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Old 01-09-2016, 11:25 PM
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Default 9 week old Chihuahua Mix Growls When Picked Up.

It's been a while since I had a puppy so young. And I know my pup has missed out on some crucial time with his litter. So I know some growling is to be expected especially because he is 9 weeks old which means he is going through his fear period.

I know most people would say not to pick him up period if he growls. But that's not really possible in my home. We have lots of stairs that he can not navigate just yet.

He doesn't growl every time. It's usually when he is amped up playing or if he is sleepy. Sometimes it's a little growl. Other times it's more like a snarl. Never shows teeth or tries to bite.

I have been trying not to scare him. I call him to me etc. I don't pick him up from a deep sleep. I have also just today started introducing him to fresh chicken as a treat to reinforce good behavior. He LOOOVES it! I have been using it to to work on his recall a bit. But I also have been giving him a piece of chicken every time I go to pick him up. So that he will associate being picked up with getting chicken, equalling a positive experience.

So far it seems to be working. He hasn't growled since I introduced the chicken. Does this sound like a good way to make being picked up not so scary for him?
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Last edited by ChiMixLove; 01-09-2016 at 11:26 PM. Reason: Messed up title.
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Old 01-10-2016, 01:06 AM
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sounds just right to me!! A lot of people make the mistake of scolding their pups for growling and it just makes the pup more anxious. What you are doing is just right; changing his mind with something positive to make an uncomfortable situation go away! Kudos to you!
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  #3  
Old 01-10-2016, 01:45 AM
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Totally agree with Susan, you are tackling this issue in absolutely the best way.
I would also introduce a word/phrase, so he knows that being picked up gets him the treat. He will be expecting it that way and you won't accidentally surprise him.
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Old 01-10-2016, 04:03 AM
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Awesome to know I am going about this the right way. I definitely didn't want to scar him for life. I know how sensitive this time period I'd for a pup.

I think adding a word to it makes sense. I have already started to say "Up" when I go to lift him.

So far so good! He hasn't growled all evening. I share my home with my mother. So I have had her use the chicken as well when she picks him up. Usually he is more growly with her. And he didn't growl a single time tonight.

I am definitely going to keep at it. Gotta love progress.
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Old 01-10-2016, 08:22 AM
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Good job taking such good care of the little man, I'm sure he will continue to make progress.
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