Help with leash reactivity – GSD – major city problems

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/Dogtraining/comments/i5g0e0/help_with_leash_reactivity_gsd_major_city_problems/

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I live in a large city where I've been working on helping my 3yo GSD not pull on leash, not lunge, and be calm on walks. I regularly hit stumbling blocks because people and could use some advice on how to overcome these scenarios. For example:

Woman with large dog walking at us, no one else on the block, I cross over and sit GSD down on the other side to watch them pass and praise him. They cross directly into us. I thought she was going into the apartment stairs a couple feet back from us – nope! GSD lunged and barked. Walking my dog at night, again no one out, guy jumps out from between two cars and screams "BOOO!!!!" GSD jumps back and then lunges forward. Happened again with a different guy. Woman comes running at my dog, squealing baby talk, arms open wide as if about to pick up and hug a toddler. GSD started yanking me towards her, ears pinned down, focus all on her.

Lots of SURPRISE dogs behind blind corners too.

In these situations, it feels like all I can do is physically restrain him and/or drag him away. Is that setting him back? How can I teach him that these things don't require him to do anything other than ignore them? I'm a small person and being yanked hurts and makes walks unpleasant.

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