Just one more week until the end of the challenge! By now I hope everyone is seeing a big improvement, especially when it comes to how patient their doxie is. This week we will be learning what is probably Flash’s favourite command: place. You can use this command to send your dog to their crate, bed or anything that you deem their “place”. We use a thin crate pad to teach this command, but you can use just about anything!
You will want to start out about 5-10 feet away from what you are using as their place; far enough away that you can walk them up to it while you are first teaching this command. You will want to start with your dachshund on a leash, sitting beside you in heel position. Make sure you practice this on a leash first before you “send” them to place otherwise you might have a dachshund who is running all over the place instead of to a specific place!
So with your dachshund in heel position you are going to heel forward towards their designated place. When you are about one step away from the place give the command “place” in a happy tone to your dachshund. Once all four of their paws are successfully on top of the place make sure you mark the action immediately with verbal praise. You can use a “yes” or “good boy/girl”. Then make sure you give them a food reward as well. Run through the exercise several times with just this part before moving on to adding a sit or a down.
If your dachshund starts to anticipate you sending them to their place before you give the command you can walk them up and have them sit 2 – 3 feet away from the place and then give them the “place” command from the sit. This should help to stop them from tugging on the leash to get to their place.
The second part of this exercise involves adding a sit or a down to your place command. The choice is completely up to you, it does not make a difference which one you add to it. Repeat the exercise the same way you did earlier marking with verbal praise once all four paws are on the mat/bed. This time however, you are going to wait to give them the treat until they sit or down. Once all four paws have reached the place, mark with verbal praise and then give your sit or down command. If your dachshund does not perform this command you can refer to week 3 (sit) or week 4 (down) for how to follow through with them. Once your dachshund sits or downs immediately reward them with praise and a treat!
Connecting both of these actions together in one “place” command is simple. It is all about repetition. After you run through the exercise a few times with verbally giving the sit or down command, remove this command and just give the one command “place”. If your dachshund runs to the mat/bed, but does not sit or down, give them 3 seconds to figure it out after they have reached the mat/bed. If they still do not sit or down on their own, you can follow through and make them sit or down. It does not take many repetitions of this for them to catch on that they only get the food after they sit or down. Food makes everything easy in their world!
You can also start gradually increasing your distance from your “place”, but only after your dachshund has mastered their sit or down at the end of it. Take a step back at a time and trying giving your place command from there. You can still walk your dachshund up on a leash if you choose or you can try “sending” them by giving the “place” command, but remaining where you are while they proceed to their place.
There you have it! Our second last command of the challenge. “Place” is fairly simple and most dogs seem to love the command (who wouldn’t? Your bed AND treats? It is a win-win for them). We use it lots when people come over and we want him to lie down during dinner. He will be sent to his place. It works great for having them go in their crates as well or for bedtime or for when you just want them to lie down and relax a little. It is definitely a command I use several times a day.
Remember we are always here to help you if you have any questions or concerns about your training. Feel free to email email@example.com. Don’t forget to tag your pictures and videos of you practicing with #DUTrainingChallenge to be entered to win one of three prizes at the end of the challenge consisting of a Wiener Dog Tote from The Smoothe Store and a harness in the colour of your choosing from Puppia along with some great training treats for you and your dachshund! Happy training!