How to Teach Place to Your Dog - Training Guide with Videos | Pupford
November 7th, 2023
Filed under Training
Teaching your dog the place cue can be helpful in many situations... like when the doorbell rings, when you are eating/preparing a meal, or just when you need your dog or a bit and leave you alone. We've all been there.
It can also help prevent door dashing, , and . But how can you teach your dog to go to their place? How can you increase distractions, distance, and duration while your dog is at their place? How can you help your dog love to go to their place?
In this article, we enlisted the help of two certified dog trainers! Certified Trainers Erika Gonzalez & Amber Aquart share how to teach your dog the place or mat cue in this video. But before we get to that, here is a little about Erika.
ABOUT ERIKA GONZALEZ
CCDT with 9 years of experience. She specializes in coaching pet parents to train their dogs for basic life skills and behavior modification. She is the founder of From Dusk Till Dog, LLC and is a mentor-trainer for CATCH Canine Trainers Academy.
In her spare time, Erika and her husband John, enjoy with their two dogs, Jade (American Staffordshire Terrier) and Freddie (Chihuahua mix), watching good movies, and spending time with family. Erika’s mission is to not only bring you value through her content, but to enhance the relationship with your dog along the way.
ABOUT AMBER AQUART
Amber Aquart is a CPDT-KA certified animal trainer, certified trick dog instructor, and pet lifestyle expert. She started her career as an exotic animal handler and trainer back in 2007 and began professionally training dogs in 2011. Although her primary focus has been training dogs over the last 10 years, she dedicates a special part of her focus on working with and training cats as well as how to safely integrate a multi-pet household and enrich the lives of cats and dogs.
As a certified animal trainer, Amber’s ultimate goal is to help people develop the best relationship possible with their pets and to be able to have the “best life with your best friend".
VIDEO INSTRUCTIONS ON PLACE TRAINING FOR A DOG
Want to see more videos like this? Please click .
TOOLS NEEDED TO PLACE TO YOUR DOG
TEACH YOUR DOG TO GO TO THEIR PLACE - A SIMPLE GUIDE
It's important to remember that teaching place takes time, patience, and repetition. As much as you can, work to make your dog's place as enjoyable as possible by giving chews, , and special treats on their place.
Follow these tips to teach your dog to successfully go to their place (and love it) around guests, door knocking, distractions, and more.
FIRST, TEACH THEM TO LOVE GOING TO THEIR PLACE
Make sure the place you have designated for them is the most rewarding place for them to be.
Tip from Amber: Put all of your dog's favorite treats right next to their bed. Here are some of Amber's . Then make sure to put the treats directly onto their bed instead of feeding them from your hand.
STEPS TO HELP YOUR DOG LOVE THEIR PLACE:
- Get your dog to go to their bed
- Give them their favorite treats on their bed
- If your dog offers a lie down, give them a jackpot reward (giving them a large number of treats to show them this is something especially good they just did). The longer they are there, the more treats they are delivered
- Use a release word, like "break" or "okay" to get your dog to come off their bed
- Practice this several times
INCORPORATE DISTANCE, DURATION, AND DISTRACTIONS
First, work on increasing the amount of time that your dog is on their bed. You want to gradually increase the amount of time that your dog is on their bed.
Once your dog is okay being on the bed for longer periods of time, you can add distance between you and your dog. Remember to practice the 3 D's separately, as to not confuse your dog and to set them up for success. If your dog gets up when you increase the distance between you both, take a few steps closer.
Start off with an easier distraction, and work up to things that are more distracting for your dog. Move a toy around in your hand, knock on the door, walk around, etc. If this is too difficult, go back a step to be sure your dog understands what it is you are asking of them.
STEP-BY-STEP BREAKDOWN FOR THE PLACE/MAT BEHAVIOR
Here are six steps to get started with the "go to your place" cue for your dog:
1. Lure and reward for stepping on the place
2. Lure and reward for sitting on the place
(Bonus Tip: use the “ok” cue to release them off consistently)
3. Lure and reward for lying down on the mat
4. Point to bed (with no food in hand) and capture an offered down on the mat
5. Slowly work on adding duration on the mat - reinforce every few seconds for staying on the mat before releasing them off
6. Over time, slowly add in more duration, distance, and distractions while your dog is on the place
With enough practice and repetition, you can teach your dog to go their place whenever you ask!
TEACHING YOUR DOG THE PLACE CUE AT HOME VS VET, ETC
A question we get a bit is if you should be using the same cue word for working on this at home on your dog's bed vs when you go to the vet, go into the car, or even pose for photos. Teaching your dog to go to their place bed, and place elsewhere should be different!
Amber likes to teach a more casual place cue where the dog just needs to get up on something and remain there either in a stand or sitting position. She uses a different verbal cue like, "go get up" for this and uses it at the vet on the scale, to get into the car, or to pose for photos!
TEACHING A DOG PLACE RECAP
Teaching your dog the place behavior is all about practicing around distractions, adding duration, and providing plenty of reinforcement for being in their place.
When working on this cue, break down real-life scenarios before they actually happen. Practice having them go to their bed when you don't especially need them to, give them a special treat on their bed, and be consistent in practicing! Then once your dog has a better understanding of the place cue, you can bring a friend, neighbor, family member, etc. over to practice this.
Have any other questions about teaching your dog the place cue? Ask in the comments below.