Shortly after we started walking Hans around the neighbourhood (once he got his shots), I came across a woman who has a female boxer, very reactive to other dogs. When I say reactive, I mean that the owner has to essentially hold her down in a bear hug when any other dog approaches as she fights to get at them, snarling, baring teeth. What your average Joe would think is a "rabid dog" essentially.
She was very nice the first time she saw me and Hans across the street and yelled that her dog is reactive and that since Hans is a puppy it's probably best not to have him walk on the same side of the street if we see them. I appreciated that and ever since then if I see them coming, we cross the street to avoid the reaction. To her credit, she was also always good at immediately changing directions if she saw another dog coming. Most of the times I saw it react, it was being walked by a young male, I assume her son who didn't seem to have the same attitude of avoidance.
Today however, she was walking towards us, which surprised me, and then I saw her instruct her dog to sit down and she was feeding it treats, one after another. As I tried to cross the street per usual, she said to me that they got a new trainer who told her to basically have her dog sit and gobble her high value treats while other dogs pass by so that she learns to be ok with that. I told the woman I'd rather not tempt fate and given that Hans is only 15 weeks, didn't think he was the appropriate test subject. She got kind of annoyed saying that EVERYONE in the area would benefit from her dog being re-programmed.
Was I in the wrong? I've just seen this dog be absolutely insane towards other dogs, lunging etc. So I wasn't going to risk it but now I have a neighbour who thinks I'm unreasonable.
Edited to add: is her trainer's idea sound in the first place? I don't have a lot of experience by any means but it seems a bit simple to me to suggest that a dog that has such issues would suddenly calm down just because it's getting a handful of cheddar cubes...