Teaching (Go To Your) “PLACE” And “PARK IT” Command

21 03 2009

dog-in-placeSo far, we have discussed many different basic training commands, SIT, COME when called, TAKE IT, LEAVE IT, DROP IT, Potty Training, HEEL, and STAY and WAIT.  This would be the final command necessary to complete a “basic training” class, laying a foundation for more advanced commands later on.

This will teach your dog a certain PLACE to go when you do not want him underfoot.  Sometimes, this may be referred to as a CONTROL CENTER.  To teach this, you first must choose the PLACE.  It can be a cushion, a rug, a towel, the dog’s bed or even his crate. 

  1. Once you choose the PLACE, stand very near it and toss a few treats on the PLACE.
  2. Give your dog the PLACE command, “Go to your PLACE.”
  3. As soon as your dog’s paws touch the PLACE to get the treats, give him a ton of praise and let him go to town on the treats you left on his PLACE.
  4. You must practice this several times.  Once your dog learns that being in his PLACE gets him treats, he may not want to get off of his PLACE.
  5. Some dogs will need to be lured away with another treat.  Mom takes this opportunity to practice the COME command by walking about five feet away and saying “Spike, COME.”
  6. Your dog may begin going to his PLACE on his own, without being lured by the promise of treats.  If he does this, that is great!  If you see your dog in his PLACE and you did not give him the command to go there, make sure you give him praise and treats after the fact.
  7. When your dog is going to his PLACE on cue, test him by putting more distance between both of you and the PLACE.  Eventually, you will be able to go as far away as Mom and I do.  She can send me to my PLACE from the front door, even as far away as her office upstairs!

I also know that particular word means for me to wind up in the DOWN position on my PLACE.  We do not use PLACE – my command is PARK IT.  My PARK IT spot is my bed.  Once a dog correlates the spot with the command, you can move the PARK IT or PLACE item wherever you want.  Mom used to move my PARK IT bed all over the house.  Sometimes, I thought she was trying really hard to hide my PARK IT spot from me.  Lucky for me, a dog bed that can contain a 100 pound Golden Retriever is pretty difficult to hide.  When she says PARK IT, I had to seek out my PARK IT, where I would wait for Mom to release me.

Make sure that your dog’s whole body is on the PARK IT it spot.  Do not shower him with rewards if his butt is not on the exact PLACE you determine.  You may have to work a little to lure him into that perfect position with treats and praise.  Once he has perfected his PLACE, you can practice adding the STAY or WAIT command.  Just walk away a few feet and release him.  This is an exercise that you do not need to praise or interact with your dog immediately, since being released is a reward itself.  While you are teaching this command, only give your dog a praise or treat reward when he is correctly in his PLACE or PARK IT.



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