8 month old (f) cavalier spaniel difficult to train in apartment

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/puppy101/comments/izoep9/8_month_old_f_cavalier_spaniel_difficult_to_train/

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Hey guys, I'm pretty new at reddit in general but I'm kind of at my wit's end and thought I'd give this a shot.

I just got a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy nearly a month ago, and her previous owners never bothered to potty train her, she had been outside maybe a couple times in total before we met her. They said she was both crate and potty pad trained, but she would pee in her crate and never seemed to be aiming for the pads. It's been a long month of trying to get her to follow our potty and feeding schedule, and I'm really just wondering what I could possibly do better or differently.

I get up between 7 and 7:30 each morning to immediately take her outside to potty. She only recently started peeing outside in the mornings (never any other time of day) and I've given her a treat each time she's done it while saying "go potty" in a calm way. I give her pats and play a little bit when we get back inside, then I get her food ready. I want her to eat on a consistent schedule so that I can predict her potty times better and prevent accidents.

I was at first trying to get her to eat in her crate because I read it would help her establish the crate as her home, but she absolutely won't do it at all. She will sit there for hours without eating if I let her. I then tried to switch to feeding her in her pen, which surrounds her crate in our kitchen. However, she will immediately pee or poop while standing in front of the food, or while eating a tiny bit of it (never finishing her small half cup of food).

I always take her right outside when she does this, but her habit doesn't seem to be changing. I worry that because our patch of grass is several yards away from our door that she isn't making the connection… I stay outside with her for 10 to 20 minutes nearly every time I take her out, but she is incredibly distracted by everything going on, being in a large city and all, and she holds it in the whole time. She will pee immediately upon coming back inside the house, 90% of the time, if she hasn't already beforehand.

I guess I'm just looking for a bit of advice, I hope I haven't been too all over the place with this post. I've never trained my own puppy before, and I think it might be especially hard to do at her age. Is it just going to be a struggle like this for months until she gets it? Should I not be expecting consistently paced progress on this because that's just how potty training is? Am I doing it wrong?

Thanks in advance, I know I might possibly be doing this whole post thing wrong but I appreciate any feedback that anybody might have.

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