Do Dogs Like Being Picked Up?

do dogs like being picked up

About the Author: Dr. Finlay Tayler (DVM), a Harvard veterinary graduate, brings his five years of diverse experience to MyPetDoggie. Passionate about all animals, and a proud dog owner, he balances full-time veterinary practice with contributing expert insights to our content. Dr. Tayler’s love for the outdoors, cycling, and love for dogs enrich his holistic perspective on dogs care.

Ah, dogs! They wag, they leap – they are a whole emotional show that warms our hearts. When we scoop them up into our arms, we step into their realm of coziness and cuddles. Yet, a question lingers in the air – Do Dogs like Being Picked Up? If you find yourself pondering this very query, then you’ve stumbled upon the perfect article.

When we pick up our dogs, it is not just about lifting their tiny bodies. Nope, we’re stepping right into their personal bubble and hitting pause on whatever exciting adventure they had going. Now, we might brush this off and think of it as not a big deal, but for our furry pals, it’s a game changer.

So do dogs like being picked up? Well, maybe or maybe not; basically it depends on every breed. Like Pomeranians and Chihuahuas love to get picked up whereas Pitbulls or Staffies will find it really uncomfortable.

Today I will be talking about their natural tendencies, pondering what tickles their fancy, and what leaves them feeling cozy and kinda meh when we pick them up.

Get ready for a fun adventure as we find out how our furry companions really feel. We’re gonna decode those sneaky signals, and unravel if being picked up is a party or a snooze fest for our four-legged chums. As we dive into this epic exploration, revealing the unique bonds and deep understanding that strengthens our connection with these amazing furry friends.

Which Breeds Like Being Picked Up?

Certain dog breeds tend to be more receptive to being picked up, often due to their temperament and size. While individual preferences can still vary widely, some breeds generally enjoy or tolerate being picked up. Some dog breeds are basically the kings and queens of being all warm and fuzzy, ready to dish out love and cuddles. I’ve rounded up a handful of these breeds below so you can peak into their little world.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are known for their affectionate and friendly nature and are always ready for snuggles and warmth. They’re the ones who are all about that close human connection, ready to cozy up. So when it comes to the idea of being picked up, they’re totally on board – it’s like their personal invitation to the ultimate snuggle fest.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels is sitting on an ice


Pomeranians are little bundles of energy with personalities bigger than life. Imagine this: You pick them up and suddenly, bam! They’re seeing the world from a whole new angle – your arms are like their very own window to the universe. So when it comes to being lifted, Pomeranians are totally ready – it’s like they are always waiting to see a whole new and entirely fresh perspective on the world, right from your embrace.

Pomeranian is sitting on a swimming pool border


Don’t let their small size fool you, Chihuahuas love little adventures like being picked up at any moment. Being in your arms is like their front-row seat to a rollercoaster. When it comes to the lifting game, Chihuahuas are all in – they’re up for the journey of being cradled and carried, soaking in the world with a completely new outlook.

Chihuahua  sitting on a sofa peacefully

Bichon Frise

Bichon frise are lovely fluffy bundles of joy and they really enjoy human interaction. It’s like being picked up is their ticket to a cozy feeling, being wrapped up in your warm hug. These fuzzy little beings love getting affection and companionship, especially when it’s an elevator. It’s like their version of bear hug!

Bichon Firse
Two Bichon Frise dogs sits together on a bed

French Bulldog

French bulldogs are really friendly and super cuddly pals. These little buddies absolutely adore being social and showing tons and tons of affection. They’re totally into getting up all close and cozy with their favorite human and being picked up because it’s kind of an exciting voyage for them. French bulldogs totally know how to turn a simple lift into this really heartwarming escapade.

French Bulldog
French Bulldog lying on a bed


Pugs, those little adorable furballs, they just can’t get enough attention. When someone picks them up, it’s like their moment in the spotlight has arrived! They feel important and super loved, just soaking up in that special time. Getting picked up isn’t just a physical thing for them, it’s like a mood elevator, making them all joyful and cherished. It’s like giving them a warm, fuzzy hug from the inside out.

Two  Pugs dogs goes with his owner for outing


Get ready for a dose of elegance and sweetness – we’re talking about those classy Maltese dogs. These furballs are all about that graceful charm, and guess what? They might just be fans of being picked, especially if it’s served up with a side of extra affection. It’s like they’re sipping on a cup of coziness while nestled in your arms. When it’s time to give them a lift, Maltese dogs are totally on board.

When we talk about dogs, some types really like being picked up. It’s like their way of getting closer to the people they love. But not all dogs are the same – some do, some don’t. This simply shows that dogs have assorted personalities and enjoyed activities. And you know what? This interesting glimpse into the doggy world reminds us that, just like humans, our furry pals have their own delightful quirks that make them incredibly unique.

Two beautiful Maltese dogs sits in a garden

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Reasons That Dogs Don’t Like Being Picked Up

Not every dog is going to be thrilled when you try to pick them up. There are several reasons why dogs might feel uncomfortable or even resistant to being picked up. These could range from feeling like they’re not the captain of their ship, to feeling discomfort when being lifted. So, before picking them up, keep those things in mind. I’ll give you a few of these reasons so you can step into your dog’s shoes – well, paws and get where they’re coming from.

Reasons That Dogs Don’t Like Being Picked Up
A dog tries to lying backward on the plastic bed

Lack Of Control

Imagine a scenario where someone sweeps you off your feet unexpectedly, catching you off guard. Just like that, for our furry companions, being lifted means surrendering control, which in turn triggers a subtle sense of unease. It’s like stepping into an elevator that unexpectedly speeds you away to an unfamiliar and mysterious floor, leaving you wondering what comes next.

Invasion of Personal Space

Just like us, dogs value their personal space. When you scoop them up, it’s like stepping into their emotional territory without a proper invite. They’ve got their limits, and picking them up without warning can be like crashing a party. It’s like saying, “Hey, I am here!” without giving them the chance to prepare for your company. So, next time you fancy a cuddle, remember to tap on their emotional door first!

Unfamiliar Sensations

Imagine the feeling of being picked up without any warning or a sign. Dogs experience something quite similar when they’re picked up, similar to an unexpected blow of wind disrupting a relaxing stroll. You can almost visualize it – their fur ruffling just like leaves in the wind so from now on when you scoop up your furry companion, remember that you’re embarking on a small, unforeseen adventure with them.

Past Negative Experiences

Do you recall the moments they confronted something truly terrifying? For dogs, being lifted off the ground might just trigger recollections of those heart-pounding experiences. It’s kind of like suddenly remembering a horrifying scene from a spooky movie, catching them off guard with an unexpected flashback. So, in the future when you pick up your furry friend, hold them gently, creating new and positive memories with each lift.

Physical Discomfort

Think about how you’d feel if someone tried to pick you up while you had a tummy ache. Similarly, dogs might experience a sense of discomfort that makes being picked up a less-than-enjoyable experience for them. It’s like having an extreme headache and then suddenly being lifted off the ground – not exactly a pleasant combo. So, the next time you think of scooping up your furry buddy, consider their feelings and potential discomfort and maybe opt for a gentle pat or a soothing word instead.

Sensory Overload

Imagine stepping into a lively carnival. People are spread out laughing, calling out, and enjoying themselves. There are colorful lights, games, and delicious smells from food stalls. Now, picture this carnival from a dog’s point of view. Dogs experience the carnival with their senses – lots of smells, sounds, and sights all at once. It can be a bit overwhelming for them because they notice things we might miss. This also makes us realize how dogs view the world in their own special way.

Lack Of Trust

Establishing and developing trust lays the important foundation for building a strong and flourishing bond. In the context of your lovable four-legged companion, if there happens to be a hint of uncertainty on their end regarding your ability to lift them up, it’s possible that a brief moment of pondering could unfold. This moment of consideration might occur before they willingly take on the role of your trusted co-pilot, ready to share in the excitement of new experiences by your side.

Training and Familiarity

Much like how certain people among us embrace and adore spontaneous adventures, there exist particular dogs who are completely comfortable with the ideas of being gently picked up. On the other hand, there are also those furry pals who might initially require a patient and gradual introduction to this entirely new and potentially unfamiliar experience.

Confinement Anxiety 

Picture the feeling of getting stuck in a tiny space. Dogs get it too, because they also sense a similar discomfort when picked up from their usual spots. It’s like being in a room with a locked door, unable to run away. Understanding their feelings really matters, because the way we act shapes how they see the world. Just as we crave freedom, our furry pals also yearn for it in these situations.

Understanding dogs’ emotions unveils their unease with lifting. Some dogs enjoy it, while others get annoyed. Emphasizing their discomfort respects their boundaries, fostering silent communication. So, remember their preferences when considering picking up your furry friend next time.

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How To Safely Pick Up Dogs

When you’re picking up those furry pals of yours, using the right moves is a big deal for their feel-good vibes. It’s like following a recipe – you gotta get it right for your dog’s well-being. Whether dealing with a tiny puppy or a large canine, it’s important to handle them with care to prevent any distress or injury. By using gentle and confident approaches, you can ensure a positive interaction while safeguarding the dog’s physical comfort. Here are some effective techniques for picking up dogs:

How to pickup dog Safetly
A dog tries to hug his beautiful owner

Approach Calmly

Remember, no quick moves! Approach your dog gently, just like when you give them treats or pats. This makes them comfy around you. Build trust slowly for a strong bond. It’s about being relaxed, not fast, when connecting with your furry pal. It’s about being relaxed, not fast, when connecting with your furry pal. This thoughtful step forms a warm space, nurturing a positive exchange between the two of you.

Hold Close To Your Body

Picture the heartfelt moment of extending your hand to your furry companion, ready to embrace them in a snug hug that conveys your affection. The action of holding them close to your body creates a warm, cherished cover around them, symbolizing their value and safety. Drawing them close, your heartbeats synchronize, exchanging an everlasting promise of unwavering loyalty. This endearing embrace strengthens your bond, much like the careful stitching of a friendship quilt.

Read Body Language

Catch those ears perking up, curious minds in action! And the tail? It’s like a joy meter on max, swaying like nobody’s business. These signals are the way of your dogs’ saying, “Let’s get in on the action!” But if they’re stiff or looking unsure, it might just be a smart move to hit pause on the picking-up plan. Keep an eye on these wordless hints and crack the code for a hangout filled with cozy vibes and shared grins that hit the sweet spot.

Use a Gentle Approach

Imagine this: You’re strolling up to a delicate flower right? Now, grab that same care and patience, and hand it over to your furry buddy. Just like you’d handle that fragile blossom all gentle and nice, treat your dog with that exact tenderness. Your furry friend, like that flower, totally thrives on your cool patience and kindness. It’s this small move that shouts out loud and makes your bond more.

Speak Calmly

Talk calmly with your furry pal, like sharing secrets, and wrap your dog in a comfy blanket of words. Sprinkle in words like “chill” and “relax”, add a wink or smile, and throw in a “good dog” to give high fives with words. You’re the captain of good vibes, so mix up short and long sentences to keep them content. Your voice is the key to your pup’s happy place – use it to sprinkle love and watch them float on cloud nine!

Monitor Their Comfort

Stay observant and pay attention to their responses. Should you notice them displaying signs of discomfort or a desire to wiggle free, consider this as an indicator that they have a preference to keeping their paws grounded. It’s similar to them communicating, “I’d rather be down here, thanks.” This attentiveness on your part ensures that you’re familiar with their comfort level and you will grant them the space they need to feel at ease.

Avoid High Heights

While it’s true that some furry pals might enjoy being picked up, you have to be cautious when it comes to reaching for the skies with them. Opt for a more down-to-earth approach that cradles them in a cocoon of comfort and safety. It’s like saying, “Hey, I’ve got your back, little buddy!” By embracing this strategy, you’re essentially shouting from the rooftops that your furry friend’s well-being is your main concern, and your decisions are all about ensuring their happiness and ease.

Get Down to Their Level

Imagine this: You and your furry sidekick, in perfect harmony. How? Just kneel or squat down beside them, like you’re tuning in to the same frequency. It’s a silent pact that says, “We’re in this together.” As you meet their gaze on their level, it’s like speaking a language only the two of you understand. You’re saying, “I’m here, right here with you.” And that, my friend, is the magic that makes tails wag and connect the hearts.

Handling the task of picking up your furry pals requires a calm and patient approach. Lifting dogs means keeping calm and patient, making their comfort and safety a priority while lifting them. Use the techniques that I shared with you above to make it stress-free for both you and the dog – it’s all about turning the task into a positive, teamwork-filled adventure.


How do dogs feel when they are picked up?

Just like us, it varies among our furry pals! Some dogs might find it quite cozy and reassuring, while others could be a tad anxious or unsure about the whole experience. To really understand what’s going on, pay close attention to their body language – it’s like their secret code for letting you know how they’re feeling.

How do dogs choose their favorite human?

Dogs frequently make their choices regarding companionship based on their observations of who extends kindness to them, shower them with attention, and creates positive experiences. It’s somewhat similar to selecting a friend who shares your interests and joyful moments.

How should I not pick up dogs?

It’s important to avoid catching them off guard or suddenly grabbing their attention in an abrupt manner. This situation can be similar to the sensation of someone expectedly giving a tug on your sleeve – it’s startling and can cause a lot of surprises that might not be very pleasant.

Is it good to pick up my dog?

When done in a gentle and considerate manner, lifting your dog up can actually enhance the unique connection that the two of you have. It’s similar to exchanging warm and snug hugs with a close friend. Like when you lift your dog gently, it’s like a warm hug for a friend. This makes your bond stronger, builds trust, and brings good memories. It’s like magic for your friendship!


When we talk about dogs and if they like being picked up? It gives us a little peek into what they like and what they don’t. As we’ve delved into it, some furry pals might not be big fans of this experience due to their natural instincts and desire to stay grounded. Don’t be disappointed and take this as them not caring. Instead, view it as a gentle nudge to remember that each dog has its own unique way of showing affection and seeking comfort.

Interestingly, there are certain dog breeds that appear more at ease with being lifted. Each dog is different, so if we need to pick up our four-legged, we have to be careful. We need to hold them the right way and understand how they feel. We have to make sure they feel safe and comfy.

Exploring the dog world is like when we uncover what makes those tails wag and how to hang out with our furry pals in a way that just makes them feel right. We’re actually weaving a genuine connection with our fluffy companion because the bond we craft with our dogs becomes more than just words.

It’s a tangible link, as real as their joyful tail wags. Spending quality time with dogs is like opening a door to a truly wonderful companionship. It’s as if you’ve been handed a cherished key, granting you the chance to nurture a bond that’s tightly woven and radiates with good vibes and positivity. 

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