I'm wondering if anyone can help answer a question about a behavioral problem Skeeter has had since we adopted him about two months ago. He was fostered with about a dozen other dogs (all BT's), and his petfinder.com description stated that he had no problems with other dogs.
Our neighborhood is very dog heavy. Everyone has one, or two, or three. Skeeter, when he sees a dog on the other side of the street his hackles will raise, and he will whimper a little big, and tends to pull on the leash--this is only if the other dog is also on leash, being walked. If the dog is in his own yard, Skeeter doesn't pay much attention at all. When there is a dog on the same side of the street (again, only while being walked, in it's own yard he doesn't care) Skeeter will go NUTS. At first, it was only with big dogs (it's mostly larger dogs in our neighborhood), but now it's with any dog, no matter the size or sex. He severly pulls on the leash (he's only 20lbs and can still drag us down the sidewalk a bit), growls, hackles up, barks in high pitch, and has even, a few times, jumped onto dogs. Naturally, we try to move along as quick as possible, but he will still pull and bark and whine until we have him distracted by something else.
The strange part is, however, when he meets a dog indoors (whether it be our house, or the other dogs house), he is friendly as pie. Plays happily, chases around, and hackles never go up, and there is never growling or barking. His two best friends are my best friends chihauaua/pom mix puppy, and my boyfriends parents basset hound (both males). Our neighbors dogs have occasionaly let themselves into our house, and he is friendly with them as well. When the dogs that he has befriended are taken outside with him on walks or to play, he is still friendly with them (even though we are outdoors).
Sometimes, really annoying neighbors leave their annoying little dogs outside off leash, and we have actually been chased, numerous times, down the street by two little evil pomeranians, and an angry old man beagle. Skeeter sometimes instigates the situation, sometimes doesn't.
To my knowledge, he has never been an "outdoor" only dog (although he was having a lot of trouble with potty training when we first brought him home, and he is 2 years old), and has very severe separation anxiety issues. I've also noticed that if I pet the dog he is barking at when outdoors, he gets even more upset.
Is this perhaps a protection of me/my boyfriend or his personal space? Has anyone else had any experience with stuff like this? Sometimes at night I am scared to take him for walks because there are SO many dogs in this neighborhood, that I can't go down the street at the same time as everyone else with him without it being a huge problem. We are attending a dog-friendly beach party this coming Sunday, and are considering bringing him to meet with some of our other friends dogs, in hopes to outdoor-socialize him, but I'm not sure if that would only be fueling the problem. I'm hoping that since he is still a young dog, it's an issue we can fix pretty easily.
Thanks for any help or tips!!