Place is probably one of the best things that you can teach your dog. Of course you can use any word you like and multiple words meaning different areas that you want your dog to go. We have taught Elsa "bed" being that we have lots of beds around the house there is typically one in every room that she can go to. When we are eating in the family room she knows to go to her bed if she'd like any food. All we have to do now is look at her and she runs to her bed. Throughout the day I can say "bed" and she will charge to the nearest bed, it is a wonderful thing.
When she was younger I taught her "place;" which at that point was a very bright orange piece of fleece that I moved around to help her generalize the behavior. But she has not used that piece of fleece for a while now so I am going to reassociate the word "place" with a new small rug. I will go out this week to get one, it will have to be something obvious so that she will be able to locate it quickly. I plan to put it at the front door, far enough away so that it is not in the way but she can still see what is going on and who is coming in.
Teaching the place behavior is fairly easy when you use behavior markers, either a clicker or pre-chosen word and reward. "Place" will become this little rug so no matter where it is she will be required to go there. In the future I may choose something else to do the same exercise with but use another word to associate with it. Perhaps a pad that I bring to outdoor restaurants and picnics.
I remember teaching a labrador puppy the place exercise when she was very young. It wasn't long until she got it and would charge from anywhere in the house to that spot awaiting her treat. It is a very useful and wonderful exercise. So I'll be off to find a cool new rug for the front door this week.
Have a wonderful canine weekend everyone.