Hey everyone! I've been reading this forum for awhile (tons of great information!), but just joined because I'm planing on getting a GSD puppy and have read some conflicting information about socialization. I know it's super important to get your puppy out and about, ensuring confidence and engagement around all types of distractions/potentially scary life situations.
Where the conflicts occurred were in how to socialize around other people/dogs. Some sources recommended inviting a diverse group of friends over to meet the puppy and play a recall circle game with lots of treats & petting. All these people would be people you know, so you would instruct them about how to properly interact with the puppy (not scaring it or rewarding inappropriate behaviors). Other sources, however, said that your goal should be for your puppy to ignore other people. Other people were simply distractions for your dog to practice being really engaged with you. Each school of thought also had similar ideas about how to socialize around other dogs (encouraging play vs encouraging focus).
My question is: what did you do that worked? I want my dog to pay more attention to me than anyone else, but I also want it to be friendly towards others and possibly be able to do therapy work one day. I'm less concerned about it's relationships with other dogs (whether it ignores them or plays with them), but I do want to avoid aggression and fear. Thoughts?