Thanks so much for the video. Baron will open his mouth to put the dumbbell in but won't hold it. We have been working the retrieve on flat with a soft toy earmarked specifically for that task (he doesn't get to play with that toy). I want to start transitioning him over the dumbbell and like your method. Would never do any ear pinching and don't like the collar correction thing either. Want him to have fun with it. My trainer also suggested rubbing something yummy on it. Thanks again.
The problem with rubbing something yummy on it is that it will create a chewing problem and he will chew on the dumbbell trying to get more yummy-ness out of it. All I did in that video (which yes, that was his first time learning it, so you guys saw how we teach it) was squeezing his mouth on the dumbbell and tapping the sides to make sure he has a firm hold. Stroking and praising all the time (dogs typically don't like it so we need to make it a positive experience.) Good luck and let me know how it's going!