Command Training

Teaching a Place or Mat cue can be useful when you don’t want your dog under your feet. You can use it for when people come into your home, when you are in the kitchen, or if you go to a new place and want your dog to have a place to settle.

This video features trainer, Carrie Seay of PHX Animal Behavior Center, walking through all of the steps to help teach your dog “Place”.


Step 1. Place a mat, blanket, or towel on the ground. Any time your puppy interacts with it, click and treat.

Step 2. Use your pointer finger to point to the mat and when your puppy steps on the mat, click and treat. You can also use your finger to lure your puppy over to the mat if they are a bit distracted.

Step 3. Add your cue word in such as “place” or “mat” right before you lure your puppy to the mat. If they step on the mat, click and treat.

Step 4. We now want to build in an automatic sit or lie down once your puppy gets to the mat. Often times, puppies will automatically sit once they get on the mat and that is great! You can also wait for them to sit without asking anything or if they continue to stand go ahead and ask them to sit. Click and treat once they are sitting or lying down.

Step 5. Ideally, our puppy will learn to stay on the mat until they are given a release cue. After our puppy sits or lies down we will wait a moment before our normal click and treat. We will then add in our release cue as we toss a treat off to the side of the mat. The cue might be “okay” or “free”.

Step 6. Build up the amount of time that your puppy stays on the mat before being released. Work in low excitement areas before working near the door or kitchen.

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