Tag Archives: matwork

Weekly Woof from the Web

More woofing to make up for the lack of Woofs last week!

The fantastic Jessie is still looking for her forever home!

Detail of an amazing piece of work, run by Morris Animal Foundation since last year, involving 3000 Golden Retrievers and their owners hoping to shed more and more light on genetic disease, particularly related to cancers in these dogs, all dogs and people too: San Jose dogs, owners join DNA studies to help find cures

Bloat or GDV, is a scary and often fatal condition particularly affecting large dogs (especially Great Danes) and one long surrounded in mystery. Works commissioned in the last few years is progressing to provide more information on the possible genetic basis of this and related conditions; a summary of this fascinating and not yet published work here.
Never heard of bloat or not sure what it looks like? Check out this piece on identifying the signs of bloat.

Hopefully we haven’t scared you too much about bloat, but here are 8 ways your pet can help relive your stress
And certainly the pet-person relationship can be beneficial for all-round health; read this heartwarming story about a 90 year old woman (who) declines chemotherapy, chooses to spend her final days travelling with her dog. Both Ringo & Norma are lucky to have one another, for however long.

Teaching your dog to settle on a mat is a vital skill; here’s a great starter clip:


Here a couple of ideas for YUMMY homemade treats: Easy-peasy 4 ingredient dog treats and Homemade frozen peanut butter banana dog treats

Dogs who are trained for the highly stressful and difficult job of being an assistance dog are very carefully selected, produced, reared and trained – this is not a job that any or every dog can do; read the ups and downs of such a journey here.

Losing a beloved pet is never easy (in fact, it downright sucks!) and grieving is an important part of the process: After pets pass and What you need to know about grief & losing a pet
And if you have to make that awful, hard decision here are 5 tips for preparation.

When we keep dogs as pets they are living in a foreign land; take some time to learn a little about their communication behaviour (I am sure that you have noticed that they can read humans pretty well!):


And for a more indepth covering try here and here.

Despite our shaky grasp of DOG, your dog thinks you’re perfect just the way you are!

Some pretty neat ideas for puzzle feeders for cats in here, and they may be suitable for some dogs too!

The Subaru ads never disappoint dog lovers: Dog Tested and Do more of the good stuff (search their channels for more!)

I really hope that this is true and KLM really do this..!

Apparently today (4/4) is World Rat Day – check out these fabulously trained pet rats!

And your daily d’awwwww:


Have a great week!

Week 2 Bonus Challenge

Up for a challenge…?


Calm-mat to the rescue…

Let’s start to use our dog’s calm-mat to help them be a little more under control in those exciting situations.

Teach your dog that when you get his lead out, it’s time to go to his mat and settle.

Time Allowance:
Practice for 1 minute sessions at a time with plenty of down-time in between.
It’s best to try to work practice into your routine, such as while you wait for the kettle to boil, while you wait for the computer to start up or during the ad break of a TV show.
To make things easier at the start, practice after your dog has had his walk.

Family Participation:
Kids are often great dog trainers. Teach each child how to lure safely.
If your dog is mouthy,  jumpy or likely to get over-excited it might be best for you to get the behaviours established and then bring in the kids to help with practice.
Always supervise child-dog interactions and make sure children learn to leave the dog alone when eating his rewards.

Stage 1

Make sure not to have any other clues that tell your dog it’s walkies time present; so no keys, jackets, boots and so on. It may even be a good idea to have no collar or harness on your dog at this stage.

Revise your matwork. Lay out your dog’s mat and wait for him to settle on it.

Reward him with five rewards on the mat and then release him.

Repeat x3.


Stage 2

Hold out your dog’s lead so he can see it. Immediately drop two or three yummy rewards onto his mat, no matter what your dog does.

Right now, his behaviour isn’t as important as him building the connection between his lead and yummies showing up on his mat.

You know you are getting somewhere when your dog looks at his lead and then expectantly looks for his treat.


Stage 3

Hold out your dog’s lead and wait for him to go to his mat. You can help him by cueing or even luring him into a down position on his mat if needed.


Stage 4

Practice with a more real life level of excitement by bringing in a jazz up/settle down game into this exercise.


Show your dog his lead and wait for him to go to his mat. Surprise him with a jazz up game like tug.

Show your dog his lead again and wait for him to get onto the mat again.


Dog getting stuck?

Is your dog finding this too hard? If your dog can’t control their excitement and is finding it difficult to progress through the stages, make it a little easier so that he is successful.

Instead of holding his lead, start by teaching him that you simply moving toward his lead or reaching for his lead for his clue to check out his mat.

Doorbell Excitement

This very same exercise can be used to teach your dog to go to his calm-mat when the doorbell sounds or there is a knock.

Just start with Stage 1 at the easiest level for your dog. For example, have your dog far enough from the door that he doesn’t go completely nuts when he hears your assistant ring or knock.

It’s a great idea to record the sound of your doorbell or someone knocking so that you can control the volume.


As always, we want to see your training!