What’s the Big Deal With the Mat?

Whether you’ve taken an in-person class, been in one of my online groups or done in-person training with me, you likely are familiar with mat training. It is a foundation behaviour in all my training for good reason.

The Difference Between Mat Training and Teaching Your Dog to Go to a Bed

Mat training is not glorified lounging. It is not having beds out for your dog to rest on and occasionally reinforcing your dog for being on them. It is a structured protocol that builds high value in a specific piece of equipment. This allows you to use it as an effective tool to teach all kinds of skills inside and outside your home. Not only does it make teaching training concepts a breeze, but it also helps clarify and solidify day-to-day skills.

mat training

Concepts that you can teach more easily using the mat:

  • increasing the duration of a behaviour
  • focus
  • working around distractions
  • working at a distance from your dog
  • a release cue

Ways to boost training using the mat:

  • help with crate / pen training
  • work on separation training
  • use in a positive socialization program

Skills you can teach using the mat:

  • polite door behaviour
  • anti-surfing protocol
  • calm behaviour when you have company
  • settling in your home, outdoors at events and when visiting friends

So, I hope this ends the idea that training using a mat is just teaching your dog to go to their bed. It is SO MUCH MORE! Name a training goal or an issue you’re having with your dog, and this training can likely help.

Check out A Day With Dogs for more helpful articles.

Want help getting started using a mat? I can help. Contact me here to chat.

And stay tuned for upcoming mat training events!