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Congrats. I did the EXACT same thing last Thursday and its been a crazy week. I got my pup at 3 1/2 months, so I think I passed up some of the late nights and early morning potty breaks, but she has turned out wonderfully and enjoys her crate during the night to sleep and the day to rest while I am away.

What I did was to make sure I had the crated layered with old towels and clothes I wouldn't care to loss. A few nights before I slept with one of the towels in my bed so that it had my scent on it. That will help the pup identify the crate with you. Its a slow process to be sure, just don't rush her into it.

I first put a couple toys she liked in the crate keeping the door wide open for her to wander in and out of on her own volition. Then I threw some treats in the front to get her to stick her head in there and praised her and pet her. Slowly the treats we thrown farther into the crate until her body was in, at which point she received lots of praise. Her crate is a wire one, so I started to drop treats from the top into the back on her area and she really thought that was fun.

Let her go in and out of her crate on her own, don't force her in. Keep the door open until she has gone in a couple times. A few times after she is in her crate on her own, gently shut the door while she is faced the back and lock it. Praise her drop a few more treats and let her notice the door is closed for a minute or so. Praise her for being inside and then open the door to release her.

Continue to keep her in the crate for 2 then 3 then 4 then 5 minutes. When she is inside stay next to the kennel where she can see you and praise her continuously, combining it with some more treats.

Finally, she needs to know that when you leave her in the crate, you will eventually come back to get her. Go through your routine of leaving for work, put her in her crate with some toys and/or treats. Close the door and leave for 10 minutes. Come back in and don't make a deal of coming home, calmly let her out of her crate. Go through the process again later, increasing the time to which you feel comfortable, 15 or 20 minutes. If she cannot stand it that long, start with shorter times, getting ready to leave, but don't leave, just stay next to the crate and ignore her (read a magazine) while she is in there. Then leave and return only a few minutes later.

Lastly, I would suggest that if you can, keep moving the crate to different spots for its not always the same corner. For instance, in the morning, Deci is in her crate in front of the deck window so she can see outside. In the afternoon her crate is in the laundry room with the dog gate up. Her crate door is open and the room has a few more toys in it. This way she can use the crate when she wants to and is more likely to idenify it as her spot.

This worked for me. I brought Deci home Thursday night, took off Friday and by Monday I could leave her along for 3+ hours and she was totally fine.
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