Is there a teenage phase??
Harley (11 months old) is going through what I can best describe as a defiant stage-sure hope it is only a stage. We live out in the country so he can run off leash. He stays close to me. However when he is getting close to the house he starts running circles. Will not come when I call him. Actually-when it gets to the point when I IGNORE him- he will be in the house about 5 minutes later.
So guess I am wondering if you have experienced a defiant phase. Half the time he will follow me in. It is the other times that I find frustrating because he is 10-20 feet away and with that distance there is not much I can say or do.
Yes- I know if he was outside on the leash ALL the time I would have no problem. But I like to see him run-he has so much energy. It is almost like he feels--when we go for a walk on a leash--that he is bored with my pace. I walk fast but not fast enough for him.We walk-Harley on the leash-3 times a day. 4-5 times off the leash around the property. One good thing he has never run away.
SO..have you experienced a teenage phase?
YES, the DEFINITELY have a rebellious "teenage" phase... and he's the right age.
The good thing is that he's clearly not as independent as he THINKS he is. When Kodi even STARTED to play the "keep away" game, I didn't coax him AT ALL. The moment he didn't come when called, I tuned my back on him and strode meaningfully toward the house. Once or twice, I got inside without him. I watched him through the door, but let him worry on the steps for a moment or two before inviting him in, and then telling him he was a good boy for coming in.
After that, all I had to do was take a couple of steps away from him, and he would catch up... They learn quickly! The ones who really want to be with you, don't WANT to be left behind!!! The minute he came to me, I would catch him by the collar, give him a cookie, tell him what a good dog he was, and let him go again. We practiced this "catch and release" many, MANY times in the course of walks.
What you want to do is separate the idea of getting caught from the idea that "walk and fun are over". If, most of the time, they get a cookie and are released to play again, they don't mind being caught when you actually need them. (remember the cookies and pats then too, of course!!!)