Socialization is soooo very important...along w/ being consistent w/ training.
So kudos to you for caring enough to take the right steps to have a well-balanced dog *!!!
I have found here in the U.S. ( at least around where we live) many people w/ smaller dogs seem to let them do whatever they wish. Not sure the reasoning??? ...but many times at the dog parks..they bark, they jump up, they don't come when called, some are even "snippy". They basically rule their owners.
There is nothing wrong w/ giving a dog lots of love and attention ( Lord knows I am always luv' on mine!!)...but if we want a well balanced dog..they need more than that. They want to know who is the leader.
I think ( like what Sabby mentioned) socialization and training go hand & hand. You can't have one and not the other.
Leadership isn't the enemy of FUN where dogs are concerned. In fact...it makes for a happy, well balanced dog.
I truly wish we had more experienced training facilities. I don't know if it is a problem in the U.S. or just around where we live...but I find they are few to be honest.
Many of the so called obedience classes are nothing more than teaching basic sit, stay commands...which most owners can do at home.
We have always owned large dogs ( up until getting "Wrigley" our little Cavalier).
Through the years we had a few rottweillers along with "many" retrievers. Anyway..we always felt it absolutely essential to have them socialized well..and trained well. Waaay beyond just the basics. They had to know we were the alpha.
We still hold to that same philosophy when it comes to our Cavalier..even though he is much smaller..cute ..friendly..and wouldn't hurt a fly! ~ *wink*