Just a funny story to tell. Some years ago I used to take my 2 on walks out near SF Bay on a road that was 3 miles around with a canal that surrounded the perimeter of the area. Most People that brought their dogs there would let them off leash as there was no escape with the canal as a border. This German fellow used to go there with his German Shepard mutt. Ringo the red/wht male and being an alpha type guy like to challenge larger dogs who stood over him. Ringo challenged his dog a few times and the dog just stood there very still a bit worried looking. I'd put him on leash when we'd pass so Ringo wouldn't threaten his dog until we passed. Nika my blk/wht never bothered with the dog. So every time we'd pass this guy he'd hold his dog between his legs to protect him and he'd say to me, in a heavy German accent "that dog's the devil dog" pointing to Ringo and "that dog's the good dog" pointing to Nika.
I always had to be careful with Ringo when I took him out somewhere off leash and If I saw people in the distance with a dog I'd get him on leash so he would not bother their dogs or for his own safety. It's weird because there's a place in San Francisco called Fort Funston that's huge by the coast and it's kind of a dog part where there are tons of dogs that are off leash. With so many dogs around he would just mellow out and just smell and play.
Yes I agree Pat, Fort Funston could get very crowded and dangerous for smaller dogs as packs of bigger dogs playing could cause injury. My 2 Basenjis were very good and stayed pretty close to me and got used to the crowds. The only problem I had there was with this lady who had an older Tri color female Basenji. It would bite my blk/wht, Nika who was 1-1/2 on the butt. A few times of that and I stayed way away from her. The problem is Nika was a very playful girl and never did anything like that. A few times of getting nipped on the butt started her doing it to other dogs and Basenjis. A Basenji would want to play and Nika would chase and give a nip and the the other dog would get mad and a fight would occur. Nobody would ever get hurt thankfully. It was rare that it would happen as I took them there for 9 years, mostly on the weekend without problem. We had a lot of fun and people loved the Basenjis! Ringo, the red/wht was a very entertaining clown when we'd go down to the beach.