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Barbara J. Andrews, Science Editor, SAAB Member


There are many reasons to tether your dog but not ONE reason to tie up a dog for more than a few minutes and tying him where you can't see him is unforgivable.


Suppose you are walking your dog and an elderly neighbor asks you to help her carry a chair up the front steps. You see a young girl trying to cross a busy street by herself. You are at training class and someone with an unruly dog asks you to show her how to correct the dog’s behavior. You carefully tie his leash to an immoveable object (fence, tree, power pole) within eyesight.


You do NOT sit down to tea with the neighbor. You do NOT walk the child around the corner or up the stairs. You do NOT get distracted with another owner and lose sight and awareness of your dog at training class.


In other words, you never tie your dog anywhere at any time he would be out of your line of sight. If you can’t watch him, don’t tether him.


Your puppy has grown and gotten out over the fence but he needs to “go” just as your cell phone rings. You tie him to the tree and run inside to get the information they need… As you hang up, the front doorbell rings. It’s the night nurse who takes care of your mother. She needs to talk to you and anxiously, you invite her in.


It happens. And what also happens is that the dog gets tangled in the leash, panics, injures himself. Or worse. Dogs have strangled to death when tied.


Or you’ve moved and they haven’t installed the yard fencing yet. Buy or rent a portable chain link enclosure. Can’t afford that? Then buy a folding “exercise pen” adequate for your dog’s size and secure it to the ground, a tree, or a building.



The safest way to let him exercise, empty bowels and bladder (go potty) and soak up the sunshine so vital to his health is an overhead “trolley” line. He won’t like it but he will learn how to maneuver with it and finally, he or she will “do the job”.


Give your dog plenty of time but do not leave him in hot sun or freezing temperatures!


Females will usually empty their bladder in one squat but male dogs are programmed to “spread the word” and therefore they need to urinate several times. His instinct is to lift his leg on objects that define his territory. When confined to a kennel run he is emotionally handicapped! Oh, he’ll urinate but you should hope he accepts his biologically inappropriate circumstances before he develops a bladder infection.


TIP: Call a painter and offer to buy or go to the local building supply store and purchase an empty 5 gallon paint bucket. Place the bucket upside down at one end the enclosure and a similar “pee post” at the other end. It can be any kind of upright object, a fake tree (staked or weighted down) or something more decorative as long as it is weatherproof.


It is not foolproof which is why you should watch him. If you are unable to walk him and need to use a trolley line or some other kind of tethering device, enjoy a cup of tea or a soft drink but stay out there where you can watch your dog!

EST 1998 Copyright © Jan 2019 2109



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