Go to Your Mat – Layer 3

Objective:  To test your dogs understanding to come back to the mat and lay down when the mat is left on the ground.

Video Overview:  Shaping go to mat. Mindful Behaviors

Step by Step Instructions Comments
Warm up with the 2nd layer
Place the mat on the ground.
Wait for your dog to get on the mat and sit or lay down.  Mark and give 3-5 treats while she is on the mat If your dog doesn’t come back right away, wait and see what choice your dog makes.

If they interact with the mat in any way, mark and reward the interaction.  You can pretend to toss a treat to get your dog moving in the direction of the mat

Give your release word, mark (‘Yes’ or Click), toss a treat and repeat
Continue to reward interaction with the mat until you build back up to the point where your dog will automatically sit or lay down on the mat
If your dog has been sitting on the mat, take the time now to wait for a down.  Mark and give 3-5 treats in rapid succession when your dog lies down.  You can lure the down if needed
Give your release cue, mark and toss a treat
Take a short break.  Stand up and pick the mat up from the floor. Take 30 seconds and play or do something else with your dog that she enjoys
Repeat the above steps
When to Advance After a  maximum of 5 minutes of training, say “All done,” put everything away until next time
When she is successfully coming to the mat and laying down 80% of the time (4 out of 5 tries)
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