A Place command is incredibly useful. Put simply, a place command involves teaching a dog to travel to a specific spot (I like using bathmats as mats are portable and easy to travel with) and then to remain in that spot until released. It is easier for most people to teach than a solid stay because the dog isn’t required to remain in either a sit or a down, but as long as the dog remains in that spot, can sit, down, stand, turn around. . .you get the picture.
So in keeping with my resolution to actually start training Fix, I decided a Place command would be a good addition to his education.
TRAINING A “PLACE” COMMAND
This exercise consists of training two separate exercises and then combining the two into a single exercise.
The first part involves teaching the dog to remain in a designated spot until released. The second part involves teaching the dog to travel to the designated spot.
In training this exercises, as with all exercises, the Four D’s of Training are employed. These are:
Remember, you want to build on success, so your goal in training is to set your dog up to succeed, not fail. Be sure your dog understands what is required before making the task more difficult.
To begin, you need a RELEASE word. This is a word which you will consistently use to let your dog know it is free to do something different. For example, in this case, once you have told your dog to “place” your dog should not move from that location until you have given permission; i.e., a Release. It is important that you use this word to release your dog following every command. A Release word is not the same as praise. Praise should be given while your dog is performing the action (sit, down, etc.) so that you are praising the action and not the dog’s behavior after completion of the action. A Release word simply means your dog has your permission to do something else and should not be followed with praise.