If you have to pick up your puppy, always make sure they are secure at all times. Puppies can be surprisingly wriggly, especially if they feel insecure, and a fall from height can do serious damage.
The best way to do this is to make sure you are supporting their chest and rump – always use two hands when picking up a puppy, unless your puppy is so small that you can support chest and rump with one hand. Even in these circumstances, this means you can use your free hand to keep them stable and close to you, and reassure them they are safe.
Never pick up a puppy by their scruff or tail. Although your pup’s mum will have carried them around by the scruff when they were small, this doesn’t give much support and we also have the advantage of having hands! This means we are much better equipped to safely carry a puppy, especially as they grow.
Young children may find picking up a puppy safely difficult, so make sure children are old enough and understand how and when to pick up your puppy before you let them do so.
Training your pup to be ok with being picked up is important as you may find you need to do this through their life, for example to lift them into cars, onto veterinary examination tables or to get them out of a situation. Being off the ground is not a natural experience for a dog, so it can take some getting used to – don’t rush it, and like with any training, start with only very short periods of time and always reward your puppy for good behaviour.