11 Reasons Why Dog Yelp When Picked Up Under Arms

As a dog lover, it is normal to pick up your dog under the arms. Sometimes you can notice that your dog keeps yelping every time you pick him under the arms in a way that he is begging to be put down. As a concerned paw parent, you will have to want to know why. 

A dog can yelp when picked underarms due to several reasons like; physical injury, infections, being wrongly held, or being frightened. Past trauma can also contribute to yelping, legs cramps, abdominal problems, joint problems, or developing tumors. Dogs yelp in excitement when picked underarms or anxiousness if picked by strangers. 

11 Reasons why Dog Yelp When Picked Up Under Arms


A dog can be suffering from infections like lymph nodes, they are very painful, and they affect the whole body. When a dog with lymph nodes is picked, he will yelp in pain. Lymph nodes are not noticeable and you can’t feel them.   

2. Incorrectly Held 

The tiny dogs are very delicate, whenever they are held incorrectly they can hurt. If you hold them with the body dangling in the air, they will feel uncomfortable from the stretching of muscles. They can also be suffering from emotional trauma. 

A dog can relate to a bad experience that had happened in the past when he was picked up.

It can be that someone dropped him and he was traumatized.

If your dog is a puppy, he can be having fear periods which is common in puppies. 

Dogs are intelligent and they will hate being picked up if the last time you picked him you did something they hate like; clipping their nails, carrying them using a car for a vet checkup, or bathing him.

It is also likely that your dog doesn’t like maintaining eye contact. It may yelp which is a signal that it’s not in a comfortable situation. If your dog doesn’t like eye contact, put him down gently.

3.They are taken by surprise

It is normal for humans to get startled anytime they are tickled or touched unaware. The same way a dog will yelp when you pick them by surprise.

A dog can have hearing or sight problems which can make him fail to notice as you approach him. Old-aged dogs are most likely to suffer from that problem.

If you want to take a dog, approach him and call his name to get his attention then pick him up. If he is not used to being held in the arms, make it brief. He will learn and get used to it day by day.

4.They dislike being carried

Most large dogs and those that are independent and energetic ones will feel uncomfortable after being taken up high or after being confined in someone’s arm as they like being on their own doing their things.

5. They are injured 

If you normally pick up your dog without any problem but all of sudden he does not like it anymore, he is probably having some injuries. The injuries can be caused by a bone fracture, joint problem, or strained muscles.  

A dog can also sustain injuries from falling off from a high place, excessive running, or jumping.  

6.They have leg cramps 

This happens to a dog that has muscle spasms, which leads to lameness, pain, and depression. You will notice that your dog will have difficulties when twitching or straightening its legs. 

7.They have abdominal problems

A dog can yelp when picked up because of abdominal issues. A dog might have a hard belly which is painful when touched. The hard stomach can be caused by; 

· Bloating.

· Pancreatitis.

· Upset stomach.

· Buildup of bad gas.

· Consumption of foreign objects.

Abdominal problems will lead to diarrhea, drinking less water, vomiting, and licking of air.

8. There is a developing tumor

In case you touch your dog in certain parts and he yelps, check if there are any swellings

If there is a swelling that is producing pus, contact your vet for an appointment immediately.

9. They have the spinal issues 

The spinal issue is a common problem in dogs that keeps on jumping on and off to a high point. These spinal issues can lead to paralysis. If the dog has this problem it may yelp. 

10. They are anxious 

A dog can be anxious around people they do not know, if they pick him up he will yelp. You should advise your visitors not to pick the dog. 

11. They are Excited

A dog can yelp when he is excited. You can easily identify if he is happy by the waggling of the tail, opening eyes wide, and sticking out of the tongue.


A dog can yelp when picked under the arms due to emotional or physical problems. You should not continue holding your dog if he is yelping, put him down gently. 

If you cannot identify the reason why your dog is yelping when picked under the arms, seek a vet’s help.

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