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It's handy to have a dog that can go on command but it can cause problems if a dog won't go on a particular surface (such as a dog being left at boarding kennels and won't go on the concrete run)

That's exactly where I've found "going on command" to be useful - acclimating a dog to all sorts of surfaces.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
All dogs pretty much need to be taught how to ... ability because its not something most people have to activelyteach.

Maybe I could have phrased it better as "how to behave around strangers (human & canine)". I didn't mean that ... dog feels about other dogs so much as whether or not the dog knows how to behave in those situations.

Oh okay. I was thinking the meaning was something along the lines of teaching a dog canine social skills/manners & cues so that the dog never steps out of line with other dogs. For some breeds, and some dogs, that's a very challenging effort IMO. I'd still like to know if there are some tried & true methods out there for teaching socially-handicapped dogs how to better relate with others. Most people don't want to their dogs to be guinea pigs for the handler of the "difficult" dog so how to achieve these ends is something I'd be interested in learning.

Tara
It's handy to have a dog that can go on ... at boarding kennels and won't go on the concrete run)

That's exactly where I've found "going on command" to be useful - acclimating a dog to all sorts of surfaces. Matt. Rocky's a Dog.

Yeah, you're right LOL . That was a gone midnight post. I think I meant teaching a dog to go in a certain place, like an area of the lawn by placing it there and saying go potty. Alison
Maybe I could have phrased it better as "how to behave around strangers (human & canine)". I didn't mean that ... dog feels about other dogs so much as whether or not the dog knows how to behave in those situations.

Okay, then, maybe you would think of me as a decent trainer. :}

I had a 5-yr-old lab come into my advanced class who was wonderful with obedience, but would flip out every time another dog walked by the training area. It was a one-dog class, and I knew mom would work diligently on the material at home, so I used a lot of the time for socialization. We did the open bar thing.
By the end of class, Jesse no longer noticed if another dog walked by the training area. A few months later, mom came in to show me how well she was doing. Jesse came up to the training area to greet me. She was similarly greeted from the other side by all the dogs in my class. She was nose-to-nose with them for a few seconds, and mom was savvy enough to distract her back before she started to react, and praised the dickens out of her.

She failed her CGC because of the aggression, before the class. She passed it afterwards.
Jake the 1-yr. old lab was snarling and lunging at the other dogs in the first class, and avoiding the people. In the 8th, he was playing with the dogs off-leash and mooshing pets from the humans.
I agree that socialization is the most important part of a puppy or basic class. If the dog won't sit but no longer growls at people or lunges at other dogs, I consider it a success.
PetsMart Pet Trainer
My Kids, My Students, My Life:
http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/myhomepage/index.html Last updated June 27 at 10:00 a.m.
He seems to recognize the difference between inside and outside fairly well he didn't want to potty even at Cobo Hall in Detroit, even while we were breaking everything down.

Some dogs seem to understand the concept of "inside," some don't. The ones that don't eliminate in the aisles at PetsMart. :}

I was very impressed by an 11-week old puppy in class the other day who suddenly broke out of puppy play to go whining at the gate. "He has to go out - you need to take him NOW," I said.
Sigh. Mom said to her daughters, "Take the dog out."

First Daughter: "You take him."
Second Daughter: "No, you take him."
Mom: "Take him."
Me: "You need to take him NOW. Pick him up."
Pup circles and poops.
Not impressed by the family.
But for an 11-week old poochie - his first night in class, mind you - it was pretty darned good.
PetsMart Pet Trainer
My Kids, My Students, My Life:
http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/myhomepage/index.html Last updated June 27 at 10:00 a.m.
I denote "potty time" by telling him to "go potty." He seems to recognize the difference between inside and outside fairly well he didn't want to potty even at Cobo Hall in Detroit, even while we were breaking everything down.

Bodhi was/is like that too. We've gone to shows before, and Rose City about killed me last year (when he was only around 6 mos old). I'd just taken him out to potty within the last 30 minutes or so, and he didn't. So, after getting tired of standing in the cold, rain & wind, we went back inside. I was standing in a line to get myself a coffee with him, and all of a sudden it's like, Wham! He starts becoming very anxious, and pulling me toward a door! Then it dawned on me, He's got to GO! So, we ran out, he potty'd and pooped, then was ready to go right back inside. None of that hanging outside in the crummy weather for him!

He was super easy to potty train, and has a very good sense of where is appropriate to go & where it's not. Inside of buildings is just NOT okay
with him, including the agility barn, and the herding arena (I think he's gone
once in the round pen when he was a youngster). I consider myself pretty lucky!
Shelly & The Boys