Tethering can cause physical and emotional damage to dogs. Dogs are social animals. They need to engage with humans and other animals for their mental health. They need regular exercise for their physical well being. Tethering leaves a dog unable to get away from humans or animals that intend to hurt it and can make the dog more aggressive toward anyone that comes near it.

Sadly, not all dog owners know this. Let’s make it our job to educate others, so dogs can live their happiest and healthiest lives.

What is tethering?

According to the Humane Society, “Generally speaking, the terms ”chaining” and “tethering” refers to the practice of fastening a dog to a stationary object and leaving them unattended. The term “chaining” tends to refer to situations where thick, heavy chains are used. “Tethering” is more often referred to partial restraint on a rope, lighter chain or pulley, which is the more prevalent form of tethering. These terms are not meant to refer to an animal being walked on a leash or cases of supervised, temporary tethering while an owner is present.”

Why is tethering bad for dogs?

“Dogs are social animals. Their wild ancestors live in packs. When dogs live with humans, we are their pack. A dog on a chain is separated from his pack and forced to live a solitary life. This causes emotional distress and behavioral problems. The Centers for Disease Control and the American Veterinary Medical Association warn that chained dogs are about 3 times more likely to bite and have more behavior problems. It’s also difficult to provide good care to a chained dog because chains catch on obstacles, which can be dangerous, and dogs can’t reach their food, water, or shelter. Also, chained dogs are very vulnerable to attacks by other dogs and wild animals, and can become pregnant if not spayed.” – Fences for Fido

Why would people chain their dogs in the first place?

“There are many reasons why people chain their dogs. Some people simply do not know different, having been raised with chained dogs on their property. Others may have moved and do not have the resources to build a proper fence but need to keep their dog on their property. Others may have had dogs recently given to them by a family member and have no other recourse.” – Fences for Fido.

Whatever the reason, let’s not judge, but help by educating and providing resources.

Should tethering ever be allowed?

A well adjusted dog should regularly interact with people and other animals and get regular exercise.

According to the Humane Society, “Placing an animal on a restraint can be acceptable if it is done for a short period or while supervised and if the tether is secured in such a way that it cannot become entangled with other objects. Collars should be comfortable and fitted properly; choke chains should never be used. Keeping an animal tethered for long periods or during extreme weather and natural disasters is never acceptable.”

What can I do to help?

Fences for Fido has a simple, life-changing mission:  Improving the lives of dogs living outdoors on the end of chains, tethers or in small kennels by building them a donor-funded fence free of charge, providing a new dog house, spay/neuter services, and when needed, other urgent veterinary care.

Please help by donating to Fences for Fido and sharing this blog to spread the word that tethering is harmful to dogs.