Our dogs are not 'programmable devices' and it’s normal for their behavior to fluctuate, especially in response to our cues. The biggest issue we see (and even struggle with ourselves) is that we aren't consistent enough. When we are inconsistent our dogs will walk all over us.
The #1 way to train your dog...
is for you to be CONSISTENT!
Here's our tips to becoming more consistent in your dog training.
Say cues one time.
If you repeat cues and say it one time one day, and three times the next, you are not consistent. If your dog repeatedly doesn’t do the cue on the first time, use hand signals or move your dog to a less distracting environment and continue working.
Don't confuse your dog with too many patterns.
Establish an understanding of how you cue and teach your dog through consistent cues. Do not double up or overlap on movements and commands. If you say “sit” and bend over your dog while saying that, what happens when you say it while sitting in a chair? Your dog doesn’t just pay attention to the specific word that you want him too. He sees it all and tries to learn the patterns. If the pattern changes, he will be confused. Same thing when it comes to combinations of words. Do not expect to have "Stay" and "Stay there Fido" be interpretted the same way.
Realize that dogs do not generalize.
If you teach “sit” in the kitchen and then move to the living room, your dog will probably not perform as well. This is a new location with new distractions. Go back to the basics and re-teach the behavior. Once you have trained your dog in numerous locations, the next success in a new location will occur faster.
Don’t get frustrated.
Frustration will cause you to get emotional and loose focus.
Have someone watch you train.
Don’t tell them what you are working on and see if they can identify what you are asking for and if you vary at all in your consistency.