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27 - Make use of a target mat

27 - Make use of a target mat

A target mat is a great tool for shaping behavior and teaching your dog to work away from you. It is also a bridge to teaching your dog to settle down in different locations both at home and in a new environment. You will need a small piece of bedding, carpet or flat plastic.

When your dog looks towards the target...

  1. Put the mat on the ground near your dog. Sit on a step or a chair nearby. When your dog looks towards the mat, click and throw a treat to the other side of the target.
  2. As the dog moves back towards you having retrieved the treat and either looks at or touches the target, click and throw another treat over the target.

...click and throw a treat to the other side

As your dog touches or looks at the target, click and throw a treat

3.Repeat this step until the penny drops and your dogunderstands that the click is linked to him interacting withthe target.

4. The next stage is to pause for a few seconds as hestands touching the target then click and treat. Repeat thisstep a few times.

5. You can then withhold the click as your dog touches thetarget to see if he will offer a sit or down. Only ask for ‘sit’or ‘down’, if your dog is well practiced at these and offersthe positions consistently on a single word cue, otherwiseyou will confuse him.

Try withholding the click as he touches the target to see if he will off er a sit or a down

TIMING

To extend the time that he will stand, sit or down on the target, delay the click for a few seconds at a time.

From 100 Ways to Train the Perfect Dog, Copyright by Sarah Fisher, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with D & C

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