Crates should be large enough for the adult dog to stand, sit & stretch out. (Ideally for a puppy, you start with a smaller crate, or block off one end, so he can't turn one end into sleeping and the other for eliminating) A key principle is to teach you don't mess where you sleep and eat.

Dogs that have been kept in one big pen are harder to housetrain, simply because they've been forced to soil their living/sleeping quarters. Place the crate in an area so he is with you, and part of family activities, even as an observer. Do not put him in the basement. Place the crate in the kitchen or family room - if possible move it around with you, Ideally, puppies will have been taught there is a difference from 3 weeks on.

If possible, at night the crate should go in your bedroom. Not only does this provide comfort to the puppy, but your own sleeping patterns will encourage the pup to slumber on and form instinct. If there is any fussing, you're there to deal with it.

I will never take a pup out of a crate when he is fussing, that only teaches if he fusses enough, that he can come out. It rewards bad behavior. I wait till he stops fussing for about 5 minutes, and then take him out, without a big welcome. You can give him a special chew toy or treat, just for when he is in the crate. Lots of praise when he's inside, lengthening the periods you leave him in. Your crate routine should begin as soon as you bring your puppy home. Close the puppy in the crate at regular one-to-two-hour intervals, and whenever he must be left alone, for up to three or four hours.

Remember, putting your dog into a crate, does not of itself housetrain a dog. Hopefully he has already been paper trained by the breeder, and knows not to soil his living quarters. To be successful, you want to prevent your puppy from making mistakes. Many people punish a dog like mad for messing in the house, and then virtually ignore the good behavior when they eliminate outside. So you get a dog that learns it is wrong to mess in the house when the owner is present. Never clean up a mess when the puppy is watching.

To prevent mistakes, don't let your pup have the run of the house. He needs 100% active supervision. If you must leave the room, even for a phone call, crate him or take him with you.