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Crates are a fact of life at our house. Their first experience with the crate is the ride home. There is no good reason to let a puppy loose in a moving vehicle. And our breeders wouldn't even let us take the puppy home unless they were in a crate for the ride. So that's the first experience. Just put them in and go home.

After that I don't spend much time making it the "happy place" but I do put a small dab of peanut butter on the back wall as a pleasant surprise to all who enter there! A nice soft blanket and a little soft toy often helps the transition.

Basically you are taking this puppy away from everything it has ever known. It is going to cry no matter what. So I just try to get the adjustment period over with and not worry too much about it. The only thing I won't change right away is the food. If the puppy is eating, eliminating, and getting some sleep...all is good. But otherwise, the crate is usually in our bedroom at night where they can see us...but don't baby-talk, get overly conversational, take the dog out of the crate because it's crying. If you can't sleep with the crate in the bedroom, then I have moved some puppies to the other end of the house with equally good results.

So I try to remember to re-bait the crate with peanut better often enough that the puppy likes to find it. And then whenever I need to have the puppy in the crate (leaving the house, can't watch with both eyes, night time) I pick the puppy up and put it in the crate giving the command (you choose your own...go crate, go box, jump in...)
 
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