CRATE BENEFITS:ARTICLES:Questions about crate training?
No dog is complete without a crate! Seriously, it's the number one tool in my book for peace of mind when you have a little one around – especially if they're very young. I would never bring a puppy into my house again if I didn't have a crate. They make housetraining a breeze (few dogs or puppies like to potty where their bed is); and for the times when you can't keep an eye on them, such as if you have to go to the store, are busy with housework, or if friends come over, just pop them into their crate so you know they are safe, and unable to chew your furniture or do their business when and where they shouldn't.
The crate should be a warm and cuddly place with a nice bed inside, and maybe some safe chew toys (although it's best to always supervise them when playing with toys) and a piece of your clothing for comfort – it should always be somewhere they want to go, and never used for punishment. If you have to leave for more than about four hours, however, always get someone to come and let your puppy out for a potty break to help with his training. This period of time can be lengthened the older and wiser they get. For older dogs crates are a must, too. For all the same reasons as for a puppy, but also for trips in the car, getting some fresh air and sun if you don't have a fenced-in yard, and to sleep in at night if you don't want to share your bed. Once you bring a crate home, you'll wonder how you ever lived without one!
– W Dunham
Read Crates - Man's Next Best Friend
or Housetraining Made Easy