Dog practicing ‘Spot’


Purpose- Training your dog to go to their ‘spot’ can prevent your dog from jumping on you or house guests.  It prevents them from begging at the dinner table.  It can also prevent them from crowding you as you walk through the door with your children or a bag full of groceries.

Criteria- Your dog leaves you to go lay down on their designated ‘spot’.  They should remain there until you release them.

Que- Point toward their ‘spot’ and say ‘spot’ or ‘go spot’.  You may also say ‘place’ or ‘bed’.

Behavior Pyramid

  1. Your dog should be clicker trained.
  2. Find a blanket, towel, or bed that you would like to designate as your dogs ‘spot’.
  3. Put the ‘spot’ in an area that your dog still feels part of the family such as your living room or outside the kitchen.  You can have multiple ‘spots’ in the house.
  4. Stand next to the ‘spot’ with your dog.  Show your dog a treat and toss the treat on the ‘spot’.  As your dog goes to get the treat say ‘spot’ and click as your dog gets the treat.  Repeat 10 + times.
  5. Stand next to the ‘spot’ with your dog.  Make no movement or indication towards the ‘spot’ WAIT for your dog to glance at their ‘spot’.  The moment they glance or moves towards their ‘spot’ click, toss the treat on their spot, and say ‘spot’.  Repeat 10 + times.
  6. Once your dog is going to their ‘spot’ ask your dog to ‘down’.  When your dog lays down click and treat.  Repeat 10 + times.
  7. Once your dog is reliably going to their ‘spot’ take 1 step away from their ‘spot’ and repeat step 5.  You may now start to say ‘spot’.
  8. Increase the distance between you and the spot by 3 steps.
  9. Start to increase the distance between you and the ‘spot’ 1 step at a time.

10. If at any time your dog seems confused go back to the basics.


My dog isn’t interested in treats.

Use a toy your dog enjoys.  If your dog loves a rub down go to the ‘spot’ and rub your dog down for reinforcement.  You can also do the training at breakfast and dinner when they are a little more food motivated.

My dog was doing great now they seem to have forgotten what they were doing.

This behavior takes time to train your dog.  Be patient and go back to the basics.  If you move too quickly your dog may forget or become uninterested in the training.

Is it ok that my dog isn’t fully on their ‘spot’?  My dog just likes to put their butt on the ‘spot’ but the rest of their body is hanging off.

NO!  Be very clear from the start that you want their entire body of the ‘spot’ not just their butt, not just their paw but their entire body.

My dog will not leave me to go to their ‘spot’.

Remember this is an advanced behavior for your dog take your time and do not expect too much too fast from your dog.  If your dog seems to forget or is not interested go back to the basics.