There are two concepts of a place for a dog. In the first case, this is the place where the dog rests or is kept, and in the second case, the place performs the disciplinary command included in the program of the general training course. According to the method of working out, these skills differ from each other, but, of course, they solve the general problem – instilling in the dog a certain correct behavior.
By teaching the dog to leave or return to the place, you solve certain problems with the pet’s behavior when it is necessary to isolate it, discipline it, and control its behavior. By sending the dog to the place, you do not use it as a punishment or a game – this is a serious command, and you need to treat it responsibly.
Where can this skill come in handy?
The skill is included in the program of the general training course and in the competitive standard for this course;
Teaching a puppy to a new home is not complete without arranging a convenient and comfortable place to which the puppy must get used to;
Control over the behavior of the dog, its movement, and often the elimination of obsessive behavior can occur when giving the dog the command “Place”;
Training a dog to an aviary, kennel, cage or container is faster if the dog is already familiar with the “Place” command;
A dog trained in the “return to place” technique can be left for a long time near a certain thing belonging to the owner, in a laying position.
When and how can you start practicing a skill?
Let us consider the initial option of training the dog to the place, since practicing this technique in a training school according to the general training course program will require you and the young dog to know several disciplinary techniques. The option of teaching a dog to a home place is most in-demand, so let’s start with the first steps in practicing this technique with a puppy and a young dog.
What should be done first?
Set up your puppy in a cozy corner, if possible not on the aisle, away from heating appliances, not in the kitchen, or on the balcony. It is quite understandable that sometimes it is not possible to fulfill all these requirements, nevertheless, try to create a kind of comfort for the puppy.
As a place for a dog, you can use just a bed or rug, a mattress, a couch, a special dog bed, or a lightweight foam box, lined with durable fabric. You should not immediately purchase expensive mattresses or bedding, as the puppy may not always like them. Pet product manufacturers offer a wide range of different dog resting options, so you can surely choose what works for you. It is clear that you need to focus on the future size of the dog, but at first, a place to rest, even if in the future the puppy grows into a large dog, you must choose based on the current size of the puppy with a margin of 3-4 months – later you will have to bed, rug or bed change to a large one.
How to start practicing a skill?
First, accustom your puppy to the nickname and establish contact with him. A place for a puppy should be associated exclusively with a positive and pleasant pastime, therefore, you cannot send a puppy to the place as a punishment for an offense or be rude towards him when he is in this place.
Pick up the playing puppy that has fallen asleep in the wrong place and take it to the place, while reminding him with the command “Place” where you are sending him. After putting the puppy in place, pet, calm down, and stay nearby for a while, preventing him from moving to another place.
If you need to reinforce the puppy’s positive perception of his place, periodically remind him where he belongs by giving the command “Place” and encouraging the puppy to run up to him, showing him a treat in the immediate vicinity of the bedding or bed. At that moment, when the puppy is in place, give him a treat, stroke him, saying “okay, place”, and once again treat him with a treat. Repeat this procedure several times a day, and reinforce each successful attempt with a treat.
Gradually move a short distance from the place and command the puppy to return there. Reinforce the next successful attempt to return to the place again with a delicacy and stroking. After a while, put a piece of delicacy in its place and encourage the puppy to find it, after giving the command “Place”.
Use helpers who will hold the puppy so that you place the treat in front of him, and then encourage him to return to the place by moving a certain distance.
The quality of mastering the skill depends on the frequency of repetitions of the technique and your actions.
After a while, teach the puppy to lie down after returning and reward him with treats and strokes. The command should be given clearly, demanding, and obligatory at the moment when the puppy is focused and can perceive you.
A place for a puppy is a safe, cozy area where he is encouraged, stroked, and talked kindly, so the puppy quickly gets used to it and after a while begins to come to the place on his own, without a reminder.
Possible mistakes and additional recommendations:
Never send a dog, much less a puppy, to a place in a rude manner, using this action as a punishment. Moreover, never punish a dog that is on the spot for misconduct;
Do not try to forcefully remove the dog from its place if it does not want to, use gentle words and the command “Come to me” for this purpose;
When practicing this skill, consistency is needed, do not complicate the technique before the dog has learned the previous skills;
Create a positive perception of the place for the dog by using treats and stroking with affectionate words;
Do not disturb the dog on the spot unnecessarily, and do not allow family members to do so;
Do not distort the “Place” command. Additionally, when sending the dog to its place, you can use a hand gesture to indicate the direction of movement to the dog;
The place should be cozy and comfortable for the dog, then neither you nor the pet will have problems with accustoming to it.