Applesauce is over a year now and she will not come when called. I have taught her to sit, but she runs when I walk over to her. I have been trying to teach her 'stay' while in the 'sit' position, but it doesn't seem to be working (like, not even a little bit). This is starting to become a problem because if she gets out into the front yard (where we don't have a fence) she will take off and refuses to come back. Any suggestions/tips would be greatly appreciated!
Take her outside on a long rope and let her wander around. When she is no longer interested in you, call her using a "party" voice" not a stern one and then just bring her to you with the rope so you can give her a great treat (little hot dog pieces or chicken works well). Repeat this several times a day untill she comes running whenever you say "Applesauce come". Always give her a treat as soon as she lets you touch her collar. Practice makes perfect with this one. Eventually you will be able to do it without the rope but it is still one to practice occasionally throughout her life. Recall is one that I never stop treating for so that if one does get away while I am out they will always come to see what I have. Also, never use recall for punishment and I don't like to play chase games with my dogs because I think it confuses the recall response. Soon you will have a corgi that comes running when you call!
I've heard doing this with works really well. My uncle did this with his dog and used a special "return" treat while training him, that was the only time he ever got it and it was his favorite treat. So he would always come when the "return" command was used because he got his special treat, then he just began doing it for regular treats, then eventually for just praise.
And remember not to yell or chase, Laika went through a phase (around 9 months to a year old) where she would bolt out the door, run a few yards away from me and turn and stare at me and if I walked toward her she would run another couple yards and stop and stare. She would even walk towards me and when I'd reach to grab her run away, the little brat. I would eventually get frustrated and yell and stomp after her and it would make it so much worse (and she's incredibly fast.) I found the best thing I could do was immediately turn to Orion (the good one :P) and start paying him attention "oooohhhh Orion, you're such a gooood dog! Do you want to sit?? Do you want to shake??? Yay! Lets get Orion some treats!" then Laika's game wasn't so fun anymore and she'd run back. Luckily she grew out of it so hopefully Applesauce (super cute name!) may too.
I don't have any helpful advise, other than Bev's ideas sound good, but that name is adorable.
"Really Reliable Recall", Leslie(?) Nelson. search in the forums here, there's a discussion. We had success without too much effort with this. Get a fanny pack for your dog tools and bags etc. Get some pill bottles or equivalent for tiny yummy treats.
"The Other End of the Leash", Patricia McConnell. Interesting discussion of vocal sounds and body language -- primates' is very different form canines'. Instead of facing the dog (an agressive stance) and saying, "Come!" (sharp single word that sounds like "STOP!"), turn away, clapping hands, run away saying, "Come come come come come" -- make it a chase game.
Sounds like an adolescent dog. Al went through a phase of this -- he discovered that he did not, in fact, HAVE to come when called, and that I could not, in fact, catch him. OMD, was it fun! For him. I tired of this game a lot sooner than he did, but he did grow out of it.
We took Dolly in when she was 4 years old. She did not come when she was called unless she wanted to. We used the many of the methods already discussed, but she would (does?) occasionally still dash through the door and leave. When we finally catch her, and praise her for letting us pick her up, we carry her home (she weighs 22 pounds) in the most uncomfortable position we can without hurting her, with no talking or attention of any kind. This has shown good results for many weeks after. After her last escape, I realized she had not been getting walks regularly, because it is my son's job and he would forget. So now I make sure she gets daily walks, and am hoping it won't happen again.
Bev gave excellent advice. Always keep a rope on her so she has no choice but to come when you call. Every time you say "come" without being able to enforce it weakens the command.