Need help with puppy’s stress!

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My wife and I got a mini goldendoodle about 6 months ago when she was 3 months old. She was born on a farm in a very comfortable setting. She now lives with us in our Brooklyn apartment and we absolutely adore her. She is fully house trained and has an amazing personality at home or in a safe environment. We had the typical puppy issues initially but seem to have outgrown most of them. We acknowledge that she is inherently a shy dog and possibly not even a city dog, however we are struggling with a couple of things and try as we might, the behavior doesn’t seem to be improving. Below are the examples:

1) She is extremely uncomfortable to be out on the sidewalk. She shakes with every noise or sound and she holds her ground. This tends to be frustrating as she only pees and poos outside on the sidewalk. My wife and I do take her for walks and once we get off our street, she walks without resistance, albeit still under some stress. I work in the city and my office is about 100 yards from a park where she relieves herself. Trying to walk her from the office to the park is a nightmare. Once we are in the park, she is as happy as anything.

2) Being around strangers. When we are with someone she is unfamiliar with, she will go hide under a couch, chair or bed. Ironically she loves kids. Her stress levels seem to increase even more if it’s a male stranger. Nothing about her first 3 months of life indicate anything which would make sense of this. I bring her to my office and she is as happy as anything with my colleagues, males included. Granted, she does take some time (often a week or more) to be comfortable with people. Takes a bit longer with males again here. When I bring her to the office, all she wants to do is play with my colleagues.

3) She is okay with smaller dogs. Not a fan of bigger dogs. However she doesn’t deal too well with rowdy dogs either. She socializes well with dogs her size, but not too many at the same time. I tried putting her in doggie day care with smaller dogs, but she would just go hide in the corner. We tried that for 2 days, but no improvement.

These scenarios place her under a lot of stress and I feel terribly for her. I’ve tried giving her treats in these situations as well as positive reinforcement. I’ve even tried keeping her close to me as I interact with strangers, but I can just tell how much she hates it.

Conversely, when she is an open field, garden or even the beach, she is the happiest dog alive. She explores and is full of curiosity. Plays fetch and runs until she can run no more. Even if there are strangers around, she’ll go up and sniff them.

This is the first time my wife and I have properly raised a dog. I am sure there are areas we are getting wrong and can certainly improve.

Any tips, pointers or advice would be greatly appreciated!!

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