Dumbbell training teaches your dog to retrieve any object you might need. Dumbbells are awkward for a dog to hold in their mouths. Some dogs’ instinct might be to pick a dumbbell up from one side causing the other end, which is as heavy, to fall out of their mouths. Other dogs might be inclined to chew on a dumbbell as a chew toy and be hesitant to bring the dumbbell to you. Teaching your dog to hold the dumbbell properly in his mouth and not mouth it or chew on it is the first step. Once your dog has this down, you can teach him to retrieve any shaped object by starting with dumbbell retrieval first.
You will need a few items at the ready for training.
Jessie will not even open her mouth to hold the dumbell. How can I help her do this. She shows no interest in it.
Hello Betty, Start with something similar to a dumbbell that's easier for her to hold- like a rubber toy that shaped similarly. Tell her to "Hold" and dab a little peanut butter on it. Let her lick the peanut butter for a second, then gently put the tasty toy into her mouth and then take it back out again (it should have a little peanut butter on it when you do this so that it will taste good). Repeat this until she willingly opens her mouth for the toy because of the peanut butter taste. When you can tell her to "Hold" and offer her the toy and she will open her mouth on her own, then transition to the dumbbell and practice the same training with the dumbbell instead- putting peanut butter on that at first also. Practice with the Peanut Butter and the "Hold" command with the dumbbell until she will open her mouth and take the dumbbell even without the peanut butter. When she gets to that point in the training, you can transition to what you want to teach her next. Make sure any Peanut butter that you choose does NOT contain Xylitol - it's extremely toxic to dogs. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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