Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful. Initially he was in a strange new environment and not sure of the humans, and whether this was a temporary home or more premanent. He is also at the age where male tend to be more dominant and try and take over the alpha place in the household. If he sees a strong leader in you, he will behave, but if he isn't seeing that, he will feel that he has to protect himself and the rest of the pack (you). It is the leaders job to protect the pack from other people and dogs. So perhaps when a dog came up to you and the dog, you just allowed them to or even encouraged it. Really you should put yourself between an off leash dog and your dog until you see that it is a friendly situaion.
Now if you are worried over how he is going to react and pull him closer or am just tense, he senses that worry. He doesn't know you are worried about his reaction. He thinks it is due to the other people and dogs and that he is protecting himself and you. So you need to be the boss.
The quickest way of accomplishing this is to do obedience ctraining with him . A class would be best, ***** ***** trainer know what the problem you are having is. The following site is helpful for teaching you how to train your dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
Additionally once he has some training, you can start having him sit and wait for them to pass. I would not allow people or dogs to interact with him at this point. You want him to see that you can keep others away from him (protect him). Tell people he is in training. That usually works well and people accept that excuse for not allowing them to pet your dog.
There is also another method where you give a short tug on the leash and firm NO when he acts inappropriately. He learns you do not like that behavior. However, you need to reward the right behavior. So when he ignores them or walks by, reward him with a tasty hot dog (vienna sausage) slice or liver sliver. This in turn lets her know what behavior you do expect from him in that situation.
The BAT method also works for this type of behavior. See more about that here:
I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .