How to Teach Your Dog the Place Command - Rescue Dogs 101

How to Teach Your Dog the Place Command

The Dog PLACE Command Saved My Sanity!

I don’t know about you, but my dogs go crazy when the doorbell rings, whether it be one of my kid’s friends or the UPS man. We would scream and yell at the dogs to shut up and go lay down… all while we “welcome” our guests in.

Not such a welcoming event! Until that is, we started practicing the dog PLACE command.

We all think about sit, stay, down as the basic commands to teach our dog. But the PLACE command for your dog is also so very important!

The dog PLACE command is simply training your dog to go to a specific place, such as a dog bed, mat or a raised platform. Some people will say “go to your bed”. Keep in mind that a simple “go lay down” is not the same as a PLACE.

Place Command Dog Training

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The PLACE command can be useful in so many situations. It’s great for when the doorbell rings and your dog rushes the door. Train your dog the place command to have him wait patiently on his mat. You can then open the door and greet your guest without your dog creating chaos.

We personally also use it for our “resource aggressive” dog, Ginger. We put her in her “place” during dinner time, or anytime someone is eating a snack on the couch.

You can have your dog go to his place anytime you need to keep him out of trouble… when you have guests over, when you are cooking dinner, or maybe need to leave the front door open while bringing in a delivery.

The PLACE command is valuable, I can't believe more trainers don't include it in basic training classes!Click To Tweet

Here is how to teach your dog the PLACE command:

  1. Put your dog on a leash.
  2. Standing only a few feet away from his dog bed or mat, say “PLACE” and guide your dog on to the mat.
  3. Once he has all four feet on the mat, say “GOOD” and give him a high-valued treat. Treats are not necessary but can add motivation if your dog doesn’t want to go on to the mat.
  4. Your dog does not need to sit or lay down… he just needs to have all four paws on the dog mat. He can do anything he wants as long as he stays on that space. If the dog gets up before you release him, say NO and then simply guide your dog back the mat. Do NOT repeat the command.
  5. Start this command with no distractions, leaving him by only a foot, for a few seconds. Gradually extend the time and distance. You can add distractions after he fully understands the command and can stay in the PLACE for at least 2 minutes at a time.
  6. Practice and repeat until your dog can remain in his place. Do not expect him to stay for more than a 10 seconds in the beginning, slowly extend the time as you practice.
  7. Slowly add distractions, such as people walking by, toys, and the doorbell.

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[Related: If you need help training your dog, you may also want to read
How to Find the Perfect Dog Trainer.]

Here is a great video from SolidK9 Dog Training showing the Place Command:

P.S. We simply use our dog beds in our living room, but many trainers will recommend a raised platform so your dog has a clear understanding of the boundaries. I admit, our dogs will sneak a paw, and sometimes try to squirm their way off the bed. But honestly, I’m happy as long as they are touching the bed 🙂

Now it’s your turn…

Leave a comment below to tell me how the place command has changed your dogs life? I always reply to comments, so let’s start a conversation… it could help someone else with a similar problem or question.

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About the Author Debi@RescueDogs101

Debi McKee is the mom of Ginger and Bear (and three human kids too), lifetime dog lover and a volunteer for a rescue as foster home. She is the creator of Rescue Dogs 101, were she guides you in your journey of adopting and raising a rescue dog every step of the way. Sign up for the free resource library! It is jam-packed with valuable resources that you will use throughout your journey.... all for FREE!

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