This also means you have better control when the doorbell rings. You simply don't have enough hands to hold the child, grab the dog's collar, and open the door. But now you simply tell the dog to go to his mat and a hand is instantly freed up.
From a practical point of view, it can make day to day life in a dog owning household much easier. Imagine how much easier it makes stopping a dog dashing into the kitchen, if he is trained to a mat. Likewise, many insecure dogs who bark at visitors, will show a marked improvement in their behavior when they have a task to do such as go to the mat.
It's helpful to teach the dog a good solid 'sit', 'stay', or 'down', ahead of teaching him to go to the mat. This will make it easier for him to understand you require him to stay there once on the mat.
The equipment you will need includes: