I've been working with Piper for the longest time (since last October/November) on holding and taking the dumbbell and it's been a constant struggle. Then two weeks ago I read of another method and I thought what have I got to lose? For the first week when working with the dumbbell I'd put my hand inside his collar at the back of his head and hold the dumbbell in front of his mouth and just say take it over and over until he'd open his mouth, when he opened it I'd move his head forward over the dumbbell and praise and treat. I did this many times per day. Last week I started with the dumbbell in front of his mouth and my hand on his collar. When I said take it, if he didn't I'd correct him (only once, he has to know he has no choice). So the start of week 3 and last night one side of the bell was on the ground and he was taking it. This morning he was taking it off the ground and a little while later he was retrieving it!!! I was amazed, finally...and he's having fun doing it, running to pick it up!