Help with my adopted stray who gets afraid on walks
Back in March of 2013, I adopted a stray dog from a rescue organization. He had been picked up during a snow storm on the street in Brooklyn, NY. They estimated that he was about 9 months old when I got him.
He's an absolutely wonderful dog, loving, sweet, funny, happy and playful...EXCEPT when I take him for a walk on leash. He becomes a totally different animal. He's distracted, fearful, and cowers at all sorts of things. Yesterday, we were walking and a guy on a bicycle stopped by us to compliment him and pet him and he freaked out, just cowering behind me. Even my partner, when I'm walking the dog on leash and we walk by him, the dog seems not even to know who he is, he's so distracted.
As soon as he's back in the house, or out in our yard, he's perfectly normal again. This has been going on since I've had him, and doesn't seem to be getting better. I've tried all sorts of things to get him to focus on me, to calm down, etc, but I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas for fixing this?