Relax on a Mat – Layer 1

Objective:  The objective of this exercise is to teach your puppy to relax on a mat, rather than getting excited or demanding, when you are not paying attention to him.


Optional Video:

How to Teach a Hyper Puppy to Settle on a Mat

Preparation:  Lots of yummy treats, your puppy’s leash, a portable puppy bed (a towel, or bath mat are good options), a flat buckle collar, a quiet training location

Step by Step Instructions Comments
Start with your puppy on leash This teaches your puppy to relax when he is on a leash and to calm down even when he has some restrictions
The mat is placed next to where you will sit and close enough so that you can comfortably drop treats on the mat
Scatter 10 treats on the surface of the mat
Allow your puppy to discover the treats on the mat The leash is on your puppy but you don’t need to hold it.
While he is eating the treats, sit down and ignore your puppy No eye contact, talking or touching
Start dropping treats on the mat around his front paws (always on the mat)
After a maximum of 5 minutes of training say, “All done,” and remove the leash.  Put the mat in a location where the family relaxes and remember to reward your puppy whenever he chooses to lie down on his mat.
When to Advance  
When your puppy is offering less intense behaviors than when you started. Ex. Sniffing around the area, sitting, turning his head away or yawing. Reward each of these behaviors by dropping one piece of food at a time as close to your puppy’s front feet as possible.
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