This video excerpt from Janice’s Proofing and Problem Solving Training DVD set shows an exercise to help proof the taking the dumbell. Janice shows how to keep this task fun for the dog and keep them motivated.

Steps to Proofing the Dumbbell Exercise with your Dog.

In these proofing exercises, I am going to show you some game-based ways to make the act of taking the dumbbell fun and rewarding for your dog.

dumbbell for dog trainingProofing Exercise 1:

Have a treat in one hand and the dumbbell in the other a foot or 18 inches apart. Your dog will nose your hand trying to get the treat. Just wait. When your dog chooses to take the dumbbell. Mark the behaviour with a Yes and reward them with the treat. As you practice this you can move your hands closer together.

Proofing Exercise 2:

To keep things random (and therefore exciting and engaging for my dog), I am now going to offer the dumbbell in all sorts of positions around my body. High in the air, under my knee, etc. Make this a game so your dog thinks that taking the dumbbell is the best thing ever.

Proofing Exercise 3:

With your dog in a sit throw the dumbbell a short distance. Make them wait and then give them the cue to take it. Use your body language to make it exciting (you will see in the video I’m crouching like I’m at the start line). “Take it” and when your dog runs to take it and returns to you, enthusiastically praise them!


Changing it up keeps things fresh and makes taking the dumbbell a fun thing for your dog to do instead of “oh no” not this thing again.

Struggling with Dumbbell work – check out Clicked Hold & Retrieve, Janice’s training title devoted to teaching the dumbbell retrieve.