Question for you: Would you leave your toddler tied up outside a shop? Universal answer: “No!”
We’ve read the papers, we’ve heard the news: horrific stories of child abduction and murder. Most parents won’t take their eyes off their children, and with good reason.
Why is your dog different? Do you not care what may befall him?
There are five big reasons why you should never leave your dog tied up.
1. He Can Be Stolen
Sadly, this happens all too often. Dogs can be snaffled from gardens. How much easier to take one who already has a handy lead on? The cuter and more expensive-looking the dog, the more likely this is to happen, though any old pet dog can be taken to be used as bait in dogfights. This doesn’t bear thinking about. This reason alone is enough to make most people reconsider the idea. People say to me, “But I’m only in the shop – I’ll keep an eye on him.” Ok. In that case leave your purse out there on the pavement and keep an eye on it. Uncomfortable about that? Or you may think as you live in a peaceful rural community it’s safe. Guess what? People have cars. Ne’er-do-wells can travel great distances very quickly. In. Out. Dog gone.
2. Never Tie a Puppy Anywhere
Puppies are accidents waiting to happen. Tie them up on a lead, whether short or long, and you may expect twisted or even broken limbs. Or a throttled puppy. Once a pup gets tangled he can easily panic and get himself into all sorts of trouble.
3. You Can’t Defend Him From Inappropriate Approaches
If you’re not there, you can’t protect him. Kindly people may try and smother him with unwanted affection, or feed him inappropriate food. Teens showing off may taunt your defenceless dog. A small child may come and poke or prod him, or wrap themselves around him. Your super-friendly dog will be doing all sorts of things you don’t want – like jumping up on people, mugging their hands or pockets, grabbing their sleeve. Your normally-adjusted or fearful dog, however, is going to be stuck. He has no way to tell them if he doesn’t like these approaches (if they’re behaving this badly they probably know very little about dogs, and nothing about dog body language). He may curl his lip – and get told off into the bargain – he may growl, or…
4. He May Bite
If he’s tried moving away (impossible because you tied him up), pulling a grumpy face, mumbling, growling, and none of these things has worked to make the person go away and leave him alone, he has only one way left – a snap or bite. If this should happen, you now have two major problems:
- a) Your dog has learnt that snapping or biting gets people away from him, fast. Now he can skip the growling and move to that option sooner in future.
- b) The person who started all the trouble is complaining loudly, threatening to sue, threatening to have your dog put down.
And what can you say? You weren’t there. You didn’t see what happened.
5. It Causes Anxiety
I have never seen a relaxed dog tied up outside a shop. They are always scanning and anxious. They are stuck on a cold, wet pavement, or perhaps a hot pavement with the sun beating down on them. They may be tied to the shopping trolley railing and have to put up with the clattering and banging of trolleys being taken and returned. They are often panting from stress, they are usually staring intently at the shop door, desperate to know where their person – their guardian and protector – has gone. I know enough to keep away from them and leave them in peace, but others think it would be kind to soothe them – or they just haven’t noticed the dog’s distress and think it’s there to provide a bit of doggy entertainment in their day. So the dog is subjected to uninvited greetings, which will interfere with him staring at the last place they saw their owner – piling on the stress.
Each one of these five reasons should be enough on its own to stop you ever thinking of leaving your dog tied outside a shop. If even one of them has given you pause, I hope that you’ll never be persuaded to do this.
To learn more about doing the best for our pet dogs, visit www.brilliantfamilydog.com where you’ll find free email courses to help you.
Beverley Courtney, author of the popular Essential Skills for a Brilliant Family Dog series of books, lives in Worcestershire with her four dogs, cat, hens and many tropical fish. She works with puppies and “growly” dogs, always looking to build the bond between dog and owner. Choose your free step-by-step email course to changing the things you don’t like about your dog to the things you do like. And look out for the new series of books, Essential Skills for your Growly but Brilliant Family Dog
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