How do I get my dog to remain calm when seeing/near other dogs?

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Hey everyone,

I have a 1.5 year old AmStaff x (we think) Greyhound/Whippet.

We adopted her from the Animal Welfare League when she was 10 weeks old. We took her to puppy preschool, and she was a bit hyperactive initially in class but after a few minutes she would calm down. But that seems to have carried on as she grew up. Now she is a lot bigger, and whenever she spots another dog (it could be more than 500m away) she freaks out. She does this combination of whining/growling/barking and lunges in the direction of the dog.

We take her out walking often, and have taken her to the dog park a few times. I only say a few because she kind of scares the other owners/dogs with her behaviour. Every time we have let her off the leash, she hasn't tried to bite or anything. But when she is on the leash she just goes crazy. She won't listen to me, when she is normally very good at call and return. I can walk her off the leash and she always comes back when I call her if she goes too far. She is very well behaved except when it comes to other dogs.

We took her to the farmers market yesterday, and unfortunately there were a few other dogs around. We did our best to avoid them and took her away when she saw them. But, as we were leaving and walking back to our car, it seemed all the other dog owners were leaving too, and soon we were surrounded by about 6 other dogs, and she just absolutely could not handle it. It was quite embarrassing and exhausting. I didn't know how to calm her down other than running her to the car.

I don't know if she is scared, or curious, or doesn't know how to act. Or if it is perhaps a protective thing over myself and my partner.

I don't know if I should keep trying to get her used to other dogs, or if I should just leave it and accept that she just might not be a doggy loving dog.

Any advice?

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