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How long has he been in your house? Usually they start to come around and will venture farther out of the kennel, but it helps if you don't make a big fuss over them and let them take their own time. Sometimes it's better to just let them potty where they want so you don't traumatize them by dragging them outside. When he is more comfortable, you can lure him out with treats.

Would it be possible to move the kennel to a spot with a hard floor to make it easier for you to clean? A bathroom or laundry room, perhaps? Someplace small, dim, and out of the way is best.

If he hasn't been showing improvement, I would ask the rescue if they've considered getting him on some medication to take the edge off his anxiety. He can't learn if life itself is so scary for him!

I'm going to assume you don't have a fenced yard? Ideally, I think the rescue should have placed him with someone who has a fence so he isn't such a flight risk, but you can limit his chances of escaping by using a martingale collar that will tighten too much for him to slip out but will not choke him like a choke collar would. Do you think the rescue would provide you with some sort of panels to create a barrier so perhaps he doesn't feel so threatened when he goes outside, and perhaps keep him more contained in the even of another escape attempt?

So, is this normal? No, not really, but it's not uncommon. He will probably always be a timid dog.
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