TRAINING 101 – Go to Your Place Command

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A well trained dog is essential for their safety but also for the comfort  and safety of friends and family.  The “Go to Your Place” command prevents your dog from jumping on visitors or charging out the door. This command means that your dog will go to a specified location and stay until released.  The “place” could be a sofa, a crate, a dog bed or any unique area you specify, though a dog bed, mat or rug works best.

To start, put your dog on a leash.  Walk him around and then command, “Go to Your Place.”  Lead him to the specified area pointing it out to him and then place the dog into a “Sit” or “Down.”  Then command your dog to “Stay.”  Start to move around in front of your dog and if it appears he is going to move, remind him to “Stay.”  If the dog is staying calmly in place mark the behavior with praise and a treat.

Give him a release command. Some options are “Let’s Go,” “Walk,” or “Free.”  Walk him off the mat offering encouragement. Again command, “Go to Your Place” and lead him to it, command “Sit” or “Down,” and then “Stay.”  This time move farther away.  Walk around the back of your dog. Do not let the dog move at all, not even a paw off of the mat.  If he moves say, “Ah, ah! Go to Your Place,” and put him back.  Keep repeating this activity by releasing him and leading him back to his place, each time making him stay longer and you moving farther away.

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Remember to do this, as well as with most training exercises, on leash until you have consistency.  If you don’t have your dog on a leash and he doesn’t stay, you might raise your voice and reach for him.  He will run from you either out of fear or by making a game of it.  If you don’t have a way to correct and control your dog, he will learn that he does not have to listen to you and he will lose respect for you as the pack leader.

To further test your dog, have someone help you by coming to your door and ringing the doorbell or knocking.  When you hear the doorbell command, “Go to Your Place,” and lead your dog there; tell him to, “Stay,” and have someone open the door.  Do not let him move from the place. If he does put him back. This will be quite hard for the dog since they generally love to great visitors enthusiastically. Again praise and offer a treat when he is obeying. Repeat this over and over until you get a reliable response.

Remember, if your dog becomes bored and fights the training, stop.  There is no additional benefit to forcing the training; this is true for all command training. And remember that with all training, patience and consistency are essential.

Good luck!

From the Pet Tails Magazine archives; this article was written by Nicole Zarnoch, CCS of Cosmo’s Corner.

Feature Photos Copyright: Cindy Thibault @fromwagstowhiskersinc

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