His recall is okay, not perfect. If there are no distractions he returns to me instantaneously (for a liver treat), if there are other dogs it can take a minute ....We practice frequently, and he is a clever dog (learns tricks etc very quickly) but wilful. Flatcoat retrievers are known for this to a certain degree.
Today he was off lead as usual and chasing some low flying circling swallows. Initially it was quite charming to watch but then I became concerned that the birds might fly across the road with him in pursuit (road was a couple of hundred metres away) so I recalled him. He ignored me completely - this went on for 5 minutes or more and it was if I didn't exist. I started walking in a different direction and he didn't follow. Eventually after tiring of running after the birds, he decided to let me capture him (i.e. He still didn't come back, I had to go to him and grab his collar but at least he didn't evade me this time) He has never done this before - he might ignore me for 60 seconds but not this. How do I get him to be more consistent on recall [tears hair out]
He's approaching the teenage years Go right back to basics with long line and repeated practice. I feel your pain, Ddog is just a year old and appears to think that this means he can do what he wants when he wants. We have had to have words.....
The swifts are a huge distraction here too and not only to Eric. On yesterday's walk all five of the dogs were resolutely ignoring recall in preference to chasing the birds when generally even when playing with each other they are quicker to return. Eric's a month older than your puppy and he is definitely a teenager now, he is better for me than dh though the other day dh text me because he'd decided on a sit down protest and couldn't be persuaded to cross the road and come home. Pretty sure my friend over the road would have been laughing at dh especially as Eric got up and came running the minute I called him.
I haven't when he's in a secure area like yesterday but he is definitely off lead less atm because I don't trust him. I think he's feeling confident nowadays and doesn't feel the need to keep me close.
Finn is on a long line regardless of where he is atm but he is improving slowly, he always comes back, eventually but no treat can compete with chasing something, preferably a fast moving human which is obviously unacceptable. We are doing about six hours of training classes a week although they aren't all focused on recall, they include heel walking,sits, downs, ignoring other dogs when on lead, not approaching other dogs who are on lead when he's off, tracking and some supervised play off lead. He's really good at everything except the instant recall but that is getting better. He does now hesitate and look at me before he chases so he is thinking but the thrill of the chase is still too much for him.
I'm hoping for great things next month as my dog trainer is having Finn for three days a week, whilst I'm at uni. That means he will be working with a professional (she'll take him with her to each class/social walk she runs) so hopefully I will benefit from it. He adores her and her dogs so I know he'll be safe and have a great time. He looks like this every time she says anything to him. And then instantly does whatever she asks with a happy wiggle and wag.