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Photos: One Great Reason to Teach a Place Command to Your Dog

by Robin MacFarlane

He can stand, lie down or sit, but he must keep all four paws on the defined Place.

One of the reasons I make sure my dogs are diverse on their understanding of a Place command is because it makes for such fun and interesting photos.

For those of you that may not be familiar with a Place command let me explain. I teach my dog to keep four paws on a definable space. As a general rule when I start out teaching this concept I use a medium sized platform or dog bed. Something that is stable and adequately large enough for the dog to comfortably fit all four paws on.

The dog is given the freedom of choice that he can stand, lie down or sit but he must keep all four paws on the platform. If the dog lies down, and the paws hang off, that is ok, but there is no allowance for intentionally creeping or stretching off of the Place. The dog is allowed to change body positioning but the intention of remaining on the place is built into the training concept.

As soon as the dog demonstrates some basic understanding of the idea, I begin to generalize it to a variety of "places". This not only helps the dog learn that "staying four paws on" is the idea but it also builds confidence and body awareness.

Some of the standard faire in our search for new Places to practice on include: park benches, picnic tables, and boulders. But we also get creative and use more challenging obstacles like those various shapes of cement parking lot barriers, narrow retaining walls and railroad ties.

The dogs learn to collect themselves and have better body awareness by learning to balance on increasingly smaller objects like footstools as well.

It all makes for developing a more stimulated mind, as well as a more nimble and balanced body, but mostly it is just a whole lot of fun for the photos!

-- Robin
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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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  • Pull-Quote= Generalizing a Place command stimulates the dog's mind and creates a more nimble body!

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