Bringing home a puppy is an exciting moment for anyone who loves dogs. Seeing your new puppy run around and excitedly explore her new home is always fun and it can be a great bonding experience to spend the first day teaching her where everything is and where she’ll be sleeping. Of course, once your puppy is settled into your home, then it’s time to get started on training. Teaching her the basics of good manners and etiquette in your home is important and should be one of the first steps to being a good owner.
One of the most useful things to teach your puppy is how to sit in a designated spot. This is usually her bed, but it can also be an object like a mat, which is handy for portability. Teaching her to sit on a mat means that you can take the mat anywhere such as the car, a friend’s home, or to the vet or groomer. This mat can be a spot where she can sit and relax until told otherwise and helps you to keep control of her need for exploration and can keep her from getting into trouble.
Most puppies will pick up the ‘sit’ command fairly easily, but can get a little thrown off with the presence of the mat. However, making the mat an interesting and desirable place is usually the first step to creating a space your puppy can connect with the desire to sit and remain until you are ready to continue or until you ask her to do something else.
Your puppy can begin learning this at any age and should learn as early as possible to get used to the command early on. Most puppies will learn how to sit on a mat very quickly and it should not take more than three or four days to learn it. This will also make later obedience commands much easier for her to learn.
To get started, find a large enough mat to accommodate your puppy’s size. She should be able to sit and lay down on it comfortably without her limbs coming off of it too far. Smaller puppies will need smaller mats while larger breeds will need something much larger. Be sure that it can be rolled or folded up for easy storage if you ever need to take it somewhere.
Find lots of tasty treats or fun toys to use for reinforcement. The better these items are, the more likely your puppy will want to remain on the mat when you want her to.