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How to Teach the Place Command to Your Puppy


Teaching your puppy the place command is one of the seven basic commands in our puppy training program. It’s an essential tool for any puppy owner, enabling you to establish control over your puppy's space inside the house.

The place command will teach your puppy to stay in one place, preventing them from wandering around the house, having potty accidents, and chewing furniture. The place command is an essential part of any puppy training program and offers a simple yet effective solution, allowing you to designate a specific area where your puppy can settle down for a while. Finding the right spot is essential, whether it's their cozy bed, an elevated platform, a designated place board, or even a comfortable yoga mat. 

Following the three simple steps listed and explained below, you can successfully teach your puppy the place command and allow them to understand and respect their designated area.

Step #1 - The Lure

Use a dog training food treat to lure your puppy to the designated area while simultaneously saying "place" and pointing to the desired spot. It's essential to only use the word "place" during this step, allowing your puppy to decide what they want to do once they reach the designated area. Say the command only once. The focus here is on associating the word "place" with the act of your puppy standing, sitting, or lying down on the designated spot.

Step #2 - The Marker and Reinforcer

Once your puppy has all four paws on the place, it's time to reinforce the behavior using a marker word like "yes" or a clicker to indicate that they have successfully done the command correctly. Follow this by rewarding them with a food treat. Remember that reinforcing their behavior needs to happen the second all of their paws touch the place so that the puppy understands that, in that instant, they have performed the correct behavior. Repeat this process approximately 10 to 20 times every day for a month before proceeding to the next step to ensure that your puppy understands what they are supposed to do. This repetition helps your puppy understand the correlation between the command "place" and the desired action, strengthening their connection to the designated area. 

Step #3 - Distance Training

As your puppy becomes more familiar with the place command, you can gradually introduce distance between yourself and the designated spot. Start by standing approximately 5 feet away from the place and cueing your puppy to "place" while pointing towards that area. When your puppy successfully reaches the designated place from a further distance, reinforce the behavior with a marker and food reward. Over time, increase the distance between yourself and the place in increments of 5 feet or more, consistently reinforcing the command and rewarding your puppy for following it. Patience and repetition are the keys to success with this command.

By consistently practicing these steps, your puppy will clearly understand the place command. Not only does this provide a practical solution for times when you need your puppy to stay in their own space, but it also establishes boundaries and reinforces discipline, which puppies need to succeed. The place command empowers you as a pet owner to create a harmonious living environment where your puppy knows their designated area and respects it, promoting a sense of security and well-being for you and your new puppy!

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