A Chained Dog
The truly fortunate (and blessed) dog is the one that has a large fenced area, with free flowing creek water, shade trees for summer and a warm house on the outside for the colder months or even a dog door to get in with his people and/or a private, heated area. He/she also has obstacles to play on, in or over to whet his interest and stimulate his natural senses...and of course his own humans. (That special someone that treats them as any furry family should be treated.) This dog usually has another canine partner as well...or five, as I do.
This same fortunate friend goes for rides and outings on a regular, daily basis. Exercise for the human serves for the animal as well. They are excellent deterrents for humans with wrong motives and they are just plain, fun. Watch them smile as they run. They were designed to run, that's why God gave them 4 legs. Running to their hearts content once in a while, makes a hyper type dog, calm, as well as with any type dog. Have you ever noticed humans that exercise on a regular basis, are calmer? Endorphins are raised and they are usually the happier of the population. Well, same with dogs.
Vacations often include this (these) pet (s) as more and more hotels/motels and campgrounds are opening up to the acceptance of our animal world. After all, responsible pet owners are the best occupants or renters to have. They have well mannered pets and they clean up after them in the outside world as well. They are brushed often and thus the shedding is kept at a minimal. The smell is washed out with regular, baths or swims. Have you ever thought that just merely running through the woods, is a natural way to brush a dog with tree limbs and briars and leaves combing through their fur? The other "poo poo" dogs get the usual time with a special groomer. These dogs have a different attitude when they go to the groomer looking unkempt, slightly smelly and a little dirty, then when they come out. Head held high and an attitude of look at me; "I am g o r g e o u s!" Just like us, we feel better with a manicure/pedicure or a trim at the beauty shop...that's why they're called Beauty Shops.
Now, let's see, we have a large fenced yard. Ample, clean water. Plenty of exercise. Someone that let's them run free in a safe environment...or someone that runs with them in "their" environment. Regular checkups. Good, healthy food, like ONE, is taken on vacation or regular outings with their people and treated as the best, confidant that you would ever hope to have. I talk to my dogs all the time. I can tell them anything. I trust them. They will never repeat what I tell them and yes, they DO understand. Now, the only thing left would be their monthly heart worm preventive and their flea/tick defense, usually dotted down their backs. (Don't rub it in, it works on the hair follicles and goes down through the system, that way.) Did you know that 90% of the dogs/cats that were rescued from that horrible storm , Katrina in New Orleans and surrounding areas, were not spayed/neutered and had heartworms. What are folks thinking? (or not thinking!)
The aforementioned is the happy dog. and then....................................you have:
The Chained Dog: Chaining a dog, in most cases, we animal advocates consider, to be a form of cruelty. Envision a tightening around the neck. Have someone choke you tightly to get the concept. Not too hard, just too tight. Are you red in the face, yet? Some collars are like that; even life threatening tight. Some dogs that have been rescued have literally had to have their collars or chains surgically removed as over time, it had imbedded itself in their neck muscles. This is cruel and neglect. Report them, please, if you know or see of this happening. Chaining a dog is a controversial subject, so read further and let me explain. The chained dog usually is on a 5 or 6 foot chain at most. He can not move around freely and usually the grass that was once beneath his feet, has now turned to dirt infested with mites or fleas and other undesirable irritations to the dog. He scratches and itches constantly. Duh! Something is wrong. Would you like it? Besides that, he stays dirty and who wants to pet a dirty dog? Or when you do come near him, he is so elated to see someone that he jumps up on you and he just can't contain his exuberance to do so. He is not free all day, as you have been. He's been chained. After the guilt of having to chain him goes away, you get so that you don't even want to go near him. Not even to feed him. Or make sure that he has water. Remember, he is totally dependent on you. He cannot fend for himself. He is Neglected. He cannot find water when he is thirsty or food if he is hungry...he is solely at the owner's mercy. Many emancipated and dehydrated dogs are found in this cruel condition, especially if the owner has taken ill or been forced to move away. Alot of dogs are just left. This by the way is against the law. Report them. In an emotional trauma, such as a divorce or a death in the family, the chained dog is probably the last thought. It is still against the law.
So, let's say, none of this has happened and the owner has been away at work all day. When he does finally get home, he is tired and the hectic part of the second course of events of the day, begin. Everyone is tired, irritable and hungry. The kids &/or spouse is demanding attention or help or just simply needs to talk...so talk, communicate, share...that's a good thing. Sometimes it only takes 5 minutes of 100% of you. Once they and you have gotten an orange, carrots or some nuts to curb your appetite and converse over the days events, remember your dog. He has been chained 24/7. Love him enough to give him 15 minutes of your time. Your guilt will diminish, he will lavish you with love and acceptance and also always remember, if no one else will listen to you...he will...and he doesn't "go and tell."
A chained dog is usually bored and lonely and has no other means of exertion of his stored up energy except to bark. The neighbors complain. A barking dog is considered a nuisance dog and many times the law is called as the barking disturbs the neighbors sleep or normal everyday activities. The dog is already considered a "bad" dog. Put yourself in the dogs place just for a moment. It was designed to run. But a chained dog, can't. It was domesticated to be with people. But a chained dog, can't. And if it were to ever get loose by accident, it will run and run and run. After all he's been chained all day, remember? You call him back until your hoarse, but what dog in his right mind will come back to an owner that is just going to chain him back up again.? Would you? I didn't think so. Now this dog that is so smart and you wonder why he doesn't want to come back to you., But you're so frustrated and angry, when he finally does get his running out of his system and comes back willingly, you give up on him. After all he is a "bad" dog . He ran away. So you take him to the pound (where they will probably euthanize him) or just turn him in the wild, expecting him to fend for himself. Right?. Who taught him to "fend" for himself. How do you think that he is going to fend for himself when his momma never taught him to, or even if hunger does take over, where do you find the grub? In the trash cans is one place. Eating cats is another. Where do you find a rabbit (that is not someone's pet) in the Suburbs? Uh, again.
SOME SOLUTIONS: First, there are some dogs that must be confined. Hunting dogs must be kept confined. Dogs where owners love them, but live near busy traffic or a congested neighborhood, need to be confined. Notice I said confined. Why should an animal lover that can not afford fencing, not have a pet. But it must be confined also and maybe it must be chained. There is a right way to chain a dog. Humanely. Consider.
A Runner. Easy. Cheap. Tie from one tree (or post) to another, as far as feasibly possible. Maybe 50'. A ring on his lead will allow easy slippage for him to move about freely. This slippage will not strangle him and he also has a house to escape during a storm or the cold. In other words he can comfortably lay down and it is high enough to allow him to easily go under it, even with raised head. Watch him. Help him. (And don't use a choker type collar). He will get use to it and it will give somewhat to his pull. But mostly, he can run if he needs to, walk, lay down, sleep, whatever until you get home to exercise yourself...and him.
Okay, so you can afford fencing. This is ideal. He is free (somewhat)or at least he thinks he is and he can interact with his humans. He can easily be fed and watered at will, because his fenced area, also includes your back (or side or front) door. Call fence companies and compare prices and types of fencing. But remember, it must be high enough to dissuade a jumping or determined dog from going over. If you have a digger, then the fence company will need to bury it in the ground somewhat to disencourage this activity.
Secondly, there's the underground fencing, with video's to show you how to train the dog from crossing the 'beeping noise' to avoid the shock if it gets too close to the edge. This can be more expensive and the transformers need power surge protectors as electrical storms will take one out in an instant. Most dogs learn quickly that the beeping noise, if not heeded to, will result in a more traumatic experience. Some even have devices that if a dog is running, as to go after a squirrel, it will get louder and heavier shock notifications...ex. beagles, by nature, are hunters. It's just their instinct. They can't help it.
Lastly, is the 'dog door'. I love them. I have five rescued dogs and three dog doors. One allows them to go into their part of the screened porch when the bugs are bugging them. It also allows them to be near their humans, who are often found on the other portion of the screened porch with a dog gate separating the two areas. Whereas to not crowd company. Some people are uncomfortable with dogs, can you believe it? The 2nd and 3rd dog doors are closed except in inclement weather whereas they are allowed into the house, especially the kitchen area with its vinyl flooring; which of course, is easy to clean up. I love my dogs. They are my children. But you might not allow them into your home as I do. Therefore, these dog doors can be installed into garages, or porches or sheds, especially if you have some kind of fencing around a certain area. Put up a small exercise run area, and then give them a "dog door."
What about those rodents or varmints? I have 3 dog doors and have never had that trouble...I guess with 5 dogs the wildlife is greatly discouraged, as well as any intruder or unwelcome guest, might be also.
Now, there you have some choices and some good ways to confine a loved dog without the usual cruelty associated with being chained...God forbid. Try one out and have happier pets, a guilt-free life and happier neighbors. You'll feel better about yourself for doing so and your neighbors will respect your efforts, I promise. Your talking to someone that has lived in the past with many barking, chained dogs of our closest neighbors and I almost went crazy with barking dogs for yes, eight years. Finally, they have "gotten the message". I've tried everything.
Peace and quiet is sooooo wonderful, sleep is sweeter and sounder and life, as a whole Life is Really Good.