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I generally make my dogs sit before they get to great another dog or person. It's not too much to ask your dog to sit. Down maybe though is a bad choice for dog greeting, as judging by your dog's actions in that post, which due to a little lack of detail I can only imagine would be a hard thing to inforce. Laying down is a much more submissive posture for dogs, and as such a dog with a lunging problem like that I don't expect your dog to lay down until she's very very well trained in that sort of situation. But a sit is a totally rational thing, all of my dogs have to sit before they can greet another dog or something.
I'm kind of speaking from experience, as my six year old aussie is a puller at new dogs she wants to meet, though it's gotten better it still needs work. What I do is, if she starts to pull towards the other dog or person I turn around and walk away, when she's calm enough to manage walking towards them and keep herself composed I'll ask her to sit, then we can go say hello if the other owner of the dog agrees.
 
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