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  • The #1 Command That Every Dog Should Know!

    Sunday, July 19th, 2015, 6:38 pm

    Two best buddies Chaos and Jax keeping each other company while in "place." Though they are wrestling, they are staying on the bed just like we asked them to do!

    We believe "place" is the one command that absolutely every dog should know! It's a great way to address all kinds of issues, like bolting through doorways, jumping on guests, or begging at the dinner table, but it's also a great way to teach a dog how to be calm and relaxed and not react to everything that's happening around them.

    So, what's "place?" We teach dogs that it means they should get all four feet on whatever dog bed, mat, rug, etc. we're pointing at and, most importantly, keep all four feet on it until we release them or ask them to do something else. It's super easy to teach a dog how to get on place, but the real magic happens once they understand that they have to stay there, no matter what, until released.

    For dogs who are used to running around and reacting to everything that happens in the house, just staying in one place can be a real challenge. Other dogs have no problem staying in place at first, until the doorbell rings or the kids start running around or anything else exciting happens.

    The biggest benefit comes when a dog learns that it can be calm and relaxed and just observe exciting things going on around it. It's kind of like doggie meditation.

    It's also a great way to address all kinds of issues. Dog jumping on your guests? Send them to place when people come over. Dog getting under foot while you're working in the kitchen? Send them to place. Dog begging at the table? Send them to place while you enjoy your meal. When we do this consistently, dogs learn that when certain things are going on they're expected to go find a comfy spot and hang out calmly.

    The "Place" Command is less rigid than "sit" and "down."

    People often ask us why we teach "place" command as well as "sit" and "down." The reason is that "place" is a much more relaxed command that gives the dog some freedom to get comfy, but still keeps him in one place. They can stand, sit, lie down, roll over, take a nap, even play with a toy or chew on a bone.

    So it's a comfortable, relaxed command that we can ask them to do for an extended period of time. How long? Well, in the evenings dogs in training with us here at The Connected Canine in San Fernando Valley, CA regularly do "place" for an hour or two while we eat dinner, do the dishes, watch some TV... They're hanging out with us, but learning appropriate, calm behavior in the house at the same time.

    Within a week or two, consistent use of "place" helps them learn that calm behavior is what's expected in our house and, even if we don't tell them to "place" they tend to find a comfy bed and lie down by default when we come inside.

    Chaos and Jax in "place" command.

    Chaos and Jax in "place" command.

    The two cute boys in these pictures (Chaos and Jax) are both well under a year old. They didn't start out sharing place together.

    They earned that privilege by becoming super reliable about staying on place individually. Once they had that down, we let them try it together and this is what we got.

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