Go to Your Mat – Layer 7

Objective:  Now that your dog understands the behaviour, we want your dog to learn to stay on the mat while you walk around them in either direction, or move farther away.

Video Overview:  none

Step by Step Instructions Comments
Warm up with the 6th layer Use the following rule of thumb, if your dog stays on the mat for

  • 4 out of the 5 tries (80%), make it harder by taking another step
  • 3 out of the 5 tries, do another set of 5 repetitions at the same # of steps
  • 1 or 2 times out of the 5 tries, make a smaller movement or go back to where your dog was last successful.
Now you want to take one step to the side.  Continue to mark and reward your dog for staying on the mat.

Repeat 4 more times.  On the final repetition, move back to your dog, and give your release cue.

When your dog gets up, mark with a ‘Yes’ or click and toss a treat to reset.

Give your cue ‘Mat’, and wait for her to lie down on the mat.
If your dog was successful with one step, take two steps to the side.  If your dog stays on the mat, mark with a ‘Yes’ or click and move back to give a treat.
Repeat 4 more times.  On the final repetition, move back to your dog, and give your release cue.
When your dog gets up, mark with (‘Yes’ or click) and toss a treat to reset.
If your dog was successful on 4 of the 5 tries, take three steps to the side.  Start to Ping Pong each set of five so it doesn’t always get harder.  Do 5 repetitions of 3 steps then 5 repetitions of 1 step then 4 steps and so on.  You will have an engaged learner who will learn to hold position no matter how many steps you take!
Goal:  Work up to walking around your dog in any direction, walking away from your dog, or walking into another room; always building on success one step at a time.
After no more than 5 minutes of training:

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