By Tracy Baldwin (ABCDT) for Rebound Hounds
Place Command is one of the most beneficial commands you can teach your dog. If your dog is a counter surfer, a beggar at meal times, a door charger, constantly underfoot, jumps on the furniture or roams the house looking for things to get into, teaching a solid Place Command will take away ALL of those options and give your dog something else to focus his energy on. If your dog is stressed, anxious or nervous, teaching a solid Place Command will help your dog learn to cope with his surroundings. With practice, Place Command becomes a place of relaxation and self-calming for our dogs. They begin to understand that you, the human, their guardian, can handle things. All the dog needs to do is to take a deep breath and relax. With daily practice and slowly increasing the duration, your dogs’ state of mind will begin to go from busy/intense/anxious to calm/relaxed/chill. The benefits of our dogs practicing daily Place time can be seen in other aspects of our dogs’ life. As their minds slow down and their concern for what’s going on around them fades, our dogs will begin to view their world from a calmer place. State of mind changes have a tremendous impact on how our dog processes and reacts to stimuli in their world.
Follow the how-to video at www.thegooddog.net. The video can be found under “Free Training Videos”. The video is about 20 minutes long and will show step by step how to teach your dog the Place command.
Setting your dog up for Place: Place Command must be on something with a border or definite edge. Mats, rugs, dog beds, raised dog cots and when it’s time to up the challenge, you can use buckets, tree stumps or plastic bins.
Once on Place: All four paws must be on the Place object. Your dog can stand, sit, move around, have a chew toy (once command is learned) and/or lay down. When their time on Place is over, YOU either leash them and say “let’s go” or YOU use the release word “ok”/”break”. Another important point: YOU put your dog on “Place”, it doesn’t count if your dog goes to his bed and lays down on his ownJ. It’s important for our dogs to have us guide them onto place. This helps them learn to follow our lead and defer to us when they would rather be acting on impulses or reacting to stimuli in their environment.
Tips for success: CONSISTENCY, PATIENCE and SHORT TRAINING SESSIONS