Millennium Post


Intensive confinement or long-term restraint can severely damage their physical and psychological well-being


Why is tethering bad for dogs?

Dogs are naturally social beings who need interaction with humans and/or other animals. An otherwise friendly and docile dog, when kept continuously chained or intensively confined in any way, becomes neurotic, unhappy, anxious and often aggressive.

It is common for continuously tethered dogs to endure physical ailments as a result of being continuously tethered. Their necks can become raw and 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 dogs or people.

Tethered dogs may also suffer from irregular feedings, overturned water bowls, inadequate veterinary care and extreme temperatures. During snow storms, these dogs often have no access to shelter. During periods of extreme heat, they may not receive adequate water or protection from the sun. Owners who chain their dogs are less likely to clean the area of confinement, causing the dogs to eat and sleep in an area contaminated with urine and feces. What's more, because their often neurotic behavior makes them difficult to approach, chained dogs are rarely given even minimal affection. Tethered dogs may become "part of the scenery" and can be easily ignored by their owners.

How does tethering dogs pose a danger to humans?

Tethering is not only bad for dogs – it is a high risk factor in serious dog bites and attacks. Dogs unable to retreat from perceived or real threats can act out aggressively when approached. Dogs tethered for long periods can become highly aggressive. Dogs feel naturally protective of their territory; when confronted with a perceived threat, they respond according to their fight-or-flight instinct. A tied dog, unable to take flight, resorts to fight, attacking any unfamiliar animal or person who unwittingly wanders into his or her territory.

Tragically, the victims of such attacks are often children who approach the dog unaware of the risks. Furthermore, tethered dogs who finally do get loose from their chains may remain aggressive and is likely to chase and attack unsuspecting passersby and pets because they have developed severe behavior problems from long-term, intensive confinement.

It is important for people with tethered dogs to understand these risks.

(Views expressed and information provided are personal. Send your questions to

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