Before I get into this further I want to be clear about one thing all experts agree on.
Never use dog crates as punishment, ever.
There are some great videos available that will show you how to train your puppy in more detail.
This is an overview to help you decide which way you wish to go, crate or no crate.
Many types and sizes of dog crates are available.
Some have dividers.
The purpose of the divider is to allow you to adjust the size of the crate as your puppy grows.
Get a size that will accommodate your puppy.
He needs enough room to turn around comfortably inside the dog crate.
As he grows you can adjust the divider for a larger inside dimension.
Be careful not to put your puppy in a dog crate that is too large.
They may decide to do their business in one corner opposite where they eat and sleep.
When introducing your puppy to his first dog crate do not rush this activity.
Throw a small treat into the crate.
Allow your puppy to go get the treat.
He will most likely come right back out.
Repeat this a few times so the puppy will learn that going into the crate is a good thing.
At some point the puppy will go in but not come out immediately.
You know you have made progress at that point.
Part of the encouragement for the puppy to stay in the crate is leaving a couple of his favorite toys and a couple treats inside the dog crate.
Of course you have already put bedding or a blanket inside the crate for puppy comfort.
When should you start closing the door on the crate? At some point you will notice that puppy seems comfortable inside the dog crate.
Gently and slowly close the door just for a short period of time.
For the first few times, do not leave him alone.
After a few minutes go back and open the door and walk away remaining within his sight.
Do this a few times each day.
You will see puppy starting to relax.
The crate will become his den.
Always keep the dog crate within view of the family and family activities.
The family is his pack now.
He wants and needs to be included.
If you take your time you will soon see puppy voluntarily retreating to his dog crate to rest or to get away from other dogs or from the kids.
It has now become his den.
In a separate article we will discuss puppy potty training and perhaps the biggest deterrent to crate training your puppy, whining.
It is important that you do not attempt to assume what you puppy may be thinking.
You are in charge not him.
Do what you know is right while remembering that it is for his own good.
You know it will pay huge dividends in the future throughout the life of your puppy.