Located in Rudy, Arkansas
Serving Fort Smith, Van Buren, and surrounding areas

Settle 103: Getting to Down

Settle: Getting to Down


  • Clicker
  • Treats
  • Treat pouch
  • Mat


TRAINING ENVIRONMENT: Start in the least distracting (most boring) place in your home.


RECOMMENDED TREAT POSITION: Three treats between your dog’s toes for down, and click and toss a treat to get your dog off the mat for everything. See other detailed instructions below regarding treat placement.


PLEASE DO  NOT USE THE CUE YET.  We want to be sure your dog is doing the behavior immediately and consistently before we add the cue.


  • Get your mat out and put it on the floor in front of your dog.
  • Click and treat a few times for paws on the mat or sit.
  • Because you’ve worked sit, your dog should eventually sit (unprompted) on the mat.
  • Click and treat sit three times by placing on treat between your dog’s toes on the mat.
  • The fourth time when your dog sits wait. He will likely look down between his toes for the treat.
  • Click when your dog is looking down and place a treat between his feet.
  • Do this three times and then hold off on click and treat again. We want your dog to exaggerate what he just did by lowering his head even more.
  • Once he’s lowering his head to the floor, pause clicking and see if he won’t slide into a down.  If you work with your dog when he/she is tired, you’re more likely to get a down. 
  • When you get a down, click and place three treats between your dog’s toes.  If your dog’s feet are off the mat place the treats in the center of the mat.



  • PUPPIES: Work for about 3 minutes and quit. Do this a few times a day.
  • DOGS: Work for about 5 minutes, three or more times a day.


Your dog should approach the mat and lie down unprompted.



My dog won’t approach the mat.

  • Try a less distracting environment.
  • Take him for a walk or play an active game to get out any pent-up energy, then try again.
  • Back up and work more on making the mat reinforcing. Feed and treat on the mat when you can, and come back to this step later.
  • Consider what you are using to reward him. When first acquiring a behavior, your dog will only work for you if you pay him with something he likes.


My dog won’t lie down on the mat.

  • Wait until your dog is tired and lying down on his own. Click and treat when he/she lies down. Do this a few times and bring out the mat. .
    If all else fails, try luring the down. Click here for instructions.