Proper crate size is very important. Your pet should have just enough room to stand up, turn around and curl up. You do not want a huge crate, for a small dog.
Select a permanent location in your home with enough space for the crate and is in a room full of activity so your pet can enjoy his own “special” place while still being part of the family. Also place an old towel or blanket, or one of your shirts with your scent on it inside for bedding. These steps will help your pet become comfortable with his new surroundings.
Begin by keeping the crate door open. Let the puppy get comfortable with going in and out on his own. Next, make him stay in it for a few minutes by restraining him at the door with your hand. Gradually increase the time. Once he is comfortable being inside the crate, restrain him by closing the door. Stay in sight and always praise your pet and reward him with a treat.
This training may take a few hours or days depending on your pet’s breed and temperament. Once he feels secure in the crate with the door closed, the pup will eventually sit quietly and sleep in his “new” home.
Never punish your dog by forcing him into his crate or reprimanding him while he is in it. This will undermine your pet’s sense of security in his crate.
Always take your pet outside to potty BEFORE placing him in the crate.
Leaving a pet unattended and confined for any amount of time may cause anxiety in your pet and lead him to try to escape by chewing and forcing his way out.
Always keep 2-3 of your dog’s favorite chew toys in his crate. Chew toys keep him interested in chewing on appropriate objects and discourage barking by keeping him occupied.
Do not leave your pet in his crate all day: like babies, puppies have to “potty” about every 2 to 4 hours. At best, a puppy can “hold it” about 1 hour longer than his age in months. For example, if your puppy is 3 months old, do not leave him in his kennel for more than 4 hours at any given time. Take him outside regularly and praise him when he eliminates.