Settle is where your puppy will lie on a mat in a relaxed down so that their hip touches the ground for a long duration and maybe even fall asleep.
Eventually your puppy will be able to settle anywhere including when out having dinner at the restaurant, relaxing while you workout and even settling around other dogs.
To start with though you’re going to train in a quiet area of your home, away from distractions. Grab a soft mat/blanket, some treats and your marker.
When your puppy looks at you, place the mat on the ground in front of you and when they come over to investigate, mark and reward as soon as they show interest. Toss a treat away each time to reset. Next mark and reward when any of their paws touch the mat. Initially you can reward them on the mat before throwing a treat away to reset them for the next repetition.
Next wait until 2 paws touch the mat before rewarding, then 3, then 4.
Soon your puppy will be running to the mat each time and standing with all 4 paws on it.
Next, wait for them to offer a sit or down on the mat. You may beed to cue for a couple of repetitions before letting your puppy offer it on their own.
When your puppy is rushing to the mat and automatically going into a down each time you can add the cue ‘settle’ or ‘bed’ as they are running towards the mat.
Now time to build duration by rewarding your dog after they have remained in position for a couple of seconds, before gradually lengthening it further. Continue to fee$ the mat. This gives the mat value to your dog. Place food down slow and calmly.
You can start to move a step away before returning and rewarding your puppy if they remain settled. Build up the distance in stages as well as adding in distractions to make sure your puppy’s new found skill is reliable everywhere.
You can also transfer settle, to other places such as a bag by placing the mat inside the bag or even a wired crate.