A Life in Chains

...is really no kind of life at all.

There is not much worse torture you can inflict on a dog than to leave it chained to a tree or post in your backyard for the length of its sorry life. As pack animals dogs need interaction, as intelligent animals they need metal stimulation and as active animals they need physical excercise.

Perhaps the chained dog owner thinks that Sabre tied up in the yard makes a stellar watch dog. Not so. Chained dogs become aggressive not protective. With no socialisation to speak of and probably little in the way of training a chained dog is as likely to see the neighbour's kid or the postman as an intruder as he is any burglar. Besides all the wary burglar has to do is stay outside the limits of the chain and all the poor dog can do is bark.

The fact that a chained dog is 2.6 times more likely to bite than an unchained dog does not mean that the dog is protective. A chained dog will bite indiscriminately out of aggression and fear. Just imagine the neighbourhood kids climbing over the fence to retrieve a lost ball and straying too near. It's a tragedy that happens many times every year.

hile there is little for any chained dog to be thankful for those who have shelter from the sun, rain and snow and are fed and watered daily are amongst the luckiest. At the very least they get a few moments of interaction with their humans as fresh food is thrown at them.

The thing is you see, a dog chained outside is pretty easy to ignore. If someone cares little enough about their canine companion to inflict the torture of lifetime imprisonment at the end of a ten foot chain, chances are the dogs basic health requirements are not being met. Fleas, worms, starvation, dehydration, even choking to death as the chain gets tangled, none of these fates are uncommon for the poor dog you may drive by on your way to work every day.

Two websites that offer support and advice on this issue are unchainyourdog and dogsdeservebetter. Unchainyourdog lists reasons why this common practise is so cruel and provides a helpful fact sheet on talking to the owners of chained dogs to help improve the situation.



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