The Wisdom of
Lifetime Crate Training
© TMBRN 2008
"No horse gets anywhere until he is harnessed.
No stream or gas drives anything until it is confined.
No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled.
No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined."
Author: Harry Emerson Fosdick
Crate training has always been a point of contention and a very
emotional subject for many dog lovers. The idea of putting a puppy
or dog in a "cage" comes across as cruel and unnecessary. In truth,
crating is only inhumane if you resort to using a crate as a place
of punishment or a long-term parking space for your puppy but using
the crate in the right way is the kindest thing you can do for
your Tibetan Mastiff!
Promoting Responsible Dog Ownership Practices For a Lifetime
- Dogs are den animals with a pack mentality. The immediate
and long-term use of a crate helps to establish natural order
and the marriage of these two elements. It is instinctive and
necessary that the pack leader, the owner, dictates his wishes
to the rest of the pack. By placing your puppy in a crate at
a designated time and under certain circumstances, you establish
control over his life. You immediately teach him that you expect
order and discipline.
- By assuming the leadership role, you remove any pressure that
forces your puppy to make decisions on his own that he cannot
reasonably be expected to make.
- Most owners are not dog trainers or behaviorists and most people
do not intuitively know how to handle or react appropriately
to their dogs in times of elevated stress or troublesome behavior.
The continued proper use of a crate encourages puppies to grow
to be sound adults who understand boundaries and manners.
- You can feel good about the fact that you have provided a personal
space for your dog where he can go when he wants his own sense
of security and privacy. Crate-training promotes the development
of a well-rounded dog and confident, well-behaved dogs naturally
know when to take a break from it all.
- The crate can give you peace of mind when you are forced to
leave your dog alone, for whatever reason.
- Since a puppy is less likely to eliminate in his own den space,
housebreaking is accomplished much quicker when puppy is restricted
to a small area such as a crate. You can be assured that you
won't come home to "accidents" on your brand new living room
- You can rest easy knowing that your kitchen cupboards, expensive/heirloom
furniture, cherished items or other loved pets are safe from
a playful, bored, stressed or anxious puppy.
- What a reassuring feeling to know that your dog is safe from
harm! He won't be able to get into any products or situations
that could be fatal to him.
- The crate can be used as a training tool in other areas. For
example, greeting and introducing strangers to your guardian
breed will be more pleasant if crating strategies are employed
with your dog.
- Lifetime crating practices create less havoc and tension should
you decide to welcome more dogs into your home at a later date.
- It is much easier to keep an older puppy/adult rested and comfortable
after medical procedures such as a spay/neuter or in the case
of recovery time from injury or other surgeries throughout his
The Advantages of a Home Away From Home
- Being placed in a moving vehicle can mean an anxious time for
many Tibetan Mastiffs so traveling is made less stressful and
is much safer with the use of a crate. If your dog is unused
to car rides or if he feels a particular loss of control by being
in a vehicle, he may interfere with your driving. Many TMs like
to take an active role as the wary "backseat driver." Your dog
may fret, loom over your shoulder and drool, or struggle to climb
over or between the seats to get to the passenger's seat.
- We all like to think that we will arrive at our destinations
without incident but should a traffic accident occur, your pet
is less likely to be injured or allowed to escape from your vehicle
if he is confined.
- Your dog can travel anywhere with you without feeling threatened
or unprotected since you can bring his home with you.
Sabotaging Your Chances of Crate Training Success
Remembering these simple rules will help guarantee that your crate-training
lessons are successful.
The crate belongs to the dog and it is his home. Teach everyone
to be respectful of your dog's personal space. It is his living
room, bedroom and, perhaps, his dining room all rolled up in one.
Never allow other pets inside your dog's crate. Never allow children
to commandeer a crate. While it might be the perfect size, a crate
is not a dollhouse, playhouse or the ultimate hiding spot.
Letting puppy out when he/she cries. Not being consistent and
dedicated to making your puppy comfortable with the crate is a
sure way to make the puppy more persistent in accomplishing the
Ensure that your puppy is comfortable in his crate as he grows.
Make sure that he associates his crate with praise, food, treats
and safe toys. Be mindful of his physical growth and don't allow
him to become cramped in his space.
Never use the crate as a place of punishment. Learn coping and
management techniques when your Tibetan Mastiff behaves inappropriately.
Do not overuse and abuse! Many people like the idea of having
of dog but their lifestyle is not conducive to spending time with
a dog on a daily basis. The crate can never take the place of your
human companionship. Ask yourself how many hours a day your prospective
puppy will be required to stay in a crate. More than 4-6 hours
a day in the crate (over and above sleeping in it at night) is
excessive and not recommended. Measure the long-term consequences
for that prospective puppy against your short-term wishes. Extended
periods of uninterrupted confinement are simply not what a Tibetan
Other Helpful Articles About the Breed
TMBRN Brochure / Hand Out
Mastiff Info Brochure in PDF format
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