My 3.5 year-old male german shepherd (whom I've had for almost a year, he's a rescue dog), usually listens to my commands perfectly, on a dime. However, for the past couple of Saturdays (when I'm home, and get to spend more time with him), he's blatantly refused my "come" command when out in the field (I live on a 5 acre ranch). He's doing this especially when he's inside his fenced 1 acre pen, which I rarely ever go into. He's refusing to come out of the pen when I command "come." He actually turns around, and goes to lay down. I've been going to get him with choker collar and leash, and have been being quite strict with him and "coming" is not an option, whether he's in his pen or anywhere else on the property. However, he's not following through.
I've noticed too that when I tell him "in your pen," which is a command he's mastered and basically tells him to run to his pen, lately, he's been walking slowly, stopping, and looking back to see if I really "mean" what I say. When I start walking toward him (saying again, "in your pen") then he moves.
I can't tell you how much this is infuriating me. The fact that he's always checking back to see if I'm serious about my "in your pen" command (where he never used to do that, he used to go right in), tells me he's challenging me. And when he doesn't come out of his pen on command, tells me again he's challenging me. It could be that he's coming to think "his" pen is really his, and that I have no power there. He actually lies down, and nothing I tell him has any effect.
Any advice? Oh, and another thing, when I try to reinforce the "come" command from his pen, or the "in your pen" command, by putting the choker on him, he always pleads innocent and yelps and whines, to the point where my neighbors probably think I'm beating him. This infuriates me even more, because he deserves to be grabbed by the scruff of his neck so I can reinforce my command, but the drama he puts on is a bit much. If he disobeyed like this in the house, I wouldn't care how much of a big deal he makes, but outside, it's hard to impose the discipline (I'm talking only insisting he follow on the collar, he's sometimes even resisting that) when he whines and yelps like a big baby.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Again, inside the house, and surrounding proximity, he's listening great, and always has. If I called him from the bedroom to the office, he's come on a dime. But once he's out in the field or in his pen, he's testing my patience big time.
Other than this, he's a great dog behavior-wise.