I feel like crate training should be gradual.
When the pups are born, they live in a whelping box my husband built. Next, they move to a wading pool so they have more space. When weaning time comes along and they get smellier, they head to the breezeway and right back into the whelping box nest.
But this time, it is upside down, so they can run in and out easier.
After a bit, a small kennel goes inside their nest. They consider it a part of their life, not something foreign, and climb in and out for naps.
Coming up, I will introduce a Snuggle Puppy toy, it is a cuddly dog with a heartbeat. Once they are used to it being their new litter mate, I’ll start shutting the doors on a few babies at a time with a Snuggle Puppy in with them.
As they are used it that, I’ll move a kennel away from their nest and shut one inside with the toy. I sit nearby and offer treats if there is any fear.
Because I never want my babies to be scared!
Each dog has its own level of acceptance to the process, and some do better than others. When you get your pup home, there will be an adjustment to new surroundings and you should try to make their crate as cozy as possible. Treats, Snuggle Pup, soft pillow, and maybe sit next to them for a while if needed.
Do not use the crate only when you leave the house. Many times throughout the day, happily call your pup, put it inside for a short period. They should learn to have positive connections to the crate, it will become their safe place, their den.
Baxter and Bella is a training source that you can turn to 24 hours a day if you need more training tips. I highly recommend their site.