Crate training is very important and many owners and trainers would venture to say it is always something that you should implement with every dog. It may seem from your perspective that crating is punishment, but it really will become something that your dog will come to enjoy; so much so that you may even find when you leave the crate door open your dog will go relax inside on their own.
There are a few things you need to think through before getting a crate. Probably the most important factors are the type of crate you want and determining the appropriate size for your full grown dog. If you don’t plan on using a crate while traveling then a wire crate is a great solution as they are durable and allow your dog to be able to view more outside the crate. With larger breeds of dogs, such as Huskies or Labradors, you’ll most likely want a crate that will have a divider so that the available space can adjust with the size of your dog. This is because you don’t want large amounts of extra space in the crate. Ideally your dog will be able to stand up, lie down, and turn around.
With the crate being new you’ll want to start by doing short stints in the cage with plenty of toys and some treats. This makes them enjoy the experience and view it in a positive light. During this time you’ll want to keep food and water out of the crate so if they do get anxious they won’t make a mess. Night time is the tricky usage window since most puppies can’t make it through a whole night without having to relieve themselves so you may want to have the crate near where you sleep so you can hear your dog rousing before a mess is made. An added benefit of having your crate nearby is that when your puppy can see you so they won’t be as anxious as if they were alone in the dark on the other side of the house.
Crating at night is not an absolute. This is all about your preferences and finding what works best for you and your dog, so don’t think that you have to crate at night in order for it to be successful at other times. If you like sharing your bed with your dog, then great, do that if it works for you. A split between these could work for you as well. Crate the dog till they need to relieve themselves then let them share the bed or vice versa. Crating while you’re home is really all about what works for you, but its best utilized when you’re not home as it will keep your pet contained so that if they become anxious they won’t break or chew things. More often then not, when you return home they will just be excited you’re back.