My dog is a rescued stray, roughly 8 or 9 months old. You may recall me story from before; I came home after dinner on Christmas Eve, to find a very sick puppy at the end of my drive way. I got out of the car and called to him, and he walked over to me as fast as he could. I convinced him to follow me up the driveway (about 1/8 mile) and to go into my fenced-in back yard, where I was able to feed him and treat his wounds the best that I could.
Since then, he is medically strong and sound, and his training is coming along fairly well. He acts like a normal dog, plays with his toys and my other dog (and me), tries to chase my cat, etc. He also walks wonderfully with me (leashed) on a daily basis down the driveway.
Unfortunately, though, I haven't had a lot of visitors at my house lately, so I only discovered a problem last week. My girlfriend's parents came to visit, and while they were outside my dog barked and ran from window to window, just like I would expect. But when they came in, he peed in several places and hid behind the sofa, refusing to come out (even when I called for him and offered him treats).
They stayed for about an hour, and I was finally able to coax him into the same room as them, but only if I stayed with him and petted him the entire time.
Then a few days later, a personal friend and his wife came over. I had hoped that he would be a little better the second time, but he was actually worse. Again, he peed everywhere (a lot), and hid in his crate the whole time they were here. They had been told about his problem ahead of time, so they were being particularly quiet and cautious with him, but he was absolutely terrified.
This fear surprises me, considering how quickly he came up to me when I first found him. So I'm guessing that this fear is something that developed after I found him, and that it doesn't stem from previous abuse (although I can't rule that out, considering that I don't know his background).
How should I handle this? With summer coming up, I was hoping to have friends over more often, and was hoping to take him to a dog park and maybe to a few outdoor festivals, but I don't want to traumatize my dog! Is this something that will get better as more people visit, or will it get worse?
I also have a fear that as he gets older, his fear might turn into aggression, which would be a BIG problem.
I don't think that his breed matters, but I believe that he's a beagle / Australian shepherd mix. He's about 25lbs, and has almost completely recovered from red mange. He was neutered about a month ago, with no complications in the recovery. Now that I think about it, when I took him to the vet for neutering he peed there, too (which had never happened before), but at the time I assumed that it was because there was another dog there that was yelling terribly.
Any advice on this would be very much appreciated! TIA,