Lazy Dog

Relax on a Mat - "Place"

This exercise teaches your dog to relax on a mat at your feet. They will need this skill in class. You can hear better and be less distracted by your dog if they know exactly what to do. It's also useful for taking your dog with you to outdoor cafes and such.

  • Start at Level 1. Move to the next Level when the Success Criteria is met.

  • The next training session, start at the level you ended with the last session.

  • If your dog fails a level 3 times in a row, go back a level.

  • Work through Level 4 before your dog's first class. Continue the levels throughout the course and beyond.

LEVEL 1

  1. Put a mat or rug on the floor

  2. Stand with your dog right beside it

  3. Hold a treat in your hand, palm up and put it right to your dog's lips so they can lick it

  4. Slowly move the treat over the mat so your dog follows it

  5. Put a treat between their front paws

  6. Stand up straight for a second, then put another treat between their paws for a total of 5 treats

Success Criteria

Your dog stays on the mat for 5 treats in a row. If they leave the mat before getting 5 treats, start from #1 until they stay for 5 treats in a row.

LEVEL 2

  1. Put a mat or rug on the floor

  2. Stand with your dog right beside it

  3. Say the cue "Place" (only say it one time)

  4. Hold your empty hand, palm up, right to your dog's lips (pretending to have a treat)

  5. Slowly move your hand over the mat so your dog follows it

  6. When all 4 paws are on the mat, say "YES!"

  7. Put a treat between their front paws

  8. Stand up straight for a second, then put another treat between their paws for a total of 5 treats

Success Criteria

Your dog stays on the mat for 5 treats in a row. If they leave the mat before getting 5 treats, start from #1 until they stay for 5 treats in a row.

LEVEL 3

  1. Do steps 1-4 of Level 2

  2. When all 4 paws are on the mat, ask your dog to Sit

  3. When your dog Sits, say "YES!"

  4. Get a treat from your bag and put it on the mat between your dog's front feet

  5. Stand up straight, get another treat and put it on the mat between your dog's front feet (repeat 5 times)

Success Criteria

Your dog stays on the mat for 5 treats in a row. If they leave the mat before getting 5 treats, start from #1 until they stay for 5 treats in a row.

LEVEL 4

  1. Put the mat by the couch or chair or recliner where you can reach it while sitting

  2. Repeat level 3 with you sitting there

Success Criteria

Your dog follows your hand onto the mat and Sits on it while you put treats between their front paws 5 times in a row with you sitting on a couch or chair

LEVEL 5

  1. Repeat level 4 and gradually increase how long you pause between treats (Duration)

  2. Start with 1 second between for 5 times

  3. Then, 3 seconds between treats for 5 times

  4. Then, 5 seconds. Then, 9 seconds.

  5. Then, go back to 3 seconds for 2 times.

  6. Continue to pause longer and longer, adding 5 seconds after 5 times. Every once in a while, only pause for a couple of seconds.

Success Criteria

Continue increasing the time between treats throughout the week. Every 5th one (or so), give a treat after just a few seconds to keep your dog interested. 

LEVEL 6

  1. Repeat level 4 with your dog in a DOWN on the mat instead of SIT.

Success Criteria

Continue increasing the time between treats throughout the week. Every 5th one (or so), give a treat after just a few seconds to keep your dog interested. 

LEVEL 7

  1. Take it on the road. Practice at outdoor cafes, breweries, parks, etc.

  2. This can also be helpful at vet visits, both in the lobby and in the exam room.

  3. It also works for visitors. Have your dog go to their mat when someone comes to the door.

Success Criteria

Your dog relaxes on the mat while you have lunch or dinner at an outdoor cafe. You can take your dog lots of places and they are well-behaved. Congratulations!

803.356.7468

200 Leisure Lane, Columbia SC
1481 Pisgah Church Road, Lexington SC

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