Later on the road trip we leave the crate door open and place a dog bed in front of it to keep the door from closing. Spencer decides to go into the crate on his own and lie down. Success! Spencer sees the crate as something positive.
A lot of people just put their puppies into the crate and close the door while the puppy is still anxious or unsure. Doing this makes the puppy feel trapped in a place it is not so sure about. Never close a crate door until the pup is relaxed. Leave the door wide open. This includes pushing the door closed and leaving it unlatched. If you push the door shut and leave it unlatched and allow your puppy to nose the door open, you are teaching the puppy that if it paws, noses or bites at the door, it opens. This may cause issues in the future when your puppy decides it wants to get out of the crate. Spend the time and do not rush it. Introducing Spencer to this crate took about an hour. Some puppies may take longer and some shorter. Stay calm and keep the atmosphere on the quiet side. Your puppy or dog will be more likely to relax if there is not a lot of excitement going on around it.
If you already have a dog or puppy that does not like being in its crate it is not too late. Start from the beginning as if he has never seen a crate before. It may take longer to associate the crate with positive things, however it is very possible to turn things around if you take the time and do it right.