Potty Training Issues w/8 Month old
Let me preface this by saying I hope I 'm not wearing out my welcome, lol. I recently purchased an 8 month old pup and he's an absolutely wonderful dog. He's smart, picking up on the routine quickly and settling in. The back story: He stayed with the breeder until he was 8 months old and I bought him. His original buyer as a puppy fell through so the breeder was going to keep him, but when I told him what I was looking for, thought we might be a good match and offered to let me meet him. I agree with the breeder's choice for me, I have no regrets about bringing him home, I don't feel as though the breeder was trying to get rid of him and make a quick sale. I think letting me take him was more difficult than keeping him to be honest. Anyway, he was indoor/outdoor, a mixture of crated, kenneled, or allowed free roam of the yard. Once I agreed to buy him, the breeder started keeping him in the house more often since he was to be an indoor dog with me. In two weeks, he has peed in the house three times and pooped twice, really not terrible for a young dog who had free run of the outdoors and could just let her rip whenever/wherever.
In the morning, I take both dogs out for a potty trip, give him time to play and stretch his legs before I have to leave, and then he is crated for the day while I am at work. Upon returning home, he is let out again, and then we settle in for the evening. I just keep an eye on him and let him out if he is acting like he needs to, but instead of going to the door, he typically goes upstairs. If I don't catch it, he will go to the bathroom in the house. Tonight, he peed as he was walking into and then back out of his crate, not even 10 minutes after being let outside and seemed to have zero interest in going potty. That struck me as odd, he doesn't pee or poop during the day in the crate, why then?
I know the potty training rule of thumb is routine, routine, routine, but whats the best way to get him to signal at the door, and not go upstairs? I'm thinking putting up a baby gate to keep him downstairs until we make a bit more progress in this department. Is 8 months too young to expect him to be able to hold it for the day while I'm at work? I take him on walks in the morning when I can, but generally speaking he usually makes a beeline for the house to play with his toys and my other dog over wanting to go for a walk. He's incredibly laid back, but has the vet's all clear on health so its just his temperament.
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.