I have a puppy and we are using the Petmate crate - i think it is the 500. It is probably a bit large but he has been good so we only had it blocked off in the very beginning.
All dogs are different but here is what's worked for me so far, based on advice from our fantastic breeder:
- we set the crate up in the room where it was going to stay (which is not our bedroom but a family room)
- at night, we cover the crate with a towel
- the first couple of weeks, one of us slept on the futon in the same general area but not the exact same room (we have a two story house and I didnt think we could hear him from upstairs). We traded off nights so we wouldnt get too sleep deprived. The person who didnt have dog duty was ordered to wear ear plugs and get as much sleep as they could!
- when the pup cried during the night, we promptly took him out of the crate, no sound, no emotion to his pee pad (we only used those the first two weeks). When he was done, we put him right back in the crate. Make sure you give him enough time to do both things if he needs to, but dont pay attention to him! The key is to let him know he is out to do his thing and not play or get attention. But you have to make sure he has enough time.
-- We had a two hour window for crying. If he cried before the two hours, we ignored him. That's why it is so important to make sure when you do take him out, he has had enough time to both pee and poo! So if we let him out at say 12, he wasnt getting out again until 2.
- we really only had to do this for maybe two weeks and he started sleeping through the night (7-8 hours). He does cry in the AM if he hears our alarm and doesnt think we get there fast enough, but not at night.
For barking, ignore under all circumstances! That's worked the best for us. I