Scout, Ry, and I took Ash’s pretty red bike on a ride to City Center in Port Orange the other day for two reasons:
- to further stabilize Scout around bicycles
- to work on her place command
The place command that Scout and I are working on isn’t the generic go have your dog to lay in a certain designated spot while you enjoy a peaceful dinner place command. Scout was a quick study on that one and can actually go to one of two places on command, either on top of her crate, or on her dog bed next to the island. It is always entertaining to change it up on her and watch her think about which one you commanded.
So the place command I want to teach is more like a Redo command if you will. I want to be able to call her from a down stay, get her into position then tell her “place” and have her go back to the spot she originally came from. Crazy cool right? Baden K9 is the one that introduced me to this command. We were doing a crazy drill involving coffee cans and you weren’t allowed to call your dog to you unless you could command them to return to their original place.
Day 1 of the Place Command
Once we got to the City Center Park, I took Ry out of the Tula and let her play around in the grass while Scout and I worked. It was a little bit more challenging because Scout was slightly fatigued from the slow bike ride in the bright Florida sunshine and summer heat but we did as much as we could. Just as exertion makes it harder for us to think and process, so to does exertion affect dogs.
- I put Scout in a down stay in a place I could easily recognize so I could bring her back to the same exact spot
- I walked 10 feet away and called her to me. I then praised her for a good “come”
- Now it was time to give the place command, “Scout place” and I walked her immediately to the same spot she started at.
- As soon as we got there, I gave her a “Good Place”
- I put her back in a down stay in the exact same spot
- Then I repeated this drill from different distances from the original spot. Every time leading her back with the lead. Its important not to set her up for failure by taking her off lead prematurely
Now of course I didn’t want her just to associate “Place” with that one specific spot of grass so then I moved her to another starting spot and repeated the above steps with the new location. By this time I could tell I needed to finish up the drill because as we discussed in yesterdays post about overheating, Scout was starting to get hot. After a nice break of laying in the grass and letting Ry crawl over her while she drank some cool water out of a Nalgene, it was time to head back.
I would say day one was a success. I am looking forward to further developing the place command.
Scout and Ry bond while taking a break from training