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Place Command For Dogs:Training Tips

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    The ‘place command for dogs‘ became essential in my house whenever the doorbell rang, triggering a frenzy from my dogs, whether it was my kid’s friends or the UPS man. Can you relate to chaos? I was often caught yelling at the dogs to be quiet and lie down, all while attempting to ‘welcome’ our guests.

    a dog lie down

    Such a scenario is hardly welcoming, is it? The embarrassment caused by my mischievous dogs was quite palpable for me, at least until we started incorporating place training. This Dog Place Command turned out to be a game-changer.

    We usually focus on commands like sit, stay, and down as the basics for dog training. Yet, I firmly believe that place training should be at the forefront of your training priorities.


    What does the place command entail for dogs?

    The PLACE command involves training your dog to move to a designated area, such as a dog bed, a mat, a raised platform, or a specific board. It’s similar to instructing them with a phrase like “go to your bed”. However, it’s important to distinguish this from a vague “go lay down”, as PLACE is more specific.

    In our home, we have several spots designated as the dog’s “place”, primarily their dog beds. I’m also considering investing in a specialized dog training place board. During meal times, we use the kitchen rugs as their designated area.

    Variations of the place command include terms like “go to bed” or “mat training”. The core principle remains the same: the dog stays in the assigned spot until given permission to leave.


    The place command which is a lifesaver for dog owners!

    The place command is a versatile tool that can be employed in numerous scenarios to manage your dog’s behavior. Here are some instances where it has proven to be invaluable:

    • Greeting Guests at the Door: This is a godsend for situations where your dog gets overly excited at the sound of the doorbell. By training your dog to follow the place command, they can wait calmly on their bed while you welcome visitors, avoiding any door-front chaos.
    • Managing Resource Guarding: For our dog, who shows signs of resource guarding, the place command is a game-changer. We direct her to her “place” during meal times or when someone is snacking on the couch.
    • Preventing Jumping on Guests: If your dog tends to jump on people, having them stay on a training mat can be a great solution. It helps in calming your dog down and ensures your guests are not overwhelmed.
    • Safety Around Children: The command is also great for situations involving young children. Whether it’s to protect an overly enthusiastic dog from tiny, curious hands or to keep the little ones safe, the place command is extremely effective. For more insights, consider reading about why family dogs might bite.

    dog and kids


    Training your dog to follow the place command

    1. Begin by leashing your dog.
    2. Position yourself a short distance from their bed or mat, then clearly say “PLACE” and guide your dog onto the mat.
    3. As soon as all four paws are on the mat, praise with a “GOOD” and offer a high-value treat. While treats are optional, they can motivate your dog if they’re hesitant about the mat.
    4. The key is for your dog to keep all four paws on the mat. They can stand, sit, or lie down as long as they remain in that area. If your dog leaves the mat before being released, firmly say NO, then lead them back without repeating the command.
    5. Start this training in a distraction-free environment. Initially, have your dog stay on the mat for a few seconds at a short distance. Gradually increase both the duration and distance.
    6. Regular practice is essential. Initially, your dog might only stay for 10 seconds. Over time, you can progressively extend this duration.
    7. Introduce distractions gradually, like people moving around, toys, or the sound of a doorbell.
    8. Continue to lengthen the time your dog spends in their place. Remember, this is meant to be a calm and relaxing time for your dog.

    Here is an excellent video from Top Dog Professional Training demonstrating the Place Command in action:


    Safety considerations for dog training with the place command

    It’s crucial to ensure safety for both you and your dog during training sessions. Here are some important safety tips to keep in mind:

    1. Choose a Safe Training Area: Make sure the training area is free from hazards like sharp objects, slippery floors, or anything that could harm your dog.
    2. Monitor Your Dog’s Comfort: Pay attention to signs of stress or discomfort in your dog. Training should be a positive experience, not a stressful one.
    3. Use Appropriate Gear: Ensure that the leash and collar are suitable for your dog’s size and strength. Avoid using any harsh training tools that could cause injury.
    4. Stay Calm and Patient: Dogs can sense your emotions. Maintaining a calm demeanor will help your dog stay relaxed and focused during training.
    5. Gradual Progression: Don’t rush the training process. Gradually increase the difficulty of the command to avoid overwhelming your dog.
    6. Supervise Children: If children are present during training, supervise them to ensure they don’t inadvertently stress or harm the dog.
    7. Know Your Dog’s Limits: Every dog is different. Recognize your dog’s physical and mental limits and avoid pushing them beyond what they can handle comfortably.
    8. Provide Plenty of Breaks: Regular breaks are important to prevent fatigue and keep the training enjoyable for your dog.
    9. Emergency Preparedness: Be prepared to handle any emergencies. Keep a first-aid kit handy and know the basics of canine first aid.
    10. Consult a Professional: If you’re unsure about any aspect of training, don’t hesitate to consult a professional dog trainer for guidance.

    a dog with leash and collar


    Now it’s your chance…

    I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Are you planning to teach your dog the ‘place command for dogs‘? I make it a point to respond to all comments, so let’s spark a conversation… Your experiences or queries might just help someone in a similar situation.

    P.S. In our home, we primarily use our dog beds in the living room for this training, though many trainers suggest using a place board or a training mat for a clearer boundary understanding for your dog. I confess, our dogs occasionally sneak a paw off the bed, or even try to wriggle their way off. But honestly, I’m content as long as they’re still making some contact with the bed 🙂



    FAQ 1: Is the place command suitable for dogs of all ages?
    Yes, the place command can be effectively taught to dogs at any age. However, the training approach might vary slightly depending on the dog’s age, with puppies requiring shorter, more frequent sessions and older dogs possibly needing more patience due to established habits.

    FAQ 2: How long does it typically take for a dog to master the place command?
    The time it takes for a dog to master the place command varies based on the individual dog’s temperament, age, and consistency of training. Most dogs start showing understanding of the command within a few weeks, but full mastery can take several months of consistent practice.

    FAQ 3: Can the place command help with separation anxiety in dogs?
    While the place command itself is not a direct treatment for separation anxiety, it can help create a sense of security and calmness in dogs. Having a designated ‘safe space’ can be comforting to a dog when they are left alone.

    FAQ 4: What if my dog refuses to stay on the mat or bed?
    If your dog is struggling to stay on the mat or bed, it’s important to go back to the basics. Shorten the duration initially and gradually increase it. Ensure you’re not moving away too quickly and use high-value treats to motivate your dog to stay.

    FAQ 5: Are there any specific breeds that find the place command more challenging?
    While some breeds may be more predisposed to certain behaviors, the place command can be taught to any breed. Breeds with higher energy levels or those that are more independent may require more patience and creative training techniques.



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