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I recently adopted a dog from the Humane Society. He's generally a very nice dog, but there are a few behavioral issues that are really testing my dog knowledge.

Issue #1: The dog is "house trained" such that he will not go to bathroom in the house when I'm home or when he is in a crate, but if he is left loose in the house by himself it's a sure bet I'll come home to a mess. He sleeps on the floor by my bed at night and has yet to have a night where he messes in the house (Cuz I'm home), which indicates to me he is capable of controlling his urges for 8+ hours. I leave him in the crate while I'm at work and he won't mess in it. But leave him loose in house... He'll go to bathroom. I work 8-5 and have been coming home at lunch everyday, so he's in crate about 4 hours at a time. I'd prefer to leave him in the yard, but he has proved that he is a fence climber which is problem #2. Until I have a solution for problem #2, he must stay in house when we're not home. And best of all, he's now busted out of the crate twice. I'm getting very frustrated...

Also, he does not appear to get anxious when I leave. I can look in a side window to check on him and he's calmly laying in the crate, no whining/barking, etc. In addition, I have numerous toys to entertain him but he rarely plays with them. And when loose in the house, he does not destroy or chew on anything. I run him in the evenings and we do lots of hikes on weekends, so he gets plenty of exercise even though he is generally a pretty lazy dog in the house.

Any thoughts/suggestions?? I have a call in to a trainer recommended by the Humane Society but he hasn't called back yet.
 

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I think your dog needs to earn the freedom. The fact he can be in the house at night does not mean he can during the day. At night he sleeps, and therefore has less urges to toilet.

You should leave the dog in his crate, and take him out for potty as you do now. Start with supervised moments in the house with you during the day in the weekends or whenever you have the time. Gradually extend those supervised times. When you think he does okay enough during the day in the house, you can start leaving him. For 10 minutes, then keep increasing that as it goes alright.

I think it will work out fine if you are just a little more patient and train him to be on his own, instead of just leaving him. This, apparently, is a bit too much for him at once!
 

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I agree with what's said above. I would add that you give him freedom in increments. Maybe start by leaving him closed in the bedroom while you run a quick errand, and work up to leaving him in there for 4 hours while you're at work. This just sounds like a case of too much too soon. Once you can leave him in the bedroom for a few weeks accident free extend his freedom to an additional room. Since your guy is a climber you might need to do some creative blocking off of spaces while you're working up to complete free roam.

I would also caution against leaving your dog unattended outside, especially if you're not home. Lots of things can go terribly wrong with this scenario.

Lastly most dogs will usually just relax or sleep while you're away, this is great. Sounds like your exercising in the evenings and on weekends is great so I wouldn't change anything there. As for him not playing with his toys, he may just not be interested in them or he's still adjusting (can take some dogs a few months to show you their true character) to the new environment.
 
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