Author: Joanne Rosser
Last Updated: May 3, 2020
Tethering and chaining relates to the action of securing a dog to a stationary item and leaving them unattended. We define tethering as the fastening of a dog to an anchor spot to restrain it to a desired section. Chaining relates to dogs being tied up using thick chains. Tethering should not be mistaken with short term tying up or dog being led on a leash or under guidance during training.
A tether is a temporary training device that can be used to reduce behavior issues. It can also be used to deal with existing behavior problems. A tether should solely be utilized when you are present and can keep an eye on your dog. Never EVER leave a dog tethered when you’re not home!
Why Some Dog Owners Might Use A Tether
If you are busy, you can place your dog on a tether so they can be with you but can’t roam off and sink their teeth into something. Find your dog a toy packed with treats and remember to reward them when they are relaxed and calm.
Dogs don’t make their business in the space they have to remain in. This is when a tether can be helpful between going outdoors for more disciplined house-training.
Every evening while viewing TV or winding down, you can tether your dog to teach them to settle. This teaches them to calm down while you are trying to unwind. You can tether your dog near you, even to the chair you are resting in, for example. When your dog stops tugging on the tether and nags you for attention or a game, offer them a treat or praise. Using a tether will demonstrate that your dog can be with you without being the main focus.
Jumping On Guests
If your dog regularly bounces up on guests, you can place them on a tether before the visitors show up. After your dog is settled and everybody has greeted each other, release your dog to greet everyone.
If your dog keeps following you around the house, try using a tether to encourage them to not rely on you all the time. Disappear for brief periods starting with seconds and working up to minutes. Make sure you don’t make a big fuss of leaving or coming back!
Escaping Out The Door
If your dog tries to slip away through the door the second someone leaves, you can practice using a temporary tether to keep them from escaping.
Begging At Dinner
Try putting your dog on a temporary tether while you are eating dinner to cut out any begging behavior or extra drooling!
If one dog torments the other dog, you can briefly tether the naughty trouble maker! This is generally when a new puppy constantly harasses an older dog for play time. By tethering the younger pup for a limited time you can train them to settle down when feeling hyperactive.
Why You Should Never Leave Your Dog Tied Up
Dogs should never be tethered or tied up for long periods of time or when you’re not around to keep an eye out for them.
Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t tether your dog:
- Dogs cannot escape a threatening disaster situation – think tornadoes or flooding!
- Dogs can develop serious neck and body injuries from tethers
- Dogs with no access to shade or water on hot days can die from heatstroke
- Dogs can become twisted up in tethers and hurt themselves
- Dogs are vulnerable to assault from other pets or wild animals
- Dogs tethered excessively can develop extreme behavioral issues like aggression
- Dogs are isolated and removed from their owners which can exaggerate anxiety prone dogs
- Dogs on a short tether are unable to obtain a sufficient amount of exercise
- Dogs may be unable to access enough food and water
But My Dog Will Escape! What Should I Do?
Tethers are not designed to be a solution for escaping dogs. Think about why your dog is escaping. Are they bored and seeking some excitement or are they displaying more severe behavioral issues? Get to the bottom of why your dog keeps escaping and train your dog to deter this kind of behavior in the future. A tether is definitely not a long-term solution!
While a dog should never be tethered for long periods of time, some people choose to tether their dogs for specific training purposes.
Instead of resorting to a tether anytime your dog starts acting out, have a think about what is causing their bad behavior. Have a chat with your local veterinarian or dog training school if your dog’s behavior is becoming an issue.
Have you used a tether to train and improve your dog’s behavior? Please leave a comment below if this has worked for you and your dog.