Place Orientation

Place-orientation simply means that your correction or praise must occur in close proximity to the event that took place.



I believe that praise is straightforward and self-explanatory. Most people do not suffer from providing enough praise for their dog. What generally happens is that the praise is not provided at the correct time and the power of association (discussed later) is lost.


When we discuss corrections, open your mind so that you can think of corrections in a very simple manner. It is true that there are varying degrees of correction; however, there are not as many as you may think. Initially, you need to realize that there are verbal, physical and electronic corrections.


Verbal corrections are words, whistles and tones. Essentially, think of verbal corrections as any correction made by you making a noise. We train our dogs to respond to a verbal command the first time that we say the command. If you watch people with dogs, you will see that they routinely will give the command more than once. This trains the dog that it does not have to comply. When the person says the command the second and third time, you will notice that the tone of the command and body posture of the owner change as well. This is why tone and physicality (body language) are also corrections and why we train for compliance the first time that we give a command.


It does not matter if you are for or against e-collar training as long as you are open-minded and willing to educate yourself regarding the proper use of an e-collar. Most people that are against e-collar training are uneducated on properly utilizing an e-collar and think that they are doing the dog a favor by not using it. It is not the tough dog that needs an e-collar; it is the soft dog that needs the e-collar.


The e-collar is only one training tool in a trainer’s arsenal. It is not a quicker way to train a dog. It is the trainer that makes mistakes using the e-collar, not the e-collar. We have seen many dogs that were trained by those that are “anti-electronic training” and often times they are hand-shy, afraid of the lead or check cord and so forth. Prior to e-collars, dogs were shot with live ammunition or slingshots, kicked, and thrown. We still see “professionals” that pick dogs up by the ears and hindquarters and throw dogs…yet they are against the e-collar as a regular training aid. If I sound a little too passionate about electronics, I make no apology. You as the reader should draw your own conclusions if e-collars are for you or not, but make an informed decision.


Now that you are comfortable with various types of corrections, we can use the dog’s place-oriented characteristic to our benefit. Once your dog knows a particular command (we will use sit), we give the command. If the dog sits immediately, you can praise your dog (clicker, verbal, a treat, or touch). However, if the dog moved from where it was when the command was said, you must correct the dog at the immediate time that the dog moved from where it was. You then "buy some time" to put the dog back where it was. If you praise or correct the dog at a spot that is different than where it was when you gave the command, the dog cannot make the association that the praise or correction was for/for not sitting when you gave the command.


I will try to illustrate it another way so that everyone is clear on its meaning. The dog is at Point A when you say “sit.” If it sits at Point A, you can praise it at Point A. If the dog moves to Point B and sits or doesn’t sit, you must communicate to the dog immediately at Point A that it did something wrong and then you can put it back at Point A and make it sit. I would not praise the dog and I would not say “sit” again. The physical act of putting the dog back to Point A is a correction. The communication at Point A let the dog know it did something wrong and the subsequent correction was for that act. If you just correct the dog that has moved, without communicating at the point of infraction, you inhibit its ability to associate the correction with the actual infraction.