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How to Start Generalizing the Place Concept Early in your Dog's Training

by Robin MacFarlane

The place command is simple to teach and has so much value, here's how to start with your dog.

The Place command is a concept that has so much value in the daily interactions we have with our dogs. Plus, it is a simple behavior to teach. I suppose that is why I mention it so often.

In fact, there is an entire article devoted to various ways that Place can make daily routines with your dog a bit easier. (See Article: 20 Reasons to Teach a Place Command)

But before you can begin to use the command in all of these various ways, you have to teach the concept and generalize your dog's understanding of various places he can fit himself onto.

It is valuable to start the generalizing process early in the training. There is no need to stick to one object for a period of time until it is "mastered" and then move on to the next. It is easier and more beneficial to the dog if you move from object to object within the first few training sessions. The variation keeps the dog from getting stuck in the idea that Place is one object only.

Here's a look at some of our Dog Camp participants beginning the training with their dogs. Notice how they escort and help the dogs as needed to climb on or in the various platforms and items we used. It is important to remember to help your dog in this early stage. Eventually the dog will work on directional and verbal cues only, but for now use the leash and your body language to help them succeed.

-- Robin

Robin MacFarlane is a professional dog trainer and owner of Thatís My Dog in Dubuque, Iowa. Her best-selling dog training DVDs, JUST RIGHT and JUST RIGHT 2 have helped thousands of dog owners teach their dogs basic obedience and fix problem behaviors through a system of training that you can easily work into your daily routine.
  • Robin writes for Gun Dog Supply on our E-collars Dog Training blog
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