I adopted a 1 year old chihuahua from the shelter and so far he's been really good. The first few days I had him, I was crating him when going to work. I work anywhere from 5-8 hours depending on my shift. I work evenings as a bartender. He sleeps at night in his crate too. Being a stray, I had no idea if he was housebroken or not, so I figured I'd play it safe. After doing the crate thing for about a week while at work, I bought a gate to keep him confined to the kitchen while I was at work and he wasn't going to the bathrom in the kitchen. I was so pleased that he was waiting for me to get home! Well, the other night I got home from work and he was no longer in the kitchen! He must've climbed or jumped over the gate. He didn't soil on the carpet, but he did pee and poop in the entryway by the front door, so I know that he understands that that's where we go out. The problem now is that he has been going by the front door when I'm not watching, which I know is my fault for not watching him. Should we go back to the crate?
Seems you have a safe area to keep your little Chi and I'd recommend putting out some potty pads. They're available at Walmart and the pet stores. Will minimize your clean-up and give him an area to "go" when you're not available to take him out.
He obviously knows where to go (and wants to do the right thing) and you can both live in harmony on those days you can't get home in time. I so know how that is!