Yes, dog crates are a wonderful tool. The dog has a private place of his own to rest, take meals and stay out of trouble. The crate system works well. It has worked well at my house. That is, until the crates took on water.
Thanks to the August 11th mega storm, the basement stayed full of ankle deep water. The liquid remained in place for some three, four days. During this interval, the dogs lost their crate availability, at least in the old manner of use.
We came up with a new routine. For the older dogs, it meant offering an alternative location to dine. Thus, when the bowls were full and ready to be served, instead of following the dogs down the stairs to their crates to serve the meal, access to the basement was casually blocked. The dogs were steered to separate areas of the kitchen with the invitation, "let's eat our food".
For the puppy, at large eating was not a sensible option. Conveniently, we had a second crate already in place in the bedroom. (At night, the adult dogs sleep on blankets on the floor of the bedroom. Puppy Henry sleeps on a blanket inside a crate.) So at mealtime, after the big dogs got their food, Henry was led to his crate upstairs for his meal accompanied by the suggestion, "let's eat our food".
Interestingly, several days later when we moved to the new house, the older dogs easily transitioned to eating in the new kitchen. (The big dog crates, now dry, remain folded in the garage.) Puppy Henry continues to eat and sleep in his crate in the bedroom.
"Let's eat our food" may not technically be a command, but it worked just fine for our impromptu flood retool/training.