View Full Version : Dogs that suddenly begin to forget their training

23rd May 2011, 11:45 PM
Great article -- 'The Disappearing Sit'. A lot of people post here every year asking about why their dog has stopped responding to commands he or she knew. Here are the likely reasons and what to do! Note yet again that the issue is almost certainly never the one old style trainers have so incorrectly taught people to assume --'dominance' or willful misbehaviour.


23rd May 2011, 11:47 PM
I especially like these helpful points in the conclusion (each is explored in the article itself in more detail):

Before deciding that your dog is being disobedient or willful, ask yourself the following…

Has the dog really had enough time to get the behavior down pat?
Has the dog reliably performed the behavior in many different places and in many different circumstances?
Has the dog possibly been responding to cues other than the ones you intended?
Is there something new in the dog’s environment? Have you brought a new dog home? Have you a new houseguest?
Is it possible that you’ve worn out the cue by overusing it before the dog really knows its meaning?

24th May 2011, 09:02 AM
One of my dogs stopped "sitting" - then we realised his lower back pain was the cause, bless him. He does a beautiful "stand" instead ;-)

24th May 2011, 10:15 AM
This is great Karlin. Thank you.

The one big one I did was: "Is it possible that you’ve worn out the cue by overusing it before the dog really knows its meaning?"I am guilty of that and did not realize it for a while. Now I say a command once, and if Brooky doesnt respond, I know to work on that more heavily during our training sessions.

I learn so much on here...it is like Cavalier College!

Kate H
24th May 2011, 11:00 AM
I think every one of us who does competition obedience has had the experience of going into the ring and your dog behaves as if they have never had a lesson in their life! Some of it is over-training our dogs - doing the same old things over and over again until they are bored to death. It helps to teach them some fun things like twirls or weaving through your legs - things both of you can get excited about. And go on praising good behaviour, not taking it for granted, even if it's just a 'Good dog' when they sit on command, or a small treat when they come to have their lead put on after running free in the park.

Good, sensible article - thanks Karlin.

Kate, Oliver and Aled