What is Place Command for Dogs

Place is a command that tells your dog to go to a specific location and remain there until released. It can be a small rug, cot, dog bed, even a bath mat or towel. Place is a helpful command for getting your dog to settle and using it regularly trains stamina for being calm.

Beyond Staying Put

The location of Place functions as your dog’s crate without walls. In Dog Coach training, that’s training a calm state of mind. The goal while on Place is the same decompression and relaxation your dog learns while in the crate. When you give the command, you are telling your dog ‘it is your job to chill out and stay right here’ – which is hard work for a canine. Essentially, you are giving your dog a job to do while family life goes on all around your dog on Place.

How Long Should a Dog Stay in Place: Training Place Duration

Teaching Place duration work takes time, patience, and focus. When you’re preparing dinner, helping kids with homework, getting ready for work, or any other busy chaotic moment, that is not the time to begin teaching the Place command. 

Start at a quiet period of time, like when watching TV or evening reading. Each time your dog breaks from Place, pick up the leash and put him back on the location. The repetition teaches that he’s to remain on Place until released. When he’s been quietly lying down for a significant time, release him with “Ok” or “Break.” This is the trial ground for day-to-day use of Place. 

The goal is for your dog to remain on Place until you release him with “Break” or “Ok.” There are a few reasons for this. If your dog gets up while you’re opening the front door, it defeats the purpose of keeping your dog safe and out of the way. If your dog decides to get up and bark at a squirrel, growl at a guest, or following you to the kitchen, your dog’s impulses aren’t under control. You are teaching stamina to remain settled.

dog lying calmly at feet while owner reads
terrier lying calmly in dog bed

When to Use Place

Think of Place command as having the same effect as when you put your dog in the crate. Keep in mind that if you’re training Place duration work, and your dog is not able to stay on Place for longer periods of time, you will want to keep up your crate work first.

Try these practice times for Place with your dog on a leash: 

  • At meal times to keep your dog out of the kitchen and dining room
  • When guests are over to keep your dog out of the way
  • While helping kids or family members with tasks
  • Around busy, crowded, high distraction areas 
  • To help your dog stay calm, feel more secure, and stay safe
irish wolfhound lies at owners feet during training outside

What Place Is Not: Place vs Stay Command 

Place command has “Stay” built into it. Some people use Stay as an added emphasis to tell their dog not to move from the previous command, but Stay is not necessary and is confusing when teaching the meaning of Place. It’s just not needed. So when you say “Place” to your dog, he remains on the location until you release him with “Ok” or “Break.” With practice you can use the Place command to send your off-leash dog to go to Place. 

dog lying calmly on blanket

Place command can be a lot of work and the tougher one to master, but there is nothing better than a family dog who will self-settle on command.

Looking for additional training tips and support?

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Encourages your leadership and show how you to nurture good behavior. 

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Covers the basics of good dog behavior as well as some behavior modification.

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