The training is insufficient for your dog to act off leash. Training on the leash should be continued effectively until your pup is properly groomed up to act on command off the leash. The basics are still weak. It is important to understand that your German Shepherd are wary of strangers and won't effectively learn your tricks amidst the mob. Your German Shepherd is quite intelligent (more intelligent than many of the other dog breeds), but correct training procedure demands not to overwhelm him with fussy noise; nor to forcing him giving you attention. The trick of effective training lies in making the training session easy and enjoyable for your dog.
Booty drive is German Shepherd's one of the basic instincts. When your GSD pup is exposed to the nature and if he finds any moving object like a butterfly or a squirrel he would instantly chase it. If he is not coming back on your command you are loosing the competition with his instinct that is reinforcing him to ignore you. This is happening because his instinct is stronger than your way of training him, which in turn means that your training is not effective enough to win over his attention. It is important that you know this breed first and then you know the specific subject that you are dealing with - your dog.
Establishing the 'Alpha' membership is a must. If your German Shepherd pup's apprehensive of coming to you when you call him, the reason is "You". You have failed to establish yourself as an alpha member of your pack. Remember that establishing yourself as the leader of the pack doesn't mean yelling at him or punishing him to prove your strength. It is important to be sweet and cool with him, yet you must have a strong and powerful character to prove your dominance.
Very weak or no reinforcement from your end encourages your pup to ignore you next time. This is another very important factor that contributes to your pups tendencies of ignoring you when you call him. When you call you dog and he comes to you it is most important to reward him with lavish praise and prove that you are happy for he listened to you. Remember that German Shepherds are intelligent dogs and will be ready to make you happy by doing what you want. 'Praise', here acts a very strong reinforcement factor that encourages your dog to come to you when he is called.
Your GSD pup is smart enough to understand what you may want him to do! Your dog understands that you may want him to get inside, while he still wants play. This means he is not yet fully exhausted. Remember a tired dog is a content dog; and well bred German Shepherds have high level of energy. Full-fledged exercise is required to make him content. A long time free play will help him exhaust his energy and he would be happy to go inside readily. However, this is situational. It is not always that you may want him to go inside. It is, hence, important to analyze the situation and try to understand what might be going in his mind.
Praising him always when he makes you happy is the best trick ever!
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