The “place” command is designed to have your dog to stay in one area for up to two hours at a time. While your dog is in the place command, he or she can get up, turn around, lie back down, chew on toys, and do just about anything, except leave the area. You can use bedding, old comforters, towels, sheets, rugs or even the crate to designate the “place” command. Just make sure that the area is big enough for your dog to lie comfortably on and not come off of easily. Most people like to use an old comforter or doggie bed to designate the “place” because it is easy to take along on trips and to friend’s homes, etc. Have the “place” in a centralized location like your den or TV area, so your dog still feels like part of the family but you are able to relax and not worry about what your he or she is getting up to!
To start, have some treats available so that you may reward your dog. Give your dog the “place” command while pointing to the designated area. Make sure the leash and collar are on your dog. When your dog gets into the area, say, “good place” and give him or her a treat. Immediately release your dog with your release word. Repeat this at least five times. Now, start having your dog stay in the “place” for longer periods of time by ‘milking’ the treats out. Give a treat and then two seconds later give another treat and so on, until your dog has been there for at least ten seconds. Then, have your dog stay in the area for twenty seconds, then thirty and so on. Build your dog up to two hours! Once your dog has worked up to five minutes you can start moving the time span along much faster. If your dog makes a mistake, give a leash correction and place him or her back into the area. If your dog makes another mistake, go ahead and put him or her outside, in the dog run or in the crate. You are going to be teaching your dog that if they want to be in the house, they must be in the “place” command.
Once you have built up to two hours, start backing slightly further away from the area and command your dog to its “place” from a greater distance. If you need to, lead your dog to the area. However, try to stop leading your dog as soon as you can. You may also set some treats in the area for your dog to find on their own once they have successfully done the place command. Or you can try tossing a treat to the area from where you are standing, trying to get your dog to go to the area on his or her own. Once you are able to get your dog to go to the area on his or her own from that distance, move back a little further. Your goal is to be able to be in any area of the home and tell your dog to go to his or her “place” on command. Your dog should eventually run to the area on command without you leading him or her there.
The more consistent you are about having your dog do the place command, the more likely that your dog will automatically come in, lay down and behave!