A little more on the "Blocking/Claiming" technique.
I use this blocking very often on our walks. We encounter many street and unleashed dogs. I will step in between my dog and the other dog to simply block. I don't say a word or make a sound. Often the other dog will attempt to side step and go around, I move to maintain the block. The other dog's focus is typically glued to my dog, eventually the dog will look at me, that is when I step forward. The dog will most often retreat a step or so. Then I give the command "Shadow, Come" to continue our walk. If the other dog continues, then I repeat the block. After a few minutes the other dog will give up and leave. Street dogs are the most persistent, but I have always been successful. Unleashed dogs are typically retrieved by the unleashed owner after a few moments.
Leashed dogs receive the same blocking response while I assess the dogs behavior, temperament and grooming, I'm also evaluating the owner. If the dog and owner are both calm, good behavior and temperament, with evidence of grooming.....then I will allow the dogs to meet. The sniff meeting is short, I will allow about 30 seconds or so while watching the dog's behavior.
My point, you can block/claim anything with the right mindset and actions. These 2 examples are me Blocking the other dog and Claiming my dog. This works with dogs I have never met before.
Its odd what our dogs know. Shadow and I have done this dance numerous times. He knows to remain behind me while I block. Somehow he knows when it is ok to meet a leashed dog. He will come from behind me ears forward tail upright and slowly wagging. They sniff. Occasionally, Shadow will tell the other dog to go away. I see this because of the dog's body language and the other dog retreating. It is also evident with the body language about play. We occasionally meet other dogs from the same building, they know each other and will always have short play. You can see this in their body language. A distinct difference between "go away" and "lets play" body language.
Denise, learn this technique. It can be very helpful in many situations.