The "Place" Cue
Set Your Dog Up For Success with The "Place" to Be
The "Place" cue is a boundary stay that is a useful foundation behavior that can give you a great alternate behavior in many situations and help teach your dog to be calm in cue. When your dog is in “Place", they can sit, lie down, sleep, snore, scratch, or even better, play with an interactive toy.
This comes in handy in a number of daily activities. such as someone coming to the door, dinner time, TV time, and entertaining guest are all appropriate occasions to incorporate “Place”. It can also prevent unwanted begging, jumping, barking and other unwanted nuisance behaviors.
Teaching “Place” cue
Start with your dog on leash and by luring your dog with a tasty treat onto to the bed or mat. Once all four paws are on the bed, Mark with Click or "Yes" verbal marker and reward. Then release your dog by luring or tossing a piece a food away from the bed adding your release cue (OK, Free, or Break).
Give your dog the “Place"cue and lead them onto the bed. Repeat this a few times so your dog gets comfortable getting all four feet on the bed. Next, you can show the the boundary by walking from corner to corner, rewarding at each stop. Start practicing going on and going off the "Place" cue so your dog understands the release.
If your dog comes off the "Place" bed:
Use your no reward marker (NRM) of "Ehh Ehh" paired with light leash guidance and or spatial pressure to move him back onto the bed. It's important to keep enforcing the rules and always end on a good note with your dog releasing on cue, even if it's been a long time put them back and wait a few seconds then release. Consistency will make all the difference.
Once your dog is doing great at staying, releasing, and you've worked on plenty of Duration, start adding some Distance slowly and then more Distractions like we practiced together. This is the 3 D's.
Practice Duration, Duration, and more Duration to create calm on cue.
Make the "Place" cue part of your daily life.
After our first session, your homework is to practice Duration. I find incorporating the "Place" cue into your daily life is a great way to start.
Practice plenty of duration, while you are watching TV, or on the computer are great times to practice duration, even cooking dinner marking and rewarding all good choices. Remember you can move the "Place" bed to anywhere you want and have multiple items be "Place" just not human furniture or the crate. The clearer the boundaries the easier it will be for your dog to succeed.