This will depend on the size of the dog, its injuries and if you are alone.
ONE PERSON - SMALL DOG
Put one hand under the neck and grasp the collar on the opposite side of the dog to you.
If the dog is unknown or might bite it's not a bad idea to grab a bit of skin as well. It gives
you some control of the head but not total control. With the other hand reach over the dog and
place your hand palm up under the dog's chest taking some weight with your forearm.
Lift the dog then cradle the dog against you so it is secured between your forearm and your body. You
may be able to let go of the dog's neck at this point.
Sometimes it is necessary to scruff a dog if it is sore or snappy. Scruffing allows more
control of the head and less risk of being bitten. Ideally muzzle the dog first then scruffing
won't be necessary.
ONE PERSON - MEDIUM SIZED DOG
Place one arm under and around the dog's neck and the other arm under the dog's stomach.
Lift with both arms. It is much easier to do this lift if the dog is in the standing position.
Encourage the dog to stand by leading it forward a few steps with its leash. If the dog won't
stand it is acceptable to place the second arm beneath the dog's rump.
An alternative lift is to use the large dog technique as explained below.
ONE PERSON - LARGE DOG
Place one arm under the dog's neck but instead of wrapping your arm around the neck this
time the hand should be over the opposite forelimb approximately at the level of the humerus
(the bone between the shoulder and the elbow joint). The other arm is placed under the dog's
Lift. The dog's rump will naturally flex into almost a sitting position. An alternative
is to have the second arm under the stomach but this is less effective in large dogs.
VERY LARGE DOGS REQUIRE TWO PEOPLE
Normally this involves one person lifting the neck and chest while the other the stomach
and hind quarters. It can be very awkward but it is usually better to both work on the same
side to allow lifting onto table, getting through doorways or into cars.
Often it is easier to lift the dog a short distance onto a blanket then have two people
carry the dog in the blanket.
Lay the blanket out. It needs to be bigger than the dog's body size but a very large blanket
can be folded. Lift, slide or roll the dog onto the blanket. Lift the four corners of the
blanket, one person at the head end, and one at the rear. A third person can walk beside the
dog and reassure it, even hold its head if necessary.
Make sure whatever you are using is strong enough to take the dog's weight and will fit
through doorways or into your car.
Place 2 or 3 straps, ropes or cloth strips under the board before you put the dog on it.
Try to place them so that one strap will end up just behind the elbow of the dog and another
in front of the hind legs. A third strap can be placed equidistant between them. Carefully
lift or slide the dog onto the board and tie the straps in place. Lift the board between two
people. Ideally a third person can reassure the dog and prevent it from lifting its head.
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Fiona Anderson 2001