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Training Exercise: How To Teach Place

Game:

Teach your dog how to go to their place and stay there


What you will need:

- treats 


Why do it:

A dog bed gives your dog a place in this world. It minimizes confusion about where they should go. It gives them a place to rest. It is also a place to think about what you've done, meaning we give them a place to reset and choose another activity besides something we don't like.


You can call the command bed or place (or anything else!). I am going to use "Place".

How to Teach

Step 1: Lure your dog to the bed. Lure them into a sit on top of the bed. When they are sitting, say "Yes!". Then give them a treat and say "Good Place: to tie the behavior of being on the bed with the command "Place".




Step 2: Introduce pointing. Stand right next to the dog bed and point to the dog bed. When your dog gets onto the bed, wait for the sit, and when their bum hits that bed, say "yes!" and give them a treat and say "good Place".





Step 3: Get a little farther away. Take one step away from the bed and point to the bed. When your dog gets onto the bed, wait for the sit, and when their bum hits that bed, say "yes!" and give them a treat and say "good Place".





Step 4: Ask your dog to stay on the bed. Point to the bed. When your dog sits on the bed, stay Stay (instead of Yes!... they haven't earned the treat yet!). After you say Stay, you can add distance, duration or distractions. For example, make them stay for 3 seconds (duration) or make them stay for one step backwards (distance) or make them stay while you wave your hand (distraction). Once you did something, say "ok" and let them come off the bed to come get the treat.





Step 5: Keep making it harder! Keep adding distance, keep adding time, keep making the distractions harder!


Exercise Notes:

-When pointing, start close to the bed where they can be successful and then get farther away. For young dogs and dogs just starting out, three steps away from the bed and pointing is a great benchmark. Farther than that will be really challenging for a new command because dogs don't have great depth perception and they can get confused at what you are pointing at.

- As you keep making "Stay" more challenging, your dog may get stuck. If you try a new level of difficulty and they fail (they don't do it), reset and try again at the same level. If they fail for a second time, then make it easier (less time, less steps, etc.).


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