Some people think that crating your dog is "mean". I disagree. I have crate trained each of my dogs and find they love to have their "own" space. They are actually comforted by the crate because they think of it as their own room. We always have open crates in our home with comfy beds and many of our client's dogs choose one to sleep in, or just rest, for their stay. A crate is like a den and is a place that they can sleep or hide if something scares them (like a vacuum, lightning or thunder storm). Some dogs just like the comfort it gives.
There are many benefits to crate training. One benefit is house training. Dogs don't like to soil their den. It also helps with dogs that are destructive. If you travel with your pet, it can be a huge benefit for safe travel and also a place the dog can feel comfortable in a strange surrounding when staying in hotels or other unfamiliar places. Think of it as a traveling bedroom. Some hotels won't allow a dog unless it is accompanied by a crate.
I never force the crate on any pet. We ease them into it if they are unfamiliar. We've had dogs that have stayed with us and are not crate trained but seeing our dogs go in and out of their crates whenever they want, makes them feel comfortable enough to go in and check it out. More times than not, that is where they will go when given a treat or after play. In a case like that, we will set up another crate(s) so our dogs are able to go back into their own "den".
There are many sites that you can go to to learn how to crate train your dog. For starters, http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/crate_training.html
Another good site to learn how to crate train your dog in a weekend is:
****The dog pictured is one of our house guests who took up residence in our dog Chewy's crate as a place to rest. We set up a second crate, just for him, during his stay. He even chose the crate to sleep in at night over the covered couches and multiple beds that are available.