TIP #1: GRADUAL PROGRESSION
When training anything, start with the basics and improve from there. Keep distance and distractions low and gradually progress. If you do too much too soon, you will crash and burn. Slow and steady will win the race in any obedience training.
TIP #2: WATCH FOR CALM
Right now your dog barks, lunges, or reacts problematically when she sees other dogs, but what if she had a different response? What if, when she saw another dog, she immediately turned her head and looked at you, wagging her tail in happy anticipation? We call this exercise "Watch" and for a seemingly simple exercise, it has a long list of advantages. First of all, your dog can't bark and lunge toward another dog when her attention is directed to your face. Teaching an incompatible behavior is a time-honored and elegant solution to a lot of behavioral problems, and it works wonderfully with fidos who are a bit too feisty on leash walks. Additionally, by teaching your dog to look at your face when she sees another dog, you're teaching her what you want her to do, rather than hoping she'll figure it out herself.
- excerpted from Feisty Fido
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, FFCP, CTDI