1. What is the meaning of "chained dog"?
We use the term to describe an animal who is tied, by chain, rope, cord or whatever, to a fixed or stationary object all or most of the time. Usually the chained dog lives outside and often the chain is fastened to a doghouse or other sort of structure.
2. Why is it wrong to keep a dog on a chain?
The practice is inhumane and it is dangerous. The dog is descended from and closely related to the wolf, and like the wolf, the dog is a pack animal. This means that dogs by nature are social creatures that need to live in family groups. Interaction with its human family and other animals is vital to any dog. When kept chained in one spot 24/7, day after day, month after month, deprived of family life, the dog becomes frustrated, anxious, and eventually neurotic. Tied by the neck, he is unable to defend his family or himself. He is subject to teasing and other abuse from children or cruel people. Often the dog's neck grows raw from improperly fitted collars and constant straining against the chain.
3. What does the law say about chaining dogs?
The New Brunswick SPCA Act requires dog owners to provide adequate food, water, shelter and care. There is no law against chaining in New Brunswick. SPCA inspectors and other animal protection workers called to investigate a chained dog cannot make its owner bring the animal into the home or even put it in a pen. They can only try to convince the dog's owner that chaining is cruel and potentially dangerous.
4. If there is no law banning the chain, what can I do to help a tied dog?
If you are concerned about a dog you see in somebody else's yard, there are things you can do to improve the life of that dog. Observe the animal carefully. If it is thin, or without water, if it is matted or infested with fleas, if it looks sick or if it lacks a proper dog house, this may be a case where the SPCA can act.
UnchainYourDog.org offers some practical suggestions for what you might say when you speak to the dog's owners:If the owner is receptive, you have made a start on helping the dog. Visit the dog as often as you can without being a nuisance. Find out why the dog is chained. It may be a problem you can help with, financially or in some practical way. If the dog is not "fixed" and runs off whenever it can or if it habitually escapes from a fence, a spay or neuter or an improved fence will help. If the dog is chained because the owners don't want or care about it, you can offer to find it another home or to buy it from them. (If you feel they will take your money and get another dog to chain, then obviously this approach is pointless.)
Many dogs have had their lives gradually changed and many others have eventually gone to good and loving homes because someone like you cared enough to intervene. See for example the stories ofGus, Cuddles and Maggie at UnchainYourDog.org. NOTE: The New Brunswick SPCA is not responsible for the content provided within the website above. If you find questionable content or have questions regarding their website, please contact their web department.
5. Can a "chained" dog learn to be a good house dog?
Dogs are like children. They need exercise, discipline and love. And like children, dogs don't know how to behave until they are taught.