As a dog walker in Washington, DC, I have heard of and witnessed examples of clueless people who are unaware of the other dogs around them. They are intent on their dog interacting with shy dogs. Dogs just like people have a right to their personal space.
It is up to you to assist in setting those boundaries.
1. Don’t let your off leash dog approach on-leash dogs. In fact, we would encourage you not to let your dog off leash in the city. There are just too many ways they can be harmed.
2. Ask before approaching a shy dog and attempting to pet it.
3. Lock your retractable leash. Check it again to make sure it is locked.
4. Be aware. Don’t follow close behind since the shy dog believes you are chasing it. Cross over to the other side.
Enjoy your walk!