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From: Jessica (
Subject:         Abused, starved, terrified dog will NOT leave his crate!
Date: November 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm PST

I am fostering/keeping a dog who was severely abused, starved, and dumped. This is my first experience ever with such an animal. I have only had him for two days. He has made his crate his "safe place." While he is fine with eating in it, will even take treats from my hand in it, allows me to pet him in it, he will NOT come out of it, when anyone is around, at least. The only way I can get him out to even go to the bathroom is, terribly, basically dragging him out with the leash. I HATE doing this because I know it most likely isn't helping to build trust. I have been able to lure him out a little bit, which is a step from day one, and today I didn't have to do much but tug a little to get him out. I have left the crate open when I leave, as well as the back door, and he was out tonight when I came home. But, he of course darts from me and straight into the crate. I realize it will take time, but during that time, do I just let him continue to stay in his crate and allow him to come out when he feels ready? I have to get him out to use the bathroom, though. Hopefully, that will continue to get easier. How can I start to gain his trust if he runs from me? He is even more fearful of my husband. How can we BOTH gain his trust?

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