Like all animals, dogs are creatures of habit and routines. If you show your dog the same training picture over and over, they will stop listening to your cues and simply perform the patterns that you have trained them to do.
If you want your dog to pay attention then give your dog a reason to bother! As a nice bonus, you will solve a few problems:
First, dogs stop anticipating exercises. Your dog cannot anticipate what they don’t know.
Second, dogs pay closer attention because they have no choice if they want to succeed. If you train this way regularly you’ll find that your dog’s attention to you increases as a nice side effect.
Third, dogs LIKE to use their brains, just like people! When you make work more interesting by varying your requests, they enjoy their work more because you have reduced or eliminated the boredom that is inherent in pattern training. And dogs that are having fun work better in the ring.
Here’s an unedited video of Brito working on a combination of broad jump, signals and recalls. He makes mistakes! That’s ok. I simply help him out by offering additional cues (pointing, combining signals with verbals, etc.) to allow him to succeed. As long as he’s trying, I’m happy to help him out. We’re a team.