HOW TO CONTAIN YOUR BORDER COLLIE
Many Border Collie owners are trying to figure out how
to contain their dog when they leave them alone, especially if they have
some separation anxiety or are prone to jumping fences. There are
many ways to do this. The safest method of course is crating your
dog when you're gone if your dog is not reliable enough to stay loose in
your home. Dogs generally love their crates, it's their cave.
There are many articles on the Internet about crate training. All
of the rescue dogs in our organization are crate trained in their foster
homes. Following through with this training in their new home is
highly recommended. You never know when your dog will need to be
crated. When they go to the vet and have to stay in the hospital
for treatment, they are generally placed in a stainless steel cage or
run. If your dog isn't used to being in a crate, it can be extra
traumatic for them and difficult for the veterinary staff. If you
have to board your dog for an emergency situation, it is always helpful
if they are used to being crated.
Another alternative when you have to leave your dog
alone and you want them to be outside, is a kennel (wire at least 6' x
8', preferably bigger.) For fence jumpers, a roof can be placed on
top to prevent escape. It is also a good idea to have a concrete
floor to prevent digging under the kennel. For a quick flooring,
you can use pavers, found at most home improvement centers. They
are 12"x12", easy to install and heavy enough to stay where you put
them. This makes the pen area very easy to keep clean and
One method of containment is NOT
acceptable, that is chaining or tethering your dog. It is not safe
to tether your dog in any instance! In fact, it is against the law
as of 2006. Please read below for more information.
Health and Safety Code, Division 105, Part 6
Chapter 8. Dog Tethering
(b) No person shall tether, fasten, chain, tie, or restrain a dog, or
cause a dog to be tethered, fastened, chained, tied, or restrained, to a
dog house, tree, fence, or any other stationary object.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), a person may do any of the
following in accordance with Section 597t of the Penal Code:
(1) Attach a dog to a running line, pulley, or trolley system. A dog
shall not be tethered to the running line, pulley, or trolley system by
means of a choke collar or pinch collar.
(2) Tether, fasten, chain, tie, or otherwise restrain a dog pursuant to
the requirements of a camping or recreational area.
(3) Tether, fasten, chain, or tie a dog no longer than is necessary for
the person to complete a temporary task that requires the dog to be
restrained for a reasonable period.
(4) Tether, fasten, chain, or tie a dog while engaged in, or actively
training for, an activity that is conducted pursuant to a valid license
issued by the State of California if the activity for which the license
is issued is associated with the use or presence of a dog. Nothing in
this paragraph shall be construed to prohibit a person from restraining
a dog while participating in activities or using accommodations that are
reasonably associated with the licensed activity.
(5) Tether, fasten, chain, or tie a dog while actively engaged in any of
(A) Conduct that is directly related to the business of shepherding or
herding cattle or livestock.
(B) Conduct that is directly related to the business of cultivating
agricultural products, if the restraint is reasonably necessary
for the safety of the dog.
(d) A person who violates this chapter is guilty of an infraction or a
(1) An infraction under this chapter is punishable upon conviction by a
fine of up to two hundred fifty dollars ($250) as to each dog with
respect to which a violation occurs.
(2) A misdemeanor under this chapter is punishable upon conviction by a
fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) as to each dog with respect
to which a violation occurs, or imprisonment in a county jail for not
more than six months, or both.
(3) Notwithstanding subdivision (d), animal control may issue a
correction warning to a person who violates this chapter, requiring the
owner to correct the violation, in lieu of an infraction or misdemeanor,
unless the violation endangers the health or safety of the animal, the
animal has been wounded as a result of the violation, or a correction
warning has previously been issued to the individual.
(e) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit a person from
walking a dog with a hand-held leash.
Why Chaining is Cruel
following information is adapted from a fact sheet compiled by
the The Humane
Society of the United States
slide show with photos which summarizes why chaining is
dangerous for humans and inhumane for dogs. Download a
- What is meant by "chaining" or "tethering" dogs?
These terms refer to the practice of fastening a dog to a
stationary object or stake, usually in the owner's backyard,
as a means of keeping the animal under control. These terms
do not refer to the periods when an animal is walked on a
- Is there a problem with continuous chaining or
Yes, the practice is both inhumane and a threat to the
safety of the confined dog, other animals, and humans.
- Why is tethering dogs inhumane?
Dogs are naturally social beings who thrive on interaction
beings and other animals. In the wild, dogs and wolves live,
eat, sleep, and hunt with a family of other canines. Dogs
are genetically determined to live in a group.
A dog kept chained alone in one spot for hours, days,
months, or even years suffers immense psychological damage.
An otherwise friendly and docile dog, when kept continuously
chained, becomes neurotic, unhappy, anxious, and often
aggressive. In many cases, the necks of chained dogs become
raw and covered with sores, the result of improperly fitted
collars and the dogs' constant yanking and straining to
escape confinement. Some chained dogs have collars embedded
in their necks, the result of years of neglect at the end of
a chain. Chained dogs frequently become entangled in their
chains, too, and unable to access food, water, and shelter.
- Who says tethering dogs is inhumane?
addition to The Humane Society of the United States and
numerous animal experts, the U. S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) issued a statement in the July 2, 1996, Federal
Register against tethering: "Our experience in enforcing the
Animal Welfare Act has led us to conclude that continuous
confinement of dogs by a tether is inhumane. A tether
significantly restricts a dog's movement. A tether can also
become tangled around or hooked on the dog's shelter
structure or other objects, further restricting the dog's
movement and potentially causing injury."
In 1997, the USDA
that people and organizations regulated by the Animal
Welfare Act cannot keep dogs continuously chained
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has also
"Never tether or chain your dog because this can contribute
to aggressive behavior."
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) concluded in a
that the dogs most likely to attack are male, unneutered,
According to the Association of Shelter Veterinarian’s
Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters,
"Tethering is an unacceptable method of confinement for any
animal and has no place in humane sheltering. Constant
tethering of dogs in lieu of a primary enclosure is not a
- How does tethering or chaining dogs pose a danger to
Dogs tethered for long periods can become highly aggressive.
Dogs feel naturally protective of their territory; when
confronted with a perceived threat, they respond according
to their fight-or-flight instinct. A chained dog, unable to
take flight, often feels forced to fight, attacking any
unfamiliar animal or person who unwittingly wanders into his
or her territory.
Numerous attacks on people by tethered dogs have been
The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
reported that 17% of dogs involved in fatal attacks on
humans between 1979 and 1998 were restrained on their
owners' property at the time of the attack, and the book
Fatal Dog Attacks states that 25% of fatal attacks were
inflicted by chained dogs of many different breeds.
Tragically, the victims of such attacks are often
who are unaware of the chained dog's presence until it
is too late. Furthermore, a tethered dog who finally does
get loose from his chains may remain aggressive, and is
likely to chase and attack unsuspecting passersby and pets.
- Do chained dogs make good guard dogs?
No. Chaining creates aggression, not protectiveness. A
protective dog is used to being around people and can sense
when his family is being threatened. A dog learns to be
protective by spending lots of time with people and by
learning to know and love his human family.
a dog on a chain and ignoring him is how to raise an
aggressive dog. Aggressive dogs can't distinguish between a
threat and a family friend, because they are not used to
people. Aggressive dogs will attack anyone: children who
wander into the yard, the meter reader, the mailman.
Statistics show that one of the best deterrents to intruders
is an inside dog. Intruders will think twice about entering
a home with a dog on the other side of the door.
Dog page to learn more about this issue.
- Why is tethering dangerous to dogs?
In addition to the psychological damage wrought by
continuous chaining, dogs forced to live on a chain make
easy targets for other
animals, humans, and biting insects. A chained animal may
suffer harassment from passers-by, stinging bites from
insects, and attacks by other animals.
Chained dogs are also easy targets for thieves looking to
steal animals for sale to research institutions or to be
used as training fodder for organized animal fights.
Finally, dogs' tethers can become entangled with other
objects, which can choke or strangle the dogs to death.
- Are these dogs dangerous to other animals?
In some instances, yes. Any other animal that comes into
their area of confinement is in jeopardy. Cats, rabbits,
smaller dogs, and others may enter the area when the
tethered dog is asleep and then be fiercely attacked when
the dog awakens.
- Are tethered dogs otherwise treated well?
does a chained or tethered dog receive sufficient care.
Tethered dogs suffer from sporadic feedings, overturned
water bowls, inadequate veterinary care, and extreme
temperatures. During snow storms, these dogs often have no
access to shelter. During periods of extreme heat, they may
not receive adequate water or protection from the sun.
What's more, because their often neurotic behavior makes
them difficult to approach, chained dogs are rarely given
even minimal affection. Tethered dogs may become "part of
the scenery" and can be easily ignored by their owners.
- Are the areas in which tethered dogs are confined
No, because the dogs have to eat, sleep, urinate, and
defecate in a single confined area. Owners who chains their
dogs are also less likely to clean the area. Although there
may have once been grass in an area of confinement, it is
usually so beaten down by the dog's pacing that the ground
consists of nothing but dirt or mud.
- But how else can people confine dogs?
Dogs prefer to live inside with their family, with regular
walks and exercise time outside. You don't have to have a
fence to have a dog! Think about the thousands of
apartment-dwellers in large cities who don't even have
yards. Their dogs are perfectly happy living inside with
If an animal needs to be housed outside at certain times, he
should be placed in a fenced area with adequate square
footage and shelter from the elements.
- Should chaining or tethering ever be allowed?
become well-adjusted companion animals, dogs should interact
regularly with people and other animals, and should receive
It is an owner's responsibility to properly restrain her
dog, just as it is the owner's responsibility to provide
adequate attention and socialization. Placing an animal on a
restraint to get fresh air can be acceptable if it is done
for a short period. However, keeping an animal tethered for
long periods is never acceptable.
- If a dog is chained or tethered for a period of time,
can it be done humanely?
Animals who must be kept on a tether should be secured in
such a way that the tether cannot become entangled with
other objects. Collars used to attach an animal should be
comfortable and properly fitted; choke chains should never
be used. Restraints should allow the animal to move about
and lie down comfortably. Animals should never be tethered
during natural disasters such as floods, fires, tornadoes,
hurricanes, or blizzards.
- What about attaching a dog's leash to a "pulley run"?
Attaching a dog's leash to a long line—such as a clothesline
or a manufactured device known as a
run—and letting the animal have a larger area in which
to explore is preferable to tethering the dog to a
stationary object. However, most of the same problems
associated with tethering still apply, including attacks on
or by other animals, lack of socialization, and safety.
- What can be done to correct the problem of chained
More and more communities are
laws that regulate the practice of tethering animals.
New Orleans LA, Tucson AZ, Okaloosa FL, Carthage MO, Lawton,
OK and other cities ban all chaining. The state of
Connecticut, along with New York City, Wichita KS, Denver
CO, Austin TX, Norfolk VA, West Palm Beach FL, and others
allow dogs to be chained only for a limited number of hours
a day. Little Rock AR, along with other cities, ban
fixed-point chaining but do allow pulley runs. See a
complete list of
- Why should a community outlaw the continuous chaining
or tethering of dogs?
Animal control and humane agencies receive calls every day
from citizens concerned about animals in these cruel
situations. Animal control officers, paid at taxpayer
expense, spend many hours trying to educate pet owners about
the dangers and cruelty involved in this practice.
Regulations against chaining also give officers a tool to
crack down on illegal dog fighting, since many fighting dogs
are kept on chains.
chained animal is caught in a vicious cycle; frustrated by
long periods of boredom and social isolation, he becomes a
neurotic shell of his former self—further deterring human
interaction and kindness. In the end, the helpless dog can
only suffer the frustration of watching the world go by in
isolation—a cruel fate for what is by nature a highly social
animal. Any city, county, or state that bans this practice
is a safer, more humane community.