Reuben is nearly 10 months old and I think becoming a teenager! I am desperately trying to get him to engage in playing with me when out on walks and get his interest for only a tiny amount of time. He is far too keen on sniffing, weeing on everything and other dogs. I keep trying different toys and play hide and seek etc but mostly feel like I am fighting a losing battle. His recall is very up and down and i take the long line with me always now and lots of training on this especially in areas with distractions. He has dog friends and plays nicely with them but I also want him to focus on me.
He is definitely testing the boundaries at the moment and unfortunately failed his Bronze test last Friday and was just completely unfocused on me. Even the trainer was really surprised at how cheeky he was being! I was away from him for 3 nights prior to the test so know of course this would not of helped but it was just bad timing. I am not concerned about the test failure as this can be done again and I have no time limit expectations. However i would like to get through this phase with my sanity left intact!
Would it be best that I walk him mainly on his own and only limited days of doggy playtime or is this detrimental to his socialisation?
My trainer also suggested being aloof at home with him and giving him the attention when out on walks, but i find this quite difficult. He is very good at home and quite chilled, obedient and even seemed to have stopped pinching things ie toys etc.
He is not neutered so I know he has hormone surges to deal with but do they level out at some point?
Also his lead walking is generally quite good now unless we are walking with doggy friends and I spend most of my time lagging behind due to the stop, start and walk in the other direction exercises. He will then will sit when I stop but whines as obviously frustrated that he is being left behind. How do I deal with this frustation? Do I ignore the whinning and continue with my stop, starts etc until we catch up with friends or do I abandon walking with my friends and turn round and go off on our own walk? I have a lot of patience so am happy to persevere but I also want Reuben to learn something rather than just getting completely wound up with frustration.
And lastly approximately what age did your dogs come through the other side of adolescence and does it all click in to place (wishful thinking for me at the moment, haha)
Thank you, I am off to take some Valium now, lol