You may have a dog that is always at your feet when you are at home. They will follow you everywhere: to the bathroom, to the kitchen. What if you drop something tasty while cooking that they can pick up?
Having a dog in the kitchen at your feet may become dangerous. You could trip over them or spill something hot on them, leading to injury. In this situation, the “place” command can come in handy.
What exactly is the “place” command?
When you tell your dog “place”, they should go to a designated location and stay there with all of their paws on the mat until you issue a release command. “Ok” or “break” can be used for releasing the dog from their “place”.
If you own a fearful or a reactive dog, teaching “place” is very important. Instead of barking at squirrels or bypassing cars, the dog will have a safe place to go to, relax, and calm down. It will become an important tool for them to handle any stressful situation, including travelling or moving to a new house.
If your puppy lunges at the door at the sound of a doorbell, the “place” can be a life saver. When someone comes to your door, send your dog to a “place”. This will prevent any unwanted jumping or barking at visitors.
No matter the location you utilize as the “place” or command you use to release from it, consistency is the key. The dog should go to the “place” and stay there with all of their paws on the “place” until released. You can start with keeping her on the “place” for 5 minutes, but increase the time gradually.
Dog training takes some patience on the owner’s part, but the end result will be a dog that knows their boundaries and has the skills to calm down in any stressful situation.
By Stephanie and Adam Knapp,
Dog Trainers in Cincinnati, OH