Scary DogActually I came across a line today that pretty much sums up the truth about ‘mean dogs’ that I have to concur with. “Dogs aren’t born mean, it’s people that make them that way.”

The other day I wrote about Fort Worth passing their dog tethering ban and how pleased I was to see more and more places following suit. It’s an excellent ordinance that will not only benefit dogs but people as well since ‘chained dogs’ are almost three times more like to bite then dogs that are not confined to this cruel fate in life.

I got a comment from a reader who was very disgruntled about this ordinance being passed because, in my opinion, he believes it would be an inconvenience to him. Oh, he said much more like ordinances like this being “the kind of liberal regulation of our daily lives that is turning our country into a fascist regime ruled by brainless socialists who claim to be “liberal democrats.”

Now, before anyone gets up in arms that I am poking fun at a reader or singling him out to bash him, that’s not the case. This reader is the only one who actually came forward to comment as to why he disagrees with the new ordinance so I am using his comment as an example. When it comes to new rules and regulations, there will always be people on both sides of the issue. In this case I don’t feel the reader was looking at the ‘big picture.’

Here’s a quote from a wonderful article I read that typifies who ordinances like this are aimed at;

There are probably a lot of ways to make a mean dog, but one sadly tried-and-true method is to tie it up out in the yard and forget about it.

No doubt, there are responsible owners who see nothing wrong with tethering a dog outside for a few hours of fresh air and exercise, whose pets are probably none the worse for it.

But we’ve all seen the others: the scary pit bull that erupts in a barking frenzy, lunging and straining at the end of the chain when it sees you coming down the sidewalk. Or the sad-eyed mutt tied up next to a doghouse, its existence limited to the worn-down patch of dirt defined by the rope’s radius.

These tethering bans are not aimed at the guy who takes his dog out with him then when he decides to stop at a store, leave his pooch tied up outside for a few minute while he grabs a coffee then continues the walk, culminating with the dog having a wonderful run in the fields before going home.

So yes, I do agree with the reader when he say that some dogs will get less time out because a situation like this is often the case, but if banning tethering will have the overall effect of saving lives, of dogs and people, then it is worth the small inconvenience to people who may have to reorganize their schedule to make their dog walks dedicated to walking the dogs rather than just bringing them along on errands and combining this with a walk.

Here’s a little more on ‘chained dogs’ from an article I wrote on why dogs bite;

Dogs are naturally territorial animals and if they feel threated, their first response it to protects their territory, whether it be a home, a yard or even their living space. Also, sadly, this is something that you see far too often when a dog has lived its life at the end of a chain.

These dogs have only a very small area, are often unsocialized, and they will protect their territory ferociously! Aside from the cruelty that chaining inflicts on the chained animals, this is yet another reason that dogs should not be chained for life or even long periods of time. It breeds aggression and territorialism. Thankfully, more and more states and passing anti-tethering laws which are aimed at helping the dog’s quality of life as well as helping to cut down on the number of bites by dogs stuck in this kind of a situation.

Statistics show that up to 25% of fatal dog bites are inflicted by chained dogs and often the victim, most of the time a child, is unaware of the dog’s presence until it is too late.

So I will continue to applaud communities and cities that enact tethering bans and promote organization the fight so hard and work to promote anti-tethering, Like Dogs Deserve Better and Unchain Your Dog and numerous others out there.

So, no, dogs are not born mean, people make them mean in so many different way; chaining, neglect, abuse and just plain ole training then to be vicious for their own sick and twisted reasons to mention a few.

And as the author of the article concluded, the ““dog problem” is in reality a “people problem.” And it’s past time to hold those people accountable.

Domestic dogs don’t “choose” to be chained up, or run loose, or breed indiscriminately, any more than a family pet who peed on the floor one time too many “chooses” to be unceremoniously dumped by the highway.

Humans, disgracefully, do choose to mistreat them, neglect them, let them roam loose, chain them up, or egg them into aggressiveness.

Banning breeds, euthanizing ever-increasing numbers of strays and letting people do whatever they please with their own “property” are not just inhumane solutions – in practical terms, they aren’t solutions at all.

Bottom line, if this means enacting rules and regulations to force people to do what is right and humane for the sake of dogs, then so be it. If this inconveniences some dog owners then sorry, you’ll just have to deal with some inconvenience. Look at the ‘big picture’ not just your own little world!

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