Teach your dog to "Go to Their Place"
Updated: Jan 16, 2021
Teaching your dog to go to their “place” is helpful when your dog needs to learn an off button, they jump on guests, they get overly excited when seeing you, they are velcroed to your side constantly, they tear things up in the house or they have separation anxiety. Teaching place can be very helpful to teach dogs to calm down in the house. Remember to slowly add distractions and duration to place. 6 months and up is best for teaching place, they should know down and stay before place.
High value treats (meat, cheese, jerky)
Mat, cot, or dog bed (optional, can use a designated corner)
Note: You can use a training collar (e-collar, prong, chain)
How to teach “Place”
Choose the spot you’ll send the dog. A dog bed or cot, a mat, or designated corner. Choose the word you'll use such as, "Place" or “Go to your place”. A place where you can tie a leash to is ideal (stair rails, anchored eye hook.)
Show them the Place- Stand beside the place with the dog at your side on leash. Say, PLACE point to the bed and use a treat to lure the dog onto the bed if needed. When the dog is on the bed, give them the treat. Say "OK or OFF" and allow them to get off the bed, repeat this many times until they understand- get on place=treats. They do not have to sit or down.
Duration and down- Stand beside the bed and point to it, say PLACE and when your dog gets on the place, wait, require the dog to "down" before they get the treat. Say PLACE and continue pointing down, use slight leash pressure downwards if needed. Once they are down, treat and continue to give them a treat every 20-30 seconds if they stay down on the place. Make sure they only get up after an “OFF or OK”. If they get up before they are released, tell them “NO” and put them back on the bed. You can also use a stim from a e-collar and hold the stim until they return to the bed. Make sure they have a leash on if you need to lure them back.
Moving- When the dog is in their place, start moving around the room while they remain in a down-stay on the bed. It's best to anchor them to something with the leash when starting out, just make sure the leash is relaxed when they are on the bed. If they get up before they are released, tell them “NO” and put them back on the bed. You can also use a stim from an e-collar and hold the stim/vibrate until they return to the bed. Make sure they have a leash on if you need to lure them back.
Send to Place- Next you will start sending the dog to their "Place" from a few feet away. Start a foot away, point to the place, say PLACE and if needed take a step forward, over time, send your dog to its "Place" from farther away.
Slowly add to the length of time they stay in their place. Start with 30 second increases and increase the time to 1-5 min increases. Make sure to release your dog from their place with an “Off or OK” when they have been in their place for a long time. They can stay in their place for 30 mins to an hour at a time. This should be practiced DAILY especially if you have a dog that has no off button. If they jump on guests when they come in the door, your dog should be put in place before the guests get there and stay in place until they leave or until they can be calm. If your dog tears things up in the house, do not leave them out to wander even for a minute. They need to be constantly supervised when out of their crate and place can help with that, it gives them something productive to do instead of searching for things to chew and allows them to have a little more freedom than the crate.
Practice with distractions such as having someone ring the doorbell, knocking and coming into the house while the dog is in their "Place."Fade the food treats once your dog has learned the skill.
**Here's a video for training “Place”**