Obedience training and behavior modification help to turn a family dog into a member of the family.
Social skills take your dog to the next step. A dog that knows how to conduct himself in public with good manners, is a welcomed companion that is admired by onlookers.
Social skills or social grace is not as simple as socializing your puppy with neighbors, friends, guests, and frequent visits to shopping centers or your kid’s ball games.
Social grace is learning to pass people and other dogs, bikes, scooters, cars, or any other possible distraction without reaction.
Distraction without reaction skills also comes into play when your puppy/dog is at sit/stay and people, dogs, bikes, etc., are passing by him.
The most important part of dog training is teaching your dog to walk at heel. Why? Because when your dog is at heel, you have the most control. I can’t stress the importance of that enough. At heel is not because it looks good, or that’s what the obedience books recommend.
If you have 100% control over your dog when he is at heel, imagine that you lose about 10% of your control for approximately every 3-4 inches he gains on you by pulling ahead.
Most corrections are done by gently tugging NOT PULLING the leash slightly back, and saying “NO” firmly, then “heel” softly, to keep your dog from going ahead of you. Tugging slightly to the right, across your lap, saying “NO” firmly, then “heel” softly, will teach your dog to stay at your left side.
With this method, dogs are taught to pass people and other distractions at public places like home improvement centers. Dog that usually pull toward the grass, when walking on the sidewalk, can easily be corrected by this method. When your dog is ahead of you, the angle of the leash will not allow you to control you dog.
WATCH THIS VIDEO to THE END! First the dog is being prepared by walking along a wall. Then he will pass people and another dog in the next isle!!