The Magic of the “Place” Command for Separation Anxiety
I’m still working on Annyong‘s separation anxiety. He panics when someone leashes him up to take him away from me. And he barks like crazy when I leave the house. He’s fine in a crate when I’m in the house.
So I’m practicing keeping him in a “place” command. A place command is a specific area with boundaries he must stay in. It’s like a crate without walls. Place is just like a very advanced “STAY” on a specific “thing”. It is great to practice keeping a dog in place to settle him down. I’m using this to keep him in place while I walk away & leave the room. Look at the difference in his eyes in each picture.
If you want to use this, once the Practice this daily for a few minutes a day, adding distraction, duration & distance (one at a time). The slower you ask more from your dog, the more you set the dog up for success rather than failure. We want to teach a lot, for a long time- lots of positive reinforcement & food before we start to correct a dog for doing something we don’t want. We need to be fair to the dog.
I’m actually using a nap mat for kids, but most dog trainers use a Kuranda, which is a lot more durable. You can even use his blanket, bed or even just a towel. It just needs 4 sides he can’t leave until he hears the magic word “break”. Challenge him (when he is ready!) with bouncing a ball, tossing food, having the kids run past him, knocking on the wall or door, ringing the doorbell…. Another one of my favorite tricks is to play the sounds in this Dog Sounds App.
The more often you “place” your dog & the longer you build on it, he will chill out & be less anxious. Keep on it & eventually he looks like this: