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Discussion Starter #1
I was was wondering if anyone else noticed a distinct increase in independence at around 6 months. This as all happened between Friday night and Monday morning.

Inside he is no longer 'velcro dog'. He no longer needs to hang out at my side all the time. Instead, he has taken to hanging out across the room from me. If I move around within the house, he usually keeps me in his line of sight. If he is busy it might take him 20-30 seconds to get up and move. If I move towards a door he is on me like a flash

Outside, his comfort zone seemed to be 25-30 feet. Whenever I would move around, he would stay with that 25-30 feet of me. Now, his comfort zone appears to be between 100 and 150 feet.

If he finds something interesting to chase, he now follows it beyond my line of sight. He comes right back if I call him. If I don't call him after 30 seconds or so, he will come running back to tell me about his outing. He is convinced that chasing a squirrel out of the yard is a rewardable behavior.

If I hide behind a tree or shrub, he no longer comes running towards me in a panic. Instead, he treats it like a game of 'find the human.' Where did I seem him last? Let's start looking from there.

If anything his recall and his ability to pay attention to me have improved during that time.

It is nice, but it seems weird that it happened so fast.
 

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My shepherds have all done similar behavior,but I'm not sure at what age.#1 patrol the perimeter #2 stand guard at a spot where they can see interlopers coming from all directions. :giggle:
 

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I think this is pretty normal. Not sure about 6 months exactly, but most puppies tend to want to stick by you like glue until a certain age. My puppies are raised mostly off-leash outside, they can be pretty trustworthy to stick by with no training until about 5/6 months, then they start to be more confident on their own and want to wander a bit.

I think my girl was more like 12 months when she stopped having to try to investigate what was going on IN the toilet every single time I was using it, now at 2 years old she just does door patrol making sure I'm still in there and safe! ? She won't ever stop being watchful and wanting to know what is going on, she just does more of it from a laying down position nowadays.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, that sounds about like us. As long as I don't leave the house he seems to think that everything will be fine. I'll keep an eye on the wandering. He does like to hang out where he can see the front door, the gate to the basement, and the gate to the kitchen. Which is pretty much his perimeter.
 

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Yep, my dog has his "surveillance post" which includes lines of sight to the kitchen, the front door, back door, AND upstairs!
When I sat in his spot, I realized I could see every 'path' in the house!

How clever of him to figure it out...I thought he was just laying there so we'd have to trip over him every time we walked by. :)

Also...growing independence seems natural for his age, but I agree - it is weird that he changed so much in one weekend!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If anything his recall and his ability to pay attention to me have improved during that time.
I spoke too soon. Over the weekend it looks like he tested and expanded his spacial limits.

Today he started testing his limits with me :) His front paws would come off the floor to snatch a treat rather than wait politely. He would try to hover with his rump about an inch of the ground for sits. After a cue, he will remain still a few seconds before moving. After a recall cue, his eyes take on a, 'hmm. what's in it for me,' look.

I guess pup is hitting adolescence. sigh.
 

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My puppy, at 5 1/2 months, first decided that recall was sort of negotiable. Looked right at me, then blew me off to do what she wanted to do. Happened 3 times that week. Definitely a coming of age kind of thing, as she'd been 100% reliable (outside of an active chase, of course!) until then.

I was thinking e collar time, because it was off leash at a distance when she'd do it. But I talked to a trainer friend, and decided to give her method a try first.

Put a drag line on your puppy. In your house or fenced yard. Ideally if there's a place or thing that your puppy doesn't like so much all the better. Go near it and call the puppy to you, first time in a normal tone...and once more in a more demanding tone if he does not comply promptly.

If he still doesn't comply, calmly walk over and grab the drag line and without a word or even a look, literally drag him to the spot you called him from and then praise him profusely and release. Rinse and repeat a few minutes later...

For my puppy it took 3 times, and she's 3 yrs old and has never blown a recall since.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
literally drag him to the spot you called him from and then praise him profusely
He drags a long lead when he is out in the yard. He is still pretty handler soft so I will try reeling him in like a fish and see how that goes.

When he doesn't do what I ask it throws me off balance, I feel like a dear in the headlights. I think I will need to practice immediately reeling him in, gentle yet firmly, and prase before I try to drag him.

I am not against balanced training but, I feel like I owe it to him to get my execution and timing down well before I do it for real. That's part of leadership in my book.
 

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Jack did the same thing at 6 months. He decided quite suddenly he was a hunter and could absolutely catch a deer. I think he got a quarter of a mile into the woods, out of our sight, before he stopped and realized he was lost. When he made it back to us, he was so glad and had clearly gotten scared.

We restricted his off-leash activities after that. He was allowed off the leash if he listened and stayed near. The second he stopped listening, he went back on the leash. We didn't use any corrective language; we just called him to us and attached the leash.

For squirrels, I think it was around 8 months that we started the squirrel hunting routine. Before he was allowed to chase a squirrel, he had to wait for our command, then when he successfully treed the squirrel nearby, he was praised for doing his job and called back. Worked like a charm and eventually (with the help of an e-collar at 10 months) we extended the "make it a job" idea to deer. Instead of chasing the deer, his job was to point at the deer and watch them without moving. It took a bit of work, but after a few times of bolting after a deer and being corrected, he followed the rules of the game.

With general recall, we, too, used a drag line for a while. Eventually we had to stop using it when he ran after a deer and ripped the drag line out of my husband's hand. He had the worst rope burn I've ever seen. This was at 10 months.
 

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Wow, I am glad to see I'm not alone!
My boy started doing this about 1-2 weeks ago. OP's original post sounds literally exactly what he's been like the last 1-2 weeks. It's kinda scary.

He isn't 6mo, he is about 8 months(34 weeks) I am hoping it is just adolescents. I really miss the way he was a couple of weeks ago. He used to jump up the second I left the room, and outside he would never venture further than 20-30ft. If he lost sight of me(which was hard because he was looking back at me every 10 seconds) he would start to panic. Running around as fast as he could whining and checking every place possible.

Now, he is going over 100ft away with no problems. I can easily hide because he doesn't check back on me nearly as often. When he does notice im gone, he continues doing whatever he was doing before coming over to where he last saw me and even then is kinda like "Whatever"

In the house, unless I close the door he is no longer following me, at least not for the first 1-2 minutes I leave. He is allowed to sleep on the bed with me. He has always(aside from when he was/is locked in his crate) slept right by me from the very first day I got him. Three nights ago, for the first time ever he chose to jump off and sleep on the floor. It was actually one of the colder nights, so I definitely don't think he got too hot.

I really hope this is adolescents and he will return to his velcro(non leash pulling, biting, stealing, and jumping) self. I thought this was a bonding issue, but after reading this maybe it is more normal than I thought!
 

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I see this all the time in the puppies that I groom. Once they hit 6-8 months, they become difficult. This is all breeds, and poodles are the worst. I hate grooming poodle puppies. I have owners complain that suddenly their dog stopped listening. Yep. I joke that the puppy acts like they’ve never seen you before, and have no clue what words are, lol. I reassure the owners that they’ll grow out of it. And they do.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Maybe I am just in the early stages, but it is kind of exciting. It feels like have an adolescent child.

Sure, they no longer do things because you tell them to and that is a bummer. Instead, they are learning to make good choices because you taught them how to make good decisions and that is awesome. Sadly, and stressfully, they are inevitably going to make a few bad decisions along the way.

Just as I say that he will probably take a giant bite out of one of the piano's legs next time I turn my back for 30 seconds. My excitement will turn to dread as I have to explain how I let that happen :(
 

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This kind of stuff just activates me, because it's a training moment and you're missing it!

Not a thing that will be solved by the internet...you need a personal, in person, trainer to help. And there's nothing wrong with that!...

Just find someone to help!!!

Good luck!
 
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