Hey Pack! Let’s talk Place Command. If you asked me my favorite training command, Place is where it’s at. I’ll keep it short, sweet, and to the point. PROMISE!
In this video, Piper is learning Place Command on remote collar. We chose this collar because of fear based issues that were making it difficult for her to function calm and confidently. Notice her body language, though. She is calm, following her owner’s commands, giving eye contact, ears forward, body relaxed. Piper is working on duration here, meaning length of time spent in Place. Immediately after this video was shot, we started adding in distractions.
What is it?
Simply, Place Command teaches your dog to go to their respective “spot” and stay there until you say they can leave. It’s a bit more than just getting your dog to enjoy that amazing Posturpedic you bought for them. As with all of my training, there are rules and structure involved. I know, I know, I’m such a downer! I promise though, it WORKS.
Here are the rules of Place Command:
Dog must stay until allowed to leave by you
Dog may sit or lay down
Dog may chew or play with toys
No Funny Business!
How do I start teaching it?
Leash your dog (I’m not even going to get picky about what collar you use, just PLEASE: NO HARNESSES!) Get some really high value treats. (These suckers are AMAZING) With dog on leash, approach the area you’d like your dog to relax in. When you get right in front of the spot, say “Place!” lead the dog onto the spot with light leash pressure and your yummy liver treat. When your dog steps onto the spot treat immediately!!! DO NOT WAIT! LET YOUR DOG KNOW THEY DID GOOD! (Can you sense my excitement?! Your dog just learned something new, and SO DID YOU!) Right after giving the treat and a good head scratch say “break!”. Break is the word you want to use to release your dog. Now obviously, you aren’t forcing your dog to stay there for a long period of time. That’s ok, you and your dog need to walk before you can run. If they break the command before you say, quietly and confidently guide your dog back to their spot. Eventually, your expectations will grow, and your dog will stay in Place Command for longer and longer, with more and more distractions.
Why is it SO important?
If you have trained with me, you know my #1 rule of dog training is: Leadership and Structure. Let that sink in, make it your new mantra. Place Command is the most efficient and easiest way to add structure and leadership into your relationship, your dog CRAVES both. Your dog has no choice but to watch and follow your lead while learning Place Command. Soon enough, with enough repetitions, you will notice the shift in your relationship. You become the leader, and your dog becomes the follower. It’s that moment when your dog accepts their role as follower that the magic really begins to happen, so to speak. All of the sudden, your dog stops fighting you, they are giving you calm eye contact, aren’t over reacting to every silly noise or movement. They relax. Now correct me if I am wrong, but that’s why you are still reading, right? Because you need help getting your dog to relax? Place Command is your ticket. Keep in mind, it’s not the full circle, but it’s a start.
Keep in mind, every dog works at different speeds. Some dogs may be more fearful or anxious, so they will learn more slowly, or need training aids to help over come more difficult issues. If you are struggling with your relationship with your dog, sign up for my email list and you will get “9 Steps To a Calmer Dog”. It’s an awesome checklist you can run down to make sure you are being an AWESOME leader to your dog.
Happy Training Pack!