Barking While In The Crate

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Hey all! I just adopted a rescue dog last week. He's been such a sweet boy in the five days we've been together. I have some experience with several breeds as I grew up with several in the house but was not the primary handler for training. I need a bit of advice here.

He's a Lab/Pittie mix (he looks like a lab that got shrunken down a bit, his head is just a bit too big for his body it's so comically cute) and he's been such an angel. He typically follows me around the house, gets pets and then goes to chew on his bone or to take a nap. His two favorite things to do. We go on daily walks and I spend at least 15 minutes after every potty session (we usually step out three times a day, I only feed him twice a day but he has regular access to water as he needs it) working on improving his fetching skills and/or teaching him how to settle and stay focused, ignoring the neighbor dogs.

Anyway, the only "issue" my dog presents is if I put him in his crate, say if I'm going to off the property. If I'm outside doing yard work, he stays inside but not in his crate. He will bark for a few moments when I first leave but then will be fine after a bit regardless of being crated or not. Is there anything I can do to help improve that? Like tonight, I was taking out the trash and he was in his crate and he would bark when I would step out to bag the trash and take the bin out for collection. When I would come back in the house, I would tell him I wasn't far away and that he should settle down and sleep. In a gentle tone. When he was calm, I brought him his bone to have in there if he wanted. He also never makes a peep in his crate if I'm in the house. You'd never know he was even there.

Am I handling it correctly? Any tips for making sure it's improved in the future?

Otherwise he's such an angel. He's quick to obey, even when distracted he comes back to focus fairly quickly. He does good on his walks, he doesn't get into things at all. I've left food on the floor and he barely sniffs at it. He doesn't make messes in the house. He will follow me around, get his pets, then go hop in bed for a nap. He's two, if that helps any. Is it just adjustment and he will get better with time? Thanks in advance!

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