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I used to work at an animal shelter. It was one of my greatest pet peeves when people would surrender dogs because they couldn't house train them. The people would say that they had "tried everything" but when I asked about crating, they would look at me in horror and say they would never crate a dog. So they would sign the surrender form and I would take their dog into the back room and put it in a crate, where it would stay for weeks unti it either got adopted by someone who would likely crate train it, or I would move it to a travel crate for euthanasia.

I respect that the dog is your and applaud you for trying to find answers. Not everyone is okay with crating and I am okay with that too. However, it is a pretty good tool for house-training and for some dogs, it is a powerful tool in helping to manage seperation anxiety.

Otherwise, I think that I would work on incrementally leaving your dog. Moments, then minutes, then more minutes. If you have to leave for longer than that, can you kennel in the back yard or confine your dog to a single room? Perhaps leaving stuffed kongs or recreational bones will help. If you have to leave, taking your dog for a long walk first might be really helpful, the longer the walk, the better. I think that leaving a dog for hours will be too big of a leap for starting off. Building to the first hour will take the most time, but extending after the first hour will likely be much easier.

Bless your heart for adopting and I hope this resolves for you very quickly. Your dogs are lucky to have you!
 
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