Far too many German Shepherds live their lives on the end of a chain.
Pictured is Joshua, a one- to two-year-old male German Shepherd I rescued from the side of a busy highway with a logging chain literally bolted to his heavy-duty collar. Whatever attempt his previous owner made to keep him at home failed, thankfully. He was later adopted by a family of four, who lets him sleep on the bed and plays basketball with him!
If you know of a dog, any dog, that spends its life anchored on a chain, Karen Pryor has put together an excellent guide to getting involved in the situation and improving conditions for the dog. This is worth making a New Year’s resolution to do.
If direct intervention in a chained dog’s life isn’t possible, you can join a number of national campaigns to end the chaining of dogs, including UnchainYourDog.org and DogsDeserveBetter.org. The Humane Society of the United States also offers a number of tips and resources for those looking to end the chaining of dogs.
Chaining a German Shepherd isn’t just inhumane, it’s downright dangerous. Dogs who are chained or tethered are more likely to hang themselves or become targets for thieves, bullies or other animals.
What’s worse, a 2000 study published in the Sept. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association noted that 17 percent of dogs involved in fatal attacks on humans between 1979 and 1998 were chained at the time of the incident. Chained dogs are more likely to develop aggressive behavior because they are unable to communicate normally and therefore become frustrated or over-aroused. The victims of such aggression are usually children, who wander unwittingly into the dogs’ path.
Furthermore, a German Shepherd is bred to be a working companion and therefore must be raised indoors as a member of the family to develop its full breed potential. Unsupervised German Shepherds are at risk for developing aggressive behavior and becoming further subjected to unfair breed-specific legislation.
For the sake of dogs everywhere, let’s bring them inside!