Test if the dog really knows the commands?
1. Face away from your dog.
2. Give a command. Don’t use hand cues!
3. If your dog cannot listen to you when you are not facing him, he is not going to be able to listen while he is running away from you.
4. Practice recall by removing hand cues and treats.
Can my dog follow commands when not making face contact?
Your dog may not always be able to make facial contact with you when you’re giving commands, such as commanding quiet when in another room. This is another part of generalization, you want your dog to follow your commands even when they can’t see you.
You may want to check how responsive your dog is to your commands. If your dog cannot listen to you when you are not facing him and luring or prompting him, there is no way he will listen to you off leash at the park while sniffing another dog’s butt.
To see how responsive your dog is standing with your back to your dog or puppy and give commands. Have another person praise the dog when he does what you say.
If your dog is not doing what you ask him to do, try to look back to when your dog or puppy did know the verbal cue. You might have to go back and start removing treats from training or hand prompts. Start increasing the distance between you and your dog or puppy when you give commands. Make sure to generalize the commands on walks.