Have you seen chained dogs in your neighborhood or village – maybe even in your friends or relatives garden – and wondered if this is wrong or just ‘the way things have always been’? Is it abuse or are there legit reasons to chain a dog on your property? Here are some common questions about chaining dogs that will hopefully help you make a better judgement and convince others to do the right thing.
Why do people chain dogs?
Many people we came across who chain their dogs argued, that they need them to protect the property by keeping predators and burglars away. It is true, the easiest way to make a dog aggressive and territorial is to tie him. Other people mentioned that they ‘tried’ keeping the dog inside but that they either did potty inside or showed destructive behavior. Sometimes the dog is a repeat escapee and the owner has run out of ideas to safely confine the dog.
Whatever the motivation, none of them are good enough to risk your dogs life or the lives of others.
Why does it do to a dog when you tie him outside?
Dogs are, like us, inherently very social beings who need interaction with humans and/or other animals. Intensive confinement or long-term restraint can severely damage their physical and psychological health. An otherwise friendly and docile dog, when kept continuously chained or intensively confined in any way, becomes neurotic, unhappy, anxious and often aggressive. Imagine the effect on yourself, it is not that different.
Also chaining usually goes along with neglect: The dogs necks can become sore and their collars can painfully grow into their skin. They are vulnerable to insect bites and parasites, and are at high risk of entanglement, strangulation, and harassment or attacks by other animals or people. Chained dogs often experience irregular feedings, overturned water bowls, inadequate veterinary care and extreme temperatures: During the winter months these dogs often have no shelter from the cold and in summer no protection from the sun. Also they are forced to live, eat and sleep close to their urine and feces, can you imagine that?
Is it better to keep dogs on the roof?
No. Keeping a dog on the roof is just as bad and, despite the danger of strangulation and sore necks, has the same consequences for their psychological and physical well-being.
What are alternatives?
If you are not ready to have your dog in the house with you or at least in a big, fenced garden,well taken care of with sufficient walks and daily social interaction, we recommend you to simply not get a dog. If your dog “messes up the house” it is most likely because you did not spend sufficient time and effort on training and exercise. In case you have a puppy and don’t want him to roam around the house, there are great doggy play pens you can buy. It’s just safer to put them inside with pee pads so your little one doesn’t risk to be stolen. If you are using your dog as an ‘alarm system’, we recommend you to just get a real one. A chained dog does not only pose a rather small threat to anyone but also they evidently become so disturbed after a short time that they bark 24/7 – at anything. Sometimes the pet owner comes from a family that always chained dogs, and may never have realized there were better options – try to educate them.
What can I do to save my neighbors chained dog?
Unfortunately -unlike in most European countries- it is perfectly legal to chain your dog in Lebanon. If you find a dog to be in a horrible condition constituting abuse, you can report him to Animals Lebanon and inform your municipality. If that’s not the case, the best (legal) thing you can do is to speak with your neighbors and possibly convince them to either treat their dog better or to give him up for adoption. Offer your help in that process.