Ok, I've been seeing a lot of anti-tethering laws popping up in places here lately. And all I have to say is ARE THESE PEOPLE NUTS? Please let me explain my position on it.
Take me, for instance. I am a sweet, obedient dog that loves to spend time outdoors in our back yard. However, I am also an escape artist that likes to chase cats and squirrels. My mum has a hard time keeping me in the fence when I see something that I want bad enough. First, she tried electric cattle wire on the fence to keep me from climbing over or digging under. Didn't work. So next she tried a remote-controlled electronic collar device on me. It worked for a while, but then I decided that it no longer phased me either. Those squirrels are just waay too tempting.
So the only other option to keeping me SAFE and SECURE in our back yard was to put me on a chain. I am too strong for cable ties or small wimpy chains, so Mum had to get a tad heavier chain to put me on to keep me out of trouble. I don't mind it at all. It's not too heavy, I can move around easily on it, I can even jump 4 feet in the air from a stand-still while wearing it. And it's 21-feet long which is more than enough area for me. Mum doesn't leave me on it when she's not at home, only when she is there to keep an eye on me so I can enjoy my time outside. I love it. Before, I could never just be left to hang out in the backyard, but now I get to enjoy tons of outdoor time.
So, you say, why not just construct a pen for me or get a taller fence? Well, just a taller fence won't keep me in for long. I can climb, you know. And even if you bury the fence down a ways into the ground, I can dig under it eventually. I am crafty about hiding my holes behind bushes.
And to keep me in a pen would mean a concrete floor to keep me from escaping. Who wants to lay on hard concrete? It's not good for my joints. Plus, I would have a more limited view, not as much square footage of enjoyable space, and I can't just come up to Mum or Dad for a petting session. Plus, pens aren't totally escape-proof either. There are some dogs who have been known to chew through chain-link.
Chaining, when done correctly, is a much more humane and safe way to keep your beloved dog secure in your yard. He is much more comfortable, feels more free, and has much more room than he would in a kennel/pen.
Still don't believe me? Well guess what? Numbers don't lie. Here are some numbers of living space square footage of a kennel versus a chain:
6' X 10' pen = 60 square feet of living space
10' X 10' pen = 100 square feet of living space
10' X 12' pen = 120 square feet of living space
Chain (on a central axis)
6' of chain = 113 square feet of living space
10' of chain = 314 square feet of living space
15' of chain = 706 square feet of living space
Not to mention, a pen makes a dog feel more closed in and separated from his family. A dog on a chain has free access to the things in his environment, such as his family and friends. A dog in a pen, if he is an escape artist, has to lie on concrete. A dog on a chain has nice soft earth and grass to lie in and dig around in.
And the argument that a 1/4" to 3/8" inch chain is too heavy for a dog like me, well that's plain silly. Yes, the whole 21 feet of my chain may weigh about half my body weight, but I'm not toting the whole damn thing on top of me either, am I? The only part of the chain that I have to "pick up" is the 2 - 3 feet closest to my collar. And that's only a couple pounds if that. The ground supports the rest of the chain's weight. And I obviously have no problem jumping around and running on it. I do it every day.
So as you can see, anti-tethering laws are for un-knowledgeable animal rights crazies that have never put any time and thought into what they are lobbying against. Would they rather a dog like me, a "pit bull" be able to continuously escape endangering both my self and other neighborhood animals and possibly leading to a news headline that would feed BSL? Or would they rather me be happy and healthy in my own back yard enjoying myself comfortably with my family? The answer seems simple to me.
Now, all that said, I do believe there should be restrictions imposed on tethering. Obviously, you will have morons that think it's cool to put a huge-ass yatching chain on their poor "pit bull". Or people who think it's ok to keep their dog on a 3-foot chain living in his own feces. Those people are idiots. Just like anything else, there is a correct way and a whole bunch of incorrect ways to do it properly. I will cover this some other time.
But for law-makers to completely abolish the right to keep your animal safe on an appropriate tie-out/chain is insane and unhealthy for both the dogs and the community they live in.