Is it dangerous to pick your dog up by the scruff?

I think at some point it would start being bad for you to carry your dog by their scruff because, well, just naturally most things that parents do when children are little become detrimental at some point. I feel like it becomes detrimental in a different way than most things, though, and I think it is a weight issue rather than an age thing. For example, my dogs weigh ten pounds each and they both have ample skin for me to easily lift them off the ground. I do not yank them up or anything like that, if I am picking them up b the scruff, I ease them off the ground so it is not a surprise and they are not shocked. Neither of my dogs have never had an issue with this, they do not cry about it, they do nothing. Being said, I only pick them up in emergencies like that.

I think, when a puppy starts getting pretty big, then it would be time to stop that behavior. You just would not be carrying a 30 pound puppy by the scruff of their neck, you wouldn’t, that can really be painful. I am sure, also, it is the same way in the wild. I do know that the smaller the dog, the more puppy-ish behavior they keep. For example, Titus still has that sweet baby kind of smell to him, he still has a lot of extra skin, a domed head, soft eyes, all puppy traits. A 60lbs dog is unlikely to have that extra skin for one and for two you would almost be tearing their skin off if you picked them up like such.

I’m kind of rambling, but my theory would be that the more weight on the dog, the less likely it is to be a good idea to pick them up at their scruff. Ten pounds = okay; 40 pounds = probably not.

29 comments:

Jessica said...

I don't carry my dogs by the scruff of their necks, but I did hear that pulling on it gently can help calm them. Is this true?

MissEb said...

I think most owners are in tune with their dog, so would know when to draw the line and stop pulling them up by the scruff once they've reached a certain weight. The ones we need to worry about are those who do it intentionally, which is utterly cruel and uncalled for.

luvsdragonflies said...

I have carried my puppies by the scruff but, never one older than 6 months. Would it be okay to still do it to a dog that is over 6 month but, under 10 lbs?

Chrissy said...

Yes I agree that it is okay to do this when they are puppies, but when they get over 6 months, no way!

Jennifer Fidalgo said...

I agree with what you have said about heavier dogs having a harder time with being lifted by the nape of the neck. I think it should be done with just puppies or small dogs and only as gently as possible.

Linda said...

I think picking up a puppy by the scruff is ok, but only for the first few weeks. First month at the most. That is how mommy would pick her baby up, but as it gets bigger and older that would cause pain.

sharonb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sharonb said...

I agree that it is ok to pick up young puppies by the scruff but as they get older and there is less pliable and extra skin available, the more difficult and ultimately painful, this behavior can become.

kylari said...

I've found that listening to a puppy works; they'll let you know when lifting them by their scruff becomes uncomfortable. I've noticed also that mother dogs stop lifting pups by the scruff by about one month- about the time they're capable of full movement on their own.

Jessica: Rubbing along the tops of a dog's ears is a great calming technique, especially when coupled with a soft, soothing tone of voice. :)

Candice said...

Yes, I agree that after a certain point in a puppy's life that you should stop carrying them by the scruff. When they're young it's fine but when they're older you shouldn't do it anymore.

mann3r said...

I only do that on kittens but not dogs, as long as they don't do any harm, I guess that would e fine. And I agree on having to weigh on how big the dog is. Puppies are not that dangerous if you lift them on scruff unlike when it is already matured and grown, there is a possibility of biting you up.

mistresssoni said...

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Sara Mo said...

I completely agree...when they are puppies, it is one thing, but when they're grown and weigh a lot more, I'm sure it would be painful for them to be picked up that way!

gman9976 said...

I feel that it is not necessary to even pick up a dog by it's scruff even if it is small. I think it is just being lazy to not just pick up the dog.Why even risk to see if it hurts the dog.

Ernest Kent said...

You shouldn't carry your dog by the scruff. I think that a dog has leg, you should let them walk.

kelley said...

When dogs get older, the fatty tissue around their neck becomes more sensitive to being pulled around. It can hurt older dogs, especially those that weigh more.

N2the60s said...

I would never pick up my dogs like that. They are family members. I would never dream of picking my kids or my grandmother like that so why would I do it to my pets! :-((

Jasmin said...

I don't think dogs should be carried by scruff. I always hated this. Even if it's a small dog I think it is painful for them.

Michy said...

well surely dogs can be pretty heavy but i dont think we should pick them up since it would frighten them.

zen said...

i dont think it is hard for heavy dogs like saint bernard,gradeny....but it is not good for small dogs like Chihuahua.

Aaron M. Gipson said...

I've actually never heard of anybody picking up a dog in that manner before. They are built alot heavier than cats so it seems to me that it would only be excruciatingly painful.

FLIM FLAM SAM said...

I would never pick up my dog by the scruff. Doesn't hurt them? I'm sure it's choking them.

jflo said...

Never felt comfortable picking up my dogs this way ... just seemed uncomfortable for them.

jucie lucy said...

I think that natrually picking up a dog by the scruff of its neck is a natural thing to do but only for its mother, they have a certain way of doing it which does not harm there pups its in there instinct, we on the other hand do not hold that natural ability as its not in our nature.

Dee_l said...

its not something I have ever done but then both my dogs weight over 40kgs each

suzy said...

I totally agree. Even when our puppy was young when we brought him (2 months) we didn't feel comfortable picking him up that way since he was such a big lab puppy weighing over 20 pounds. We felt his mere weight would make it painful for him.

striving_2_succeed said...

It's is cruel when it is not their own mommy's doing it

Taylor Souders said...

My dog is a miniature dachshund full grown still very small and she never complains about thats how she is able to get on my bed

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