Command: Go to Box / Place

Overview: Teaching your dog to go to a specific location is helpful in times when you need him to settle down and remain calm under command.

When in your home you can begin by choosing a specific location that you want your dog to go to …but we are also going to teach your dog that the command “Place“ is portable and that if you take a blanket or mat ( I like a yoga mat) wherever you are going , that this is his place in that new location.

For this reason, I want you to vary what you are using as his “Place “ during training and I also want you to move it around . Eventually once this “alternate“ has been learned, you will be able to place anything on the ground and your dog will accept that as his new place.

Dog being trained to stay in place

Step 1:

Decide what you’re going to call it. The most common terms are place, mat or bed. If your dog is Scrate, or bed trained, do not use the same word for his traveling “Place“.

Step 2:

Stand near the place and watch your dog. When he puts his foot on it, use your marker word and toss the treat off to one side. Stay near the place and keep marking and rewarding when he puts a foot on it. If you’re having trouble getting him to move around, so he lands on the place, just keep moving yourself around it until he lands on it while just following you. After a few repetitions, your dog should start heading for the place on his own. As he improves, move yourself further away from the place and stop moving the place around. We want him to be able to be looking for this place.

Step 3:

Walk towards the place and tell your dog to go place or whatever word you have chosen. Stop short of the place and see if he goes on his own. If he does, mark and toss the treat off to one side. Keep repeating, but stop a little further away each time. We want him to go towards the place on his own, and actually look for it when you use your go to place command. Do not feed from your hand. We want the dog looking for his place and if you are treating from your hand, he will tend to stare at you instead of looking for his spot.

Step 4:

With your dog on a leash, so he can’t run forward to the steal the treats, show him that you are placing treats on his place. From about 10 feet away, point and command go place! As soon as he eats the treats on his place, toss another treat off to one side, and repeat. Keep increasing the distance until your dog can go at least 30 feet to find his place.

Step 5:

Now you are going to add a down to your place exercise. As soon as he eats the treat you placed on the map, instead of tossing a treat off to one side, ask him to down on his place. As soon as he is down, keep repeating, good place, and reward with treats that are placed on the mat between his legs. Do not feed from your hand as you want him looking down and noting that he is in fact, lying down on his place. Release by throwing a treat off to one side and telling him to get it. Repeat over the course of the several sessions. Then follow him to his place as usual, but instead of asking him to down, stay silent and see if he offers the behavior on his own. If he does jackpot him with a whole handful of goodies. As with initially finding his place, add distance and see if he will lie down on his own without you being near the mat.

Step 6:

Add duration and distractions. Now, once he is down on his place, start moving around a bit and adding time before the next treat comes. Place a chair nearby and go sit in the chair. Every few seconds to get up and go on reward, as long as he is down on his place. As he gets better, add more distractions. i.e., someone entering the room, turning on the television, or heading for the kitchen. Use your imagination but make sure the distraction isn’t so difficult that he won’t be successful… take your time and build on success.

As your dog’s ability strengthen, and he gets better at this exercise you can length the duration of the time. You may want to use a particular chew toy, Buddy stick or stuffed Kong dog only gets when he is on his place if he tries to leave with it, take him back to the place. He should learn that this place is a great place to be because of this special only gets the special reward when he is on that spot. Start designating a time each day when you expect him to remain there. Dinner time is my favorite example. This is an excellent example of a command to use when guests are arriving at your front door.

Questions? Text Gordon Directly!

Text: (310) 344-0314