How to Pick Up a Dog?

How to Pick Up a Dog

How to Safely Pick Up Your Dog

Picking up your dog might seem simple, but there are important techniques to ensure their safety and comfort, especially with age, health conditions, or size. Here’s a breakdown:

General Guidelines for Picking Up Your Dog

  • Small Dogs:
    • Support their chest and hindquarters.
    • Gently place one hand under their chest and the other supporting their rear.
  • Medium/Large Dogs:
    • Kneel to their level to reduce strain on your back.
    • One arm supports their chest, the other supports their hindquarters.
  • Alternative: Train them to jump into your lap when you sit, or use a crate/basket for lifting.

Important Considerations

  • Reading Your Dog: Learn their body language and respect them if they seem uncomfortable being picked up.
  • Injury: Use a muzzle and/or leash if your dog is injured and might react out of pain.
  • Pregnancy: Support the front chest and back legs, avoid putting pressure on the belly.
  • Hip Dysplasia: Support the chest and abdomen, minimizing stress on the hind legs.
  • Older Dogs: Provide extra support for the back and hindquarters, lift gently.

Specific Lifting Methods

  • Chest Cradle: One arm around the chest, one under the hindquarters.
  • Ribcage Pickup: One hand under the ribcage, supporting the front legs, the other behind the hindquarters.

Training for Easier Handling

  • Positive Association: Use treats and praise to make being picked up a positive experience.
  • “Lift” Command: Teach a word like “lift” to help your dog anticipate what’s happening.
  • Breakdown the Process: Reward small steps towards being picked up to reduce anxiety.

When to Get Help

  • Heavy Dogs Ask someone to assist, with one person supporting the front and one the rear.
  • Health Issues: Consult your vet for specific safe lifting techniques tailored to your dog’s condition.

Key Takeaways

  • Proper lifting technique protects you and your dog.
  • Be mindful of your dog’s age, size, and any health conditions.
  • Training makes picking up your dog easier and less stressful for both of you.
  • Never pick up an injured dog without precautions (muzzle/leash).
  • If unsure, always consult your veterinarian for the safest approach.

By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to pick up your dog safely, ensuring a comfortable experience for your furry friend.

How to Pick Up a Dog?

This segment is all about the ways that you should follow to pick your dog up so that they feel comfortable.

Using the Chest Cradle

The first picking method that you can always try is the chest cradle. Remember, this works the best with medium to large-sized breed dogs You can use one arm to secure the front chest and use the other hand to fortify the back legs, thigh, etc.

Now place the body of the dog against your chest and pick gently. But it would be best to make sure that while lifting, kneel and rise slowly, so they feel safe.

Besides that, you can also apply this other lifting method where secure the front chest with one hand and use the other hand to secure the waist area. But this process may disturb the comfort level.

Using Ribcage Pick Up

You will have to place the hand beneath the ribcage fortifying the dog’s front legs for rib cage pick up.

In the meantime, also cuff the elbow well. Now use the other hand to support the dog’s back legs.

Now this will help to cover the whole ribcage portion of the dog. Just be sure that you press your dog tightly and support her hips well so that he can fit snugly.

Alternative Picking Up Methods

If you want to pick them up smoothly, lure them to a sofa or ask them to ride on your bed and slowly pick up your dog.

The following method that you can apply is simply calling the dog to get inside the crate or into a laundry basket and then picking that up.

Now, remember this picking-up process works well when you intend to carry small dogs.

One more thing that you can always do is train your pet to jump over to your lap when you are in a sitting position.

This will also help you pick up the dog efficiently. Just pick her up once your dog does so by pressing her tightly.

For small breed dogs, it would be easier to carry them in backpacks specially made for them instead of placing them in your arms.

Easy Hacks to Lift Your Dog

Here, we will enlighten you on some valuable and easy hacks that will help you lift your dog without any trouble.


First of all, you can resort to training. Through training, you need to make your dog feel comfortable and easy with the picking process. Try to induce a positive connection so that they can do their way.


Now, suppose if your dog is not familiar with the lifting process, you need to start with the conditioning process. Once again, it would help if you stressed creating a connection with your dog.

Lifting Process Break Up

Remember that it is not possible to lift your dog in a single day. You need to break the whole pick-up process into mini-steps.

For example, introduce every single step each day. Now to make the training steps exciting, you can always reward him with some valuable treats. But again, make sure the treat should not contain many calories.

Going to Your Dog

It would be best to approach your dog with a treat in your hand to start the process. Just hold it and don’t offer them unless they accept the training.

Make sure that you repeat the process until the dog gets eager. Then move on to the next step, like tapping their head gently and feeding the treat.

Pick Them Up

Eventually, you reach the last step, where you can pick up your dog easily because they get ready.

Things to Remember While Picking Up Your Dog

  • While doing the above-said process, remember to use the word like a lift. It is because dogs are easy to catchwords, so if you use it in such moments, it becomes easier for him or them to relate.
  • Next, you need to learn their behavior. Also, try to read the signal your dog shows. If your dog is positively participating in the training, then, of course, you are moving in the right direction.
  • Now you will see that your dog will show certain moves that will prove that they are willingly taking part in the picking up process. In the end, your goal should be that you make your dog do everything but that activity should become fun for them.
  • After reading the signal, you make the gesture of picking them. But if your dog resists doing the same, that shows they are uncomfortable. In that case, don’t try to pick your dog up from there; instead, reposition and try once more.
  • Now you need to check whether your dog is repeatedly turning down your offer or not. If yes, then you need to look for an alternative answer. You can pick up the dog without any prior approval if your pooch suffered any injury or got wounded somehow.
  • Here to be on the safe side, you can use a muzzle because there is a chance that the dog can bite you the moment you try to pick it up. As per the animal control experts, you can also put a leash on the dog as well in case you don’t have the muzzle handy. Also, you can use both whiles lifting but be careful that you secure the leash safely.

How to Pick Up an Aged Dog?

If your dog is older but not too weighty, you can lift them yourself only. You need to offer support around the legs in the back portion with one hand to do so. Then use the other hand to support the dog from beneath the neck or the chest.

You can even pick him by holding the neck as well. Now, this is to prevent him from biting your hand. In addition to that, you can use a lead to have complete control over his head.

How to Pick Up a Weighty Dog?

Now, if your dog’s weight is more, you can always look for a second help. In that case, you can support the front portion of the leg and cover up the chest and neck. Then call the second person to safely secure the dog from the back and support the back legs.

Always make sure that you don’t keep your dog in a hold position for a long duration because it may stress his neck. Also, it will cause pain in the back of the dog as well. So don’t pick them up unnecessarily. Just pick them up only when it is necessary to do so.

How to Lift a Dog with a Back Issue?

Dogs also encounter lots of back issues, so you need to be extra cautious while lifting him or them. Just put one hand in between the frontal legs and place the other hand to support the rest of the body. Now this will reduce any kind of strain on his back portion.

How to Lift a Dog During Her Pregnancy?

Well, here, you need to be attentive more than regular, especially when trying to pick up a dog in her pregnancy. Whenever you are picking her up, make sure that you don’t touch her belly because that tends to put pressure on her tummy.

Just use one of your arms to secure the back legs and the other hand to support her by holding her chest surrounding the front legs.

How Will You Pick Up a Dog with Hip Dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is one of the common problems that mainly occur in dogs. And because of this, often you need to pick up the dog and carry them. Remember you have to pick up, especially while taking the dog out from and into the car.

Make sure that you don’t put any kind of strain on the hind legs. Instead, use one of the arms to support the tummy and one arm to secure the dog’s chest.

Hence, you have understood that it becomes tough to pick up the dog when there are health or weight issues. So in this context, we hope that this article has helped you with the answer to how to pick up a dog.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at

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