Background: we adopted our dog in May. He was 2 yrs. old and not potty trained at all.
Today: He's 95% there but here's what happens.
My husband walks him at about 6 a.m. The big question I always ask when I wake up at 8 a.m., "Did he go #1 and #2?" We call it the "poop report."
If I hear that he hasn't pooped, I'm worried. If I'm really on it, I take him out again immediately at 8ish and he'll go. If I have a cup of coffee and take my time there's a good chance he'll poop right in front of the door.
I don't freak. I just clean it up and figure I have to get him out right when I wake up. But he did this same routine over the Xmas holiday and my husband did freak.
Bottom line: our dog doesn't seem to know to 1) "hold it" (until we get him out again) and 2) let us know that he has to go potty.
We even put a bell ringer thing on the front door. I thought he'd pick up on how to use it, but he never did. I rang it every time we went out. It did nothing for him.
We're very good owners and have no interest in making him wait for hour upon hour. We take him out regularly, but he's an indoor dog.
Thanks for any tips!!!!!!!!!!!!
Alley Edited to add: yes, we have a crate, but it's his "bedroom." And sometimes this happens in the middle of the day -- sometimes I'm taking a shower, planning to take him out and I get out of the shower and he's done it.