One thing I have noticed whilst being out with my reactive lab is that you don't see anyone for the entire walk until you are about to return home and you turn a corner! There they are, someone with a dog within feet of you. Your stomach tightens, as you know that the onslaught of barking and lunging is about to start. And it usually does!
One of the crucial elements of Behaviour modification when dealing with reactivity is distance. Distance from the trigger. Distance gives dogs choices, it provides us with breathing room and overall it allows all parties time to evaluate the situation.
At a distance my boy can make a decision as to whether he wants to react or carry on playing ball. Ball wins out! However, when someone suddenly appears and the dog goes from 0-60 in a split second, argh!!!!!!
We need to consider the situation and realise that the majority of dogs react due to fear and insecurity. Is it the same one every walk, if so, change your route. Walk where you can get a wider view. And relax whilst walking. Are you setting your dog off by communicating your fear of the situation?
Just remember, you are not alone. Other people understand what you are going through. They've either been or are still there!!!!