Okay, so my take on "heel" is probably not very standard as far as formal obedience, but here it is. I have 2 walking commands, "Stay close" and "walk on". Stay close is as close to heel as I get. It basically means stay nearby and don't pull. Walk on means that the dogs have most of the length of a 6' lead to maneuver, but again, shouldn't pull. For us, walking 3 adult RRs, this is important, otherwise, they don't have room to adjust to the other dogs and they'll end up smooshed up against each other. I can't be bothered with a proper heel position for everyday walking, but because they know 'stay close' they can do it individually.
I wouldn't bother with trying to teach a puppy to heel tightly if you're not planning on doing competition obedience. If you are, then clicker training for correct heel position is a good way to go. Also, using a properly fitted nylon slip collar and keeping it right behind the ears will help immensely, but I wouldn't use that until he was well beyond teething and closer to 1. I personally use Lupine harnesses to walk all 3 of my dogs (except at shows, when I use a nylon slip collar) and highly recommend them for puppies.
Please let me know what ya'lls take on this is. AND if she is right, what is the name of the command for come and sit next to me?
I would agree that you should choose words for each of those situations. As I understand it, "finish" is the word for return to my left side and sit. But, you can say whatever makes sense and seems natural. Maybe 'return' or 'park it' or 'my side'?
What am I suppose to do about jumping? I know its in their DNA and I personally do not care, but I don't want a lawsuit 2 years down the road because my pup runs towards a stranger and jumps on them because he wants to play.
Keeping your dog leashed will prevent him from mowing down a stranger. But in all seriousness, Sara's advice to turn away and ignore is the best method I know of. None of that kicking/toe-stepping/paw-pinching silliness works. Truly. Don't even bother.
MEETING NEW PEOPLE
I mean its hard to tell a passing stranger on the street that. Its not his fault because when people see a puppy they give him high energy and he is just feeding off of that.
Head possible puppy-grabbers off by asking them if they'd like to pet your dog, but also point out that you'd like him to sit first. Like when you see a stranger that looks like they are grinning and possibly wanting to pet, offer the petting first, then sit the puppy. I explain that while the puppy is cute and manageable, he someday will be 90 pounds and will need to be more careful. If all else fails, tell them the dog is in training, and to please ignore him. You don't have to specify what kind of training, and probably many people will assume that it's some sort of service dog thing. Hopefully they'll respect that.
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