Opinion: Dogs on chains—why it’s not a good idea

POSTED: 03/17/14 6:44 PM

Dogs that are chained run a much higher risk of biting and are more likely to be the dogs that run off and don’t come back when called.

Why? Chaining a dog goes against its natural instincts. Dogs were not meant to be tied up. Most become protective of the area around them and in some cases, downright mean, even to their owners. They feel confined, trapped and it drives them crazy. They are harder to train and some appear to be literally un-trainable, when really they are just going stir crazy. Most chained dogs will take off on you any chance they can get away.

And why not? Coming back means they have to go back on the chain and they want to enjoy their freedom, if even for a little while. Not all dogs will be biters and runners if chained, but all dogs would be happier, with a better temperament, if they were not chained. Dogs that are tethered are stressed, bored, and anxious. According to the American Humane Association chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite and approximately 25% of fatal dog attacks were from chained dogs.

One example of this is the story of a lady who told me about a dog she had as a child. Her parents did not have much time for the dog and the kids were getting older and did not have very much interest in it. As a result the dog ended up on a clothesline run, chained up in the backyard. It got to the point where you could not go near the dog without it growling at you and trying to bite. After a while the parents decided it was not worth the liability. They feared the dog was going to eventually really hurt someone. They found the dog a new home and hoped for the best.

A few months later they received a phone call from the new owners. Fear shot through the mother as she answered the phone, expecting to hear the dog had bitten someone. Instead they heard how nice and sweet the dog was. Friendly as can be, loves everyone. The new owners were calling to say just how happy they were and that they loved their new dog. Turned out the new owners did not chain the dog. They were in a situation where the dog could be free to walk around the yard. For those who know the breed, you know that Keeshonden are not the type of dog to be mean or to bite. They love everyone and everything. It was the chain, lack of leadership, pack structure and exercise that drove the dog to this point.

The good thing was it was reversible, the chain was taken away and the dog was placed in a new environment. The dog no longer felt the need to defend and protect, no longer felt trapped and confined.

Animals R Friends


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