It has been a while since I posted on Training up Cocoa. So, I thought I would write something that is really very useful. I have a number of these little blankets around the house. They are Cocoa’s “place,” and when the temptation hits her to get out of control, I tell her to go to place and stay—a basic command she learned at Dog School 101.

“Go to place and settle” is really the command (that she somehow ignores, forgets, and dismisses at times). I write this with a little “tongue in cheek” because while she does go to “place,” she usually jumps off and begins to act like a monkey (again). But at least if I give the command, she will return (reluctantly) and sit down with lots of deep sighs and long breaths.

Within the first couple of classes, Cocoa had learned to go to place and stay until I called her to come. I have a “place” in almost every room—near the back door, in the den, in her “house” or crate, and on the backseat of the car. A woven rug can magically turn into “a place,” if necessary.

“Go to place,” means “Get on your spot and stay.” I’m happy to report that it works most of the time . . . Well, except when our neighbor Opal drops by for a visit. Then the wiggle worms set in and over excitement usually wins out as she bolts off of place and heads straight for Opal. When she does, all of us usually say in unison, “Go back to place!” Once she has calmed down, she is free to greet everyone.

Well, you get the picture. . . . sort of. “Good dog, Cocoa Joy! Good dog!”