Originally Posted by ihavefeet
I've thought about whether it was just something that spooked him, and I think that could be part of it, but it is not specific to going a different direction out the door. He refuses to make any detour off of the walking path along the ocean, even if it's to another area of the park, no matter how far away from the house.
He has always had a strong attachment to that route; he gets to run off leash and has bushes and beach to explore, so it's definitely the most exciting place to walk in the neighbourhood. I wonder if maybe I've had him long enough now that he's feeling comfortable enough in our relationship to try to start testing me, and see what he can get away with? (When I got him he was VERY submissive, and he's built up a lot of confidence over the months.)
Or,possible that he's still not yet feeling 100% better from his infection, and that he wants to walk in a place that makes him feel safe and secure (i.e. bushes and beach)?
Oh, then that ^^
explains a lot
Of course he wants' to go where the fun is, not to walk on-leash on "boring" streets
And, yes, probably there is a bit of "all of the above" in his behaviour.
Now, joking aside, from a training point of view - it's not too good to let him dictate where to go at all times - try to make going where you want into a game or a training session - practice simple commands like "look at me" or "come" or "take it" while keeping treats on hand and taking small steps in the direction that you want to go. If it's safe to do so, perhaps a close game of "fetch" - but only throw the toy a few feet away at any one time - you want him be willing
to go fetch, not ignore you because he's not comfortable getting away from you...
The important thing is to keep building his confidence and train him gently and patiently - after all, your loving care has to "fix" about 5 years of probably very hard life...