When training for this lesson it is best to use verbal and physical praise as the dog needs to hold onto the object. Do not use squeaky toys as he will want to chew them, and that is not the object of this training.
This is the basis for teaching your dog to fetch toys, which is a wonderful game and excellent exercise for your dog.
Tease the dog with the items you want him to hold, now kneeling down, position your dog on your left side, hold the lead under your knees, using your right hand on the collar, and gently open his mouth with your left hand saying “Good Dog” at the same time.
Make sure your dog is not unhappy from the previous teasing or he will relate this activity to being unhappy and it will never be something he wants to willingly do.
Holding his head up, gently put the object in his mouth while giving the “hold” command. He should willingly hold the object behind his canine teeth with is tongue retracted. Praise him verbally and physically for a job well done.
If he rejects the object by spitting it out say “bah!” and hold it in place, do not give the “hold” command at this point, you dont want him to relate the word “hold” to an unhappy experience. If he avoids the object follow his head keeping the item at nose level.
The next step is teaching him to pick things up, with him sitting on your left side, bring the object to his nose. Move to towards the floor, the dog will intently follow it with his eyes; give a “good boy” as a verbal reward.
Continue to hold the object on the floor while giving the command “hold”. As he moves forward, remove your hand and he will pick it up, reinforce with the “hold” command.
Now you have established the basis for many games that he can play and future tricks that you would like to teach him.