Crate training…HELP…clueless 1st time dog owners

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HI everyone! First time dog owners here. My fiancé and I just got a 9 week old Australian Shepherd puppy named Nash this past Saturday. We love the little guy. So far he seems very sweet, loving and smart. I really can’t complain. I’ve been bringing him into work with me daily and he has responded really well to all of my colleagues and the other office dogs. However, having never had dogs in the past, we are really just “winging it” and I find myself reading article after article at 3am just trying to figure out if we’re doing things “right.” The only area we are really struggling is crate training. From what I can tell, he seems to really like his crate. From day one, he would lay inside it, take naps and play in it…we are still feeding him at least one meal a day in it to help foster positive feelings. However, we’ve tried leaving him in there and running a quick errand and he goes absolutely ape shit. I’m talking barking, howling and screaming like a human child. When we put him to bed, same thing, as soon as we walk out of view he goes insane. We’ve been laying by the crate because that seems to be the only thing that calms him. He will whine more softly for about 5 mins max and fall asleep, then we sneak away to bed but we are wondering if this is counter-productive. I know we are less than a week in, but can anyone provide some advice (since we are clueless) or positive words of encouragement that this will someday get easier? I’ve never been so humbled in my life as when we brought this little guy home.

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