What to do if my puppy meets a reactive/aggressive dog?

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/puppy101/comments/ffxl1c/what_to_do_if_my_puppy_meets_a_reactiveaggressive/

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My pup Comet is a lovable 12 week great pyr mix who is still learning how to socialize. There's a new couple in my neighborhood with a pretty reactive adult dog (smaller breed, about the same size as my pup) who growls, barks, and pulls on his leash as soon as he sees a strange person/dog and won't stop until they're out of sight. We first met the dog a couple weeks ago when we were turning a corner and it took us by surprise, it was on a leash but lunged at Comet from a few feet away and really scared him. I picked him up immediately and gave him treats and praise while we walked away hoping that would keep him from being traumatized.

Since then the owners have been proactive about redirecting their dog in a different direction when they see us coming, but today there was another surprise encounter around a corner, this time was from farther away but Comet barked back a couple times, the first time he's ever barked while on a walk. I distracted him with a treat and praised when he was calm but I think that more encounters are probably inevitable and I'm worried about him learning aggressive behaviors or becoming afraid of other dogs because he's so young. What are the best things to do in future encounters with reactive dogs to make sure it doesn't leave an impression on him?

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