So I guess there is more than 1 way to train these skills?? Who knew!
I think that is what it comes down to...
Because of my instructors - I definitely use "choose to heel" and "find front" games....
We do the treat toss games - and that's something I'm doing with my puppy, even if I will not use the "front" word at all at this point. I don't know if it's even true of goldens, but I used to train with people who owned breeds who were very uncomfortable with "front position". More or less it can be a "dominating" issue for them. You are making them sit in front of you while you stand over them.
My old instructor way back then recommended doing a variety of things to get the dogs comfortable about being in your space, but most specifically putting them in that front position and rewarding and praising them in that space right from the beginning.
Teaching "bump fronts" - I think something I was told is that it's easier to correct that down the road than it is to correct when the dog isn't sitting close enough.
With Bertie - I'm bringing him in so he's sitting between my feet, chest and chin touching me, and looking up at me. I think sometimes this helps them learn front position FASTER. And actually with him, he's probably my first puppy who if I pivot or turn away from him while he's presenting front, he scoots around to find front again (between my feet and look up) without me guiding him.
I'm not too concerned about this becoming a bad habit for him, because over time as I build distance with the fronts, I will also be bringing my feet together and closing that "shoot".
@treat toss comes - this was how I trained drops with Jacks. With Bertie of course, he doesn't have a "wait" or "stay" yet that allows me to get more than a foot away (I'm not hurrying either command) so the treat allows me to get that distance without always needing somebody to hold/release him for me.