Having control over where your puppy is when you have guests over may be one of the more important things to keep in mind, especially if you enjoy having regular company. When a puppy is all over the place, jumping up, bothering others, or begging for food, it can seem as though he is not very well trained, or lacks basic manners. Keeping him in one spot for a good portion of the visit can give him the ability to stay calm and polite when people come in and out of your home.
Most owners enjoy having their puppy stay on a dog bed or in a crate, but another good item to use is a mat, specifically made for him. It can be large or a little smaller, but as long as it is comfortable, your puppy can be perfectly happy with his little area while you take care of other things. With the right mat and a little bit of training, you won’t have to worry about your puppy showing off any bad manners to your guests.
Teaching your puppy to stay on a mat is a multi-step process. You want to first introduce the mat, then get him to understand that you want him to sit, lie down, and then stay on it for long periods of time. This can be a little complex to understand all at once, so you’ll want to space out the training over one to two weeks for your puppy to understand the fundamentals of what you’re asking. Though provided you have the right amount of patience and understanding for a puppy who may be full of energy and easily distracted, it should be a fairly simple task to teach.
Puppies should begin this training as soon as you bring them home to really be able to get the most out of your dog’s attention span. This trick will certainly come in handy as a foundation for other, more complex obedience commands later on.
You’ll first want to find a mat that is big enough for your puppy to lie down on comfortably. He should be able to fit all four paws onto it as well as his whole body. A mat that is soft or plush may be more comfortable, but you can also consider something that is smoother, as long as it’s not unpleasant to the touch. You’ll also want to make sure your puppy understands a basic ‘down’ and ‘stay’. Once you have that, gather up a few treats to use as rewards and get ready to start!