When you and your family are trying to go to bed for the night, the last thing you want is a needy puppy who wants to play or run around. Most of the time, dogs will calm down when we do, but for those rambunctious pups, commands may be necessary to ensure that he knows when it’s time to go to bed. If you teach your dog to go to his place at night when everyone else is going to sleep, he will associate his place with sleep and rest, which will make your nighttime routines much easier.
Your dog should know the “lie down” command before this training begins. Once he knows how to lay on command, grab a bunch of his favorite treats and bring them with you to the place you will designate as “his place” or “spot”. This can be a dog bed in a room of the house, or his crate if he is still crated.
Lure him to the bed or crate. First get him to follow you to his place by using a treat. Once he is there with all four paws on the bed or completely in the crate, give him the command “place” or “go to your place” and the treat that you are holding. Repeat this a number of times by walking away and then luring him back over and rewarding him once he listens to the command. Most dogs will begin to catch on and go to the place at the command so that they will get their treat.
Add the “down” or “lie down” command. Once your pooch knows where his spot is, it is important to make it clear that you want him to lay down in this spot. Give him the “place” command and as soon as he complies, give him the “down” command. Reward him if he obeys, and repeat a number of times. Once he knows the drill, he should only receive treats when he lies down in his spot on the “place” command.
Add time between the command and treats. Once he listens to the place command well, leave a few seconds and slowly increase that time before you give him a treat for complying. If he needs redirection make sure to do so by giving him the “place” command again, and then continue to wait a few seconds before rewarding him so that he will begin to understand that he needs to stay to be rewarded.
Once he knows the place command well and that he is to stay in his place once commanded there, you can designate a place in each room with a bed or cushion, or command him to go to his place in one room. Just make sure you are consistent so that he understands what you are asking of him. Sometimes a dog may have to be retrained in every room, but most dogs will get this command fairly easily. Commit to the training and in no time you’ll have a dog that knows where he is meant to be when your family is relaxing or going to sleep.