Originally Posted by Joanna Reichert
Absolutely. And try to crate him for small periods during the day, while you're home, so he'll see it's nothing to get worked up over. Crate him, let him cry it out (with the option to chew on an especially yummy, crate-only treat) and only when he's quiet do you walk back in the room praising him and let him out. Do this a few times a day so he doesn't anticipate that day crating is when you'll be gone for hours.
When Tambo was a pup, he was being crated every night (I began sleeping next to the crate, and slowly moved out of the picture). That was not a problem. But I also knew that there would be times where I would have to crate him during the day. So I started practicing that as well.
Began things with little chunks at a time. Twenty minutes here; twenty minutes there. He had to get used to the idea that when it was crate time, it was crate time. And that could happen at any point throughout the day.
There were definitely some points when he would cry and cry and cry - and that was hard to ignore...I will admit! But once he stopped, I'd usually wait for a good few minutes of absolute silence, go back in, and let him out.
Sometimes a "crate session" during the day would only last twenty minutes. Other times I'd try for two hours or so. He had to learn to be flexible. I began with short periods of time, and slowly worked it up.
Crate training was really valuable though. Today, Tambo is 2.5 years old, and he still goes to be in his crate each night. But during the day, when I'm away at work I no longer have to crate him. He just sleeps all day anyway. He's very relaxed when I leave now, which is good - and I think some of that stems from the early crate training (just knowing that I'll come back eventually).