Zen and the Art of Dog

How to Train a Place Command – An Indispensable Tool for At Home Dog Training

The place command is an incredibly powerful tool for your dog. It’s also effective at managing both excitement and anxiety and is essential for at home dog training. I’ve mentioned training a place command in a few other posts, most recently in the homeopathic remedies for dog anxiety here.

As we have three dogs, excitement and anxiety can be overwhelming at times. It definitely helps to have them trained to go to “place” when the doorbell rings, or in the morning when we are getting their food ready.

Here is how we trained the place command.

To Treat or Not To Treat

First of all, treats can be helpful but they can also be a hindrance. It depends on your dog.

High drive dogs like Benji and Denver want to work. If I offer them treats their excitement goes through the roof. They are bouncing off the walls trying any command they’ve been taught, hoping that it’s the one that earns them the treat.

A more medium drive dog like Chloe isn’t sure if she wants to work. I used treats with her to entice her to work.

You already know what kind of dog you have and whether you should use treats.

Set Up

For the set up, find a mat. This can be a rubber or foam mat; a yoga mat will work just fine. You can also use a welcome mat or kitchen rug. Since this is at home dog training, anything around the house that you might send your dog to is useful.

The idea is to use a leash to guide your dog to the mat. Depending on your dog you may need to vary your tools. We used prong collars and leashes to train our dogs. However, if your dog is less excitable/ more trainable than ours, a slip lead or even a standard flat buckle collar will work fine. You can check out my post here for more information on using a prong collar. As you progress through the training, I recommend using a shock collar as a training tool. You can check out my recommendation for the best shock collar here.


  1. Guide your dog to the mat without letting them onto it.
  2. Say “Place”.
  3. Guide your dog onto the mat.
  4. Reward with praise/ treats.
  5. Repeat a few times.

After a few days your dog will get the hang of what place means.

Hope you found this helpful!

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