Treat every experience as unique.
For example, if your dog has in any realm of the past (very recently or quite a while ago ‘had quite a nasty encounter with…’ then owners can form the impression from that encounter (sometimes with the very next dog and owner combo they meet) that interacting with dogs (or dogs that look similar to that ‘nasty one’) too close has got to be ‘negative’ and avoided.
The owner is in a heightened state, tense and on the defensive. This energy and judgement is unwittingly communicated through your behavioural cues to your dog (tightened grip on the lead or maybe even crossing over from that dog).
We had an encounter recently with our two Border Terriers where they were quite dramatically lunged for on the lead but I decided at that encounter, to be as calm as possible for the next dog we saw. Well guess what, the next woman was very stressed out, she was actually yelling “Oh no our dog will go for yours!” Staying calm (and our dogs sitting while she walked by), instead we had a wonderful interaction and play with the third dog we met.
Act calm and don’t give up, for the potential marvelous encounters that could be in your dogs future, Selina McIntyre, Dog Behavioural Consultant & Dog Trainer, Dogs Best Friend.