We have a 10 week old puppy, boxer/akita/husky/lab mix. Got from a friend who had an accidental litter. Parents are very smart and well cared for dogs. Puppies were all healthy. We got him at 6 weeks and started with the crate and "umbilical" cord/leash training immediately. He is very smart and overall, a great dog. We take him out often, and he is either in his crate or on a short leash, never unattended. He gets lots of praise for going potty outside and know the routine and has an area. Great! He has had a few accidents that were not his fault (ie, on the leash but we weren't looking and he went). We just cleaned it up. The past few days, however, if he started to show signs of going or tried to go while in the house and on the leash, I would say "ah, ah" in a stern voice, pick him up, take him outside, tell him to go, and praise him when he went. So, no punishment, but also just letting him know that it isn't okay to go in the house. He has never gone in his crate.
Tonight, he peed outside. Went right back in, fed him dinner. He was on the leash and about five minutes later, squatted to pee and I said "ah ah", picked him up, took him out, and he finished out there. Lots of praise. Went back in. Took him outside about 30 minutes later, he pooped. Lots of praise. Went back in and about ten minutes later I put him in his crate so I could check the computer. A few minutes after he was in there, I smelled something and there was fresh poop. I was RIGHT there, he did not whine or bark or make any indication he needed to go out. This really concerns me as he has never done that before and he didn't even mind that it was there...no whining barking, nothing; I thought the whole premise of crate training was that they don't soil where they eat and sleep. That, in combination with him trying to pee in the house, has me worried that he might be a problem to housetrain. If he doesn't mind filth in his crate, how do I train him? I know that he is young, but he is so smart and he seems to "get" everything except for this. Is it normal for a puppy to go in their crate if they don't "need" to? I mean, obviously he had to go because he did, but it wasn't because he wasn't let out soon enough, he just went! I've never had a dog that soiled a crate unless it was my fault (not making to them in time to let them out). So I don't know if this is normal and all my past dogs over the past 20 years were exceptions, lol. Help and advice, please!