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So here's what happens, I have a small dog, that loves to sleep on my lap while I'm working. She'll often even ask me to pull her onto my lap.

The thing is while she's down on the floor, I'll extend my arms to reach her and pull her up, but the moment I extend my arms, she'll back off and stop. I retract my arms, and this process repeats over and over until she gives up backing off or I give up getting her on my lap.

A very similar thing happens whenever I take her for a walk. I'll get her leash, she becomes very excited. I call her, so that I can put the leash on her, same thing happens again, she becomes anxious and backs off.

Summarizing, it seems to me she'll become so anxious, that it's hard to do what she actually wants and she will back off immediately.

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Some questions I would ask are: How old is your dog? How long has she had this "anxiety" of coming to you? Do you remember anything in particular that started it?

It looks to me like this might be a relatively young dog, but you've been together long enough for both of you to find out that she likes being on your lap when you work. Since she is too small to jump up, you must have previously had a communication method to get her up, but something happened to disrupt this communication.

Or maybe she was just a pup and is now growing into a more independent stage of her development. Whatever the case, she needs to be trained to come to you to be picked up to get onto your lap and to have her leash put on. You may need to set up training sessions until your dog has learned to "Come" and cooperate.

One of the most effective ways to get animals to "Come" is to offer them their favourite treat. When she comes to be picked up and placed in your lap, be careful not to startle her as you move in your chair to extend your arms. Have a treat in your hand and gently ask her to come. Praise her when she does.

Tell her "Good girl!" Pet her, be sure she is comfortable with your touch. If necessary, offer another treat and more praise. When she is calm and trusts you, pick her up calmly and gently. Again, praise her, pet her, assure her she's a good girl to lie in your lap.

If you always treat her gently and predictably, she should soon understand that it is safe to come and be lifted into your lap. Quick, unpredictable movements can frighten an animal.

You can use the same method to teach her to Come for the leash. Make it a pleasant event to go outside, fun. Praise and reward tend to work well in animal training, though a firm hand is also needed for those times that they feel mischievous. They will take advantage of us humans if we let them, just like little kids.

If these methods don't work, you may want to consult a professional dog trainer. My personal experience is with a larger dog, with a cat, horses, and farm animals.

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  • Long time no see, welcome back to Pets ^.^ – lila Feb 7 at 3:03
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    Thank you. Not too many questions here that I can answer. More in ELL. – Sarah Bowman Feb 7 at 13:44

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