Tethering or Chaining Your Dog Outside Is a Bad Idea
When threatened, all dogs have the natural instinct to fight or flee. This defensive reaction is common to all animals. When you tether or chain a dog up outside, you are eliminating the ability for flight, and are leaving no other option but to build the fight instinct. This usually builds aggressiveness in the dog. Of the approximately 25 fatalities caused by dogs in the USA annually, many of these dogs were left isolated and tethered outside. Almost half of these fatalities were children under the age of 12. Unfortunately kids playing in neighborhoods often are the targeted victims of dogs that are tethered. As the children scream and yell during play, the dogs get “loaded” up. It usually only takes a short time before the dog is lunging at every child that runs by the yard. When the dog breaks the tether or escapes off the chain, the child is the first target.
A common practice to make a dog more aggressive for dog fighting or even for protection dogs is to tie them up and antagonize them. By creating almost a cornered response (the dog has no ability to run away), the dog learns very quickly that barking and lunging at the supposed threat makes most people and dogs go away. A dog that leans against its tether is actually being put into an aggressive and threatening body position. The dog is bracing forward and is usually barking. Most other dogs as well as humans will also see this dog as being threatening. Tethered dogs tend to have little social interaction. The dogs become lonely, and then start to bark and create a nuisance.
By nature, dogs are social animals and thrive on interaction with humans and other dogs. Unfortunately approximately 200,000 dogs are left tethered outside by themselves everyday in the USA. This inhumane treatment causes otherwise friendly and happy dogs to become bored and lonely which often leads to the development of aggressive behaviors. We need to all do something to stop this treatment of dogs in America. Fortunately, progress is starting to be made. In June of this year (2013) Oregon passed a new law that prohibits dog owners from tethering or chaining dogs up outside. We need to continue to make such progress in other states.
So next time you see a dog chained up outside in your neighborhood….say something! It may actually prevent an injury and will also make the dog’s life much happier.
(Original Article posted on CanineMaster.com blog)