Caramel is a four-year-old female that we adopted two
years ago, a Katrina rescue. I am home most of the
time and she is exercised 3 times a day. But in
the past month when I leave her alone, she wets on
the rugs (in 3 different rooms), either when I’m
gone or in the middle of the night when we are
sleeping. We are considering crating her during
these times but is it too late to teach our old
dog new tricks? What to do?
Before you consider crating Caramel, you should make sure that a medical condition is not playing a role in the problem. Urinary tract infections, bladder stones, hormone-responsive incontinence, diabetes, kidney problems, and a host of other diseases can cause otherwise well-trained dogs to urinate inappropriately.
Your vet should be able to run some simple blood and urine tests that will give you an idea of whether a medical condition exists. He or she may recommend X-rays or an ultrasound exam as well.
If no medical problems are found, then the problem is most likely behavioral. And in that case, regardless of the dog’s age, I recommend a back-to-the-basics house training regimen. In my experience, crate training is one of the most effective way to house train a dog.
So, to answer your question, I do not think Caramel is too old to be re-trained, nor is she too old to be crated.