Why is the “go to bed or ‘place’” command so useful for your Chihuahua to know? It teaches your dog a place to go to hang out for long periods of time. For example when you have guests over.
If your Chi is one that gets overly excited when new people, or people they don’t see every day, come over, then this is a great tool to use to keep him calm. Your guests will appreciate it too.
If your Chihuahua gets over-excited when the doorbell rings the “go to bed or place” command a great tool to use as a default behavior whenever the doorbell rings.
The difference between being commanded “go to bed or ‘place’” and just going to his bed on his own is when he can get off the bed. When you tell your Chi to “go to bed” your Chihuahua needs to understand that he has to stay in or on his bed until you give the release word. It can be “okay!” or even “release”. Whatever release cue you choose, make sure you use the same one each and every time.
Unless it is time to actually go to bed at night, I taught mine to “go-to place” instead. The reason being they know when I tell them to “go to bed” they head straight for the bedroom. So, I had to use a different word and a different place.
Why I Taught Remedy The “Go To Place” Command
For example, when Remedy first came to us she was food aggressive, meaning that if she was eating and one of my other two got too close she would growl at them. I didn’t want that to become a habit or to be a behavior for the rest of her life, so I taught her to go to her “place”, which is actually a throw rug, while the other two eat first. Then when released, she can go eat her food.
How To Teach It?
- Lure your Chi to his bed or place. If he already knows the “down” command, then use that. If not, lure him to the down position. Then just drop a treat between his paws. If he stays in the “down” keep rewarding him with treats. After a few seconds, give him a release word, like “OKAY” or ‘FREE”.
2. Repeat two or three times.
3. Next, go stand next to his bed or place and wait to see if your Chihuahua goes there on his own. If he does reward him! If he goes to his bed or place and lies down, reward him with lots of treats! (make sure these are low-calorie treats or adjust his food portion for that day). If he doesn’t to there within 30 seconds, then again lure him there a few more times and then try step 3 again.
4. Now add a name. Lure him to his bed or place and when he lies down, say “bed” or “place” (choose one and stick with it) and give him a treat.
5. The next step is to add duration. Gradually make him stay in the down position on his bed or place a little longer before you give him the release word.
6. The next step is to add distance. Walk a few steps away from his bed or place try pointing to his bed or place while you say the word. When he consistently goes to his place or bed, gradually add a little distance. Work up to being able to send him to his bed or place from the other side of the room.
7. If he gets up when doing either step 5 or 6, simply lure him back to his place or bed and try again.
If your Chihuahua fails three times in a row you probably increased either the duration or the distance too much too soon. If this happens, go back to whatever step was before and start again more slowly.
Don’t forget to release him! Anytime you teach your Chihuahua a command that if of any duration, it must have an ending. If not, your Chihuahua will begin to get up whenever he wants.
Gradually reduce the treats. Begin to give them every other time he does it correctly, then every third time, etc until eventually, you give him praise instead of treats. However, you don’t want to never again give him a treat for doing it correctly. When he has this command down and is doing it correctly 100% of the time, continue to give him a treat occasionally. It will become a nice surprise for him.
Most importantly, be patient! This is a very difficult thing for a dog to do. Impulse control is one of the hardest things for a dog to learn.
If you find yourself losing patience, simply stop for that day and try again the next day. However, you want you Chihuahua to end each training session with a positive. Before you stop for the day, go to the last step he did correctly and have him do it one more time, so your Chihuahua doesn’t get discouraged.