So Smitty, our 10 month old is 3 weeks into his crate training. Not going so well. He was use to being in a kennel at the breeders so I'm surprised he isn't transitioning better.
We only leave him in the crate at night and if we are gone. We always give him a treat when crating, I try to walk him first, and we feed him in his crate (with the door open for now). We also have 2 others, one is his age and is right next to him (she's been crate trained for 6 months) and the other is old and sleeps on the couch. I would not trust the 2 younger ones loose in the house yet and don't want 3 dogs in our bed.
We first tried a 30" wire crate. He hates it but does seem to settle down after 15-30 minutes of yelling. I've tried putting a blanket over the top of his crate and both are now mostly shredded! The only problem is he's had a small cut on his snout which isn't healing over. I've been wondering if he is making it worse on the wire openings some how.
Last week I decided to try a "medium" plastic travel type, mainly to get his nose to heal up, though I do hate to change things (in fact, I put this crate physically INSIDE of his other to ease the change). I even bought some Comfort Zone (plug-in type anti-anxiety). So far so good after a week and his nose does look better. Then I come home yesterday to find he chewed his way out! He some how chewed through one of the 1x5" plastic slats and kept going!
So I ran out again and picked up an "intermediate" size Petmate Vari Kennel with wire mesh on the openings. I tried it for the first time, only leaving him in for a hour. Well, I got home and the house smelled bad. He pooped all over it (and himself). I was hoping the more closed in design might easy his anxiety. Of course this was only the first try, but so far the results weren't great… and this is getting expensive! At least he didn't chew his way out.
What sort of crates and size do you use? The Vari Kennel Ultra, which is what I now have, has a metal grate over the opening but the opening is smaller than the standard Vari Kennel's patterned ovals opening. Sure wish Smitty could tell me which he hates less.