How to handle when off leash dogs approach my scared rescue?

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I fostered a dog named Noir for about a year before she was adopted out. When she came to me she was in bad shape. Terrified of everything, had never lived in a house or with humans before (as far as I know). I did a lot of work with her and she's come a long, long way. She's a great dog and has a good temperament but has clearly had some trauma in her past. We took it slow and she's a lot more confident than she was a year ago. However, new things, people, and dogs freak her out and, as with many fearful dogs, it can be 2 steps forward, 1 step backward.

Although she's adopted, I still see her regularly to help her continue to grow her confidence. One thing that I focus on is taking things slow. No big jumps that might traumatize her and then it'll be harder for her to not be afraid of that particular thing.

I had her out on a walk in the woods the other day. She was leashed but two dogs who were not leashed saw her and ran up to her. They were not very respectful but not aggressive. Noir was extremely uncomfortable and scared; it was and overwhelming situation for her. She's not a reactive dog and, at least it seems to me, has a healthy way of communicating with other dogs and people (body language, warns verbally first, etc.). She layed down in a submissive posture, then growled and barked, then tried to run away. The dogs ignored her communication. The owners of the dogs were far enough away that it took several minutes for them to remove their dogs.

I'm hoping someone might be able to give me some tips on what to do when Noir is put into a potentially scary situation that's outside of my control so that I can build her confidence or at the least not make her more scared the next time we encounter off leash dogs. The only thing I could think of to do in that instance was to just remain calm and attempt (with little success) to correct the other dogs.


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