Make sure the crate is large enough for your dog to be able to safely turn around but not too large so they do not feel like they can soil in it. We suggest not putting in any bedding until after you think they are well house trained. The location of the crate is important, you want them to feel welcomed and not being punished when entering the crate, placing it in the family room during the day and in your bedroom at night would be our suggestions for the start. You do not want to leave them alone too much at the start of the training.
Now introducing the crate to your puppy, place little snacks inside and try and them wonder inside on their own. Once entering the crate give a command like “Go Rest” and get them used to hearing it and show him affection. Now here is the tough part, once your dog is used to entering and exiting his crate close the door and reward him with a treat and affection. Repeat this process until your dog is used to having the crate door closed. If your dog starts barking, ignore him and look away, when he stops barking reward him and show him he is a good boy. Once this step is done, you will slowly take a few steps back away from the crate, like the other two steps, once you go back reward your dog.
Eventually you will want to leave him in the crate while you are out of the room, a simple solution to this is leaving a stuffed bone be hide for him to chew on. All these position experiences will make the crate a happy place for your dog to retreat to.
You should never use the crate in any way to punish your dog, it should be his safe place and somewhere he can get away to. Making him scared of the crate will create training issues and a waste to even own a crate. When accidents occur in the crate, do not punish your dog, just like you when you house train your dog, clean up the mess and not say a word to your dog. We usually always remove the collar before putting them in the crate to avoid any injuries, which can occur if they get it stuck.
There will be times where you should not confine your dog to a crate. When they have diarrhea, it is harder for them to control and many accidents may occur. Some dogs’ will not like the small space and have an anxiety attack, this one can sometimes be tricky to spot but is very rare and unlikely. Just because they are barking does not mean they are having an attack. Your dog could also be too young for a crate; they should at least be two months old. Remember that puppies should not spend too much time in a crate, roughly between 30 minutes to 4 hours depending their age. Adults should never spend more than 5-6 hours, even through the night.
Having a crate for your dog should be a great experience for them, they are used to den like area and is not cruel in any way, actually the opposite. It creates a safe atmosphere where they can get away until properly house trained.