The command “place” is one of the most important basic commands that every dog should be able to safely master. If the signal is “seated”, the dog should lie down immediately at any time. He only gets up again when this is signaled to him. The dog should refrain from rolling, crawling, barking or yowling when “down”.
You should practice “down” in a place where the dog will not be distracted. Take a treat in your right hand, the leash in your left hand. Take a few steps when you hear the sound “foot”.
After stopping, let the dog sit on your left side and crouch down yourself. This is the basic position and starting position for the command “down”, which you can teach your dog in two ways.
The dog is not distracted at home. © stock.adobe.com/gpointstudio
The leash is held on the ground in front of the dog so that it is taut. Now the treat is held on the floor past the dog’s nose a little away from him and the command “place” is given. The dog will lie down to get the treat that he will get the moment his front body and bottom are on the ground.
At the same time, of course, must be praised extensively. The position is supported by stroking the back. After a while the sound “Sit” comes up and the dog is allowed to sit up again.
Always remember to praise your dog. © shutterstock.com/Soloviova Liudmyla
This method is especially recommended for small dogs and terriers. Again, use the leash to connect to your dog. Sit down and bend both legs in front of you, creating a kind of tunnel. But you can also use a stool or stool as a “tunnel”.
After you have made your dog aware that there is a treat in your hand, use it to lure him under the “tunnel”. This will make him lie down automatically. At this moment you give the command “space”. Now give him the treat he deserves and praise him profusely. Give the command “run” and stand up to resolve the command “down”.
The dog may only leave its place on your signal. © stock.adobe.com/Przemyslaw Iciak
If the clearance works, the dog’s lying time will be lengthened bit by bit, and you will slowly begin to move away from the dog. So the “laying down” is trained. While the dog is in the “down position”, step in front of him, letting the leash slacken.
After a while, walk next to him again so he’s on your left and let him sit. Now, exercise by exercise, the line is lengthened and finally placed on the floor. If the dog remains lying down that long, the leash can be left off. If there are no complaints here either, you can change the training area and go to the park or the dog park.
You can now also train “space” outside. © stock.adobe.com/fotomowo
The dog should not be disturbed by anything when making space and should remain lying down until it is picked up. Once that has been achieved, the next stage begins: You move away from his field of vision. In the initial phase, it has proven useful to put a familiar object next to the dog, e.g. an item of clothing belonging to the owner with its smell.
So it has the familiar smell, and it is easier to be alone and lying down. In the beginning, it is also helpful to show the dog again in between. It is important to always keep an eye on him in order to take corrective action if necessary.
It has to work even in the absence of the owner. © stock.adobe.com/Karoline Thalhofer
If space and storage work, all that is missing is getting there. If the dog is listening to its name properly and there is a close bond between you, this exercise will not cause any problems. The four-legged friend should come quickly to a one-off hearing sound and sit close to his master. All of this is initially practiced on a leash and in a distraction-free environment. Finally, the dog should not be distracted by people or cars, let alone by other dogs.
If you have difficulties following our tips or if your dog reacts differently to what we have described, do not hesitate to contact a dog trainer. He can tell you where the mistakes are. Most of the time, the problem is resolved in an hour or two.