Quite often dogs are not allowed to come inside the house and are living in the yard only because they are behaving uncontrollably and inappropriately inside. This frequently
includes jumping up on furniture or beds, counter surfing in the kitchen or simply making
the brand new carpet dirty.
Unfortunately confining the dog to the backyard brings a number of unwanted side effects with it. Dogs are pack animals and as they are seeing us as their pack they are seeking our company. In the summer months this is not so much of an issue as we tend to spend a number of hours every day in the yard giving the dog the chance to interact with us. In winter, however, when it is either too dark or too cold to enjoy being outside the dog is not getting a lot of time with us resulting often in unwanted behaviours such as barking,
whining, destruction of the backyard, escaping behaviour just to name a few.
The solution to this is generally quite simple. Unless we teach the dogs how we expect
them to behave around the house they will not know.
The mat training exercise teaches the dog exactly what we do require of him around the house. Lie quietly, chew a toy or treat, and wait till we let him know what else to do.
This prevents inappropriate behaviours like jumping on beds, being restless and noisy,
demanding attention. Another benefit of the mat training is that the mat is portable and can
go with you on holidays, friends’ houses, training class, vet surgery etc.
Teach your dog another great way of staying on the mat by placing the mat near your feet when you are sitting and watching TV at night. Every few minutes sprinkle a few treats on the mat rewarding the dog for quietly laying on the mat (initially use tether if necessary)
The dog will learn very quickly where he will be rewarded and will choose to be on the mat
more and more often.
Mat training can also be extremely beneficial when toilet training your new puppy as it is the puppies’ natural instinct to try and keep his/her sleeping area clean so they will do their best not to eliminate on the mat. For further information regarding toilet training please refer to our ‘toilet training’ information sheet.