yea... I have access to free pads.. and still dont use it. in fact, i made an outside potty area just for him.. My reasoning was, his poops are going to be some two-hander poops when hes full grown. I really dont want to come home to a 12 incher sticking up the whole house. And every dog i know that uses pads.. occasionally misses the pad halfway. Thats gonna be about 2 cups of urine on the floor in the event a full grown GSD is missing the pad. hahah
Anyways, my puppy did something similar when i was housebreaking. Except i was training him to ring bells to go outside to potty. Within three days it seemed like he knew that ringing the bells meant go outside to potty. What he DIDNT know was.. Outside is the ONLY place i want him to potty. So if we were playing near the bells, he'd ring them, I'd mark, treat, go out, say "go potty", he'd potty, I'd mark, treat, come back inside, mark treat. But if he was far from the bells, say the kitchen, or the far living room... he'd created his potty area for each of those places as well. So what I started doing is... take him out of the crate, walk him to the living room, THEN to the bells.. and go through the process. Then i'd take him out of the crate, walk to the kitchen, turn around and walk to the bells, then go through the process. Then walk him to the garage, then the kitchen, then the living then do circles around the house and then to the bell. I think this helped him understand that no matter where you are in the house, he needs to ring the bells and go OUTSIDE to potty in order to get the treat.
Your puppy might be doing something similar. She might understand that when she comes out of the crate, she goes potty on the pad. But she might not understand that she must go potty on the pad no matter where she is in the house. So when taking her out of the crate try walking her to different parts of the house first THEN walk her to the pad and have her go potty. You can even try running to different parts of the house with her chasing you, then run to where the pad is and have her go potty. Either way, mix up the routine and always end up back at the pad. Should help with building the habit of going to the pad no matter where she is in the house. Hope this helps! Housebreaking was a bit of a stressful time for myself too, stay patient and more importantly.. consistent!