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Discussion Starter #1
Would you agree? Those jumping up and down screaming E-collars, prong collars, choke chains, even martingales are cruel, obviously believe they have a brain. How a tool, or an inanimate object is used on a dog, is up to the human, and used properly, nothing is cruel about it. Do you agree?

So why do so many think chains, when used properly, are cruel?
By properly, I mean the dog's chain spot is clean, has access the food and water as well as good shelter, the chain is not too heavy (1/8 of the dog's weight is recommended) and gets exercised and worked. How are chains wrong? I hear people say it affects their brains, it build up frustration, what tests have been done to prove this?

I, as most everyone knows, and very into bulldogs. The reason many people who own them for working, showing, weight pulling and other activities use chains is safety. Many places you cannot have a fence tall enough to contain these dogs, mine is one, our fence can't be over 5' for legal reasons... And unless you seriously set it up (concrete bottom, no digging, and long inward slanting top, reinforced fencing) you can have an accident. People who have six, eight, ten, fifteen dogs for various reasons can't have them all in, and many times they don't even get along.

Here are a few instances, with the owner telling them to, but would be the same if something they REALLY wanted was on the other side:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98-Q2TnGd5M
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtYz7EHpvxchttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phZjmSK989k&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEjOdQlp_t0&feature=related

Warning, no skills with a camera in this one..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQFuoACzgG4



I hope my point is getting across. Chains are a tool, and used right there is nothing wrong with them, and they are safer than a normal fence. And how would a chain cause barrier frustration but a fence would not? I have never seen proof of a properly kept (chained) dog being aggressive, or unfriendly in the least. Now, a dog kept out 24/7, little human contact, only kept chained because they don't want a dog in the house ect., that could get weird... Though I have posted her before about a pit bull type dog I rescued and cared for who'd been on a short chain for ten years, minimal contact, and abused and beaten, who was a true sweetheart.

I'm not trying to rile people up, what I would like is for you guys to discuss what's wrong about properly using a chain setup, with food, water, housing, off chain exercise and interaction and socializing, one who is worked, and had a proper sized chain... but a 8' 60lb monster.
 

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My uncle had hunting dogs. At one point he had six. None stayed in the house. They were either in a pen or tied up.

Well trained, socialized, well kept dogs. They had to be to go hunting every weekend.

While I prefer my dogs inside, its not the end of the world if a dog is left out side, so long as its still taken care of properly.

Its when people put the dog out and leave it out, and the only contact the dog gets is feeding time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Angel: Did you read my whole posting? When you have quite a few dogs for showing, sports, ect. you cannot house them all inside with you, nor will they all get along. The people I know using outdoor kennels or chain setups work their dogs, the show them, they use them in weight pull, agility, dock diving, SchH, flyball, tracking, hunting ect.

I've seen reputable GSD kennels who use kennels for their dogs.. Selzer uses kennels. Is she mean? My adult female lives outside because she chooses to, we force her in at night because of her age but she would happily sit on the porch and watch the world go by until she turned to dust.

I have seen no proof that shows dogs are less healthy, mentally stimulated, or happy when properly housed outdoors and have proper interactions and mental exercise... Though this is not to discuss outside VS inside, we already had a thread on that. The point it chaining... you can't say a standard outdoor kennel is strong enough for a determined bulldog either. My 13 year old GSD had to be kenneled once, and during a storm he tore a hole big enough to get out of in the side of the reinforce chain link.
 

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I can absolutely see what you are saying about the chain. If anna is out and I have to go in for a phone call or one of the kids, I will go ahead and chain her. She isnt there long, she is safe, it is appropriate for her. Even if we had a fence, I would so the same thing, would hate to see her slip under or over the fence or a mistake made with a gate. This just goes to make sure that she is safe no matter what.
 

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Originally Posted By: Angel RWhy get a dog if your just gunna leave it outside?
Some dogs prefer the outdoors.

I once had a cocker that detested being inside for more than 5 minutes. On bitter cold nights we made him stay in the house and he was miserable. He had a nice dog house outside and 24/7 access (doggy door) to the basement/garage which was cool in the summer and warm in the winter (he had a comfortable sleeping area in there too).

When I first got Mac he didn't want to stay in the house at night, it was something I had to train him to do since I'm not set up to have an outdoor dog. He finally learned that sleeping in the house is really a wonderful experience but it took a few months for him to get the idea. He was fine in the house during the day.
 

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Well, for one, a chain in the backyard only allows the dog to move so much freely. Depending on where you live...some kind of predator has a HUGE advantage over your dog being on a chain. Even a lose dog in the neighborhood can be a huge risk. Dog gets a hind leg wrapped on a chain as it's getting attacked..well...not sure the outcome will be good for your dog. At least a fence discourages the OTHERs from coming into your yard, and generally will give the dog more space for a fight or flight reaction, even if it's just within the fenced area.

There is also the tease factor. If there is some kind of prey your dog wants...either taunting or just walking by, the chances of your dog getting hurt while attached to one end of the chain verses being behind some kind of fence is much greater (repeatedly running to end of chain and getting snapped, etc).

You're right...the tool itself is not cruel. But what can happen if the dog is left unsupervised is. OK...you don't have a fenced yard and your dog wants to play with a ball for a few minutes in the backyard while you're making dinner and watching out a window. That's one thing. But leaving the dog overnight or all day while you're at work? Heck no!
 

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Originally Posted By: Arycrest
Originally Posted By: Angel RWhy get a dog if your just gunna leave it outside?
Some dogs prefer the outdoors.

I once had a cocker that detested being inside for more than 5 minutes. On bitter cold nights we made him stay in the house and he was miserable. He had a nice dog house outside and 24/7 access (doggy door) to the basement/garage which was cool in the summer and warm in the winter (he had a comfortable sleeping area in there too).

When I first got Mac he didn't want to stay in the house at night, it was something I had to train him to do since I'm not set up to have an outdoor dog. He finally learned that sleeping in the house is really a wonderful experience but it took a few months for him to get the idea. He was fine in the house during the day.

Well I mean some people just get dogs & NEVER let them come in.
I know alot of dogs who LOVE to be outside too, but I wouldnt MAKE them go out, you know??
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Here are a couple of threads to read on how to make a proper chain set up, the correct chain doesn't tangle, and if a dog could get it's leg stuck in the right size chain, he's got a tricky thing going on... Also, most DO have a fence around their property to keep other animals out, as well as humans.
http://www.pitbull-chat.com/showthread.php?t=7079
http://www.pitbull-chat.com/showthread.php?t=13334

How much more freely could a dog move if it's penned/fence? Chains aren't always short. They range from 10'(giving 20' of room) to 20' to 30', give 40' to 60' of room.

And many of the bulldog owners who do have chain setups, those who aren't in the middle of nowhere, take their dogs in a crate them all over the house when they're gone or at night, because people can steal them.

This IS an interesting debate, and I hope it can continue in a nice way.

It's taunting when prey/people/dogs walk by a fence too, and more dangerous IMO. A dog can get over a fence, get toes/teeth stuck in a fence, I've seen a dog try to scale a 6' chain link to go after a dog, got his back foot stuck and fell backwards, snapping the bones in the foot.

By getting snapped, do you mean it's neck, or the chain? With the proper chain and all of the proper things added on, a good strong collar is more likely to fail. A man on my other forum said the only time he's had a chain se up fail in many years was something on the brand new collar was faulty and snapped.
 

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I agree that a chain in and of itself is not cruel. Dogs learn to live on a chain with little difficulty, especially if they have never been inside.

My dogs are kenneled outside because I feel it is safer than chaining, and less cruel than crating them for hours on end.

My dogs are brought in at night and fed and sleep in my house -- all of them. But they are crated. Only one is left loose at any given time, save the puppies and Milla who have indoor outdoor access and the puppies are kenneled together.

Sometimes when it is warm, I let them spend a night or two outside, especially if I have a litter of puppies. They really do not mind it at all.

For one thing, they are not all alone, bored in a yard. There are other dogs and it makes a huge difference.

I think that some tools are tools and some tools are designed to be cruel, but others just make it easy for people to use them cruelly.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for posting, Selz


I think the chances of injury on a well setup chain spot are very slim. For instance, they have no access to a fence or tree/doghouse they can tangle on, the dog house should be right at the edge of their reach so the can get in it all the way but not around it.

I personally like my dogs in the house, I plan on fixing Jaeger a chain spot in the back because our fence is so short, and so he can be out without me, where he can't reach anything to hang himself on.
 

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WOW, I am so glad this came up, what a great discussion and I am thrilled to know that I am not a bad pet owner because I sometimes chain her up. If she had it her way, she would remain outside. She sits and wines at the door all day long, I take her out and you would think she was going to the vets office or something when its time to come in. She will sit and not move, reminds me of a donkey sitting down. I think that with good intent, no matter what the tool is, it can be successful, with malice, anything can be used for cruelty, including crates (leaving them in there all the day long except to potty)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
We have to drag the old one in at night. She sits and stares at the door. Afraid she might miss something hehe her and the old female dog across the street sit on their porches and woof at each other. Old ladies gossiping we say..
 

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Originally Posted By: APBTLove I hear people say it affects their brains, it build up frustration, what tests have been done to prove this?
Read the book "Fatal Dog Attacks" by Karen Delise. She did extensive research and came to the conclusion that the majority of fatal dog attacks involved dogs that spent at least a majority of their time on a chain or other form of tie-out (if not ALL their time).

Although I am sure there are people who use a chain or other tie-out responsibly, meaning that they make sure the dog is well socialized, well exercised and well trained DESPITE keeping the dog in such conditions, it has been my experience in dealing with people and their dogs that most DON'T do it responsibly and the dog's mind is fried to a certain extent because of it. That constant state of agitation and frustration takes a toll eventually.
Sheilah
 

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Ok, well I don't agree. But if the shoe pinches...?

I'm not addressing anyone in particular, not even those who have posted on this thread. I'm talking about folks for whom their animals are a more objects than viable creatures.

Dogs are living beings and not meant to be chained or crated for the greater part of their waking lives.

Imagine caging or tethering a human being.. and yes, I'm aware that dogs are not human and I'm not anthropomorphizing them.

But they do have limbs that need exercising, minds that need expanding, instincts that beg to be followed and, I believe, 'hearts' that deserve to be warmed. And some freedom just to be free - don't all living things need that?

And, being pack animals, they certainly need interaction with other living creatures.

In particular, German Shepherds were bred to live in the open, guarding (that assumes they were making choices about threats and following instincts to protect ) a herd.. there were no fences, much less crates or chains in the days these dogs were conceived. In fact, had there been fences, they would not have been bred to be what they are. Not all herders are called on to protect.

Ability, agility, intelligence, strength were purposely blended to make the dog that has shown such a facility to excel in many forums.

Because man can use dogs for his own purposes, doesn't IMHO, make every purpose nobel or even acceptable.

The older I get, the more I wonder what motivates people to collect creatures for the pride of ownership alone? Especially these GSDs who were bred to work so closely with man.

How many dogs can one compete with? At what point or number does the individual dog get shorted. -- and when does it cease to enrich the life of the dog?

How many are discarded because they disappoint?

A few dogs that excel with a committed handler, or dogs that work according to their talents, or pets that are trained and housed and part of a family pack, I heartily agree with. Dog that are trained to help and work with their humans have purpose and meaning in their lives - and of necessity are well cared for.

But even breeders who house their dogs like specimen in boxes (what part of bettering the breed is that ?) and competitors that go through dog after dog until they find 'the one' that brings them titles - what does that do to better the individual dog?

I mean, really, what would the creatures who are crated and chained for the sole purpose of making their owners feel pride of ownership, what would those creatures say about the quality of their lives.

What is the saying?? "First do no harm."

Feel better, got that off my chest.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Nice post Anne.



My bulldog forum also had this debate.
http://www.pitbull-chat.com/showthread.php?t=930&highlight=chaining



Dogs cannot roam free as they wish to. It's illegal and dangerous in many places. So if you go by saying it's cruel to keep dogs confined... We ought to listen to Peta and kill all of our companion dogs. Even a dog who goes in and out of the house is confined, it can't go out and run when it wants, it can't go down the road and breed a bitch in heat, they can't leave their fenced yard because there is a dog trespassing on their street. In many cases it's crate/rotate or chain spots. I for one say a chain spot is kinder than crate and rotate, even though the dogs don't seem to mind the crate/rotate after they fall into the routine.. They also get more exercise on a chain spot, they can move freely.

I know many things like this aren't right, but dogs have been tethered since they were domesticated.

I personally don't know anyone who chains their dogs, and is involved in sports, who would discard one because it didn't perform, they'd retire it and let him live his days out as a loved and well cared for pet. A few people who have numerous dogs on chain spots have rescue dogs who get to live out their life. Better than dead at the shelter dump.

Sit, Stay. Can you link some of this researching she did? How did she do it? Track down every mankiller and drill his owners about it's living situations? I really cannot afford a book for leisurely reading...

I have never met a well maintained dog off a chain spot who had temperament issues. And the one dog I met who lived to be a senior being beaten and neglected on a short, tangled chain was a love to be around.

What do you guys who work do? Do you bring your dog(s) with you? It's not possible, and the responsible thing to do is separate them when you are not there, so the dogs spend hours every day alone. Lets face it, it is a RARE dog who lives like a DOG should, in a pack 24/7, outdoors eating animals and scavenging. No matter what, dogs are going to have their instincts suppressed while in human hands.

Thank you guys for keeping this civil!
 

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Originally Posted By: APBTLove So if you go by saying it's cruel to keep dogs confined
As you extrapolated, 'confined' can be stretched - we are confined in our universe. Won't beg the difference, but any space that disallows a dog to take less than a few paces is confined and hinders the ability to exercise.

Likewise, confined for a part of the day or night is one thing, but all day everyday? That is a lot.

Originally Posted By: APBTLoveI know many things like this aren't right, but dogs have been tethered since they were domesticated.
Dogs have been in the company of man since the cave.. there are pictures etched on the walls. So it's a debate whether they were 'domesticated' or if man and dog relied on each other.

Originally Posted By: APBTLove who would discard one because it didn't perform, they'd retire it and let him live his days out as a loved and well cared for pet.
Would that that were so.
If you rescue, you know that dogs disappoint.

Originally Posted By: APBTLovel have rescue dogs who get to live out their life. Better than dead at the shelter dump.
Thank you for your work and dedication, but you make my point.

Many pups start out in a home or with a person who just doesn't appreciate the dog or doesn't know how to have a dog or just willy nilly changes their address or mind.

It's not a perfect world, but if more looked at owning a dog as a privilege and a responsibility and not as a right or entertainment, perhaps the numbers left to forage would be few.

Originally Posted By: APBTLoveWhat do you guys who work do? Do you bring your dog(s) with you? It's not possible
Again, to my point.

Not a popular concept, but just wanting a dog isn't enough. If more considered the needs of the dog, there would be fewer brought into homes that don't work out.

And we all know of situations where dogs are bought and loved as pups but live out their lives alone in a backyard with little or no attention.

Originally Posted By: APBTLoveThank you guys for keeping this civil!
I agree
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Originally Posted By: zyp

Originally Posted By: APBTLovel have rescue dogs who get to live out their life. Better than dead at the shelter dump.
Thank you for your work and dedication, but you make my point.
I think you made a mistake, I didn't say in my post I had rescued, and chained dogs...

Quote:
Would that that were so.
If you rescue, you know that dogs disappoint.
Could you elaborate on this statement, please?

Again, thanks, this is an interesting subject that I haven't seen broached here.
 
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