Bowpi doesn’t really seem to fear strange dogs, no matter their size.
Her hackles usually go up, and sometimes her tail droops — especially if the other dog towers over her, like this Great Dane. I’m always impressed by how nicely she greets other dogs though, unlike Bowdu (who was pulled off to the side here since he’s not as polite with big dogs or young dogs, of which this dog was both).
For the first time just a couple days ago, I saw Bowpi meet a dog she didn’t like. He was an unaltered Italian greyhound who apparently came on much too strong for her.
He kept following her, enthusiastically shoving his pointy little snout into her bum, which prompted her to seal off access with a quick droop of the tail, whip around, and nip at the Iggy.
I tend to let such behaviors go, as did the other owner. It seems like a very normal part of dog communication, so there’s no reason to correct it when the behavior is within bounds. The Italian Greyhound was very assertive in expressing his interest, and Bowpi was very clearly telling him she would not tolerate his advances. No harm done.
I did wonder if Bowdu was going to swoop in to moderate, as he has done before when other dogs appeared to be bullying Bowpi. But I think he sensed that the situation was under control. The Iggy eventually got the message, and left Bowpi alone.
No egos were bruised in the documenting of this rejection.