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cringing and backing away

by Connie

I have a 2 year old Maltese called Bobo Squeeky Cheeks that we affectionately call 'Bo'. When she wants to be picked up for whatever reason she will whine and scratch. The problem is as soon as I go to pick her up she cringes and backs away 3 to 4 steps! Although it was cute to begin with, it has become quite a problem. Often, I have to grab her front leg to drag her near enough to grab her. I don't want this to eventually hurt her bone structure or maybe I just worry too much. She also does this in my car and I have to chase her from one side to the other or crawl in to get her out! She definately wants to be picked up she just always acts submisive. Anyone else with this problem? Any advice?


Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that many of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinarian medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.

Offering a special treat from your hand frequently and not picking the pup up every time it's given can help when trying to get a little one over this type of behavior. Gentle stoking and soft words of praise without the clutch and drag to pick the pup can break this cycle.

Cringe and back stepping 3-4 steps. Well in perspective a small space that is indeed. Furthermore to be air bourne requires tense muscles to brace against your manuvere. Mine ducks his head and sort of positions himself as I grab him and run. He also likes to argue the point of which end first he will go into his travel tote. He likes to banter. On the other hand, if your pet suffers stomach problems picking him up could agrivate this. But the one thing people often do is to get into inappropriate responses. If its become a war, a war it will stay until you de-escalate it. Make it a game, with puppy the center of the universe. But do check out any health issues first.

Connie, Snowy does the same thing too and I was getting rather fed-up with having to chase after him all the time. Since Snowy knows how to 'Sit and Stay' on command, I now uses that to get him to stay and wait while I bend down to carry him. Yeah, he definitely wants to be carried too so I cannot understand why be backs away. Well, hope you have luck with this method.

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