Courtesy of Dr. Marty Goldstein

Golden Puppy Looking Up no shadow1Have you ever found yourself tripping over your dog as you tried to make dinner? Or maybe they try to play, snuggle, or jump in your lap every time you sit down. And if you’re like most dog parents, it’s a struggle to keep your pup calm and still during a veterinary check-up. It’s perfectly natural for your dog to want to be with you all the time … and it’s understandable if they feel uneasy at the vet.

But sometimes, it would be safer for them, and easier for you, if your dog would simply calm down and stay in one place. Well, there’s a “magic” word that can keep them out from under your feet while you’re cooking, help them sit still for the veterinarian… and even help your dog hangout on their own for a while when you’re busy. It’s just one simple word: “Place.”

What follows is how to teach your furry pal this command using a designated “dog mat” where your pup can sit and stay put. This can be a padded cushion or a folded towel because the type of mat doesn’t really matter. It just needs to be square-shaped, big enough for your dog to curl up on, and small enough to fit in their crate or carrier. This is a fun, easy trick for your dog to learn, plus: You’ll use their favorite, most delicious treats to motivate them! Here’s how it’s done.

Give Your Dog a "Place." You’ll need:
• A soft bed, blanket, or towel for your dog to relax on (this will be your mat)
• Your pup ’s favorite, most irresistible treats

dreamstimemaximum 3502165 350#1: Introduce your pup to the dog mat.

#2: Teach the cue: "Place."

#3: When your pup has mastered "place" add the command “stay.”

#4: Practice “place” and “stay” commands. Add more distance each time.

And that’s how it’s done. Just remember — the more you practice, the easier it will be for your dog to learn this trick. Plus, after your dog gets the hang of "place" and “stay”, you can add their crate or dog carrier to the mix. Simply lay their dog mat inside the crate, say "place" and give them a treat when they go inside. This can help your dog view their crate as a safe, happy place. So you see, this little bit of training can be so beneficial for you and your dog’s daily life…And working together to learn a new skill can make your bond stronger than ever. — Dr. Marty Goldstein, Integrative Veterinarian