What you’ll need to teach settle on a mat:
How to teach settle on a mat:
Soon, you’ll be clicking and treating rapidly. Your dog might not know (yet!) exactly what is getting him the click and treat, but you’ll see that he’s hanging out near you and with his paw on that mat a lot more often.
When your dog is getting a paw on the mat every single time, hold off on clicking him until he gets two paws on the mat. Ooh, we’re tricky, aren’t we? You’ll be surprised at how quickly your dog moves both paws on to the mat. Be ready; click the moment that second paw touches the mat. Toss the treat and wait again.
Again, pretty quickly, two paws will be the norm. Guess what you’re going to do next? You’re going to wait for the dog to have three paws on the mat before you click. Then, you guessed it, when he’s good at getting three paws on the mat, click only when the dog has all four paws on the mat. Always toss a treat away from the mat after you click, of course.
Now comes the first big leap of faith that I’m going to ask you for. It’s going to involve you doing nothing. That’s really hard for people, I’ve learned. We want to help. We want to tell the dog what to do. I’m begging you—remain silent. Remain still. Do nothing except clicking and treating. When the dog is good at getting four paws on the mat, I want you to wait until the dog voluntarily sits on that mat before clicking and treating. I promise you that the dog will sit without you asking him. Honest, I wouldn’t steer you wrong. Just wait—it will be worth it, I promise.
Once your dog is coming to the mat and sitting reliably, guess what? You’re going to wait for the dog to volunteer a down. Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? It’s not. Again, you have to trust me. Of course, you will click and treat the instant the dog lies down.
Troubleshooting settle on a mat: