A crate is a metal cage that usually folds flat. Both the words ‘crate’ and ‘cage’ sound slightly harsh — but you can turn them into a doggy den!
The crate needs to be made as snug as possible because it will be your puppy’s sleeping quarters. Cover it with a blanket and put towels and blankets into the crate to make it cosy and comfortable.
A big mistake owners make is to place the puppy in the crate and shut the door for a while. This panics the puppy and, of course, he never wants to go inside, ever again!
Once the crate has been made snug, keep the door open (cable tie it). Ideally, you want the puppy to go in there by choice — because he’s tired and because it’s the cosiest place in the whole house.
In the early days you can feed your puppy in his crate, which makes it positive. You can build a puppy pen around the crate that he sleeps in. The outside of the crate is the play and wee/poo zone (when you can’t get him into the garden). Place a couple of puppy pads in the pen and some toys.
Another benefit of a crate is taking it away with you when you visit friends’ homes, hotels, and guest-houses. It becomes a familiar place for your dog and keeps him out of trouble.