Relax on a Mat – Layer 4

Objective:  The objective of this layer is to help you address some common problems.


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Step by Step Instructions Comments
Troubleshooting:  Your puppy goes from a DOWN to a SIT
Encourage your puppy back down by placing the treats closer to his back paws
Troubleshooting:  Your puppy rushes your hand when you drop a treat
Place food directly on the mat and sit backup between treats so that your puppy sees you in a more natural upright position;  ‘bend’ doesn’t become part of the cue
Troubleshooting:  Your puppy pops into a SIT every time you try to sit upright
Turn to the side and place several pieces of food in a row, really fast, while still bending down. Edge up a little on each treat until you are able to sit up straight without your puppy getting up
Troubleshooting:  Your puppy doesn’t lie down after 10 minutes
End the session and try again in an hour or two or when your puppy is sleepier
Troubleshooting:  Your puppy seems frantic about food
Only reward for calm behaviour and use less valuable food such as their kibble or a dry treat.  You could also train after a meal so your puppy isn’t hungry
Troubleshooting:  Your puppy whines or barks
Turn your head away and wait for the whining or barking to stop.  Drop treats again after your puppy has been quiet for a few seconds. End the sessions early if your puppy seems overly anxious and try again later.
Troubleshooting:  Your puppy jumps up on you
Gently stand up and turn away.  Don’t make eye contact, talk or push your puppy away with your hands.  Drop several treats in a row as you sit back down to keep your puppy in the ‘four on the floor’ position
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