Lately I’ve been worried about my friend’s dog, who, for the last few months, has been living tethered in a garage every day for several months. Originally he lived in a house with her & her boyfriend, but when they split up, her living situation changed & no fenced yard or enclosure is available any time soon.
In the old living situation, he was at ease with people, & although he did have a few canine rivalry-type run-ins with other dogs, overall he was a happy, obedient dog. Since being tethered all the time, he’s become vicious to the point of biting a child who snuck into the garage to play with him.
There are a bunch of other factors to his change of behavior; the entire loss of stability must be overwhelming. He must feel overly protective of his gentle female owner now that they are without her boyfriend who not only spent most of his time with the dogs but was also extremely strict & structured. He must miss the other dogs, & he must hate being alone all day until she comes home from work.
Recently I came randomly across an article stating that chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite. The idea of tethering being psychologically damaging to a dog is corroborated in several more articles:
The Facts About Chaining And Tethering. The US Humane Society has a fact sheet about chaining & tethering, stating that it is inhumane & why.
Chaining Dogs Unleashes Bad Behavior. USA Today’s article explains how tethering a dog can cause it to display bad behavior, & why it turns into a vicious cycle.
Unchain Me. This was probably the most indepth article. The National Humane Education Society explains what chaining is like to a dog, the possible consequences of chaining a dog, & gives statistics regarding bites by chained dogs.
Before You Chain Your Dog. Dog Breed Info, which site I have visited in the past for educational reading, cites examples of dogs whose behavior changed due to being tethered, including a vicious dog who turned into a lovable, playful, gentle family member once given to a family who didn’t tether it.
I have another friend whose mother brought home an abandoned dog (abandoned by her friends, who were moving or something) but has nowhere to keep him. Her solution is to chain the dog to her driveway, where he is accessible to anyone walking past, & where he is otherwise alone all day.
My friend, who is not a dog person, resents the dog because he now has to park on the street so that the dog can have the driveway. He said they every day when he comes home the dog jumps all over him & he slaps him back down.
I told him that the dog would be better off turned into the Humane Society & euthanized than left there on their driveway. At least the HHS volunteers might treat him kindly for the few days he is with them. And maybe he might even get adopted by someone who will treat him like a living being. My friend’s mother took him in with good intentions, but in reality it is a cruel thing she has done.
Naturally my friend is not interested in discussing this, since he doesn’t care enough to talk to his mother about it. It’s very sad. If I knew him well enough to know his street address I might steal the dog myself & take him to HHS.
I’m grateful I have an enclosed yard. My dogs & I are so lucky that we can play fetch & frisbee every day. We are blessed in all kinds of ways.