Warm up with building attraction to the mat. Toss a cookie beyond the mat, and when your dog steps on the mat to get back to you, you can mark that (“Good dog!”). Give several treats in a row, and treat directly on the mat to build value in that mat itself. After treating several times, toss another “reset cookie” and start again.
This week, increase the amount of time your dog spends on the mat each repetition by placing several treats in a row on the mat before tossing a reset cookie. Place the treats in a predictable spot, like between their feet, so they know exactly where to look.
If your dog chooses to lay down on the mat this week, provide a jackpot! Throw down lots of treats in rapid succession to celebrate that win! If your dog doesn’t offer a down this week, that’s okay! Do not cue it.