Subject: Rocky, a ten y/o lab mix
Problem: After years of being house broken, he is lapsing and defecating indoors. This started last summer - it wa a very rare thing, but has become increasingly worse.
I know the answer is crate training, but I was wondering if anyone has other insight. He can hold it overnight when we're sleeping, but if I leave the house during the day for what is getting to be any length of time, I come home to a mess. Today I was gone from 2:30 to 7 PM, and he couldn't hold it. 4 1/2 hours. Yesterday I left for about 3 hours he couldn't hold it. Yet he does fine overnight.
He has been checked by the vet and she sees no reason why he can't hold it, she did reccommend we switch him to a senior food, we're trying that now.
I am ususally home all the time, and I am here to let the dogs in and out when they please - I just can't leave Rocky alone, I think he panics when I am gone. Even if I let him out for 15-20 minutes before I plan to leave, he will go in the house.
He is my SOs dog, and was not originally house trained by the crate method, my SO would leave the dogs in the basement - that is another choice avalable to me, the basement is finished but not carpeted. That wouldn't really be training him though - it would just be easier to clean up.
I am at my wit's end. I don't know how this particular dog would adapt to crate training, I have used it with my dog Bandit and it worked wonders on him for house training, but Rocky is insecure and shy.