10 Jul

Place training is one of the most useful skills because once learned, you can use it for so many things. This is where you send a dog to a mat or bed on command and you are able to leave them there until you say they can get up.

What this is great for:  Working at your desk.  Watching TV.  Cooking in the kitchen.  When guests are visiting.  Anytime you need to get your dog out from underfoot.

To get started get your dog to follow a treat onto the bed and reward heavily so that your dog loves being on there. Every time your dog gets off, take them back using the leash and don’t give a treat afterwards. Show your dog that a release word like, “ok,” means he can get off the bed/mat. When your dog hears this word is the only time he can go so make sure you are consistent. Remember like all training to build this skill up gradually.

How To Train It.

Step 1. With a treat in your hand, tell your dog, “Go to your mat” in a cheerful tone of voice and point to his mat.

Step 2. Pause a second or two (one-one thousand, two-one thousand), then lure your dog onto his mat by putting the treat up to his nose and slowly moving it over the mat. If you move your hand too quickly or too far away from his mouth he may give up and lose interest.

Step 3. As soon as your dog has four paws on the mat, treat.

Step 4. Tell your dog, “Down.” Give the hand signal or lure it if your dog needs help. When he lies down, treat him. Continue to treat to keep your dog on the mat. After a few seconds, tell your dog, “Okay,” and allow him to get up.

Step 5. Gradually increasing the amount of time you ask him to stay on the mat.

When to Practice

Practice when you can pay attention. For example, when you are answering easy emails, not concentrating on a report due tomorrow, Or when preparing a sandwich, not trying a gourmet recipe for the first time. TV commercials are a better practice time than engrossing movies.

Training Tip:   As you increase the time your dog spends on his mat, throw in some shorter intervals to keep him motivated.
Troubleshooting:   If your dog gets up before you release him, tell him, “Ah-ah” and immediately direct him back onto his mat and into a down. Don’t treat him, but make the duration of this down short, so you can release him and repeat the exercise right away and reward for a successful result.
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