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Taking your dog training to the mat

Tips for teaching a "go lie down" command.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Training a dog to seek out a spot and lie down is beneficial in so many ways.

Commonly called Mat or Place, a dog performs a long down stay while there is activity around them. A great training tool when there are guests in the house, when traveling or when you simply need your dog to “stay put” around the home.

Kathryn Newman of Augusta Dog Training and Poppy the Golden Retriever Puppy demonstrates how properly train the MAT command (go lie down).

  • To properly teach the Mat command you need a dog who is already familiar with the concept of down and stay.
  • Select an area rug or bed that is comfortable and large enough for your dog’s entire body to fit upon.
  • Start by teaching your dog to target using a target stick and clicker.
  • Use the target stick to identify the Mat, to associate the command MAT, say the command when all four paws are on the mat.
  • Add the down stay once the dog is confidently driving to the mat.
  • Fade the use of the target stick, then the clicker.
  • Add distractions to ensure your dog will reliably perform the command in distracting situations.
  • Home use – practice around the home during quieter times before expecting your dog to perform the skill around guests or in public.

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