I've had George since he was two weeks old. I've been training him since he was around 4 weeks old; various training, like simple commands and potty training.
He's recently hit the rebellious/independent stage (14 weeks) and I've decided to tether train him.
He began to run away from me instead of to me, run out the door when it was opened and continue to run away and wouldn't respond even to his own name, started using the carpets, stealing the cat's food and growling and snapping at the cat for its food, and generally exhibiting dominant behavior.
His testicles haven't even lowered yet! He wouldn't even let me pick him up when in the house and will even growl at me from time to time. There's nothing wrong with him physically, he's never been abused, never mishandled, he just doesn't want to be told what to do
He really is a sweet boy and is very intelligent; he picked up on hand signals almost right away, and so far has been easy to train with treats. He taught me to play fetch (or so he thinks, lol), and loves his toys and playtime. He's great during playtime! He's funny, silly, and loves to snuggle and be affectionate.
So, here's a couple of questions for tethering (which is going well so far):
Should I unleash him for playtime? If so, for the whole play period, or just for fetch and laser chasing?
When he whines, I ignore him until he stops but when I start to go to him, he starts again. Should I start over when he does this? Same for jumping up to me?
Here's another thing- when playing, I notice that he likes to attack his toy from the same angle as my hand, kind of over my hand, and he jumps up to pull at my arm/hand. It's mostly with one particular toy.
Should I be concerned at all about this as a dominance gesture? If so, how do I handle it? Do I silently stop and remove the toy?
I really want to nip the dominance in the bud. So far, his dominance is more intense than any large-breed dog I've ever seen.
He's also much calmer and happier when he knows I'm in charge.