Our 10wk old pups love their new crate, We have always left the door open to let them come and go in their crate whilst locked in the kitchen at night with paper down, any advice on if & when we should lock them in for toilet training.
You certainly don't want them using the crate to do their business. With our last Beagle, he always loved his crate and would go in their to sleep or to be alone.
Once he was 6 months old we worked our way up to 2 hours in the crate. Once he turned 1 year we were comfortable with 4 hours. At 15 months, we let him roam free while we were gone. Both of our Beagles were free roamers by 15 months.
i am not sure how often they should be let out, but i had similar experience as Amber. At 14 weeks, Milo was able to hold his bowel all night, but not his bladder. there would be one or two puddles in the morning.
We began locking our two puppies into their crate together when we first got them. They did wonderfully. I say go ahead and start training them now. The sooner, the better. Besides, they have each other to keep one another company. That makes it a little easier to hold it, I think. At least that's what it seems for ours.
I have'nt been brave enough to lock them in the crate yet even for short period of time, but the last 4 nights with the crate door open and paper down in our kitchen they have managed to hold their bowels all night but done the odd tiddle on the paper so i'm really proud of them. Sometimes they even go to the backdoor and cry to go out to do their business! Trying to get them to walk on the lead/leash is a whole different story.... buckaroo springs to mind!
We started Griff in the crate the first night, that was hard because he used to have his brothers with him all the time and free reign to to whatever, but after about a week he settled into a routine, potty before bed, the dad gets home about 330 and he lets him out, without fail he wakes up at 7 but he sometimes can get back to sleep until about 9. He doesnt potty in his kennel at all.