This is for my friend actually. They are bringing their 9 week old lab home this week and she is getting a bit worried about how to crate train as there seems to be so much conflicting advice around. How do you start/continue and do adult dogs still use crates? Our dog is a 3 year old rescue mutt who doesn't use a crate so I have no advice to give. Anyone help>
Crates are good but only really when they have some control over when they have a wee/poo. You can introduce crate now as somewhere quiet and calm to have a sleep. I crate my adult dogs overnight and when i go out. Saves them scratching paintwork etc. also when we take them on holiday its somewhere familiar in new surroundings. So cuts anxiety.
When we brought our lab pup home we had the crate all set up with a comfy bed area and covered with towels to make it private and cosy. We fed her all her meals in it at first and to be honest within an hour of bringing her home she was curled up snoozing in it. A year on she still loves it.
I have an 11 week old lab puppy, we also used a crate from day one, he loves to nap in there, eats all his food in it and its a safe place to leave him when we go out. He has never (and il prob regret saying this now!) had an accident in his crate so its definitely helped with toilet training him! The very first night is the hardest, he cried for about an hour (we ended up sleeping next to the crate) however we didn't let him out and he settled and slept all night! He now goes to bed about 10pm and sleeps through until 6am! :-) I wouldn't be without one, as I remember my uncles labrador puppy used to get up to allsorts at night and they frequently came down to accidents everywhere and things destroyed.