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It's always prudent to make sure you've ruled out physical pain or illness when you have a dog that's responding poorly to handling, so if you haven't, talk to your vet about this behavior and have them perform an exam to make sure he's not in actual pain or discomfort when you pick him up.

But many, many dogs find being picked up uncomfortable, even by people they've lived with for years and have a strong bond with. You and your kids are still largely strangers and unpredictable to him because he doesn't know you well, and being picked up makes him scared because it means he's totally lost control over being able to move away from you - or move anywhere at all under his own power - if he wants to. Lying down and resting is often a time when dogs don't want to be disturbed, and in a puppy may be a sign he's already overtired and cranky. The old maxim "let sleeping dogs lie" exists for a reason.

Instead I suggest:

- Keep him in a collar or harness and a short lead while you're home and nearby. A traffic lead could work, or a short leash with the handle cut off so that it can't snag on furniture while he's running around. If you need to move him, move him by the lead (obviously avoid yanking or dragging, just gentle pressure if he needs encouragement). This both keeps your hands away from his teeth and lets him keep his feet on the ground. Do NOT leave this on when you're away or can't supervise to eliminate the risk of anything he's wearing getting caught or tangled in something and hurting him.

- Puppies need lots and lots of sleep. Otherwise they get cranky, bity, throw tantrums and lose all self-control, exactly like an overtired human toddler. Avoid picking him up or disturbing him at all when he's lying down, sleeping, or otherwise resting. You want him to learn how to settle and chill in your home! And more, better sleep leads to better behavior.

- If you need to lift him to get on and off furniture, either change that entirely and teach him a cue to jump on and off on his own, install stairs or a box of some sort so he can climb up and down safely on his own, or make sure you turn the lift into a trick, where you teach your dog that being picked up is positive and you always give him a clear "I'm picking you up now" signal before you do, instead of surprising him by scooping him up unexpectedly (which is easy to do with a cute puppy!) Here's a helpful video about this kind of training:

- Enforce 'leave the puppy alone when he's lying down' and 'respect the puppy's space' rules with your kids. If they're too young to understand these rules or to follow them consistently, you need to be eyes-on supervising their interactions and stepping in to prevent inappropriate handling at all times. Even if they're older, I'd still suggest doing this for a while so you can reinforce these rules and help your kids build good habits around this dog. It's totally normal and acceptable for dogs to have boundaries in regards to their own body and how they're handled, and it's up to us to make sure that's respected. Have a kid-free zone the puppy can go into when you see him getting too tired, cranky, or nippy that the kids are absolutely not allowed to go into or remove him from (a pen, a crate, a puppy-proofed room, etc). This will set your kids up for being excellent with reading and interacting with animals and your puppy up for being happier and more confident in your house!

- Pandora had great advice too for normal puppy biting - if you search for 'bite inhibition training" or similar on the forum, you can find a ton that's been written about it.

Good luck!
 
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