Let me tell you one thing for sure. You don't want to force your dog into a situation where he is placed in a fight or flight mode in a confined environment (like an elevator).
As the person who is responsible for your dog’s wellbeing, you never want to put him in a situation where he feels unsafe and feels that you don’t have the ability to provide him security. You are now "telling" your dog that you are a bad leader and don't have the ability to keep him safe. This means that he will step up to be the leader and will take a more aggressive stance in the elevator (bad!).
We must understand that as the protector (i.e. parent), it is our biggest responsibility to keep our dog safe. Sometimes, the best way to maintain safety is to avoid unsafe situations. This is not "running away", it is simply good management. With this in mind, here are my suggestions for the elevator situation.
- If you are about to enter the elevator and you see that there is another dog in the elevator, do not enter. Mention that your is a little fearful of dogs in the elevator and you want to wait for the next one. This, again will show that you are a responsible dog owner to your neighbors and that you are a good leader and care giver to your dog.
- If you are in the elevator and someone with a dog starts to enter, politely mention that your dog is a little fearful of other dogs when in the elevator. Since you don't want an incident in such a closed space, could they please wait for the next elevator. If they agree, thank them. If they still step into the elevator, excuse yourself and get out of the elevator. If there are other people in the elevator, they will see that you are a responsible dog owner, no matter which outcome occurred. You will also show Wolfie that you are keeping him safe.