17 Reasons to Teach Your Dog the Place Command Today

cynologist gesturing command to husky dog on obstacle

You’re on your couch, finally sitting down after a long day, ready to relax and binge-watch your favorite show. As the opening credits roll, you hear the telltale sounds of your dog’s paws pitter-pattering across the floor.

Before you know it, they’re in your face, nudging for attention or scaling your lap in hopes of getting cozy. Sound familiar?

Chances are you’ve uttered the phrase “The place command? What’s the point of that?”

As a professional dog trainer, I get this all the time from new clients. At first, they don’t quite grasp the value of teaching a simple command like “place.” Some even push back, questioning why it’s necessary as part of my training program.

But by the end, they become huge fans after seeing the remarkable difference the place command makes in their dog’s behavior and their own peace of mind. Suddenly, they get it – this one simple cue unlocks a world of calm obedience.

So, if you’re wondering why you should bother teaching your pup the place command, keep reading. This list of rock-solid reasons to teach your dog the place command will convince even the biggest skeptics that mastering “place” is a game-changer.

17 Reasons to Teach Your Dog the Place Command

Check out these game-changing reasons to get started on the place command today!

1. Better Manners When Guests Arrive

We’ve all been there – you’re expecting company, and as soon as that doorbell echoes through the house, your dog transforms into a bundle of excitement. The barking, the jumping, the chaos as you try to welcome in your guests.

With the place command, those days are over. A simple “place” cue sends dogs to their designated mat or bed, where they’ll hang out until released. No more doggy parkour to overwhelm your arrivals.

Instead, you can confidently open that door. Your visitors get a calm greeting, and you avoid that sinking feeling of embarrassment over your dog’s rambunctious antics. Nail down “place,” and you’re the master of calm entrances.

2. Teaches Your Dog to Relax

A benefit that can’t be overstated – the place command helps dogs learn the fine art of chilling out. By going to their designated spot on cue, they’re taking a mini “time out” from the exciting world around them to gather themselves and relax those jittery vibes.

Over time, the mere act of going to their place becomes a calming exercise in itself. It’s like hitting the reset button on their frazzled nerves. A priceless skill for a hyper pup that struggles to settle.

Curious dog in the cafe, one of many key reasons to teach your dog the place command

3. Stops Begging at the Dinner Table

You’ve settled in for your evening meal when you feel those irresistible puppy-dog eyes burning a hole in the side of your head. Begging at the table is a bad habit many pups struggle to break.

With place mastered, you can simply ask them to “go to place” when dinnertime rolls around. No more sitting at the table with a nose shoved into your space. Reclaim your right to dine in peace!

4. Keeps Your Dog Out of Certain Areas

Is your kitchen a canine minefield when you’re cooking? Do you fear tripping over your underfoot pup? Maybe they’re a notorious counter-surfer. The place command solves this by giving you a simple way to remove your dog from the danger zone.

A quick “place” allows you to safely stow them on their mat in another room, letting you cook without a furry “sous chef” tasting every ingredient.

5. Instagram-Worthy Snapshots

These days, it’s all about getting that perfect pic of your dog for the ‘gram. Unfortunately, dogs aren’t always the most cooperative models. Until, that is, you teach them “place.”

Posed perfectly on their mat, your dog will hold that angelic expression and stay still long enough for you to snap away to your heart’s content. Nothing ruins an attempt at that stunning #dogstagram quite like a pooch that can’t hold their pose!

6. Coming In From the Yard

There’s nothing more fun for a dog than a full-on backyard zoomie session. But all that frenetic energy has to go somewhere when it’s time to come back inside. You know what that means – grass stains, mud tracks, and the dreaded “zoomie aftershocks” destroying your living room.

Train your dog to go straight to their indoor place upon reentering or move the place to the door for those muddy pups, and you’ll minimize the mess. They get to cool down and shake off their excitement while you clean up in peace.

Happy dog with his tongue out riding in the backseat of a car

7. Backseat Place for the Car

Dog owners everywhere know the struggle of driving with an anxious, roaming pup. One minute, they’re by your side; the next, they’re somehow way back, or even worse – trying to crawl into your lap. Not the safest scenario.

If crating isn’t an option, establish a designated “place” spot in the backseat area and train them to settle there for the duration of the drive.

8. Bath Time

Wet dog shakes plus soapy pup? Yeah, that’s a recipe for turning your bathroom into a soggy disaster zone. But with place, you can have them set up somewhere dry and contained – a brilliant way to keep most of that unpleasant spray safely confined.

Plus, it prevents them from bolting if they decide they’re too done with bath time halfway through. One “place” and they’ll stick it out to the end. A true lifesaver for dog owners who dread their monthly groom session.

9. Separation Anxiety

For many dogs, being away from their owners is utterly unthinkable, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Just seeing you pick up your keys can set off a panicked frenzy of whines, paces, and desperation. Not exactly the chill vibe you want as you head out the door.

Teaching a solid “place” command gives your dog a safe space they can settle into while you prepare to leave. Rather than losing their minds, they learn to relax and understand you’ll return soon. This is also a great way to practice separation while you’re home too! It’s a valuable step in overcoming separation-related anxiety.

10. Respect for Other Pets

Multi-pet households know the scenario all too well – you have one very curious, in-your-face pup and another more timid animal just wanting some personal space. Cue the chasing, the invading of areas, potential spats, and the general disrespect of boundaries.

Place gives you a simple way to establish boundaries. A pointed “place” allows you to give other pets their room to roam without an overbearing dog to harass them. You can even work on having them hold their place while other animals move freely around them.

Veterinarian Exam! Cute Dog at the Vet!

11. Vet’s Office

The vet trip is a dreaded event for many dogs. So many strange smells, unfamiliar objects, and reasons for tension and fear. It’s the perfect recipe for an uncooperative pup when it’s time to be examined or weighed.

With place training under their belt, you can simply instruct them to go to their mat and respect the vet’s space, even when placed on scales or tables. No more wrestling or restraining needed – they’ve learned to calmly hold their position on cue.

12. Outdoor Activities & Travel

From crowded parks and camping trips to patio dining, there are so many scenarios where you need your dog’s cooperation in the great outdoors. But it’s hard for many pets to resist the onslaught of novel smells, sounds, and distractions.

Place gives you a simple way to enforce calm manners no matter where you travel. Have them set up on a designated mat or blanket and reinforce that place boundary, even amid the hustle and bustle. You’re in control, not the environment and its temptations.

13. Impulse Control

One of the biggest challenges with dogs is teaching them to resist the constant bombardment of impulses and temptations. There’s a squirrel to chase, a shoe to destroy, a crumb to gobble up!

Frequent place reinforcement is an excellent tool for building impulse control. They learn that holding their mat position is rewarded, while giving in to those burning urges is incorrect. Over time, this boosts their ability to think through consequences before simply reacting.

14. Preventing Poor Behavior

You know the frustration – in the time it takes you to turn your back, your pup has found something brand new and utterly off-limits to destroy or bark at. The vacuum, the mop, that stray sock…it’s all fair game to their mind.

Except when you’ve got place trained as part of their skillset. A sharp “place!” reminder can instantly shut down that bad behavior before it even starts. They’re learning that roaming around indulging their whims isn’t acceptable indoors.

Dog relaxing on lawn chair outdoors

15. Makeshift Place

While having a dedicated dog bed or mat is ideal for place training, the beauty of this command is how versatile it is. You can adapt it to work with any number of objects or surfaces as makeshift places.

Visiting a friend’s place? Use that couch or armchair as their designated spot. Hanging at the park? Your dog can quite comfortably place itself on that flat rock or bench. Even in the backcountry, boulders and tree stumps make excellent natural placeholders.

This is one of the top reasons to teach your dog the place command – the applications are limitless!

16. Grooming

Trying to brush, bathe, trim nails, or otherwise groom a wiggling pup is the definition of an exercise in frustration. It’s like wrestling an eel – as soon as you’ve got them situated, they’re off squirming in another direction.

Commands like “place” and “stay” allow you to work with a much calmer, more contained dog during grooming sessions. They’ve learned to park themselves until you’ve completed the process, no matter how averse they may be to the activities. Priceless for preventing grooming runarounds!

17. Universal Versatility

At the end of the day, “place” is one of the most universally useful skills you can teach any dog at any age or stage. It establishes invaluable impulse control while giving you a simple tool to enforce calmness and boundaries in any scenario.

This all-purpose command is a well-trained dog owner’s best friend, from the busyness of holiday gatherings to keeping them corralled during home DIY projects. Once you see how much easier life becomes with a dog that respects their place, you’ll never want to be without this trusty cue again.


There you have it – an extensive collection of reasons to teach your dog the place command is an absolute game-changer for pet owners. From basic manners to grooming compliance, separating anxiety to respecting boundaries, this simple skill shapes a calmer, more obedient pup.

If you’re ready to start enjoying all the benefits that come with mastering “place,” be sure to sign up for my newsletter. I’ll send tips and tricks straight to your inbox on dog training and behavior. With consistent practice, you’ll have your dog placing like a pro in no time!

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