chin either continuing around their chest and hand on their far (far/outside from you) front shoulder or on their chest, basically just a secure location so they can't nip you but you still have control of their body. The other hand should be something similar but petting and stroking their side and back. When they begin to squirm you can either say a firm "no" or our trainer did a "ah!ah!ah!" very quick (sounded like a dolphin) to teach the pup that they are not the boss and if you want to hold them they have to relax and put up with it. There will be times in the dog's life when it needs to be held so it needs to get used to this scenario. Another thing you might begin to work on is puppy massaging where you massage the entire pup's body head to toe and back again so you can begin to learn the pup's body so you know/can notice lumps or bumps or spots of concern later in life because you know the pup's body. Also while doing it cover the face with the massage and lift their gums and check their teeth and check each toe on their paws. This makes them much more relaxed at the vet later in life.

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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U can also try holding him in one hand (if he's small) & treat him if he stays quiet.. I tried that with Kaiser when he had the same issue.. now he's a little better but good improvement.. Also, don't put him down if he thrashes around.. let him calm down & then put him down.. If he howls as u are putting him down, pick him up again & wait for him to calm down.. Don't let him feel "if I howl, I get put down" it's more like, "when I howl, it doesn't get me anywhere! :O.. better see what happens if I stay quiet....... BINGO!"
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Handling desensitization is a good thing to work on while he's young like this. Some puppies like being held, some don't, but you should train him to accept gentle restraint because there are going to be times in his life where it's necessary, and your vet will definitely thank you! In our puppy classes we worked on holding our puppies cradled on our lap, like this:



The easiest way to do it is with your puppy standing in front of you, facing away from you. Slide one hand underneath, around the chest right behind the front legs, and use the other hand to scoop the tail under, tipping the puppy back towards you. At first he may struggle, but don't let him go until he stops. You want him to understand that he only gets released when he's calm and not wiggling.

I practiced this at least once and usually several times a day with Halo. While we were holding our puppies in our laps we fed them treats, and touched them all over - playing with the the feet and ears, stroking the muzzle, grabbing the tail, touching the belly, etc.

It's MUCH easier to get your puppy used to this while she's small. I didn't try it with Dena until she was 16 weeks old, and she was much bigger and heavier, so it was harder to tip her into my lap.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I think all puppies or dogs dont like being held when they want to be exploring. They feel stifled and out of their control.
Took me 5 seconds to condition my puppy to not squirm when held. But.. she was naturally very calm. When I first got her, I picked her up at the breeders and she just literally stared at me and did not move a muscle. She still does this in the car and what not. She just gets real quiet and calm. But after I brought her home, she would squirm and try to jump out when I picked her up from the xpen, to take her potty, etc.

Pick him/her up. I just did it when it came up naturally when she had to go pee but if he's a natural squirmer, then maybe just do it anytime. Hold him (like cradle him on his back) and hold him tight so he can't move or squirm around. What he will do is he will yelp and fidget around but you need to keep him steady. Give him the command for "Look" or "Attention" and the split second he looks into your eyes and makes eye contact, say "YES" and let him go. He has earned his right to be free. This worked on the very first try with my puppy and she was only 7 weeks old. The second time when I took her out, she was already staring at my eyes waiting for me to look at her, very calm. I made eye contact and said "YES" and let her go.
Eventually he will learn that you control his resources including his time to be able to roam free.
I had to brush up on this when she got a little bit bigger and she would be calm when i cradled her but right when I'm about to set her down (about 1' off the ground) she would just squirm around and jump out. So of course, I addressed and picked her up off the ground about 1', she would squirm and I would say "No" and when she stopped, I would mark with "yes" and let her go.
They learn very quickly. She has no qualms about me holding her now and cradling her and she's 40lbs! haha
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