I am new to the board but not new to shepherds. I have a 10 week old puppy that we are also crate training. His crate is only big enough for him, if he messes in it, he messes in his bed. We have nights when we get up to take him out and nights when he is good all night. Limiting his water before we go to bed makes it easier. Also in just the 3 weeks we have had him we are down from 2 nightly trips to sometimes only1, sometimes 0. I would get a smaller crate and just resign yourself to some nightly trips for a few weeks. I think it will benefit you in the long run.