In the olden days of dog ownership, when we were kids, it was pretty common to tether your dog. While our yard had no fence, we did have a massive screw-contraption with a big triangle on top. The idea was you screwed it into the ground and attached your dog’s leash to the top.
We hope that the description was needed, because tethers should be a relic of the past. We suppose there are a few valid uses yet, if you’re out in the woods camping, perhaps. Other than that? Not a good idea, and not safe for your dog.
The topic came up this week when we saw a post on a social media dog group asking for advice on how to kick their dog out of the bed at night now that they have a human baby.
This is the kind of post that we usually just shake our heads at, and try to convince ourselves that the future trouble this person will have is none of our business. What made us stop and respond was a reply that said, in essence, she dealt with the same situation by tethering her dog to an eyebolt in the floor. By his collar.
Couldn’t let it go
We tried, we really tried to let it go. But we just couldn’t keep quiet.
If you feel you must tether your dog, please use a harness and not a collar. Imagine the damage to the dog’s neck, throat, and back if he’s bouncing around and comes to an abrupt stop at the end of the tether.
Think about the possible dangers to the dog with a tether. If the household is asleep and the dog rolls over, or gets tangled in the tether somehow. It could cut off circulation to a leg. Or it could be around his/her neck.
Tethering is okay in one case
The only time we support tethering your dog is when you have a new puppy or dog that you’re trying to potty train. And even then the dog isn’t tethered “over there.” The leash is attached to you, so you can see the signals the dog gives when he/she has to eliminate. And if we’re too busy to actively pay attention, the puppy is in a crate.
What’s wrong with a crate?
We’ve been advocates of crate training for years, and don’t really understand the resistance some people feel. While it’s true that most crates aren’t lovely household decor, they are wonderful dog training and dog life accessories. People don’t seem to mind child-clutter in the house. What’s the problem with a crate? Guests, presumably, already know you have a dog.
If you’re going to kick your dog out of your bed, at least give him a comfy, safe place that’s all his own. That won’t pose the dangers of tethering. You can put a cozy bed in it, keep it in a quiet corner of your room, and your dog will still feel like a part of the family.
Another possible alternative is an exercise pen. A bit roomier than a crate, and can be set up anywhere.
Don’t tether your dog
We understand that some jurisdictions have actually banned tethering dogs outside. We’re all in favor. If you can’t pay attention to your dog for hours at a time, and don’t want him/her inside with you, don’t have one. Dog ownership is a responsibility we choose. Nobody “has to” have a dog. Why get one and ignore it? It makes no sense to us.