Gretchen learned to go mat, or “place” today. It was very easy for her. All I did was put the mat on the ground and she got on it to inspect it. I clicked and treated. Then I called her off, and used a forward sweep of my right hand to get her on once more. We did that for a few times, then she started offering me sits on the mat. Before long she was offering downs.
At the end of the session I unclipped her leash, and she ran to her mat and settled into a down. Could I get her up? Not a chance! As soon as I freed her, she ran right back and lay down. I didn’t complain, but kept giving her treats while she lay on her mat.
Gretchen has an incredible amount of energy. I wish I knew where she got it from, because I’d love to have some for myself. She’s the type of dog that will squat to pee, then see something across the yard and need to go check it out before she’s done. So she’ll end up walking in a squat across the lawn, leaving a trail of pee in her wake.
When she’s in the house she’d settle down for all of two seconds before going to check out something in the house (or trying to pull the table cloth off the dining table). Teaching her to go place has proven to be a great exercise: she’s willing to settle down in the house on her mat.