|Posted on September 12, 2012 at 8:05 PM|
I am sure this isn’t new to some dog trainers, but Halle has enlightened me to a whole new way of using a rug. I started out with a rubber backed memory foam bath mat to teach her to settle down.
We began our training inside our house where it’s not too distracting. I rewarded Halle with a tasty treat just for walking on the rug. It didn’t take too long before she was running to the rug to get her treat. I waited just a bit before treating to encourage her to “stay” on the rug a little longer each time. We fed meals on the rug; gave her bones on the rug and practiced sits, downs and stays on the rug. I soon noticed her just hanging out on the rug.... and boy I sure did reward her for that! Each time she was on the rug great things magically appeared.
After about a week or so of training at home, we took the show on the road and went to an outdoor restaurant with mild distractions. I packed her bag with lots of goodies (Kong® stuffed with her dinner, a tasty marrow bone, a Bully Stick and toys). I also brought some small pieces of hot dogs. She quickly settled down on her rug and became interested in her “stuff”. Although occasionally distracted, I kept her attention by dropping tiny bits of hotdogs on her rug when she was lying down. I gave her 100% of my attention (which means I didn’t get to eat much while I was training). Once my husband finished eating, he took over the training and I finished my dinner. For our first trip on the Magic Carpet, I have to say it went better than expected. Two weeks later, we went to the same restaurant. I unpacked her goody bag and laid down the Magic Carpet. I was prepared for another meal like we had before, but was surprised that she entertained herself the entire time!
I have also been bringing the mat to puppy class. When I need her to settle so I can listen to the teacher, I pull out a goody for her to chew and give it to her on her rug. I even caught her going to her rug a few times in class to take a break without me asking her to.
Hmmm! I am beginning to think that maybe Halle is on to something here. So, I tried a little experiment. When I trimmed her nails for the first time, I put the rug on the tailgate of my car. She settled down and I trimmed her nails with no fuss. Nail trimming has never been easier. WOW! I think this really is a Magic Carpet.
My mind is now a flurry of other ideas on using the Magic Carpet to teach Halle impulse control. I don’t know who’s more excited about the rug, me or Halle.
SNIFF ON! TRAIN ON!
Susie Waki, ANWI, CPDT-KA
Certified Professional Dog Trainer-KA #2102473
National Association of Canine Scent Work Associate Nose Work Instructor
Canine Life and Social Skills Instructor #650449
Canine Life and Social Skills Evaluator #E750153
AKC Canine Good Citizenship Evaluator #51179
TAGteach Primary Certification
Licensed "Be a Tree" Presenter
Member of Association of Pet Dog Trainers #76263
Member of the Pet Professional Guild