Go to Your Mat – Layer 1

Objective:  The objective of this game is to teach your dog to go to their mat and lie down on cue.  The first layer builds value for the mat

Video Overview:  Shaping go to mat. Mindful Behaviors

Preparation:

Lots of yummy treats, a portable dog bed (a towel, or bath mat are good options), and a quiet training location

Step by Step Instructions Comments
When your dog looks at you, place the mat on the floor  
Mark and treat the first interaction with the mat.

The interaction could be looking at the mat, moving toward the mat, sniffing the mat, stepping on the mat

Your dog may immediately move to the mat due to the value already built up from practicing the ‘Relax on a mat’ behaviour.
Quickly feed 5-10 treats on the mat one at a time  
Give your release word, mark (‘Yes’ or Click) and toss a treat to move your dog off the mat.  Pick up the mat  
Wait 5 seconds and repeat the above steps After a  maximum of 5 minutes of training, say “All done,” put everything away until next time
Comment:  When watching the video, notice her treat hand:  it returns to a neutral position after each treat delivery.    Notice the stillness of her non-treat hand.
When to Advance  
When your dog drives to the mat as soon as you put it down
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