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I'm aware he has the better temperament.

It's just hard to believe its the only reason and it completely outweighs the hours of training I put in to reactivity training where as he's put none in comparison and done things specifically advised against by trainers.
Confidence can go a long way toward overcoming training shortfalls. Dogs are amazingly sensitive to our emotions, so if we are calm, they learn to be calm. Likewise, if we are excitable, nervous or timid, they often either take up the job of 'defending' us or become very nervous themselves (or sometimes both).

It should also be said that the advice given by trainers, even if it's excellent advice for general circumstances or the behaviours that the trainer observes during sessions, may not be the best thing to do in the moment. You'll usually get the best result if you're able to adapt to working with the dog in front of you. For a reactive dog, this could mean running away, sitting and watching at a safe distance, or distracting them with something fun. They will tell you what they need if you learn to listen. There's a huge learning curve with this, both with being able to interpret the dog's signals and in having the right techniques in your toolbox to respond, and I wouldn't expect you to have it down pat as a first time dog owner.

I wouldn't give up on working with your dog entirely. While your father's approach may work because of his personality, it will benefit your dog to learn enough confidence to be independent of him too.

It may also help to incorporate the training into your play sessions. I've found a game of fetch is the perfect opportunity to reinforce basic commands: the reward is that you throw the ball. Two balls also helps - you can practice 'Drop It' on the return and throw the other as soon as they do for an immediate reward. Eventually, the ball drop becomes automatic.
 

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We've been using the running away method lately.

Not sure if it's coincidence but he's been moving away with his tail tucked more often with some dogs (most of the time off leash and/or large) moving towards us.
I'm glad to hear you've managed to find a route toward fewer reactive episodes.

With regards to running away, have you tried turning it into a game? Teaching rapid direction changes / switch and run (without other dogs around) could improve confidence by helping to dissociate the behaviour from 'running away' and instead turn it into the 'chase-my-person game', which can then become a tool to teach approaching other dogs (by rapid switching directions back and forth while gradually getting closer to the scary thing).
 
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