The “place” command is probably the most posted and talked about command/skill in dog training. Place has all kinds of uses for all different types of behavioral issues. I love place for hyperactive dogs to use as an off-switch for arousal. I will use place as a “safe zone” for extremely fearful dogs. I convince the dog that when they are on the bed no one ever comes over and “pops their bubble”. You can actually transfer that concept of the dog feeling like they have a safety bubble around them, to the outside world and different objects. It’s really neat! The number one benefit I see from a generalized place command, (not just on the bed, but the dog is now seeing tree stumps, playground equipment, anything else as place) is the benefit of creating bodily awareness. By having your dog place on an object where he has to focus on his balance and overall footing, you are bringing the dog’s mind that is typically obsessed with the eternal, to the internal. It is a calming, self-centering exercise and they have no choice but to focus on the task at hand.
Place has so many applications and uses. It is the easiest way to teach our dogs impulse control which typically they need in areas outside of the home. By teaching a dog to stay on the place bed and not jump off or react to things going by it, you can then transfer this concept to the walk. They will be able to walk past other dogs way more easily because they have this basic skill ingrained in them from what they have learned from place. This amazing command can help dogs live so much more harmoniously with us. It builds a dog’s confidence and gives them some place where they can completely let their hair down and relax; that does not have to be the crate. Crating is fantastic for dogs, but the place command allows dogs to be more a part of family activities while still remaining calm and under control.