Go to Your Mat – Layer 4

Objective:  Now that your dog understands the behaviour, it is time to name the behaviour (add the cue).  Once you add the cue, you will only give a food reward when you ask for the behaviour.

Video Overview:  Shaping go to mat. Mindful Behaviors

Warm up with the earlier layers
Select a cue.  Common choices are:  ‘PLACE’, ‘SETTLE’, ‘MAT’
As your dog goes to the mat, give the cue ‘MAT’ The Tag Point is: moving toward the mat
Once she is on the mat, mark ‘Yes’ and give her a treat The addition of the cue may cause some uncertainty so we won’t wait for a SIT or DOWN but if your dog offers it…bonus!
Say your release word, when she moves from the mat mark (‘Yes’ or click) and toss a treat. If she doesn’t move from the mat, clap your hands, make kissy sounds, or tap the floor.
Repeat the above steps 4 more times
This time, we will wait for her to offer a SIT or DOWN
As your dog goes to the mat, give the cue ‘MAT’.
Once she is on the mat, wait to see if she offers a DOWN.  If she does, mark (‘Yes’ or click) and give her a treat. If she doesn’t offer a DOWN, cue or lure the DOWN.  Do this two more times and on the third try, wait and see if she will offer a DOWN
Give your release word and when she moves from the mat, mark (‘Yes’ or click) and toss a treat.
Repeat the above steps 4 more times
After no more than 5 minutes of training:

  • If you plan to continue your training session, take a break and play with your dog or practice the ‘relax on the mat’ behaviour.
  • Otherwise ‘all done’ to end the session
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