Puppy crates and puppy pens have lots of uses and they can take all the stress out of sleeping, toilet training and travel for both you and your puppy. The key is to allow your dog to learn that the crate is their own personal, and cosy, safe den. Dogs don't want to soil their personal space so giving them time in their pen helps train them to control their toileting. For this reason, never put newspaper or puppy pads in the crate as this will only train them to toilet in their crate. Your puppy crate should be big enough for your dog to stand, turn around and lie down comfortably. For a puppy, it makes sense to buy a crate with some growing room so you don’t need to replace it in a few months’ time. You also need room for a water bowl and possibly a food bowl too. Make the crate cosy and put it somewhere dark and quiet – you can drape a blanket over it to make it feel like a den. Make the crate appealing by putting your puppies toys in there, treats and one of their blankets. Let them explore the crate in their own time.
IMPORTANT - Never lock your puppy in their crate as a punishment – you want them to only associate nice safe feelings with their crate. In the same way, certainly initially, don’t close the door when your puppy is inside (it is a good idea to fix the door open so it can’t close accidentally). Give your puppy time to get used to being inside the crate first and then shut the door for short periods whilst your dog is inside and occupied with a treat or toy. Gradually increase the time the door is shut until your puppy is comfortable with the door closed.