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Your dogs probably won't help him being reactive around strange dogs. Like you said, he is getting used to them. Doesn't hurt to use them in the beginning for that though, it just means that "Quiet" will have to be really well proofed with a lot of strange dogs after the first step.

Do you have someplace in town like a PetSmart that gets fairly busy in afternoons or on the weekend? Pick a moderately busy time (so you'll be sure there will be some dogs walking by) and take really good treats (the natural balance rolls tend to be irresistible). Start really far away. Like, the other side of the parking lot. Ask for a sit. Treat. If he sees a dog walk by and doesn't bark, treat right away. Use a clicker if you like clicker training. If he barks, move farther away (but still in sightline). If he can stay quiet for a handful of dogs going into the store, move a little closer. Hopefully you can make it "two steps forward and one step back" rather than the opposite.
Practice this until you can get him within a reasonable distance, maybe 20-30 feet, of the entrance. Might take more than one trip to the store; if you go back another day, start about 10-15 feet further away from the door than the last time's ending distance (meaning, reinforce the previous lesson at a distance before inching closer again-- setting up for success)

Teach "Look at me." When you go to events, every time he starts to shift his attention to the other dogs, ask him "Look at me" and reward. If you've had good progress with him not barking with passing dogs, you can alternate with 'Look at that" and reward for quietly looking at another dog. Then "Look at me" and reward. Basically, control his attention.

When I was taking my very reactive foster to group events, we usually stood just a little bit away from the main clump of dogs (~20 feet in a park, 10 ft in a pet store) and I just did training sessions and kept her focused on me. It prevented her from reacting to other dogs and it showed off her training to people. Strangers didn't know she would go nuts if I let her break her attention to me, all they saw was a nicely obedient dog doing "Sit/Down/Etc" and focusing on me.
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