Friday, January 23, 2009

Leo's Campaign Against Chaining Dogs.

It's me again, Leo.
I'm here to talk to folks about chaining dogs in their yards.When I was on my other owner's property I was told I was chained out or in a kennel outside. I don't remember much........I don't think I did much snuggling on the couch and watching TV with anyone. I don't have much recollection of a morning snuggle in bed with coffee and told how handsome I am and what a good job I do everyday at training and working.
I don't think I had a purpose but to wait....wait....wait,
wait for........ breathe, sleep and eat outside.

I longed for someone to just hold me and touch me.
I had no idea how much I would LOVE being kissed all over my big ole head... lots!

What I didn't like about this was that I was just there and not really in love with anyone, without purpose and a connection to a family/pack that I could share was empty but somehow stressful.
Even though this may be the more extreme case I think the same frame of mind can be created in a backyard dog in seemingly the most wonderful and beautiful homes in the world. Someone gets puppy, puppy is destructive, pees on the floor, cries at night and does not initially want to go in a crate. Personally I love my crate but I was given a chance to like it. The person decides they can't take it anymore and put the dog on a chain in the yard. Bye, bye life.
Tethering is ok for short periods and really should be supervised in my opinion. BUT while the folks are gone all day at work?????? Everyday???? NO!
The law here says 3 hours and that's IT! Abuse is not always about living on a property with a person who fights dogs, beats them or hurts them in some other way. It's also about just having nothing all day long. Neglect I think is what it's called. That's abuse too right?
When my folks are gone, I'm happy inside in my own safe area inside the house where I know that someone can't hurt me, steal me or anything else with my bone and my Kong. Then I have a fabulous much needed nap as dogs sleep a lot. Then poof, my people are back home already and life is good. If your dog is having to be outside because of behavior issues or any other reason get some help to see how you can help your dog be a family companion again. Bring your dogs inside. Keep them safe. If your dog is chained, he's left wide open to be stolen, hurt by another dog or animal that get's into the yard. He can become stressed permanently (I paced my people's floor for a while before I realized, hey, I can just lay down on the couch with my head on my owner's lap and be way more comfortable). Chained dogs can become dangerous too. What if a child wandered in the yard with a chained stressed out dog.....yikes! Be sure to exercise your dogs and spend time with them....I would think you would want to because they're part of your family right?
Not that all dogs have to be therapy dogs or have a therapy vest but I look so much better with a scarf and a therapy vest on than a chain!

How d'ya like me now?!!!!!


  1. Oh Leo,

    My heart goes out to any and all dogs who are not appreciated or supported or even set up to fail by their owners.

    You didn't ask to be part of that awful Michael Vick situation...nor did any of the other dogs who ended up there. You didn't have a choice in the matter. You were at the mercy of some very unscrupulous and completely demented people.

    Thank you for raising awareness on this subject of chaining dogs. It's just wrong!

    If folks don't have the time or patience to deal with their dogs, and train them properly, or seek out advice from professional trainers if they need help, they probably shouldn't even own a dog...might be better to get a houseplant or a stuffed animal instead.

  2. I agree - if you don't have the time or patience committing to a dog requires then you shouldn't bring a dog into your life.

    Your dog bonds with you and looks to you for food, discipline and affection. I wouldn't tether my dog (or my children) for more than a few minutes and only to keep them safe from potentially harmful situations such as having to open the entire house for some reason. I could be wrong but I think the law requires supervision when it comes to tethering. Tethering and chaining can be neglectful, cruel and dangerous for the dog. A tether can get caught on something. Seems to me I read a story a while back about an unsupervised dog on a tether that was hanged and died. We have brains and we should use them, think about it before you do it!

  3. Good points Anon and I agree Maria! I remember a friend of mine lost a dog because he hanged while tethered. Very sad.


  4. Marthina,

    I also have a sad ending story and another really good reason NOT to leave a tethered dog unsupervised...

    Some folks I know had their dog tethered in the back of thier pick up truck and left him alone for a short time. The line was just long enough for him to reach over the edge of the truck...and when they returned, he was hanging by the collar over the side of the truck. :(

    They were completely devastated at the death of thier dog of course, but this was totally preventable.

    Thanks Leo for putting out the word re: the dangers of tethering...not only in regard to the behavioral outcomes, but also in regard to safety and well-being of the dog.


  5. Thank you Mary and Leo for spreading the news..It sounds like Leo is doing awesome, is happy and has bonded with you and others.
    Like our signs say..
    Together we can make a difference..

  6. Thanks for posting this blog, Leo. Chaining is a VERY important topic to discuss. Family companion animals belong indoors with their people. A life on a chain is no life at all - as you've learned for yourself. I couldn't imagine what chained dogs go through day after day - dragging a chain around all day, in a yard by themselves, with no touch from a human or another dog. Maybe chained dogs get let off their chains for a couple hours a day, but what's a couple hours compared to the other 23 hours on that chain?

    Leo, as you've said, your guardians can't be with you 24 hours a day, and when they are home, I am sure attention is not on you 100% of the time. But the point is that you are INDOORS, in a comfortable, regulated, SAFE environment, and around your family and getting to watch and interact on some level. You are not languishing in a yard counting the hours, minutes, seconds until your beloved human decides to remove your chain and interact with you.

    Chaining is a very sad thing and I hope some humans take your words to heart, Leo. You do, after all, speak from experience!