Introduction to a crate starts at about four to five-ish weeks when the puppies move to the bigger puppy pen that has room for a crate. They have a wire crate in the pen with a soft, inviting bed to sleep on. The door is hooked so it stays open.
“We’re done eating. Can we come out now?”
After they get used to the crate and feel comfortable in it (which doesn’t take long) then they get short sessions inside with the door closed. Breakfast time make this easy as they are eager to eat. Food and puppies are in the crate, the door is closed and this also makes it a convenient time for one of us to clean the litter boxes out without puppies getting in the middle of things.
The next step is separating puppies into individual crates to eat. Sometimes they still eat all together (like when they may be outside playing), but this practice gets them used to being in their crate.