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The Animal Welfare Alliance (AWA)
of Southeast Missouri

The Dangers of Dogs on Chains

Dogs on Chains

Author: Sharon Kay

Chaining has been a socially acceptable method of restraining dogs for hundreds of years in the United States. This practice of restraint has proven dangerous for not only the chained dogs but humans, other dogs, and animals that come in contact with the dog.

There are several reasons why chaining is dangerous to the dog.The chained dog can be injured by attacks from other dogs or animals because he is unable to escape. Collars often become embedded in a dog's neck due to lack of attention and improper fit. The dog can also receive injuries by becoming tangled in his own chain.

Chained dogs often die from exposure to the elements. Many times they do not have proper shelter to protect them from the heat and cold.Their minimal water supply is often spilled as they pace at the length of their chain. Heat stroke and hypothermia are often the cause of death for these dogs.

Increased aggression is common in chained dogs. This aggression is caused by the dog becoming protective of his territory; mental instability caused by the dog's perception of teasing as humans and other animals walk within his sight but outside of his reach; and lack of socialization.

All dogs are instinctively pack animals. When a dog is left on a chain, he is not able to be part of his pack or family. Dogs need to be allowed to socialize with humans in order to be happy, healthy, and safe pets.

Dog attacks often occur when an unsuspecting child gets too close to a chained dog. The dog lunges in excitement or aggression causing serious injury or even death to the victim.

Approximately 25 communities in states including Arkansas, Arizona, North Carolina, and Kentucky have passed laws prohibiting or limiting the act of chaining dogs.

The ideal alternative to chaining is allowing the dog to live in the house with his family.In cases where this is not an option, keeping the dog in a kennel of adequate size with proper shelter is the next best alternative. Another option is to place the dog on a pulley system which allows him to move more freely without becoming tangled. Until all dogs are unchained, they need the help of concerned citizens to protect them from injury, neglect, and possible death.

For more information about the dangers of chaining dogs, safe alternatives, and ways you can help, visit

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