Let's Start Showing Your Dog His/Her "Place"!
Now you've got your leash and collar or harness attached and you've picked your word for "place" if you don't like that word.
Now we're ready to show your dog how to finally be relaxed.
Step 1: Put the blanket or dog bed on the floor wherever you want to practice the place command.
Step 2: Using the leash, walk your dog all the way to the blanket or bed ...guiding him onto it and making sure all 4 paws are on it.
Step 3: As soon as your dog steps on the blanket/bed say "place" or whatever word you chose. I'll be saying "Place" for this series...substitute for the word you're using.
Notes: If your dog is stubborn but likes treats you can try to lure him to place with a treat, but try to do it without treats if possible.
Step 4: Praise your dog for going onto place. This can be a treat if you like or it can be a word like "good" some affection like a pet on the head for a few seconds.
Step 5: Say "break" or "ok" or whatever word you want (just pick ONE word and always use it) and guide him off of the blanket or bed (place).
Step 6: Walk your dog away from place (walk around the room for example) then walk him back to the place...saying your "place" word as he goes back on the blanket/bed.
Step 7: Repeat as many times as you can. If you are watching TV and want to practice between commercials then do this for 4-5 minutes.
Next commercial break do it for another few minutes.
You don't have to spend hours a day doing this! Do short bursts as often as you can and you WILL see results soon.
Quick Recap So Far:
1) Walk him to place
2) Say "place" word when all 4 paws hit the blanket/bed
3) Say "good" and praise with treat or pet if you like
4) Say "break" or "ok" or pick a release word and guide him off of place
5) Walk around the room for a second
6) Guide him back to place and repeat
Step 8: Once your dog is going to place without any fussing or objections, start stopping a few feet short of the place.
The idea here is to stop guiding him all the way to the place. If he keeps walking to place 3 feet after you've stopped guiding him then you are doing AWESOME...keep it up!
Remember ...one day soon you want him or her to go to place without a leash, so stopping short and letting your dog fill in the blanks is one step closer to that.
Step 9: After your dog is going to place even when you don't guide him 100% of the way with the leash, it's time to see how long you can get him to stay there.
In the beginning ANYTHING over 1 second is a big win for most people. If your dog sits, stands or lays down in place praise him with a "good" or even a treat and some petting if you'd like.
If it goes to 2 minutes give a "good" and more praise (but keep the treats to a minimum)
If he stays keep praising and saying "good"...
Until he walks off without permission from you. If you haven't said "break" or "OK" or whatever release word you've chosen then he's breaking command.