Curious about how to hold a Labrador puppy?
If you are bringing home a new Labrador Retriever pup for the first time ever, and you have had no prior idea how to handle them, worry not.
We have compiled a list of things you need to know when it comes to how to hold a Labrador puppy.
Let’s get started.
How to hold a Labrador puppy
According to PetMD, here is one of the safest ways you can pick up and carry your Lab puppy:
- From the front of your Labrador Retriever puppy’s body, slip one hand through their front legs.
- From behind your puppy, slip your other hand through their rear legs.
- Lift both arms up at the same time, keeping your puppy’s spine as straight as possible.
If your Lab puppy is still small, you could carry them with one hand. This technique is great to help them feel secure when you carry them:
- From the middle of the Labrador’s chest, slip your hand through and put your hand on the center of the chest. Your fingers should face the head so your palm holds the chest cavity.
- If needed, make sure you use your other hand to support their bottom. You should always try to keep their spine straight.
If your Lab puppy is very young, especially if they are 4 weeks old and younger, you need to be extra careful.
Here is how to handle a very young Labrador puppy:
- Put your hand under their chest to support their chest. You may also use your forearm if needed.
- Support their rear end and legs with your other arm or hand, keeping their spine straight.
- Lift up your Labrador Retriever puppy, keeping them close to your chest.
The worst ways to pick up a Labrador puppy
You might see people carry dogs in rather strange ways, but they may actually hurt the Lab puppy.
Here are a handful of ways that you must absolutely avoid when it comes to how to hold a Labrador puppy:
- Grabbing and carrying your Lab by the neck
- Carrying your Labrador Retriever pup by the tail
- Carrying them by their legs
- Carrying them by the scruff of their necks (the skin between their neck and shoulder blades). Mother dogs do this, but it is usually painful and uncomfortable, especially if they are large puppies or adults.
Is it bad to always hold or carry a Labrador puppy?
Most puppies can actually benefit from being carried and held a lot.
It helps them bond with their human and teaches them that being carried, especially if done safely, will not be dangerous.
Additionally, once you learn how to hold a Labrador puppy, it can help them explore the world.
Puppies are curious, so they will be excited to look around while you safely carry them in their arms.
However, that does not mean that you should coddle your dog all day long.
Puppies need to learn how to be independent. They have to learn how to walk up the stairs and get off of things, among others.
While you may need to carry them to help them at first, that does not mean you cannot let them learn.
When can you start carrying a Labrador puppy?
You can hold a Labrador puppy when they are 3 weeks old.
You should avoid trying to hold them if they are younger than that because their bodies are still very fragile.
Additionally, they may get very hurt if they fall, even if it is a short fall.
Therefore, it would be best to wait until they are at least 3 weeks old. However, you should still be very careful when you carry a young Labrador Retriever puppy.
There may be times you have to carry a Lab puppy when they are younger than 3 weeks old.
For instance, you may have to move the puppies and the mother to a different room.
If this is the case, it would be best to put them in a container like a deep basin full of clean and soft blankets.
That way, you will not worry about dropping them when you move them.
Signs that you should stop carrying your Labrador puppy
1) Your Lab has become dependent on you.
Carrying your dog too much can make them depend on you for help, which can be bad if they cannot do basic things.
For instance, if your Lab is starting to grow bigger but still refuses to go up or down the stairs, that may be because they are used to you carrying them up and down the stairs.
2) They wiggle a lot.
Some dogs may not like being carried, especially if they get carried a lot.
If your puppy is fairly big, they may feel uncomfortable if you carry them. If you are carrying your Lab puppy for no particular reason and they want to get off, then you should give them their space.
All in all
If you want to know how to hold a Labrador puppy, you can follow any of the tips above to safely carry them.
Don’t hesitate to check out this post if you’re looking for tips on how to effectively pet your Lab.