A Place For Everyone, Part 2

Place Training, Part Two

Does this count as place? -Dean

Does this count as place? -Dean

Now that you’ve been working hard on place training with your dog and your dog understands they are supposed to stay on the “place” and remain calm and quiet, you can move to step two.

Step two is simple. Build duration.

How do you do this? Once your puppy is on place and quietly minding his own business you can sit nearby and let your dog spend some quality time on his place. You can watch TV, read, or work on something, but make sure it won’t take your main focus away from your dog. You need to always have one eye on him so when he gets up you can place him back in a sit before he leaves the place. If your puppy takes a nap the minute he wakes up you should give him the release cue and take him off the bed and straight outside. He will appreciate the opportunity to potty.

Continue this and once the puppy is reliably remaining on place while you sit nearby you can move to the next step, walking about the room while your dog is on place.

A few things to remember while place training:

  • Never give the puppy the opportunity to get off of place. Always try to be a step ahead and catch them before they get all the way off and place them back on the bed.
  • Always give the dog the release cue before allowing them to leave the place. If you let them leave without giving them the cue, they will learn they can exit the defined place area without the cue.
  • While training, remove all distractions in the room. Set your puppy up to succeed. Keep the area, the other dogs and people, and yourself quiet during training.
  • Don’t kick your feet, hang your hand over the chair, or lean over the puppy while he’s on place. This is very distracting and you’re basically inviting the dog to play with you.
  • It’s usually a good idea to work on place after a walk or play session. Your puppy will be ready to chill out and relax.

Good luck, guys! And happy training!

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A Place For Everyone

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Place Training, Part One

Place training is one of the coolest and most useful things I’ve learned over the past few years. I was unaware of this type of boundary training before I started working at Wildrose Kennels. Mike Stewart, owner and lead trainer at Wildrose, has ingeniously created the Wildrose Way of training, and place training is at the heart of it. It’s simple, really. The dog learns to stay within a defined area for long periods of time. They don’t have to stay in a sit or a down; they can get up and stretch and rearrange, but no matter what, they must stay within the lines.

It’s easiest for a puppy, or dog, new to “place training,” to start with an elevated surface. It’s a more deliberate decision for them to step down off of an elevated surface than it is for them to walk off of a dog bed or a mat. I recommend Kuranda beds; I use these for my dogs and love them. They’re durable and easily washed with a water hose. When ordering you can choose the waterproof fabric option and if your dog is wet, or your pup has an accident, no water leaks through to your floor. The elevated bed is also great for senior dogs that have arthritis or other joint issues because it gets them off the hard floor.

You can easily transfer “place” from an elevated surface to something smaller and more easily moved by first training your dog to stay on place, and then adding the portable mat on top of the elevated surface. Once the dog has learned place on the mat, on the bed, you can eliminate the bed and use the mat on a surface of your choosing. I will cover this in a future post once Dean has progressed to that stage.

To start your puppy on place training, watch the video below. The steps are simple:

  1. Place your dog on the elevated surface of your choice.
  2. When the pup bolts off of place and takes off running (which WILL happen), pick him up and place him back on the bed.
  3. Remain quiet. There’s no need for any verbal correction.
  4. Repeat.

A few pointers:

  • Don’t stress out if it takes a little while. I can almost guarantee it will take longer for older dogs than it does puppies.
  • It’s all about consistency. Try not to let them break from place and self-reward by getting food, water, or a toy. Grab them and put them back, EVERY time!
  • Don’t leave the bed that you’re using for place training down when the dog has free roam of the house. If you do, they will choose to get on the bed, then choose, on their own, to get off. It will condition the act of breaking from place as acceptable sometimes.
  • Start small. Train in short sessions. When they decide to relax on place, reward them by releasing them and letting them have some playtime. By doing this, the dog will realize that when they bolt off of place they get put back on, but when they relax and lie down quietly, they get to get off and play. You should work on building duration over many sessions.
  • TRAIN, DON’T TEST. This is a great training “mantra” that I learned from Mike. Do NOT test your dog. Train your dog. Be in the moment, physically and mentally, while working with your pup on “place”. If you put them there and leave the room they have the opportunity to break from place and go play, undoing your previous progress.

Good luck with place training! I’d love to see how it goes for you. Post videos on my Facebook page and if you have any questions be sure to ask me there!

Check out Wildrose’s Facebook page here.

Sloane and Danner enjoy sharing a place every once in awhile!

Sloane and Danner enjoy sharing a place every once in awhile!

Ruby is using the place training cue to stay safely on the trailer. We were busy unloading four wheelers and I didn't want her to not be able to stretch her legs after our 9 hour drive, so I gave her a very large place, the entire trailer. She understands that she can move about on the trailer but cannot step off of it. Place is endlessly useful!

Ruby is using the place training cue to stay safely on the trailer. We were busy unloading four wheelers and I didn’t want her to not be able to stretch her legs after our 9 hour drive, so I gave her a very large place, the entire trailer. She understands that she can move about on the trailer but cannot step off of it. Place is endlessly useful!

Where in the world did that funny dog come from?? Brooks, a German Shorthaired Pointer, learned place in just a matter of minutes and joined the rest of the pack for the evening!

Where in the world did that funny dog come from?? Brooks, a German Shorthaired Pointer, learned place in just a matter of minutes and joined the rest of the pack for the evening!

Lola and Danner share bunk beds made by Kuranda. It couldn't be more perfect because Danner loves to jump up on his cot and Lola loves to be down under anything when she sleeps!

Lola and Danner share bunk beds made by Kuranda. It couldn’t be more perfect because Danner loves to jump up on his cot and Lola loves to be down under anything when she sleeps!

Britt loves to relax on her place after a long day of playing.

Britt loves to relax on her place after a long day of playing.

A place for everyone, and everyone on their place!

A place for everyone, and everyone on their place!

You can teach an old dog new tricks! Smokey, a 14 year old toy poodle, is learning place and Lola is showing him the ropes!

You can teach an old dog new tricks! Smokey, a 14 year old toy poodle, is learning place and Lola is showing him the ropes!

What do you mean this isn't my place??

What do you mean this isn’t my place??

You can easily tell that Callie enjoys sleeping on her place.

You can easily tell that Callie enjoys sleeping on her place.