Just like humans, dogs are prone to forgetting things, or even testing boundaries. Thus, it is important to refresh your dog’s training “memory.” Dogs that respond to a given command for a long period of time can suddenly start acting like they don’t know what the command means.
For example, it took me quite a while to train Belle to SIT, especially when I gave the command out of doors. Since Belle was quite older when we started training, the distractions of the outdoors, like squirrels and cars and other dogs often won over her attention. I was so excited the first day that she sat on command outdoors!
Now I use this command to prep her collar when it begins to slide, or to calm her down when she is getting excited at the approach of another dog.
I also command her to sit before I put on her leash to go outside and after I have shut the front door so I can lock it. Lately she has been extremely slow to respond to the SIT command at the door. I have several times manually made her sit after giving the command.
Dogs can begin to forget the positive reward associated with a command after a time. When this begins to happen, it is important to retrain the command to reinforce the behavior that you wish to obtain.
It is pointless to repeat the command if it doesn’t work the first time, this will only train your dog to respond ONLY when a given command is said three or more times. A refresher course is the best solution.
Looks like Belle and I are off to work on the command SIT!