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I have a 9 year old toy poodle who has starting exhibiting strange behavior when I pick him up or move him. Here's the typical scenario...

I am sitting at the computer and he comes up and puts his paw on my leg. Usually he does this when he wants to be picked up.
When I pick him up, he growls and bites me before he settles down on my lap.

I have tried telling him "no" and putting him down immediately. Usually he will come back and put his paw on my leg again and we will go through countless rounds of "pick up, bite/growl, put down." If I ignore him, sometimes he will whine and cry until I finally pick him up. While he sits in my lap, he's very well behaved. It is just the initial lifting and setting down that seems to bring on this nastiness.

I have also tried to see if there is something physically wrong with him, but the vet has not found anything. Also the dog does not exhibit this behavior with my husband.

Does anyone have any idea what might be going on? Any ideas for what I should do to discourage this behavior?
 

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Does he not want you on the computer.....since you are the only one he behaves this way towards? I have a Schnauzer/poodle who is very vocal as to what his needs and wants are.....although he doesn't bite. Just a thought. :) The only other thing I could think of is maybe you are accidentally pinching him as you pick him up or he has a spot that is sore; like a muscle that you cannot see and are not aware of? Just guessing.
 

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The dog has an injury. The vet couldn't find anything wrong because the dog couldn't tell him where it hurts.
It bothers him when you pick him up (or when you set him down?) but not when your husband picks him up because of differences in lifting technique.
 

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At 9 yo, it could be arthritis, also. He wants to sit in your lap, but you hurt him when you lift him. Maybe if the Vet watched you, he could locate the pain and determine the cause...
 

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How are you picking him up? When I pick up my 23 pound dog (or any dog small enough to pick up) I always scoop up his hind end in one hand and my other hand and forearm supporting his chest between his front legs. He is then fully supported with no pressure on any joints. If you are picking your poodle up behind his front legs only it could be putting strain on his elbows or shoulders. Be sure you support both ends. It also makes the dog feel more secure.
 

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rachvaughn ,

I would suggest a systematic process of elimination.

Try picking up your dog at different locations in your home , for example : sofa , other chair, sitting on floor or from a standing position and systematically eliminate the things that bring on the bite/growl... Check fingernail length and also use a couple of different lifting technique . Perhaps let someone watch when you try this for a second opinion.


Best , oldhound
 
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