Every new dog owner wants a super obedient puppy that sits and stays for long periods of time, does a fancy heel and can twirl and bark on command. However, this should not be your goal.
The key ingredient to a well-balanced dog is socialization, and lots of it at an early age and continuing on into adulthood. What good is a puppy that can down and stay for 100 meters in your backyard, but in a crowded park cowers at the sight of skateboard or worse, aggressively chases a child with an umbrella down the street.
When speaking to new clients, I often compare raising a puppy with raising a child. There are similarities that every parent can make references to on a daily basis. I have two small children, and there is a fine balance between discipline and free play.
During the first year of a puppy’s life, a puppy should be a puppy. There should be loads of play and exposure.