Go settle is an essential cue for every dog. It teaches your dog to ‘go to his bed’ or ‘go to a certain spot.’ This cue is especially useful when you need your dog to go to a certain area. For example, when you are hosting dinner at your house, you can ask your dog to go settle so that he can give you and your guests some space.
Also, this cue will come in handy when you want your dog to stay in a particular space for a given amount of time. This should be one of the first basic cues that you teach your dog or pup as soon as you get him.
Training your dog to go settle
This training should be all about providing positive experiences and building value for your dog. To train your dog to go settle, you need a bed and some treats.
- Go to a distraction-free environment and carry the bed or mat that you want your dog to go settle on. If you are training your dog for the first time, put them on a leash and collar.
- Hold the dog by the harness and stand a few feet away from the bed, with a treat or toy in your hand.
- Lure him to go settle on the bed by pointing to it with the hand holding the treat and saying the word go settle.
- When he has all four paws on the bed, mark the behavior using positive words such as ‘good boy,’ then give him his treat or toy. Remember that you are not asking him to sit or lie down on the bed. The moment he interacts with the bed, treat and praise him.
- To get the dog moving again, throw out a treat, and hold another treat in your hand. When he comes back to the bed after eating the treat, mark his behavior, and reward him.
- Repeat this exercise until he is doing as asked all the time when you lure him.
- If your dog sits or lies down on the bed after he is reliably going to the bed, praise him. If he is standing all the time, ask him to lie down or sit.
- Begin holding off on treating him till he stays longer on the bed. Also, start increasing distance from the bed and ask your dog to stay or wait as you move away. This will help you build the time that he is on the bed.
- Once he begins staying on the bed for a few minutes, praise him, and reward him.
- Start using the cue when you are further away from the bed and always give the cue word and point to the bed to lure him to go settle.
- Keep building the distance from the bed gradually.
If your dog does not go to the bed voluntarily, you can place a treat on the bed to get him to put his paws on it. Praise him when he does so and throw out another treat to get him to move away from the bed. Remember to train him in a quiet environment first, before you move to a busier one.