The crate is a very useful tool for you to use while house training your new puppy. First it is a good place for him to sleep and eat. The nature of a dog is not to soil his nest.
The kennel should be a size that the puppy will grow into when full grown. So a miniature poodle would be good in a medium size kennel.
You would make sure that you don't give the puppy any water after his supper (not too late) unless you want to get up and let him out in the middle of the night. I don't think it is a good idea to free feed until you know that they are housetrained. But water should be available until about 4 hours before bed. Put food down for half an hour in the morning then pick it up. Then offer him/her food for supper. Take him out on leash. Make sure he has had enough time to do his business before he goes to bed with his treat. He may have gone, but if you walk him around abit, he usually isn't finished when you think he is. Some people wonder why a dog will do his thing outside, then come in the house and do it on your carpet as soon as he comes in the house, or shortly after. That is why, he isn't finished yet.
When you put him in his kennel you should always give him a treat ( doesn't have to be food, can be his favorite toy or a nice big meaty bone) when he goes in so that he knows it is a good thing.
The puppy will probably not agree that it is his bed time. Do not give in to his cry's. Do not let him out to run around the room or up on the bed. The first couple of nights are the hardest but you must have patience and don't give in. I find if they do whine and cry, if I put a towel over the kennel, they will usually quiet down.
He will eventually look to his crate as his place. Somewhere he can go to when he wants to be left alone for awhile. Once he is house trained, you may want him in your bed, but until then, I would advise against it.
In the morning open up the kennel door and pick up your puppy. Take him directly outside on leash. Tell him to do his business. Always use the same words, he will soon understand. When he does, let him know that he has made you very very happy. Make a big production of it!!!
Do this every time and you will have him wanting to make you happy all the time. That is all he wants anyways is to make you happy.
After he has done everything, usually they aren't finished when you think they are. If you walk them around they usually will do more. Then bring him in to play for awhile you will have to keep an eye on him.
If he has an accident and you see him do it. You tell him no, pick him up and take him out. When you think it is time for a nap, take him and put him in his kennel with a treat. After a couple of hours, take him out again. Remember he does have a small bladder and it takes some growing for the puppy to be able to control it for a long time. Every couple of hours is good at first. They can usually hold it during the night by the time they are old enough to go to their forever homes, but all dogs are not the same and mature at different rates. It's like children. If you have a couple of kids, you will know that they are not the same at all. When you get a new puppy, he will not be like the one that you had for so many years. You have to start from scratch. Poodles are highly intellegent and usually catch on quickly.
Male puppies may be easier to house break once neutered.
The Big Secret about House Training a Puppy:
Rule of thumb is take them out after they wake up, and after they eat. You will find it doesn't take very long at all. I can usually get a puppy fully house trained in a weekend. Have fun and be gentle but firm. Good Luck...
Crate training your new puppy
To reward the puppy doesn't have to be food, it can be a favorite toy or with boiled liver cut into small pieces. to give one piece each time they do what they have been told.
using liver feels better than getting something you trust. And if you boil it, then you know what is in it.