The place command is a versatile behavior because once the dog understands the concept, he will learn to place on anything. My clients always tell me how much they love the place command. For those new to the place command, it’s basically a go to your place and stay command. Once the dog has been proofed they will stay on their place until released even with distractions. Tired of your dog being under your feet while you cook? Send her to her place. Now your dogs are no longer obnoxious with visitors because you have sent them to their place. You can now deal with the delivery guy without the dogs under your feet trying to scoot out the door.
What is really cool is that you can take the place command with you. That’s right you can teach your dog to place on anything, even during distractions! I have placed my dogs on picnic tables, rocks, park benches, lecture pedestals you name it. It comes in real handy when you want to pose your dog for a photo.
To teach the place command it’s best to start with a cot or something that’s lifted off of the floor a few inches. It is more difficult beginning on a rug or a mat on the floor because the dog has difficulty seeing the thing you are trying to place her on. It’s easier for them to see something to get up on. Begin by introducing the place by walking them over the place board and say “place”. Once they are stepping on the place board and see it’s not so scary, you can get them to stop and sit on the place board. Treat and free them. Do it again; place, and treat, free. Once they accomplish that task work on duration. They need to understand they must stay on the place for longer periods of time. Finally, start adding distractions. Start small and work up to the door bell ringing. In 2-4 weeks you will have a solid place command and a dog that you can control the next time Grandma or the postal carrier delivers a package.