Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Before You Chain Your Dog - Dogs on Chains, Why It's Not a Good Idea

This is from a newsletter that I received from my favorite animal charity, http://www.itsmeowornever.org/ . I feel deeply about this subject and thought it was worthy of spreading the article. If you want to donate to a wonderful animal (especially CATS) sanctuary, this is one of the best!

Dogs who 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 chained. Most become protective of the area around them and in some cases, down right 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 off the chain.

And why not? Coming back means they have to go back on the chain and they want to enjoy the 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.

Not to mention it’s cruel and how can anyone say they love their dog if it’s chained.

One example of this is the story my neighbor told me about a Keeshond 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 Keeshond ended up on a clothes-line run, chained up in the backyard. It got to the point were 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 though 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 Keeshond.

Turned out the new owners did not chain the dog. They were in a situation were 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 that drove the dog to this point. The good thing was it was reversible, the chain was taken away and the dog no longer felt the need to defend and protect, no longer felt trapped and confined.

Another case is an acquaintance that owned an English Bulldog. He had the dog tied up in the back yard. One day the dog got off of the chain. One of the neighbor kids tried to bring him home. When the boy grabbed his collar the dog bit the boy in the face. Why? The dog was confused. He was suddenly free and he did not know how to handle it. Going home meant back on the chain.

The owner of the Bulldog had told the neighbor kids not to go near the dog if he ever got free and to come and get him instead. Once again, the English Bulldog is excellent with children and loves people, but even a Bulldog will go crazy tied up on a chain all day. In fact, English Bulldogs are one of the worst breeds to chain. They have a strong desire to be by your side. Chaining them all the time drives them Crazy. Confined, restricted and trapped, it is not in a dogs nature to be tied up.

I am not talking about the occasional time when you need to tie your dog up in the park for a little while. We once went to a picnic with our dogs and our English Bulldog wanted to "kill" the Rottweiler that was there. We had to tie our Bulldog to a tree. There will be times where you will need to tie your dog. I am talking about the Back Yard Dogs. The ones with the dog house and a chain. The ones that spend the majority of their time and life chained, sitting and waiting, with nothing else to do but wait and protect.

It's Meow Or Never Animal Sanctuary