A Lifetime Alone: Chained Dog vs. Family Dog

It shouldn’t happen, but it does. Every day, thousands of dogs are forced to spend their entire lives trapped outside on a chain.

Dogs are social pack animals who want – and deserve – companionship, walks around the block, comfy beds, scratches behind the ears and unconditional love. Intensive confinement or long-term restraint can severely damage a dog’s physical and psychological well-being.

The video, which was released by PETA on February 7th, shows the stark difference between indoor and outdoor dogs. While the indoor dog gets to enjoy fresh food, water, and ample amounts of love, the outdoor dog is hugely ignored.

While only a minute long, PETA’s video does a fantastic job of pointing fingers at this barbaric societal norm.

So why are some dogs kept outside?

Unfortunately, there are many reasons why owners choose to chain their dogs. From a lack of resources to severe behavioral problems, some dog owners feel that tethering is their only choice. Regardless of reason, one thing is for sure: tethering is never the answer.

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According to the Humane Society of the United States, an otherwise friendly and docile dog, when kept continuously chained or intensively confined in any way, becomes “neurotic, unhappy, anxious and often aggressive.”

Chained dogs are vulnerable to painful physical ailments, like raw necks, embedded collars, insect bites, parasites, harassment, and attacks by people or dogs. Tethered dogs may also suffer from irregular feedings, empty water bowls, inadequate veterinary care and exposure to extreme temperatures.

What do you do if you see a tethered dog?

If you see a tethered dog that needs your help, call for help. Find out if your community has any laws regulating chained dogs, or stop by your local humane society to request an investigation.

If at all possible, avoid “rescuing” the chained dog on your own. According to PETA’s website, your best chance of helping dogs in non-emergency situations is by educating the dog’s owner.

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When approaching a stranger about their tethered dog, be friendly, polite and unassuming. Threatening them will only limit your chances of making a difference. Begin by kindly talking to the owner about what dogs need – fresh food, water, adequate shelter– and then, if the conversation goes well, ask what you can do to help.

If at all possible, avoid being confrontational. For safety reasons, remember to bring a friend, family member or neighbor just incase the conversation gets heated.

If the owner is absent, do your best to make the dog comfortable by providing fresh water, an umbrella or a warm blanket until further help arrives .

For more tips on how to help a chained dog in your community, ask Sniff & Barkens dog trainer and expert Amy Robinson or visit the Humane Society of the United State’s website.

Break the chain. Join the fight to bring tethered dogs inside.