I am a big fan of the Monks of New Skete! They teach compassionate, sound, loving dog and puppy training. Found this post on crate training your puppy taken from the Monk of New Skete methods.
Crate training is one of the best training tools that is available for puppies. Not only does it provide a comfortable haven for the puppy, but it allows you to begin training.
Benefits of crate training
For many, the thought of crate training is an instant aversion. Understand, that the crate is much like a den, where the puppy feels safe and secure. It is also an excellent tool for house-training a puppy as the puppy does not want to mess the area that they sleep. A puppy left in the crate for a reasonable length of time will learn to refrain from soiling the area until let out. Then immediately take the puppy outside to eliminate. The other major benefit for crate craining is preventing the puppy from chewing items you do not wish to have chewed. If you cannot watch the puppy, crate it. Provide chewy toys in the crate. Placement of crates for training work best if in a quiet place, but where there is activity and family interaction. Avoid spots where there might be a draft as well as too much sun where the puppy will get too warm. Crates also prove best in transporting the puppy to the vet or when staying in a motel.
Types of crates
There are many types of crates. Some are made from plastic, others from wire. There are also some collapsible models. The type you choose is merely preference. The size of the crate should be large enough for the puppy to stand up and move around.
The best way to introduce a puppy to the crate
What is the best way to introduce the puppy to the crate? Make it fun! Do it gradually. Place bedding in the crate, such as a blanket or towel. Sprinkle some kibble or small treats on the bedding. Allow the puppy to go in and get the treats, exploring the crate. Never force the puppy into the crate. Be calm and allow this to happen naturally. The puppy will most likely go in and out. Praise the puppy. Do not shut the door yet. This will need to be repeated several times. If the puppy does well, the door can begin to be closed and then opened. Allow the puppy out and praise. The next time place the puppy’s food inside the crate. Once inside and the puppy is eating, quietly close the door. When the puppy is finished with his food, wait a few minutes before letting the puppy out and then escort outside to eliminate.
References: The Monks of New Skete. ” The Art of Raising a Puppy.” (1991). Little, Brown, and Co.
From: Suite101: Crate Training for Puppies http://www.suite101.com/content/crate-training-for-puppies-a304554#ixzz14L1nYJLK