Dogs are natural runners and love to socialize. They enjoy having freedom and a place to roam. Chaining or tethering a dog can be dangerous to you, the dog, and other animals. Some people believe that chaining is the only way to keep the dog confined when nobody is home, while others view chaining as cruelty. Many communities across the country have already outlawed tethering. However, there is a difference between chaining your dog for long periods of time and chaining him for fresh air. If you are in a “to chain or not to chain” debate, then consider other alternatives before you place a stake in the ground.
- Are you chaining your dog so he won't run away?
- What happens when the dog is allowed off of the chain?
- Is your dog more active when off the chain?
- What duration of time is he on the chain?
Chained dogs can also show signs of aggression toward strangers and the family. If a dog is chained for too long, he can show more active signs of wanting to run away or escape so he is not put back on the chain. A dog can feel threatened when he does not have ways to defend himself. Dogs naturally love being a part of the family. Chaining your dog is isolating him from the ones he likes to please the most. He shows you love, so show him plenty of love in return!
Chaining. Chaining is not always a horrible thing. If your dog is kept on a chain for short periods of time, and otherwise well taken care of, then this is not abuse. However, if not implemented and supervised properly, chaining can put your dog in danger.
- Make sure the chain is not too short. If the chain is too short, then the dog doesn’t have room to move around, forcing him to use his area for a number of things (eating, sleeping, urinating, etc.).
- Make sure the chain is not too long. On the other hand, super long chains can be dangerous to your dog. Long chains are more likely to get tangled or knotted, sometimes resulting in injury.
- Make sure your dog is not vulnerable on the chain. Chaining can also make your dog a target for other animals, because chains hinder your dog from properly defending himself.
Underground fencing. This is a good option to keep your dog home. But, any kind of fenced-in area is not an excuse to not play with your dog.
- Make sure you are giving your dog much-needed attention. He still needs your attention and extra exercise.
- Make the yard and surroundings as comfortable as possible. His lot should have a doghouse that provides warmth in the winter and an escape from the heat of the summer.
- Make sure your dog has protection from the elements. The lot needs trees or shrubbery that can provide ample shade. Before planting greenery, make sure that the plant is not poisonous to your animal.
- Make sure you provide things to keep your pet occupied and happy. Keep plenty of toys and water in your pet’s lot. He needs things to play with while you’re not there!
Pulley run. If you must secure your dog in some way, and fencing is not an option, then consider a pulley run. A pulley run is similar to a clothesline and is longer than a chain. A leash is attached to the run, giving your dog more room to move around.
- Runs should be treated like chains.
- Your dog should not be confined to the run for long periods of time.
- Your dog can still be targeted by other animals while on the run.
In many cases, chaining or tethering a dog is considered cruelty. If bound to a stationary object for an extended amount of time, dogs can get restless, aggressive or become targets of attacks from other animals. Yet, chaining is not always a cruel thing. If you do not have time to spend outside with your pet, then chaining him for a small amount of time can be a way to let him breathe fresh air. Keeping your pooch indoors is an alternative to chaining, but not all people are able to let their dogs inside. A fenced-in lot, with plenty of space and toys, is the best way to keep your pet outdoors. Pulley runs are another alternative to chaining that give your pooch more running room, but should still be treated as a chain--only used for short periods of time. No matter what you decide, make sure you’re looking out for your family and your pet. Always provide your pooch with extra love and care!
Collin Walker writes for Pet Super Store, a site featuring:
dog tracking collars, dog beeper collars and electric dog fences.