Level 1 Obedience Training Manual



Friendly Professional Training

Basic Obedience level 1 – Training Manual




Mat training

  1. It’s the most passive way to flip the balance of control back into the owners favour. Essentially, the way dogs end up controlling us is passively, so we are going to do it back to them, in an n effective, passive way that they understand.


  1. It allows your dog to self soothe and relax, by themselves, in their own time. They need to learn how to get themselves into a calm, regulated state in order to be able to cope with and release any stress or anxiety. It very useful for over excited dogs who struggle with self-control. We cannot force a dog to relax – so when they are on the mat we won’t tell them to sit, drop or stay. When they are ready, they will do it on their own.


  1. It will teach your dog to become desensitized to whatever it is that triggers them off…whether it be other dogs, cars, people, bikes. Your dog will learn to relax in any environment, under any circumstances.


It will also build the trust your dog has in you and allow your bond to grow.


The 3 most important things when training your dog…You must be:

CALM – never lose your cool or allow your dog to frustrate you.

ASSERTIVE – always back up what you say and be firm with your commands. Never say a command more than once.

CONSISTENT – once you create rules, structure and boundaries, stick with them!

If any of these things wane, your dog will see it as a weakness in your leadership and they will start to test you. A dog will never fully trust a leader who isn’t these 3 things!


If your dog trusts you it will make recall training a lot easier!


You must always use the collar and lead when you do mat training. The lead represents control. Part of what we are trying to achieve.


You will point to the mat and once only you will say – “on the mat”.

Gently lead your dog to the mat, so all 4 paws are on the mat. (When laying down they can have up to the elbows off the mat, head can be off but the body must be on)

Ensure you do this in a calm manner as the mat should always be a positive space.

As you start to layer on some control, your dog may test you and push the boundaries. This can come in many forms. Anything from an increase in an unwanted behaviour (jumping, barking whining, destructive behaviours etc. ) to an additional new unwanted behaviour – such as urinating in the house. Please remember this does not mean the training isn’t working. It means your dog senses change and is testing your leadership.

If your dog bites the lead, either use a chain lead or spray your lead with some RID.


Remain strong throughout this period. It will end if you remain consistent and keep up the training!


Your dog will also test you whilst you are doing the mat training. They may step one paw off, they may pretend to be itchy and roll off the mat, they may sit right at the edge of the mat. Regardless of what your dog does, they must remain on the mat. If they step off, gently pull them back on – DO NOT say anything when you do this. Each time they step off, remain silent and gently pull them back on.


Remember – you have asked them once already to go to the mat. Never repeat a command.


DO NOT say “uh uh” or anything similar when your dog steps off the mat. This is very hard for the human, as we are so verbal. Dogs are nonverbal and they don’t understand English (they can however, learn up to 160 words – by association) so every time you talk to your dog you are giving them praise. We DO NOT want to give them praise when they step off the mat, so silence is golden when taking them back to the mat!


Another example of talking to your dog and therefore increasing / reinforcing an unwanted behaviour – Stella jumps up on you, you say “come on baby get off me”…Stella doesn’t understand English. She just heard you giving her attention and reinforcing her jumping behaviour. Stella loves attention so she will keep jumping because she knows you will talk to her and give her attention when she does it.


So what do you do then?…The most effective method is to gently nudge Stella off or step forward, saying nothing. Therefore you are not giving her any attention whatsoever.

If your dog jumps up on others and you have the lead on, a gentle correction on the collar, enough to pull her down, is all that is required. No verbal, from you or the people she has jumped on. This is very important. If the behaviour is persistent, take Stella to the mat, where she will calm down and relax, then she can be freed from the mat.

Remember you can use your mat as a backup for any unwanted behaviour. As long as you are calm when you take your dog to the mat they will only ever see it as a positive place where they relax. As humans we may see it as a naughty corner.


In order for the mat training to be effective, you must increase the time your dog is on the mat from the laying down, relaxed position (hips flipped to the side). It may only be a minute at first, but increase it as you go, walk around the mat, until you can drop the lead and take a few steps away. (In the safety of your home only) .This takes time and patience.

Eventually you will be able to walk away from the mat, increasing the time on the mat and the distance from the mat. At this stage you will be leaving the room for short periods, returning and praising if your dog has stayed on the mat.If they didnt, take them calmly back to the mat, no verbal and then try the exercise again.

Your dog will eventually be so relaxed on the mat they will fall asleep. If it is a deep sleep, when they wake up, let them walk off as they please as they won’t remember you have put them on there.

When releasing your dog from the mat:

Pick up the lead and say “free” and gently coax your dog off with a pull of the lead. Give them lots of praise. They will soon learn what “free” means.


The biggest mistakes people make when doing mat training:


  1. Not using the lead. You will need this for some time yet.
  2. Only keeping the dog on the mat for a minute or 3. This is not long enough for the relaxation process to happen.
  3. Only having the mat in one area. Move it around the house, inside, outside, to the park, cafe, outside and at a distance from a dog park…everywhere!
  4. Allowing the dog to creep off the mat. You have to have some rules otherwise it’s a pointless exercise.
  5. Using high pitched voices and getting over excited when praising or freeing your dog from the mat….an over excited human will create an over excited dog!

The more mat training you do and the more consistent you are, the quicker you will see positive change in your dog’s behaviours.


Any time is a good time for mat training – watching tv, at a cafe, making dinner, having a coffee, swimming in the pool, gardening etc.

You cannot overdo mat training. Remember if you remain calm when you are taking your dog to the mat, they will only ever see it as a place they go to, to relax.

Lounges and beds


It’s ok to have your dog on the bed but it must be by invitation only. If they are jumping on the lounge or the bed, they are in control, you need to set boundaries. If they jump on the lounge gently push them off without saying anything, if you talk to them you are rewarding them for the behaviour, and that’s a behaviour we don’t want. If they are really persistent and are testing you, put the lead on and gently lead them to the mat.

So if Stella is sitting looking at you with sad eyes, don’t give in, ignore them until they lose interest, and if she goes and lays down, then you can say come on up you come, then you can give her all the pats and cuddles you want. So don’t be fooled by Stella sitting there giving you sad eyes, she looking at you “thinking in a minute now she is going to invite me up, I know you are and you are going to think it’s on your terms but really it’s on my terms” so don’t fall for that.


Every time you are telling your dog to do something, be prepared to back it up.




NB: please note that at least 3 mtrs are required between each dog at all times for safety reasons.

  1. You need to be in charge and control of the Walk not your dog so your dog needs to be at your side not out in front.
  2. Dogs are usually on the left of us with the lead like so holding loop in right hand for extra control….
  3. Your lead should be loose with no pulling from the dog; if they do, you need to correct this behaviour with a flick of the wrist on the lead and return them to heel.
  4. Give the command “loose lead left foot forward with the command heel”.
  5. Always take off with your left foot as this means motion, the right means stationary.
  6. If you prefer to have your dog on the right side the commands remain the same – left foot means motion, the right means stationary.
  7. Your dog will try to gain back control and throw tests at you, it may be that you dog in putting their paw on your foot and your thinking “aww” he loves me, what they are really doing is testing you to see how much they can push, , If that happens gently push the dogs foot off yours. If they lean against you that’s also another sign so again gently push them off. If you don’t correct these behaviour’s, to your dog you failed the test



  1. When I call the command to sit I will say “pulling the lead up with the right hand pushing the bum down with the left, with command SIT”.
  2. Your dog should be in a sitting position neatly with their shoulder in line with your left leg. If your dog gets up gently push their bums down again with no words. Do not repeat command! If this is a bit sloppy at first we can tidy it up as we go along. If your dog sits, but is facing another direction they are basically giving you the finger and telling you, “I’ll sit but it’s on my terms”, gently move their bum so it’s in line with you, and repeat if they stand up. This may take a number of times to master but persevere, if you give up your dog wins.
  3. If you tell your dog to sit and they don’t, and you say it again they still don’t do it so you say it again, you have now said it 3 times, after doing this repeatedly your dog will associate the sit command with you saying it sit 3 times. Don’t say it over and over; Say it once and once only. If they don’t comply, push there bum down.
  4. Say sit and give them 2 seconds to comply, if they don’t you need to gently push their bum down.
  5. 1/2 hr training is equivalent to 1hr walking, you want to not only wear your dog out physically but mentally as well and incorporating commands during a walk will do this. Dogs like boundaries and the more you train and have your dog under control the happier you and your dog will be.

Give the dog plenty of praise when they have done what has been asked of them.



Now you have learnt the sit command you can teach them to stay, and this is done with placing your dog in the sit position and putting a firm hand in front of the dogs face with the command “Stay”. You will then be asked to step to the side of your dog and return, if your dog moves out of position return to the dog and gently push on your dog’s bum to sit and repeat exercise. Do not repeat any of the commands if your dog has not done what you asked them to do. Repeat until your dog has done what you ask, return to their side and give them plenty of praise.


Mix the stay’s gradually with standing behind the dog and circling around, stepping out to the side in front.

If you are stepping out to stand in front of your dog you need to take off with the right foot.

Remembering that:

  • Left foot is motion
  • Right foot is stationary

Give the dog plenty of praise when they have done what has been asked of them.





  • Shortening the lead in the right hand parallel to the ground, firm hand across the face with the command “STAND”.

Have the lead Parallel to the ground, swipe your left hand across the face and continue around and place your hand under the dog hind leg, just in front of the back leg….with time you will be able to just swipe your hand across the face and later just state the command “stand”

Don’t have the lead up as this will confuse the dog thinking they have to sit as this is the position of the lead for a “sit” command.

Give the dog plenty of praise when they have done what has been asked of them.




This is the most submissive position for a dog to be in to a human, hence why we do it in week 3. At this stage you would/should have gained control of your dog, and by now you have gained some trust with them.


There are 3 ways to do this

  1. By holding onto the side of the dog’s collar with 2-3 fingers, using your hand that is closest to the dog and saying “drop” and gently pulling them down to the ground.
  2. This is “the sweep”. By holding onto the top of the dog’s collar with 2-3 fingers (palm down), using your hand that is closest to the dog and placing your arm across their back applying gentle pressure if any, on their bum and gently sweeping the dogs legs forward with your right hand saying “drop”.
  3. Place you hand on the collar with your left hand and gentle rub the dog’s snout/nose and command drop, they will drop as they want to see under your hand and quite simply your dog cannot concentrate on 2 things at once.

Give the dog plenty of praise when they have done what has been asked of them.




Stand and stay


  • This is the same concept as sit and stay. Place your dog in a stand position and place your hand in front of the dog with the command “stand”.
  • Command the dog to stay with a firm hand in front of the face and say “STAY”
  • Repeat the same exercises as sit and stay, moving around your dog/in front/to the side and behind, gradually going out to the length of the lead.

You can incorporate weaving – stand the dogs in a line with adequate distance between them and do weaving exercises starting from one end moving down the line.

Be wary of reactive dogs they will need more distance. The dogs need to stay in the position that has been asked of them. If they get up they need to be placed back with no words spoken.

Give the dog plenty of praise when they have done what has been asked of them.




  • Place your dog in a sit and stay position; walk out to the length of the lead, leading with your right foot, stay there and call “come” and gently pull the lead towards you, place your dog in a “sit” position. This should be in front as they should stop before they get to you.

NB: You place them in a sit position because if you are calling you dog from a distance you don’t want them to run into you, this could cause some serious damage to you!


Imagine a 60kg dog running toward you, there is only one word I can say to that!!!




Drop stay


  • Command your dogs to “drop” place your hand in front of the dog and say “stay” moving around your dog/in front/to the side and behind, gradually going out to the length of the lead. Maybe staying there for a few seconds.

If they get up return them to the position and keep doing it until they have done what has been asked.

Give the dog plenty of praise when they have done what has been asked of them


Return to heel


  • When you are walking your dog you can give them the “free” command, this is when your dog is free to sniff his surroundings a tree maybe, you as the leader should stay where you have freed them, maybe take a step forward but no further.
  • When you want to command your dog to heel and return them to your side:
  • If they are on the left you just need to return your dog to your side and continue walking.
  • If they are on the right you need to get them to the heel position, you don’t want your dog crossing your pathway, so in order to get them to your left side, step back on your right foot pull the dog behind you and guide them around the back of you where they will be on your left and again taking off with your left foot to continue walking.

Give the dog plenty of praise when they have done what has been asked of them.




  • Photo time with dogs and owners.
  • Ask permission for photos to be taken and uploaded particularly when children are in photos.
  • Caps and certificates.
  • NB: Certificates will be sent through by Admin by post on 2nd week of classes.
  • Photos to be Uploaded to dog training 101 Facebook page.
  • Names of dogs and location in 1 must be with the photos on the post
  • All stock must be paid for on the 1st week of training.
  • Remember to send the furry regards PDF to all clients that undertook training, send through vCita or ask them to leave a review.
  • Clients often ask if there dog is ready for level 2; the only criteria is the dog must be able to drop using 1 hand only. Hand signals are incorporated in level 2 so 1 hand needs to be free to give the command.