IMPORTANCE of Crate Training puppies/young dogs
It is perfectly acceptable if your goal is to have your dog sleep with you, in the bed or on the floor. HOWEVER for your dogs safety and sanity PLEASE crate train your dog as a puppy! Teaching your puppy to accept the crate NOW is a very easy task that can become increasingly difficult as your dog ages.
Your dog WILL benefit from crate training now. Once a dog learns to accept a crate, this training will most likely last a lifetime for your dog.
Anyone who has ever worked at a Veterinary Facility can most likely share the horror stories of dogs who were never crate trained and now find themselves ailing/ill/sick or injured and restricted to a crate in a Vet Hospital. Dogs that have not previously been crate trained will stress/whine/cry and even enter panic mode. A stressed dog will not heal as quickly as a dog who is relaxed. Teaching your young dog to accept a crate is of utmost importance for his/her own well being.
A dog traveling in a vehicle is MUCH safer in a crate.
A dog who has been crate trained can be crated when there are lots of activities within the home. Crating your dog when you are having lots of people over can alleviate any worries over your dog sneaking in and out of doors/gates/your property boundaries. During parties it can help prevent your guests feeding your dog, or prevent your dog from begging for food, and keep your dog safe from other people's children who may not be as well versed in interacting with dogs as your own children are.
Please if you getting a new dog CRATE TRAIN that dog now! It will never be this easy to crate train again.
After your dog is fully crate trained it is perfectly acceptable to never use the crate again-if that is your choice, but if you prepare your dog now, it may save many future headaches.
It is not cruel or a punishment, it is one of the most humane things you can do for your dog.
Size and Design
The best size for a Lab is 36". Wire crates come with one or two doors and you want to make sure it has a divider. That way you can control the amount of room your puppy has as they grow.They come with either a metal or plastic tray.
Introducing Your Puppy To The Crate
The first few nights may be difficult and stressful for you and your puppy.Just remember, this little baby is only 8+ weeks old and has never been away from their siblings. Options are to put the crate next to your bed at night so you can easily reassure them during the night and know if they need to go potty.
Tough love at first will make a better puppy in the long run.