Freedom or Restraint? A First-Time Pet Parent’s Guide to Chaining Dogs

March 20, 2023

Dog chains are the easiest and most popular way of keeping your dog in control. Dogs do not follow our commands all the time, especially when they are excited or angry (while seeing other dogs or outsiders). They may frantically attack someone or at least jump on someone which can be very scary for someone who’s afraid of dogs. So, a dog chain is a very safe option to control your pet. People have been using chains since ages still it’s confusing whether chaining dogs a good or not.

In this blog, we’re going to discuss in detail whether should we chain our dog. Is it a good idea or there are other ways where one can completely avoid the idea of chaining dogs? Also, we’ve mentioned different types of dog chains to help you choose the best one for your dog. So, if you are a new parent or even you already have a pet, and you are wondering considering the idea of getting a dog chain is a good idea or not. We’ve got you covered.

What is meant by Chaining or Tethering dogs?

When we use the term chaining, we imply the act of securing a dog to a stationary object and letting them run free. Chaining typically refers to circumstances in which heavy, thick chains are used. The term “tethering” is most frequently used to describe partial restraint on a rope, lighter chain, or pulley. These words do not apply to situations in which a pet is temporarily tethered under supervision while its owner is present or when a pet is being walked on a leash.

Why chain dogs?

There are several reasons why people tether their dogs. Most individuals who do this are ignorant of the harm it might cause to their dogs. Tethering is becoming less common due to societal pet-keeping norms, hence it is no longer recommended.

Still, there are many reasons why pet parents consider chaining or tethering their dogs:

Sometimes the owner is at a loss on how to safely enclose the dog because it frequently escapes. When dogs escape from lighter tethers by chewing through them or escaping in other ways, owners may sometimes keep them on stronger chains to prevent this from happening again. This is very common with dogs that are very active. If your pet likes running away all the time, then it might end up doing millions of struggles to snuggle out.

Chains prevent mishaps

By confining the dog to a specific part of the yard, the owner is attempting to protect the dog from something on the other side of the fence (children, another dog, etc.). This generally happens when visitors are super scared of dogs. Or there are little kids in the house who might not know and accidentally on dog’s tails even fall on them.

Note: If your pet has rarely been familiar with kids then there are chances that your pet might also get annoyed with kids and may not be so welcoming.

It is highly recommended that new pet parents hire a trainer for the new pet. So that it gets very easy to control them if your pet or guest freaks out.

Either the owner’s fence is broken or the owner has an unfenced yard. Dogs can be way more mischievous and are aware of many ways to run away. If you have a broken entrance or wall you might need to keep track of your pet. Due to the dog’s behavior, it is difficult for the owner to keep the dog inside, and the owner is unsure of how to correct the behavior.

The dog owner’s request to keep their dog inside or put up a fence may not be granted by the landlord. As their family has traditionally tied their dogs, the pet owner might not be aware that there are better alternatives.

Read Also : How To Start Dog Training As A First-Time Pet Owner

Are dog chains not good?

Dogs need interaction with people and/or other animals because they are naturally sociable creatures. Their physical and mental health can be badly harmed by prolonged or intensive incarceration. When a dog is intensively chained or otherwise restricted, even temporarily, they become neurotic, unhappy, uneasy, and frequently hostile.

Dogs who are constantly chained frequently experience health issues as a result of their constant confinement. Their collars may cruelly dig into their skin, causing their necks to become rough and irritated. They are highly susceptible to parasite and insect bites, entanglement, and strangling, as well as harassment or attacks from other dogs or people.

Chaining dogs can be more of a punishment

Moreover, tethered dogs may have irregular feedings, upturned water bowls, insufficient medical attention, and extremely high or low temperatures. These dogs frequently don’t have access to shelter during snowstorms. They might not get enough water or sun protection during moments of high heat.

Chaining can be a sign of avoidance

Dogs who are chained to their owners are less likely to clean the area where they are housed, resulting in the dogs eating and sleeping in a dirty environment. Chained dogs are also infrequently shown even the most basic forms of affection due to their frequently neurotic demeanor, which makes them difficult to approach. Dogs who are tethered could blend in with the surroundings and be overlooked by their owners.

Alternative to chaining or tethering


The best and safest method to control your pet is by training them. Start your pet’s training as early as you can start. The younger they are while starting to learn, the best to adapt. When you have a new pet at your house then it can be challenging to control them as a first-time pet parent. But trust us, it may sound challenging but it’s a natural process.

Once your pet starts living with you eventually they’ll also understand you easily. So before considering chaining them try communicating, spending time, and making them learn between important do’s and don’ts.


A regime helps your pet to understand their daily activities also. If there is a designated time for your pet to eat, play, rest, and sleep, they’ll be much more easily controllable. Dogs understand human interaction very quickly so it’s better to set habits instead of making them used to of chaining.

Types of dog chains

After evaluating both the pros and cons of chaining your pet. You may get a clear idea on whether to consider chaining your pet as a regular activity or not. Moreover, if you’d like to prefer chaining your pet as an option due to any reason then we have prepared a list of different types of leashes for your pet.

This list will help you understand what type of leash you might require for your pet:

Dog Chains

For dogs who tend to chew and ruin their leashes, this style of a leash is a great alternative to the regular leash. They are appropriate for dogs of all sizes because they come in a variety of weights and thicknesses. Keeping an eye on your pet is crucial while using a chain leash. If your dog does not quickly realize that the leash is indestructible and stops chewing, it may result in tooth damage.

A Chaining dog is staring at someone.

Standard dog leash

This is the most typical kind of dog leash used for routine training and daily walks. Although other materials like cotton and rubber are available, they are much less popular and aren’t as durable as nylon or leather, which are the materials that they are typically constructed of. Both leather and nylon are strong enough to restrain an adult dog while being lightweight for usage with a puppy.

They range in length from 4 to 8 feet, with 6 feet being the most typical. This length gives the handler plenty of room for flexibility of movement while still being brief enough to give them full control of their dog in an emergency. For everyday use, we advise every one of our clients to get a 6-foot leather leash.

A Dog holding a Standard dog leash in his mouth in front of closed door.

Retractable dog leashes

You can change the length of the leash you give your dog for mobility with retractable dog leashes. They function similarly to a measuring tape and have a nylon rope that can extend anywhere between 4 and 30 feet. A plastic handle with a locking mechanism allows you to secure the leash at different lengths. As you release the mechanism, they automatically gather up any slack in the leash and retract the line into the handle.

A retractable leash will usually always be taut unless of course, our dog is coming towards us. They are “pulling” to lengthen the leash as they walk away in order to reach the destination they are seeking to reach. Once the dog accomplishes the desired outcome, the behaviour is then rewarded.

A man holding his white a brown color dog with a retractable dog leashes.

Adjustable dog leashes

Adjustable leashes offer you a leash that you can modify the length of without giving your dog a constant pulling sensation, giving us tight control and giving the puppies freedom when we want them to. This makes them a fantastic option for retractable and regular leashes. Modifications can typically be made anywhere from 3 to 6 feet long by adding or removing loops or extra clips along the length. They provide you with the choice of a shorter leash for walks and training exercises like heel work where you need your dog to be extremely close.

A lab dog and a adjustable dog leashes with white background.

Martingale leash

This kind of leash combines a martingale collar and a standard-style leash into one convenient item. They are employed as a training tool to stop dogs from tugging. Like any collar, it tightens around the dog’s neck when it pulls. This prevents your poor pup from suffocating, but it does provide just enough pressure to function as an aversive, making pulling uncomfortable.

A man holding a dog by a orange color martingale leash.

Key points to remember while chaining your dog

Harnesses is the real winner

Using a harness is always preferable to using a collar for reasons of safety and comfort. There are many different types of harnesses available. Try the Sense-action or Walk Your Dog with Love harnesses if your dog pulls. A front leash attachment on both items helps to deflect a lunging dog back in your direction. They are cozy and effective for reducing excessive pulling without hurting your dog.

The following list will help you to prep up before planning to chain your dog:

  1. Choose a suitable chain and collar that fit the dog properly and are not too tight or heavy.
  2. Ensure that the chain is attached to a secure, fixed object and that the dog cannot reach any hazards or dangerous areas.
  3. Provide the dog with adequate food, water, and shelter, and ensure that the chain is long enough for the dog to move, stretch, and lie down comfortably.
  4. Spend time with the dog and provide regular exercise, playtime, and socialization opportunities.
  5. Regularly check the dog’s health, behavior, and collar and chain condition, and address any concerns or issues promptly.
  6. Consider alternatives to chaining, such as building a secure fence, providing indoor kennels or crates, or seeking professional advice on training and behavior modification.


After considering the different perspectives and arguments regarding chaining pet dogs, it is evident that chaining is not an ideal or humane way to keep a dog. Chaining can cause physical harm, mental distress, and behavioral problems in dogs. It also limits their freedom and prevents them from engaging in natural activities like running, playing, and socializing.

There are several alternatives to chaining, such as building a secure fence, providing adequate exercise and playtime, training and socializing the dog, and using indoor kennels or crates. These options allow the dog to live a comfortable and healthy life while keeping them safe and preventing them from causing harm or damage to others.

In conclusion, it is essential to treat pet dogs with care, love, and respect, and provide them with a comfortable and safe environment that allows them to thrive. Chaining is not an acceptable way to keep a dog, and owners should explore alternative options that promote the well-being of their pets.

Consult with Vet

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is it okay to chain a dog if I am a first-time dog owner?

No, chaining a dog is not an acceptable way to keep a pet regardless of whether you are a first-time dog owner or not. It can cause physical harm, mental distress, and behavioral problems in dogs.

Q: What are the alternatives to chaining a dog?

There are several alternatives to chaining a dog, including building a secure fence, providing adequate exercise and playtime, training and socializing the dog, and using indoor kennels or crates.

Q: Can chaining a dog be harmful to its health?

Yes, chaining a dog can be harmful to its health. It can cause physical injuries, increase stress and anxiety, and limit the dog’s ability to engage in natural activities like running, playing, and socializing.

Q: Can chaining dogs lead to behavioral problems?

Yes, chaining a dog can lead to behavioral problems such as aggression, fearfulness, and anxiety. Dogs that are chained for extended periods may become frustrated and aggressive, which can be dangerous for both the dog and others.

Q: Should first-time dog owners get professional advice before getting a dog?

Yes, it is recommended that first-time dog owners seek professional advice before getting a dog. A veterinarian, dog trainer, or animal behaviorist can provide guidance on selecting the right breed, training, and caring for a dog.

Q: What are the responsibilities of a first-time dog owner?

The responsibilities of a first-time dog owner include providing adequate food, water, shelter, exercise, and medical care for the dog, training and socializing the dog, and ensuring the dog’s safety and well-being.

-Petofy India
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