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How To Start Place Training
The place command, or place training, is one of my favorite commands. Today I’m going to give you a quick rundown of why it’s so great and how to train it. So why is it so great? Well first of all what is it? Place training is sending your dog to go and get on, and stay on a place. This can be a mat, a dog bed, but preferably something raised off the ground. Now I’m going to show you my favorite kind of place bed. Now this is Lola’s place bed. So this is I think a small. It’s made by Four Legs for Pets, and I think it’s known as a pet cot, but they’re really great because they’re sturdy, they’re long lasting, durable, you can tighten up the legs on the bottom to keep it nice and tight, and it’s raised off the ground. The reason that I like them to be raised off the ground is so that it’s very clear to your dog when they’re on their place, and when they’re not because we want to make sure that when they’re told to get on their place they get all the way on.
The reason that this command is so great is because you can then, once your dog knows it, use it to train a lot of other things like impulse control, your dog having self-control where there’s other big distractions. For example, and this is a classic, if you’re having trouble with your dog running up getting too excited around visitors at the front door, or barking at visitors coming to your house, you can teach them to go and get on their place bed every time someone’s coming to the door, and that’s a great and strong alternative behavior once the dog knows it. So how do we get the dog to know it? Well that’s what I’m going to show you now is how to train your dog to love going to their place.
So first of all I recommend that when you initially teach this you use a leash because if your dog gets off, what you’re going to do is grab the leash and just gently pull them back on. Lola’s keen to go, obviously she’s done this before, but that doesn’t matter because I’m going to show you the same steps that you’ll use with your dog and give you a quick rundown on how this is taught. So first up when the dog gets on there we want to reward heavily with a high valued food reward is going to be the easiest type of reward to use. So I’m going to hold the treat to the dog’s nose, and actually lure her like a magnet all the way on, and then upwards into a sit. Yes. Marking reward. Yes. Basically, I’m just going to keep rewarding the whole time that she’s on there, and make her really love being on that object. Obviously you won’t be doing the treats this thick and fast forever, but your first step is to heavily reward your dog for being on there.
If they get off in the early stages, you’re just going to lure them back on like you started with and continue. Make sure your dog has a clear signal for when they’re allowed to get back off their place bed. That’s critically important to get this command reliable. Break. Good job. You want to reward your dog so heavily for the place command in the beginning that they’re bounding onto it with joy like Lola is now trying to say I know that this is the spot that gets me a reward, where is it. So when she hopped on voluntarily like that, that’s exactly what we want to see. Break. Once your dog gets to that stage, that’s how you know it’s time to add the command. You can call it whatever you like, but make sure that once you start saying the command, you then pair it with getting onto the place bed.
Lola place. Yes. Good girl. And continue. At this stage you can also start to use less and less food rewards because obviously you can’t be streaming treats into your dog for doing this forever. Break. This is also where we want to up the ante and make your dog more accountable for needing to stay on place. So have your leash on your dog at this stage, and now if they get off it’s going to be “no”, grab the lead, and lead them back onto place with no food reward. Place. Good girl. Good girl. Now when she gets on place, I’m not telling her to sit or lay down if I can help it. I want her to know that this is a place to just go on and relax. That’s where we start stretching out the duration.
So I hope that’s given you a good overview and a good brief starting point for how to teach the place command. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Just as long as your dog goes to place when told, feels rewarded for being there, and doesn’t get off until they’re told. If you can stick to that, you’ll have it down in no time. Then you can start raising your level of distraction, and start using it to help all sorts of other things around the house. It’s a super useful skill. I hope you enjoy using it. I’m Tenille from Dog Matters. Now it’s time to go and be your dog’s best friend. See you in the next video.