Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Help needed- how do you mat train?

Grace needs to learn to go to and stay on a mat for her new agility class. I have never trained this.  If anyone can direct me I would be very greatful.  Thanks!!!


Jules said...

Hi Dawn, I shape go to mat. Put the mat down, c/t for looking at the mat, c/t for touching it, and then shape a down on it. Add duration.

Here is a link from Sue Ailsby's site that outlines it pretty clearly.

Dawn said...

Thank you!!!

Magic I can mess up on training, but mistakes with Grace are harder to repair, so having some instruction helps.

Crystal said...

I agree with Jules. Sue Ailsby's levels training answers pretty much every question I ever have.

Once you've got the go to mat part down, you might want to do the relaxation protocol on the mat- it's great for introducing duration and distractions.

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

yes! this is actually one of my favorite things to train when I'm training new dogs!

Pure shaping is fun! Some hints if you're having issues:

- you can always go to the hallway and put the mat between you and the dog, click when the dog approaches and throw the treat down the hallway. that way the dog has to step on the mat before he comes to you, click, repeat.

-in the beginning you can also click the dog stepping on the mat and put a treat on the mat. click while they're eating that treat (still on the mat right?!), drop another one, and then click and throw the treat off. It speeds things up to teach the dog that treats just grow from the mat.

I also break it down into 3 parts:

1. The send- teach the dog to just stand on the mat. work on distance. Don't add a verbal cue yet.

2. Automatic down- once the dog will auto send to the mat, move in close and see if they will offer a down. don't say "Down" but just wait. if the don't won't offer one then lure it. stay at this step until the dog DOES start to offer the down. then re add in distance. Once the dog is doing this really really good, you can NOW start to call this "mat" or whatever you want to call it.

3. Automatic stay- Move in close again once the dog lies down and start feeding several treats during the down. don't say stay (i want it to be implied), just randomly give treats, at random times, if the dog is still down. Release with an "ok."

4. proofing! make it a game, can the dog still go mat if I...