I speak from experience when I say pet store dogs and puppies like yours are among the most difficult to housetrain. To me there is no point in using a small crate in this situation, because all you are going to get is a wet and smelly dog. YOur best bet is to choose a puppy proofed bathroom with a hard floor or a really large crate, or even an exercise pen. I did put down paper just because it was a little easier to clean up.
When you're home or during the day take the puppy out many many times, treat every time and praise when he goes outside. When he goes inside follow the usual rules, if you catch him in the act take him outside imediately (even if hes still going) and keep him out there until he goes, then treat and praise. if you dont catch him in the act, vow to keep a closer eye on him next time, clean it up with a really good cleaner. Make sure you keep all rooms in the house blocked off except for the room you are in, using child gates or closed dooors or whatever.
I left her in the bathroom one time and is was a MESS!!!! She pooed like 5 times and peed once.
I just borrowed my sister's crate which was used for a golden, and I was thinking that I would put puppy pads on one side and have it nice for her on the other but I didn't know if that would mess her up more.
When I'm home w/ her I do have the baby gates and do what you have said.
i think that most dogs seem to think the puppy pads in the crate are just toys.
When you shut the dog in the bathroom or exercise pen, you have to maek sure there's some toys in there to play with or keep her occupied. It may have been a mess but did she lay down and roll in it the way she would in a crate? :P