Daisy is taking an "impulse control" class right now, as she is a complete nutcase!
Last week, we focused mostly on treating your dog when it offers its attention (i.e. makes full eye contact with you). The key here is to NOT encourage the "look" in any fashion - impulse control is all about the dog learning to make the right choices without a prompt. We started adding distractions - a stranger or a strange dog walking into the room at a distance - and we waited as long as it would take to get a calming signal from the dog. It might be a sit or a down, it may be a look back at you, and then mark the behavior with a click or a "Yes!" and immediately treat. (I find that cut up hot dog and boiled chicken are both great for Daisy.)
This week the trainer talked about how, when you tell someone "Don't look, don't look...", they want to do it even more because it's now off limits! So last night, we started making distractions and clicking/rewarding the INSTANT the dog's head turned to look at the distraction. As you reward, you lure the head back toward you. By this, the dog learns that the reward is getting to look at the distraction. Also, by getting a treat before they have time to fully react, they learn that they can look at a distraction and then get rewarded for glancing back at you. It sounded completely insane to me at first, but the dogs in the class all got to where they eventually glanced at the distraction and then glanced back at their owners for a treat, so I'm thinking this could be a good thing!
We're also working a great deal with rewarding the dog for going to and staying on their mats in the presence of a visitor (as if they were at home and someone came over to the house).
I don't know if these will help you or not, but they seem to be working nicely for us!
Oh, one more - the "Find it!" cue. Daisy is bad about jumping up on me when she gets too excited, so we're teaching "Find it" by pointing to the ground, giving the cue, and dropping a small treat on the ground where we point. Eventually the dogs direct their attention to the floor immediately when you give the cue, and they will start sniffing around to find it. Sniffing is a calming signal between dogs, so this could be helpful when Thora meets another reactive dog in public.
Best of luck!
Daisy - Brindle Boxer Female, born 04/09/11
R.J., Sassy, Omar - Kitties
Gabriel - Emotionally challenged Umbrella Cockatoo