My four-month old lab/shepherd mix is doing pretty well with crate-training. Especially when he's tired. If he's even close to tired when I need to put him in there, he'll fall asleep pretty quickly with no problem.
One thing I can't quite figure out though is how to put him in there when he's not tired. Most of my friends and most articles say to give him something to keep him occupied in there while I'm gone, which makes sense. Only problem is that he loves food. If it's anything even closely resembling food (whether it's a toy or straight food), it really wakes him up. And then when he's over he whines for a long time and doesn't stop -- probably because he's so amped after being stimulated by all the food. (Which also makes it tough since I don't want to let him out while he's whining.)
Problem is he doesn't care about toys enough to focus on them even though I leave toys in there as well. So it's either whine because he doesn't have anything to do or whine because he's super stimulated. (Also I keep a shirt with my scent in there as well.)
Any ideas on finding a middle-ground or anything to help with this?