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Newly adopted dog afraid when getting picked up

1416 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Canyx
I recently adopted a 6 yo Yorkie from a rescue. She was a mill dog and is missing one of her front legs and most of her teeth. When I first met her at a rescue event she was super friendly with everyone. Wanting to meet people and get pet. This seemed unusual for a mill dog but the foster mom said because she had her leg amputated when they first got her she because very used to people quickly. A lot of her fear seems to be around the fact that I have to pick her up. I have steps leading into my yard so she has to be picked up to go out. This morning she tried to bite me when I tried to get her to take her out. I moved my hand and she doesn’t have enough teeth to get me anyway. Not sure what to do about that. Now when I try to get her to come to me she usually seems hesitant to come over to me and even get a petting because she’s afraid I’ll pick her up. When I have her up she usually settles down quickly though and doesn’t seem scared at all. She doesn’t give my husband nearly as much of a problem being picked up. Not sure what to do.... Any advice appreciated.
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How long have you had her? She might not have built up full trust in you (it can take months). For now don't pick her up at all. Let her come to you on her own terms. Maybe sit sideways to her with treats and toss one every once in a while. Eventually you'll have her eating out of your hand ;-)

Is there any other way into your yard? If not, maybe put a ramp over the steps so she doesn't have to be picked up to get in the yard. If you haven't had her very long I wouldn't even be taking her out yet at all anyway.

It's a good idea to get her checked out by a vet as well to rule out any medical concerns (maybe it hurts when you pick her up).
Thanks for the reply. We’ve only had her 11 days. She loves being outside and she is doing fairly well at being housebroken so I feel that not letting her go outside would be a setback for her. I have gotten her eating treats out of my hand, even though she always seems a little hesitant at first. The odd thing is the rest of the day she’s had no problem being picked up. Maybe I need to give her a few minutes in the morning to get used to me...
A ramp is a great idea and am going to see if that’s possible.
I have an appointment with the vet on Tuesday to get her looked over.
Yes definitely take her outside to go potty. I thought you were taking her out for walks, etc. which I would avoid for a bit longer.

Maybe I need to give her a few minutes in the morning to get used to me...
This is probably a good idea. She might not recognize you at first or might forget that you're okay and can be trusted. Just give her some more time :)
Definitely give her plenty of warning that you are picking her up. Try a cookie in her face as you do so. I hope you can put a ramp in, even little dogs deserve to go places on their own feet! I'd think that laying a 6" wide board covered with rubber matting laid on and screwed into the stairs would do the trick nicely. She probably is fine with the slope itself but the steps are likely too deep for her.
She doesn’t give my husband nearly as much of a problem being picked up.
the rest of the day she’s had no problem being picked up.
Does "no problems" mean she LIKES being picked up or that she just tolerates it? Look up dog body language if you haven't already done so. If the dog had her leg amputated I might read the lack of warning behaviors (growling, snapping, etc.) as 'couldn't do anything about being picked up' rather than enjoying it. And forcing the behavior on her can increase her defensive responses over time.
Also, check out this long article: http://815678169699-bfas-files.s3-u...erstanding-and-Caring-for-Puppy-Mill-Dogs.pdf

Puppy mill dogs are not 'normal' dogs and only about 34% of them (surveyed over 1000 owners of mill dogs) reach 'normalcy' and only about 7% are described as normal within a few weeks of adoption. The second LEAST effective thing is forcing them to do anything (ex. picking them up if they don't love it, even if you have the best of intentions).

These dogs are truly different, and I say this based on the research done and the experience I've had working with mill dog cases my shelter has helped with.
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