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Perfecting the Dumbbell Pick-Up

 

Perfecting the Dumbbell Pick-up

One of the most frequently asked questions that I receive is about dogs that have poor dumbbell pick-ups. Some dogs hit it with their feet, some push it with their nose, but in either case, they lose points for a poor pick-up.

This can be a difficult problem to fix. How do you say to a dog, “I love that you’re picking it up, I hate how you are doing it?” If you’re not careful, you will communicate to the dog that you don’t want him to pick it up at all.

Most trainers, when they see that this problem is developing, do everything they can think of to prevent the mistake, for example, they place the dumbbell up against a wall, under a chair, or on a piece of chicken wire. Those approaches work as long as you use them. The theory is that if you prevent the problem long enough, the dog will get in the habit of picking the dumbbell up correctly.

What makes this difficult to fix is that dogs often find the activity to be...

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