Lazy Dog

Relax on a Mat - "Place"

This is useful when you need your dog to lie quietly in one place for some time. It could be at an outdoor cafe while you eat lunch, on their bed while you open the door for a guest, or in class while you listen to the instructions for the next exercise.

How it's Done

Start at Level 1 and work through the steps.

Keep working through the steps until Success Criteria is met.

Then, go to the Next Level.

The next session, start where you left off.

If your dog struggles with a Level, go back one.

PRO TIP

This exercise will prepare your dog for their first class so they know what to do when they get there.

 

Some dogs are nervous the first day, just like some kids on their first day of school. Knowing what to do and how to do it makes it easier.

Practice every day before the first class, then 3 - 4 times per week until Level 6 is mastered.

Step-By-Step

WEEK 1

By the end of week 1 your dog will be able to sit on their mat for at least 30 seconds before getting a treat (Level 4 Success).

LEVEL 1

Follow a lure to step onto the mat

  1. Put a mat or rug on the floor while you sit comfortably in a chair, sofa, etc.

  2. Say the verbal cue "Place"

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

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

  5. When they are standing on the mat, say "Good!" and then put the treat between their front paws

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

  7. Repeat 5 times with a treat in your fingers. 

  8. Repeat 5 times with a "fake" treat in your fingers, giving real treats after they are on the mat.

Success Criteria

This level is successful when your dog will follow your empty hand to step on the mat and stay there while you put 5 treats, one at a time, on the mat between their toes.

It's ok if they sit or lay down.

LEVEL 2

Fade the lure, use the verbal cue and hand signal only

  1. Put a mat or rug on the floor while you sit comfortably in a chair, sofa, etc.

  2. Say the cue "Place".

  3. Hold your pointed index finger a couple of inches from your dog's lips (no treat), then slowly move it to point to the mat.

  4. Give your dog at least 15 seconds to step onto the mat. If they don't, repeat step 2.

  5. When your dog is on the mat, say "GOOD!" and put 5 treats, one by one, on the mat between their toes. 

  6. Repeat 5 times.

Success Criteria

This level is successful when your dog will step on to the mat without needing a treat to lure them.

It's ok if they sit or lay down.

LEVEL 3

Sit on the mat

  1. Repeat Level 2 steps 1-4 (don't give treats, yet)

  2. Ask your dog to 'Sit'

  3. When your dog Sits, say "GOOD!" and put a treat between their toes on the mat.

  4. Repeat 5 times.

Success Criteria

This level is successful when your dog will step onto the mat and then Sit and stay there for 5 treats.

It's ok if they lay down AFTER they sit, but no treats unless they Sit first.

LEVEL 4

Begin fading the treats

  1. Repeat level 3 and gradually pause longer between treats

  2. Start with 1 second between, then 3, 5, 9, 12

  3. Do a shorter pause every so often

  4. Continue to pause longer and longer

Success Criteria

This level is successful when your dog will remain on the mat without getting a treat for at least 30 seconds.

WEEK 2

By the end of week 2 your dog will be able to sit on their mat for at least 1 minute before getting a treat (Level 5 Success). If your dog hasn't mastered Level 4, start where they are.

LEVEL 5

Increase Duration

  1. Repeat level 4 and gradually pause longer between treats

  2. Start with 5 seconds between, then 10, 15, 20...

  3. Do a shorter pause every so often

  4. Continue to pause longer and longer

Success Criteria

This level is successful when your dog will remain on the mat without getting a treat for at least 1 minute.

WEEK 3

By the end of week 3 your dog will be able to lay down on their mat for at least 1 minute before getting a treat (Level 6 Success). If your dog hasn't mastered Level 5, start where they are.

LEVEL 6

Down on the Mat

  1. Repeat level 3 with a Down cue instead of Sit.

  2. Follow the steps in levels 4 and 5 to decrease treats and increase duration of the Down.

Success Criteria

This level is successful when your dog will remain in a Down on the mat without getting a treat for at least 1 minute.