Updated: Nov 8, 2022
"Place" is a very important command. Most owners l have met are not practicing this command often enough.
We train our dogs to "place" whenever we are doing something else and the dog is not in the crate. We leave a line and ecollar on the dog so we can always guide and follow through if the dog breaks command.
If we cannot follow through (e.g.talking on the phone) the dog will stay in the crate.
Usually, we practice this command for a total of 3 hours or more multiple times a day.
When a dog views the home as a place associated with peacefulness and calmness, he is much less likely to feel anxious when someone comes in or leaves.
When a dog is in a calm mental state around his owner, he is more likely to stay in a calm mental state when his owner is gone.
If a dog feels really aroused and excited whenever his owner is around, he is much more likely to feel depressed and lost once his source (in some cases, the only source) of extreme excitement disappears.
If you have a dog with seperation anxiety, it is imperative that you teach you dog how to stay calm around you. You also need to have the discipline to stay calm around your dog.
When your dog is in "place" you are supposed to leave him alone.
So in that sense "place" also trains the owner how to keep a distant from their dog and leave their dog alone.
Do not keep fussing around your dog every time you see him. Do not make a big deal whenever you come home. Do not give him lots of affection and soft talk right before you leave. All these things will not make your dog more happy and balanced, it will only make your dog more confused and lost once you have disappeared.
"Place" teaches your dog that you are a source of calm guidance, not unstable hyperness.
"Place" gives your dog a time and place to exercise better self control and enjoy some down time, so he is not always going to be "look at me, pet me, hug me..." when his owners are around.
If a dog does not know how to handle not being the centre of attention, he will have a hard time coping with being by himself, which means he will have a hard time dealing with being left alone in the car, home, clinic...
"Place" is a calming command, it is not about playing, praising, or any form of arousal.
When you practice "place" with your dog, you also need to calm yourself down.
This is therefore a good exercise especially for owners who cannot stay calm around their dogs.
Owner who have the habit of always fussing with their dogs needs to learn how to be more distant and aloof around their dogs.
When the owner appears more stable with better self control, the dog will feel more confident and trusting around the owner, which can also help to reduce the anxiety.
It is team work. We need to know how to be calm around our dogs if we want our dogs to know how to be calm around us.
If they cannot stay calm when we are around, how can they stay calm once we are gone?