top of page

Settle Training Part 2 - It's Mat Time and More

Great, you've made it to part 2! Time to master the cue.

1. It’s Mat Time

Now it’s time to introduce the mat. Place the mat on the ground close to you. Use the lure to get your dog to approach and then step onto the mat, give them a second to see if they will offer you a down.

Be patient, if you’re dog isn’t offering you a down just wait a little and give some help if needs be.

Remember, it’s important to reward onto the mat and not from the hand. Utilising the travel mat’s snuffle corners is great for this as it keeps the focus on the mat for just a little longer.

Pick up the mat for every few reps so the behaviour can be taught on cue.

Make sure you don’t push too many reps, you want to make this fun for both you and your dog.

2. Introduce Movement

After your dog is happily lying down, start to add variations to your position. Start a little further away and move around the mat as well to get your dog comfortable with movement.

If you’re out at a cafe and you need to get up, if your dog knows to stay put whilst you’re moving around you’re in for a winner.

3. Introduce Duration

Following the movement, slowly increase the duration that your dog spends on the mat. Utilise the snuffle corners again for this and add smaller treats for extra snuffling.

As you work on this, you can also start to introduce larger treats/chews that will take them a little longer to get through. The idea of this is when you’re sat somewhere for a longer period of time, you want to be able to associate the mat with your dog receiving good longer lasting chew/treat.

Do your best to keep mat experiences positive. If you’ve given your dog a chew, make sure other dogs or people keep their space, you don’t want your dog to be on edge.

4. Level Up the Environment

Once your dog is happy with the cue and movement, start to practice in different environments. Try not to increase too quickly. Start in quieter places for short increments and slowly build up.

If an environment is too much, go back a step by either going to a quieter place or staying for a shorter period of time.

Key pointers to take away

  • Three D's of dog training are Distance, Duration and Distraction. We should only increase one of these at a time when learning behaviours.

  • Ensure you have a selection of treats and split into high and low value treats

  • Keep your training as positive as possible

  • Be patient, do not worry if the first step takes you the longest, it’s all about the end result

  • Training is tiring and hard work so make sure you’re not over doing it and that you’re balancing it with some great physical activity and rest.

Want to learn more? Get in contact with Freya at Grubby Paws for 1:1 or group training sessions to get you and your pup to where you want to be.


bottom of page