First things first: Anyone walking their puppy should keep a close eye on them and intervene when they meet other dogs if the little one gets into trouble. What protects him is the good behavior of the other dog, not the puppy protection. However, you shouldn't blindly trust that every dog is well behaved and socialized.
Puppy protection with restrictions
Puppy protection is a natural behavior among dogs that serves to preserve their own species - for this reason it applies in their own pack, but not when meeting other dogs. In addition, the puppy protection is usually over after the first 14 weeks of life, i.e. about the time your little fur nose moves in with you. When walking, you should therefore consider the following.
Meet other dogs
A well socialized, trained dog knows big and small four-legged friends, calm and bustling dogs. He will usually be gentle and patient with your little puppy, even if it may be a little pushy and stormy, and will endure his behavior. If he puts him in his place, which is fine, he will take care not to injure the physically inferior dog.
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However, if the other dog is still young, just in heat, or poorly socialized, it may be too coarse for the puppy, maybe even bitten, and you have to intervene. So always keep in mind: there is usually a tolerance towards young dogs. This does not give the puppy a fool's freedom.