Mat training is all about sending a dog to a designated spot and having him stay there until released. I have had clients request this training so their dogs will stay out of the kitchen, away from the dining table, and leave house guests alone. It can be used to train a dog to get in the car or crate and as a familiar comfort in the veterinary examination room. As you can see in the blog title photo, getting your dog to hop up on things can help create some fun pictures.
Here’s how to teach it:
● Find something elevated for your dog to step upon. The higher the better as then she will feel the difference when all four feet are on the bed and the better her chances of success. In the video I use stacking dog training platforms then quickly get the dog to use a low rubber mat.
● Stand very close to the bed and toss a treat in. Do this several times until the dog is eagerly staying on the bed.
● Toss a treat on the floor away from the bed so the dog gets off. Then, when she gets on again, give her several treats.
● When it is predictable that she is going to jump onto the bed you can start giving her a cue. Maybe point toward the bed or say “go to bed.” Other cue words that I have heard people use: bedtime, on your mat, target, cushion, hop up, outta sight.
● If you find that your dog cannot leave you because he is glued to your food hand, be sure to teach impulse control first.
[Stay tuned for a video demonstration in Part 2!)
Janine Allen is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Behaviour Specialist. Check out her website here!
Did you find these tips helpful for your and your FirstMate? Have any training skills you’re dying to learn? Let us know in the comments below!
I have had much success with mat training as long as it is a different texture than the surrounding area. (For example: a fuzzy crate bed on a hardwood floor.) Just pick one that has a non-slip bottom!
Great advice, Robin!
Oh my gosh Robin, so true! Not fun when the bed slips around. A piece of yoga mat, non-skid shelf liner, or rug underlay will help with that.