I had to go away for 2 weeks and leave the demon-in-dog-fur with my husband, eldest son and several friends and neighbours who formed a walking rota.
I have just got back from my first walk with him in 2 weeks and pup danced away when I called him, sneered when I tempted him with the ball, evaded a passing dog walker who tried to help, feigned indifference when I walked off without him and cheered with delight when his best dog-friend joined him in the field.
I finally got him back after they had played together while I caught up on the gossip with his friend's owner.
I think he needs some lessons in reinforcing recall - any ideas for a treat-refusing springer?
My dog started to do the same at about the same age. If its windy he still finds leaves irresistible & can be problematic. We've resolved the problem 90% of the time now & if he runs off we put him straight back on the lead & make him sit still for 5 minutes. He hates it!
Another option is does your dog have a favoured toy? We take 2 toys on walks so if 1 is thrown for him, we always have the other as temptation.
If all else fails get a long lead. Joking aside, I know it's not easy & once back to his normal routine with his normal people, things may settle quite quickly.