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Why Chaining Dogs Really Bites

Written by PETA | May 16, 2011

If your local government officials were inspired by National Dog Bite Prevention Week to pass an ordinance that would help prevent dog bites, would you support it? As it turns out, they can do just that by banning chaining

Dogs have a strong fight-or-flight response, and chaining takes away the less dangerous option. In addition to being denied adequate food, water, shelter, and veterinary care, dogs who spend their lives at the end of a chain often are not socialized, and even a small child who runs toward them can seem threatening, leading them to bite in self-defense. Chained dogs are three times more likely to attack than are dogs with the freedom to escape perceived threats, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the American Veterinary Medical Association advises guardians, “Never tether or chain your dog because this can contribute to aggressive behavior.”

Communities across America are acknowledging the danger (and cruelty) of chaining and are implementing chaining restrictions. For easy ways to encourage your local legislators to consider a lifesaving chaining ordinance, see PETA’s “Breaking the Chain” webpage

Written by Michelle Sherrow

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  • Alan says:

    I am appalled at the number of farmers in Argyll who chain their working dogs when they are not working. Yes, they do become very edgy and scared. I complained to the Scottidsh SPCA,but they said as long as the chain is over 6ft there is nothing they can do.I will never attend a sheep dog trial again in my life

  • Meegan says:

    If you feel the need to leave your dog on a chain, you shouldn’t own a dog in the first place. If you can’t commit (financially and emotionally) to what it takes to properly treat a dog.. my advice … get a goldfish. It’s called fence in your yard / take him/her for frequent walks / hikes / dog parks and treat your dog the way YOU would want to be treated if you were indeed a dog. You never know you may come back as a chain canine in your next life … ??

  • loucee68 says:

    @Vampbunny Sometimes adding more excercise to a dogs daily routine cuts down on the anxious behaviour.

  • loucee68 says:

    All ‘chained’ dogs are not abused. My daughter and her husband have 2 dogs that are on runners outside year round, unless its too cold, too hot or storming,,,, then they are inside the house. They get regular walks with the family which includes a 2 year old child and a 4 year old child. They get regular vet care, their water bowl is a small childs pool with fresh water everyday and more than enough food. These dogs are very big, one weighing in at 98 lbs. They have been in the family for more than 6 years and around the children their entire lives and have only loved them. Not to mention they have also played with a toy chihuahua and a minature dachshund for years and never offered to harm them. Neglect is a horrible thing and no living creature should ever have to endure any form of it but do not assume ALL animals that are tethered are abused.

  • vampbunny says:

    sometimes we have to chain or tie our dog up, not because he’s dangerous or we are mean, but he is anxious and when we go anywhere, he paces and gets himself worked up…..we have found that if we restrict him or tie him up near his bed, he just lies down and sleeps. he is also destructive in the house if left alone and rumages through cupboards and bins for food too, so chaining him is sometimes the safest option!!

  • tokyoval says:

    Well, speaking as someone that’s been bitten by 3 dogs in Thailand over the last 4 years…I still hate to see a dog tied up, in the sun, with no food or water for hours on end. Btw, I had a rabies vaccine.

  • Michelle says:

    @Krissy. No, we aren’t talking about letting your dog out to pee. This is about dogs who are chained 24/7 or for long periods (over 3 hours on most ordinances). That is cruelty. There are dogs in my rural part of PA who never move around off of a chain. Shameful abuse.

  • molly says:

    i agree with krissy…i tie my dogs up but i certainly dont leave them there for hours at a time….theres a thing called a LEASH LAW and i dont have a fenced in yard and thats part of the fact why i have to tie my dogs up when they go outside i have 4 dogs and 3 of the 4 have to be tied when they go outside unless i wanna spend 4 hours trying to catch them…my cat was attacked by a dog That wasnt tied up with that being said i dont fully agree with this

  • Jean says:

    Of course you have to tie up your dog on a leash to go for a walk. It can be dangerous not to, as in my case where my dog is very aggresive towards strangers. However, the form of abusing the leashes and chains would be having your dog tied up all day either outside or inside. People use the excuse that they don’t have enough space in their homes to let the dog be free, but if they don’t have the space to run around free they shouldn’t be able to have a dog in the first place. Therefore I agree that leashes are cruel! I wouldn’t want to be chained up all day!

  • Soledad says:

    Chaining a dog forever , of course is abuse an of course it will take off the sociablity the animal can develop. But when you take out a dog from your house , from your delimited space, it must be taken with a leash in order to prevent animals fighting, agressivity with other people who doesnt need to sociality with a non controlled animal and so you can put a a bag their poo. Every domestic animal must socialice with other animal under supervision so every time it will be easier for the animal. Owners must take the animal for a walk at least once a day and always with food and water. Their are living beings, must be treated well if your are planning to domestic them.

  • margaret says:

    Making this illegal will hopefully help these poor helpless animals!

  • Bekky says:

    I completely agree with you Peta. My cousin lived in an apartment complex where her neighbor had a dog chained up all the time. Her son, who was 5 or 6 at the time, went up to the dog and bit his ear. If the dog was able to be free and socialize more perhaps he wouldn’t have felt threatened by my little cousin. Krissy – You’re being a little ridiculous. They never said taking your dog out for “a doggie run” or putting them on a leash to go outside to pee is cruel. They are talking about those who put chains, not leashes, on their dogs, tie the chain somewhere outside and then just leave them there for hours or even days. Dogs are pack animals, they need to be with someone all the time. If you’re taking your dog for a walk then of course it’s alright to put your dog on a leash. But if the dog is at home, he/she should be allowed to roam the backyard or inside the house freely. And honestly, if dogs run after people or “jump the fence and take out that person” then to that I say, blame the owner, not the dog. If a dog is mean or aggressive, it’s because they were subjected to it themselves. Pets reflect their owners.

  • Krissy says:

    well is this defining ALL chaining/tieing of dogs as cruel?? so putting your dog out on a doggie run could be cruel?? just so they could pee? any dog can be mean. going to say im more afraid of a dog thats out side NOT tied up if they have no fence or a little one. dogs run after people even from the fence and if they wanted to they could jump the fence and take out that person. JMHO!!

  • MA Moo says:

    This is one of the cruelest and cold forms of abuse. I would like to chain the owners up outside for a week to teach them how it feels. Kudos to PETA, AVM and the angels for “breaking the chain”!