How to Teach Your Dog “Place”
Place training is teaching your dog to stay in a dedicated spot without being restrained in any way for an indefinite amount of time. This is a great foundation skill to build towards more advanced behaviors, but a beginning practical use is teaching your dog to lay comfortably on their dog bed to relax and find a safe space.
How to Teach:
- Lure your dog into bed with a hand target or a treat. Remember that we want to build the behavior before adding a verbal cue.
- Once all four paws are on the bed, mark it with your marker cue, and give a treat reward. Your dog should already have value-added to a clicker or a marker cue so you can signal when your dog has done the correct behavior.
- Encourage your dog to hop off the bed so you can begin repeating the process.
- Repeat the luring behavior and mark and reward accordingly.
- Once your dog is reliably performing the behavior of getting on the bed, you can introduce your verbal cue. I use “Place.”
- Repeat the luring steps again while saying the cue as the dog performs the behavior. Mark and reward accordingly. It is important to say the verbal cue as the behavior is happening to condition the cue accurately.
- Once your dog is doing well with the cue introduction and understanding the verbal prompt, you will lure less and less. Move from using your hand as a lure to using body movements. This will allow the dog to respond to cues rather than a lure.