'Go Settle', 'Go to Your Bed' and 'Go To Your Spot (or Place)' are all cues that ask your dog to go to a desired area such as a mat or a bed when needed. This is a great cue to use when you do not want your dog begging at the table, when you have guests visiting you, or when you just need your dog to stay in a particular place for a period of time.
- Start in a distraction-free environment and place your dog’s bed or mat in the area that you want him to go settle in.
- Stand a few feet away from the place with your dog close to you and with a treat or toy in your hand say the cue word go settle and lure him onto the mat with a pointed hand containing the lure.
- When he has all four paws on the mat, praise and give him the treat or toy.
- At this stage you are not asking him to sit, lie down or stay on the mat.
- Repeat this exercise a number of times until he is following your point and the lure 100% of the time.
- If at any time he sits or lies down on the mat praise him but if he is still standing ask him to sit or better still lie down.
- You can now begin to wait a little longer before giving him his reward so that he stays on the mat a little longer each time.
- Start to move away from him when he is on the mat and ask him to wait or stay as you do so. Your aim is to gradually build up the time he is on the mat.
- If he is staying well on the mat, go back every few minutes and praise and or treat him for staying still.
- Start to use the cue a little further away from the mat and point to the mat giving the cue word. He might need a little prompting to walk to his mat but with guidance he will figure it out.
- Gradually build up the distance from the mat.
Make sure this cue works really well in a quiet environment before using it around other people or when guests arrive. Remember that it is much harder for dogs to respond when they are excited or anxious.
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