This week is Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week, so today we wanted to take some time to shed some light on this inhumane practice.

Chained dog cartoon

What is Chaining?

The terms “chaining” or “tethering” refer to the practice of fastening a dog to a stationary object or stake, usually 2in the owner’s backyard, as a means of keeping the animal under control. These terms do not refer to the periods when an animal is walked on a leash.


Let’s talk statistics!

  • The book Fatal Dog Attacks states that 25% of fatal attacks were inflicted by chained dogs of many different breeds.
  • A study by the Centers for Disease Control found that chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite.


The Sad Truth about Chained Dogs

Chained dogs do not make good guard dogs! Chaining creates aggression, not protectiveness. A protective dog is used to being around people and can sense when his family is being threatened. A dog learns to be protective by spending lots of time with people and by learning to know and love his human family. Statistics show that one of the best deterrents to intruders is an inside dog. Intruders will think twice about entering a home with a dog on the other side of the door. A chained dog can’t do anything to stop an intruder! All he can do is bark.

Chained dogs are not in loving, responsible homes! Chained dogs do not receive sufficient care. They suffer from sporadic feedings, overturned water bowls, inadequate veterinary care, and extreme temperatures. During periods of extreme heat, they may not receive adequate water or protection from the sun. They become difficult to approach, therefore, are given minimal affection.

They become “part of the scenery” and can be easily ignored by their owners. These dogs are forced to eat, sleep, urinate and defecate in a single confined area. Owners who chain their dogs are also less likely to clean the area.

A chained animal is caught in a vicious cycle; frustrated by long periods of boredom and social isolation, he becomes a neurotic shell of his former self—further deterring human interaction and kindness. In the end, the helpless dog can only suffer the frustration of watching the world go by in isolation—a cruel fate for what is by nature a highly social animal.

Behavior problems will only get worse by chaining! Many believe that by chaining their dog they will “cure” it of its behavior problems. A dog that has been chained all day or all week has little interest in learning to come when the owner calls. The dog is interested in running as fast as he can away from his owner and confinement. The owner then may give up on even limited interaction with the dog, and either leave the dog tied up in permanent misery or get rid of him. Some people say they chain their dogs so they will learn not to run away, or teach them to be housebroken, or keep them on a chain until they calm down. The fact is, chaining is only going to make all the positive dog behaviors extremely difficult to obtain. Chaining a young dog forces him to become accustomed to urinating and defecating where he sleeps, conflicting with his natural instinct to eliminate away from his living area.


How You Can Help

  1. Bring your dog inside! Dogs get bored and sad when they are alone. Dogs want to be inside the house with their “pack,” their human family.
  2. Get to know the dog’s guardian if you are concerned about someone else’s chained dog.
  3. Call your local animal control office, humane society, or police department if you see a chained dog.
  4. Put up a fence in your yard as it allows dogs freedom.
  5. Spaying and neutering a dog will help him to calm down.
  6. Replace ill-fitting, old collars with a new nylon collar. You should be able to fit two fingers between the dog’s neck and the collar.
  7. Provide food and fresh water EVERY day. Every day you eat, your dog needs to eat too.
  8. Provide proper shelter for the dog.
  9. Give your dog toys and digestible rawhides to chew on. Dogs need the stimulation provided by toys and chews.
  10. Take your dog on walks! It will mean everything to your dog to be able to get out of the yard and see and smell new things.
  11. Take your dog to school. Obedience training can solve behavior problems and help the dog learn how to be a good inside dog.
  12. Provide shade in the summer. Fill up a plastic kiddie pool for hot summer months.
  13. Please remember that it is now illegal in Broward County to chain or tether a dog. If you see a chained dog, please call the police.

Lastly, EDUCATE people about chaining! Click here for an informational brochure about chaining. Keep this brochure in your car.

Finally, if you are having a behavior problem with your furry friend give us a call and one of our trained counselors will help you work through your problem. This is a call back service. We receive many phone calls and will try to return your call within one business day. HSBC Behavior Helpline 954-266-6851.

Free dog obedience classes for chained dogs 954-266-6819.

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