I make the mistake of giving my mutt a command more than once. For example, I tell him to sit more than once if he doesn’t do it right away. It’s usually something like, “Sit…SIT!”
And then he sits. What I am doing is training him to sit on the second (or third) command, which is not what I want him to do.
Dogs learn from repetition, so if they are used to hearing a command two or three times, they will actually be conditioned to sit after that third command. Instead of giving your dog the option, put her in a sit position after you say it the first time.
Dogs that are given the same command over and over will learn to ignore the command or think it is optional. I never let my mutt get away with not sitting or lying down when I tell him. I hear people say, “My dog is stubborn,” or “She just doesn’t get it.” More likely, the dog has learned it’s OK not to listen.
You can train your dog to respond quicker by not giving her too much time to respond once she knows a command.
For example, when I tell Ace “down,” he has gotten into the habit of slowly scooting to the down position, leaving his butt up for a second, stretching and then lying down. He does this every time because I have allowed it.
To break him of this, I am going to put him in the down position right after I say it. It’s better to have a dog that reacts quickly, and they can easily be conditioned to do so.
Try doing quick training sessions where you roll off five or six commands very quickly.
Your dog will have a great time, and it will teach her to listen closely and react quickly. Act like your dog has just won you a million dollars every time she does the commands right and you will have a quick, obedient dog. Just don’t go over them in the same order every time or your dog will be conditioned to always do them in the same order.
Related article: Why I don’t repeat commands to my dog.