Alittle background first: I have a 10 week old Bluetick Coonhound x Treeing Walker Coonhound puppy we got when he was 8 weeks old. He had been kept outdoors for a large part of his young life with his littermates but quickly adjusted to indoor living (he might be alittle spoiled). Potty training has been going extremely well hes even starting to scratch at the door when he needs to go out ect.
However when we got him I noticed an 'odd' issue but didnt push is. He seems to be afraid of the outdoors, he quickly adjusted to our yard and walking on a leash however he will not leave the safety of our yard. If I try to walk him across the street to get the mail his throws himself around on the leash barking and making awful screaming sounds. I didnt baby him or become harsh I just waited until he calmed down and let him deal with it on his own.
Now for our problem as of late this fear is starting to carry over to anywhere outdoors. You cant get him out the door without a struggle he screams/howls/barks/whines the whole time and even injured his leg throwing himself around. Because of this he has done a complete 180 on potty training hes so wound up he refuses to go outside.
I used to train and show dogs as a teenager with a local kennel but those were kennel dogs so Ive never experience this type of problem as they were well adjusted to the outdoors and being kenneled. Im not really sure which way to go with this issue, I had dreams of doing search and rescue or therapy work with him so he had a job but if he doesnt overcome these fears Im not sure hes ever going to be able to do that.
I have enrolled him in puppy classes to help with his socialization but they wont take him until hes had his 16 week shots. However Id like to start doing something now instead of letting this problem go and maybe get worse for another 6 weeks. Just looking to see what everyone elses ideas are and if they are inline with what I am thinking.
p.s. I have started clicker training him to help build his confidence hes extremely smart and learned sit, down, off, leave it and started learned come in just a few days.
I am not a trainer, but have you tried putting things he likes to play with, or his food, just outside the door? Do you close the door behind you, or leave it open? He may feel abandoned if he is outside and can't get back in. Obviously, something has scared him, so the more you can associate the yard and out of doors with fun, the more he will be receptive to going out there. If you have a place where you can put a chair and sit outside, he may venture out to be with you, rather than stay in the home alone.
I got my dog (min pin/pug mix) when she was 8 weeks. She had never been outside before I got her and was already a skiddish dog. She was scared of EVERYTHING when I first got her. When I would bring her outside she would freak out. I would just stay outside with her until she did her buisness and having an older dog (lab/pit mix) really helped out because she learned alot from her and stayed by her side while outside. I also never trained my dogs on a leash. Me and my boyfriend would walk the dogs around the neighborhood and let them follow, which helped out with the scaredness a lot. She finally got used to the outdoors and now I can let her run around outside all she wants and she is no longer scared. They just have to get used to it thats all. I've been blessed with two beautiful great dogs and they listen very well. (also my boyfriend was a great trainer for them)