Fearful dog is comfortable at home, but too scared to learn outdoors

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/Dogtraining/comments/9q5wyo/fearful_dog_is_comfortable_at_home_but_too_scared/

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Our dog Auri is a rescue that we adopted a few years ago. Before she came to us, she was picked up as a stray, but we don’t know much about her background other than that.

When we first got her, she was afraid of basically everything and everyone. Slowly over several months, she got comfortable with my wife, then me. And over the next few years, we’ve gotten to the point where she’s very relaxed at home and gets close to new visitors pretty quickly.

Going outside is another matter. We live at an apartment complex, and all the unexpected sights and sounds terrify her. First she’ll sprint, pulling on her leash trying to get home. If that doesn’t work, she pancakes, getting low and trying to hide.

Because she’s scared to go out, she almost never asks to go, even when she has to pee, so we take her every few hours. She’s now used to walking out the door, going right away, and coming inside. But if she hears anything distracting or startling, she doesn’t go, and tries to run home.

The only time I can take her to poo is very late at night when it’s quiet. At that time, she’s always resistant to going outside, but once she does her thing, she actually likes staying out there and sniffing around.

What can we do to help Auri get comfortable going outside during the day?

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