Tips On How To Carry a Dog On Your Shoulders

Want to learn how to carry a dog on your shoulders?

Teaching your dog to jump onto your shoulders and remain there requires a bit of hard work and training. Some dogs will get used to it right away, while others are going to be stubborn. Both reactions are normal.

Your goal is to focus on creating a step-by-step approach to the process.

This is how you are going to learn how to carry a dog on your shoulders properly.

This guide is going to take a look at how to carry a dog on your shoulders, what mistakes to avoid, and how to comfort the dog so the transition is as easy as it needs to be.

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Tips On How To Carry A Dog On Your Shoulders

Tip #1 – Get Used to the Weight

It’s important to start by getting your body used to the weight.

It’s not always easy to pick up a 50-60 pound dog without practice. Remember, you are going to be holding the dog above your shoulders, which is a lot different to other carrying positions.

A lot of people don’t realize the amount of stress it puts on the body even when the dog isn’t struggling and is properly trained. If necessary, grab a heavy backpack with the same amount of weight and carry it on your shoulders.

You will know the backpack isn’t going to move and/or struggle, which will allow you to practice freely.

The benefits include:

  • Understanding How to Leverage the Dog’s Weight
  • Preparing the Body for Physical Toll
  • Gaining Focus on What Works Best for You

Use the training technique for as long as necessary before trying with your dog. It doesn’t matter how willing a dog is, if you can’t handle its weight!

This is a common issue people have especially if they don’t do a lot of weight training in the gym. It’s not always easy to naturally carry that much weight without practice.

Take your time, get the body used to this weight, and then train your dog. Otherwise, you may injure the dog during training!

How To Carry a Dog On Your Shoulders

Tip #2 – Kneel Down to the Dog

When getting started learning how to carry a dog on your shoulders, it might seem like a good idea to bring the dog up to your face.

No, this is a bad idea!

This isn’t going to work because it will startle the dog. You will be going in fresh and the dog won’t know what is happening. Some dogs don’t like losing the feeling of the ground under their feet and need it as a source of comfort.

By yanking them up all the way to your shoulders, it is going to take away their stability.

Keep these details in mind when figuring things out.

Get the dog used to engaging with the shoulders while not being lifted into the air.

In the beginning, you should be thinking about kneeling down to the dog and getting it used to touching your shoulders. It needs to be comfortable with the idea and this includes making use of incentives (i.e. dog treats, positive words).

Doing this is the only way to eventually transition into carrying the dog on your shoulders.

If you think it is going to happen naturally you are going to be in for a real surprise! The don’g won’t like it at all.

You have to be patient and continue to kneel down to the dog as it eventually gets used to sitting on your shoulders without being lifted up.

Tip #3: Use Dog Treats as Incentive

When learning how to carry a dog on your shoulders, there is going to come a time when simple words of encouragement won’t get the job done.

For a lot of dogs, they are going to need just a little bit more to push them onto your shoulders. This is when you should take out their favorite treats as a way to see what works and what doesn’t. You will have a lot easier time doing this.

Use the dog treats just like you would during any other training session.

Imagine you were training the dog to sit and/or crawl. Wouldn’t you want to use treats as a way to get them to listen? Well, the same applies here when training a dog to settle on your shoulders while being lifted.

The dog treats are going to speed things up and that is never a bad thing.

Focus on this when it comes to understanding how the dog is responding. If the dog is stuck in a specific part of the training process, using treats should help encourage them enough to move forward.

How To Carry a Dog On Your Shoulders

Tip #4: Maintain a Strong Grip

To figure out how to carry a dog on your shoulders, it’s important to understand the value of your grip.

If the grip isn’t strong around the dog’s legs, you aren’t going to have them settle into place properly. This is why figuring out where your hands need to go is key.

In general, you should make sure to wrap the hands around the dog’s legs (two in each hand) and make sure the grip is secure before you straighten your legs. If you don’t have a strong grip around the dog’s body, this is going to cause it to slip.

This is one of the most important steps as you learn how to carry a dog on your shoulders.

The benefits include:

  • Keeps the Dog Securely in Place
  • Comforts the Dog
  • Stabilizes Your Weight Under the Dog

Remember, each scenario is going to be unique when it is time to lift the dog off of the ground.

Sometimes, the dog is going to be still, while other times it is going to be wriggling in amusement. In some cases, the dog may start licking you on the cheek!

This is something you have to account for because it can happen at random. As a result, by securing your grip and then getting up, you will make sure the dog doesn’t slip out.

Tip #5: Don’t Lift if the Dog is Shivering/Shaking

Let’s assume you are going through a dog training session and get to the last step.

If the dog is still shivering/shaking at this step, it’s important to stop. You shouldn’t keep going as that is going to make the dog lose faith in the process entirely.

Instead, you want to start focusing on using words of encouragement and/or dog treats heavily. This is going to push the dog to move forward without getting forced to do so. You have to take the time to work with your dog to the best of your ability.

Anything short of this is going to be unhealthy for the dog.

As you learn how to carry a dog on your shoulders, it will become easier to read these signs. You will realize when the dog is apprehensive and when it isn’t. For something like this, it is better to be safe rather than sorry.

You don’t want to put yourself or the dog in a position that can lead to harm.

It is common for nervous dogs to fall out of a person’s hands when sitting on the shoulders. This is dangerous for both you and the dog.

Be patient when you learn how to carry a dog on your shoulders.

Final Thoughts

Focus on these tips as you learn how to carry a dog on your shoulders.

At first, it is going to seem like a difficult task that is not in line with other training methods. However, as long as you are implementing the tips listed here, you are going to see good results.

The dog will want to hop onto your shoulders and it is going to become just like going for a walk with a leash.

Yes, it is going to take a bit of time but that is common with any type of dog training. Continue to go through these set of tips as regularly as possible until it becomes a habit for the dog.

For those who want to learn more about training dogs, here are a few articles to dig through – understanding crate training for dogs, top ways for disciplining younger dogs, how to potty train a dog, finding a good dog playpen for home.