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I wanted to write a quick post to remind everyone of the importance of teaching some type of "Place" command. Last night, I was reaching for a dish on the top shelf of the cabinet and I bumped a wine glass. It fell to the floor and shattered in a billion pieces. I immediately said, "Aspen, place!" and she went to her rug and sat there while I cleaned up the mess. I was so happy to not have to deal with glass in her feet or worry about where she was while I was cleaning up my mess.
 

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Yes! We teach "met/bed/place" in our level one obedience class, and it is one of my favourite behaviours. It is one of my favourite problem solving tools.

Have a dog that begs relentlessly? Go to mat. Dog jumps up on guests? Go to mat. Counter surfs while you're making dinner? Go to mat. Helps teach them to settle, gives them a place to chill and feel relaxed. Ugh I LOVE IT.
 

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Aspen,

Yes, it is nice when a trained obedience( properly executed by the dog) pays dividends, especially in the situation you described. Nice job.

A similar situation happened to me the other day; I open the fridge and managed to knock a glass jar of salsa on the floor and it shattered on the floor. My dog moved toward the mess and I issued a "leave it" and the dog stopped hard and then I gave her a place command and she went to her mark in the kitchen, laid down and patiently watched me clean the glass shards and salsa off the floor.

A question for you. Is your dog fairly sound/balanced/confident/unflappable when it comes to sudden sounds/surprises/loud noises or other events where your natural reaction is anything but calm? I'm guessing yes but the event you described would send many a dog lacking in solid "nerves" scurrying.
 

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Hi @DriveDog - that's great! Leave it is such a valuable command. :) Yes, Aspen is very calm when it comes to loud sounds. It's something I've trained as part of her CGC training. One night, it was thundering so loudly, it woke me up. Aspen was sleeping at my feet, snoring :)
 

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We are working with Trucker on this, he picked up the cue "Couch" and "Deck" which I guess for him is like place. One for outside outhouse and one for inside. Now we are working on "Pillow". we are hoping it will be able to translate to anywhere, just sit a pillow of "trucker-ish" size on the floor and say "pillow" and he will go and lay down.
 
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What techniques do you use to teach a reliable "place"? By reliable I mean, (1) will go to "place" at once, and (2) will stay there until released.
 

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What techniques do you use to teach a reliable "place"? By reliable I mean, (1) will go to "place" at once, and (2) will stay there until released.
Personally, I started with a nose target. I would have her target the rug where I wanted to to be. Eventually, I faded out the nose target and replaced it with the word "place".

I think it's important to have a place that makes sense for the individual dog too. Aspen LOVES to be around us so I didn't make her place in the family room downstairs. I made it on the rug between the kitchen and living room so she could see us. I was incredibly strict about it. If we were eating or I was cooking, she had to go to her place. Now, I don't care if she's on the rug so much because she knows that she can't be in the kitchen. She chooses her rug now so she can watch us... and watch where the kids crumbs fall ;)
@Shandula uses this command (or something like it) too so she may have a different method. I love that dogs are so smart so a variety of methods will work! :)
 

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I shaped it. :)

Put a towel/mat/bed on the ground. (I use a variety to generalize)

1. Click treat for looking at/smelling/interacting with mat. (Depending on your dogs experience with shaping).
2. Click and treat for one paw. I personally feed once on the mat, then toss a treat to reset.
3. Click for two paws.
4. Click for three paws.
5. Click for four paws.
6. Hold out for a sit.
7. Hold out for a down.
8. Once they will go to the mat and immediately lie down, I give it a cue. (Mine is "mat")
9. I start adding the 3 D's. :)
 

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I shaped mine too! Pip's go-to-mat (or go-to-cot) is very reliable. I like using shaping for mat-work because it builds value for the mat, especially if you make sure there are zero corrections in the training and proofing of it. I am taking a CU (Control Unleashed) class with Pip in a training facility and her go-to-mat behavior was so strong that she could sit in the middle of the class instead of her station and be totally serene and nothing could break her from staying on the mat!
 
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