We rescued a 4 year old Pit Bull from a rescue group back in May. We were informed that she was crate trained and housebroken. That was 1 of the reasons that I wanted an older dog because I didn't want to have to deal with housebreaking a puppy. From day 1 this dog has gone to the bathroom in both her crate and the house. At first I figured it was because she was getting used to a new routine. But it's been long enough now for that not to be the case. There are periods were it seems like she is starting to get better and then she starts having more accidents. We started feeding her as soon as we got home and picked up the bowls (we have 3 dogs) if there was food left in them. She goes out around 8:30 and again at 10:00 before we go to bed. Most times she only poops once after she eats. If she gets anything to eat after she goes at 8:30, she will go in my son's room at night and poop. We have a gate at the top of the stairs, so she can not roam around the house. There are times that even if she poops in the morning, she will poop in her crate while we are at work (the crate is only big enough for her to stand up, lay down and turn around) This happens less frequently then going in the house. If we are sitting on the couch in the evening and she has to go, she will come bug us. If either my husband or my self are doing something else she will just go find a place to poop. We have tried positive reinforcement and we have tried rubbing her nose in it. If we yell at her, she will fear pee so we have stopped yelling at her. I am not sure where to go next. Any adivce would be most welcome.
I'm in agreement with mishheljane here - you may wish to consult a trainer well-versed in behavior modification and positive training techniques. I know I cite it all the time, but APDT.com is a great resource to help you locate certified trainers in your area. They can help you with some management techniques such as limiting her freedom to roam and soil with supervised tethering so she will have more opportunities for success and less for accidents. They will also help you set up a personalized behavior-modification program for your dog.
Have you consulted your veterinarian to rule out any possible medical causes for her incontinence? Are there other behaviors that go hand-in-hand with this one (such as seperation anxiety, excitement, etc)? Any patterns to the time that she seems to have setbacks (time of year, events in environment such as houseguests, encounters with other dogs, etc)? How long is she left in her crate during the day? Perhaps she simply is not able to hold it any longer - have you tried bringing in a friend or dog-walker to take her out in the middle of the day? How much do you know about her past history? Some dogs who have become accustomed to soiling their immediate sleeping and eating environment, unfortunately, have a very difficult time re-learning proper potty behavior. Luckily, with proper management you can still keep your house clean and your wits intact.