I realized when I brought him home that he could have issues I couldn’t deal with as a single person who works full time. But I figured a short time of “fostering” would let me know. He seemed (and is!) super sweet and pretty mellow (low reactivity to noises, being on a tie-out, etc.). He likes to please.
Worked at home last week, got him used to his crate for increasing amounts of time (up to 2.5 hours). Went to work on Tuesday, came home at noon, and he was asleep in his crate. Perfect. (But he also hadn't been feeling well.) Went to work Wednesday, came home at 1:00, and he’d destroyed one end of the plastic crate tray, and his escape attempts shimmied the crate four feet until one end went down a six-inch step and wedged itself into the family room carpet.
I have to work, and can’t work from home forever. So I decided to just try again today. Bought bitter apple to spray the plastic tray, bought a new heavy duty chew/treat toy and left the radio on. He tore up the other end of the plastic tray (but not as bad). That started as soon as I left. He was lying down when I came home at noon. He’d also pulled in and chewed the sheet covering the crate.
I took him for a long walk/run last night and again this morning – until he was tired. I gave him plenty of “sniff time” too, and played ball with him right before leaving.
There’s tough love and then there’s animal cruelty – I’ll handle the former, but don’t want to inflict the latter or have him hurt himself. He’s not house trained, and still chews like crazy, so I can’t give him run of the house or even leave him in a room if I took furniture out. When he’s not in the crate, he’s very well behaved.
He does seem to be a Velcro dog, and wants to be with me all the time. I'll have to get back to full days in the office at some point soon (could come home at noon and go back to the office for a while). So my choices are for him to tough it out in the crate, or to return him to MHS and let them find a family where there will be someone home more for more gradual crate training.
If/when he got to the point of being house trained and able to be home alone without being destructive, he could have free run of the house, although I’d still want him to be comfortable in his crate.
Any thoughts? He’s not injuring himself, so if I let him tough it out a few more days might he be OK? Or would it be best for him to let him find a different home now? Thanks.