Dog “body-awareness”

Lexi’s woman had a great question about body-awareness, in regards to service dogs. A dog's "body awareness" is part of the dog-handler relationship, so the dog knows how to stay in heel position, or go through crowded spaces with the handler without knocking things over. (Lexi's woman mentioned the opposite kind of awareness when she trained with Lexi...she said the wonderful words, “I’m getting used to the idea that I’ve got some space, which is the dog, on my left, so I have to leave some space on my left when I go through doorways or past people.”)

The process of learning dog-body awareness (for the dog) takes a long time because dogs don’t generalize at first. So Lexi practices in shops AND restaurants AND church AND grocery stores AND trains, etc. so she learns to generalize (this, she will have dog-body awareness in brand-new spaces like a college classroom).

Both Lexi and her woman also have a nice “leash awareness,” too, (is that a term?), where they are both aware of keeping the “smile in the leash” (not letting the leash pull and get taut...ideally, the positioning of the dog and handler should be close enough so that even if there wasn't a leash, both the dog and handler would always be in the same place in relation to each other).