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dog growling when picked up

20773 Views 16 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  sherrymyra
My westie is 1 year 4 months old. I can't say when this pattern developed. But it is has gone on for some time. When she was younger she didn't have a problem if she was picked up. Now she has has a fit of growling, at times severe, as I am picking her up or putting her down. While I am holding her she seems to accept it. At first I thought she was afraid. Now I am thinking it is a behavior issue. And I don't think it is a medical issue because when she is around strange people or surroundings she is calm when I pick her up.

I am trying to randomly pick her up now and then and tell her no if she starts growling and will not put her down if she is growling. Her hearts pounds through the whole thing.

Am I on the right track?
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No, you're not on the right track. Think of it from the dog's point of view...mommy picks me up, I growl ( I don't like being picked up), mommy punishes me (more reason not to like being picked up). In fact, I'd reconsider all the reasons why you're picking her up. It's quite possible she's associated being picked up with many different negative outcomes. Baths, being restrained on your lap, being brushed, nail clipping...all these things dogs have to learn to tolerate. If they haven't learned to tolerate them, her behavior will show it when you pick her up.

So, why are you picking her up? Do you need to? Can you work around not picking her up? I'd start there.

If you must pick her up, give her a reason to enjoy it. Start with short pets, and follow it with a game, or a tasty treat. Progress to longer touching and even more awesome rewards. You need to change the association before expecting the behavior to change. She is warning you for a reason, and if she hasn't bitten you, it's a good time to resolve why. Growling isn't abnormal behavior, irregardless of the context. She has reason, now find it.
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So let me get this straight. What you were doing (what you insist on) wasn't working, you asked for our opinion, you were given one with a suggestion to try something else (which you did not do), and you're the one who's frustrated?

No one can help you if you don't want to be helped.
Watch this video and tell me if this is like your dog.

Then watch what the trainer is doing with the hair dryer and the treat dispensing machine and tell if if this is like what I described.

If the hair dryer is like you picking up or touching your dog, did my suggestion work for this dog? If so, it's worth a try.
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