Recently, this group had a thread running about not just retrieving, but how important the perfectly fitted dumbbell would be to the success or failure of any given retrieve. HUH? I would read one of these posts and all I could think to say was, "Why not train the dog?"
A poster would write, My dog already knows how to retrieve, BUT:
"...DOES chomp on the dumbbell and this is a problem. Can you give me suggestions on how to break this. Do I need to start over from the beginning and ... train her?"
"...only starts chomping when she comes..."
"...has started refusing to pick up the dumbbell some times..."
"...refuses to pick up the dumbbell when it lands in grass..."
"...sometimes drops the dumbbell..."
That is just a sample of excuses/problems that I hear or read about. To one and all, I say, "stop making excuses and train the dog".
So does the retrieve problem show up because the dumbbell is too big? Here is a clear-cut case of that being a problem.
In this case, the dumbbell isn't too big for the dog to handle on a regular basis, it is TOO BIG. The Maltese model who posed for this picture and the following pictures has actually done a retrieve on the flat with this dumbbell. He really does know "fetch" and has the heart and brains of dogs weighing 15 times his size.
Perhaps the refusal to retrieve correctly is being caused by the dumbbell being too small.
Then again, maybe the bit is too long, too short or too thick.
By all means do choose a dumbbell that is a comfortable fit, but not so light, with such a thin bit that the very act of retrieving is moved from useful work to cute trick.
A thank you is due Sam Daley for her great photography skills. And another thank you is due to my canine models, Sanity, Rugby and Jasmine. They are so patient and willing every single time I get the urge to have a photo shoot.