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Many dogs still live their lives on the end of a chain or tether. Tied-up outside, dogs become lonely, bored and anxious, and they can develop aggressive behaviors. Bring a dog inside (or help a chained dog in your neighborhood) and you’ll keep everyone safer.

Of the 70 million dogs in American households, the vast majority are living happy, healthy lives. But some dogs are still chained or tethered in one place as a means of restraint.

In most cases, tethers are used for short stretches of time, but a small number of dog owners tether their dogs constantly or for many hours at a time. These are the cases where advocates should focus their attention to make the most difference for dogs.

In addition to animal welfare concerns, tethering has been proven to be a high risk factor in serious dog bites and attacks. Tethering is unsafe for dogs and for the public, and it is important for advocates and officials to understand this connection, so they can incorporate tethering regulations into effective community dog management strategies.

The HSUS recommends a combination of approaches to reduce tethering. Laws that regulate and restrict tethering can be helpful, but should not be the sole approach. Enforcement agencies are notoriously underfunded and limited in their bandwidth. Community-based initiatives to support dog owners and unchain dogs through positive intervention can be just as effective—sometimes more so. Our recommendations for both approaches are included in these materials.

What can I do to help?

Read and share our chaining and tethering FAQ »
Download our toolkit: Passing an Ordinance to Help Chained or Tethered Dogs »
Read more: Your Tethering Law Passed. Now What? »
Watch and share the video below »

Please Take Off the Chain

Nobody is happy when he's tied outside alone.

Learn More

News & Events

  • December 30, 2015

    Community Support: Your Tethering Law Passed. Now What?

    Laws that end tethering are only part of the solution in a community. Create long-term change for tethered dogs by providing information and resources to help owners comply with the law.

  • November 24, 2015

    Chaining and Tethering Dogs: Frequently Asked Questions

    Have you seen chained dogs in your neighborhood? Here are some frequently asked questions about chaining and tethering dogs and why it’s considered inhumane.

  • October 21, 2015

    Need to Find Your Pet a New Home?

    If you're struggling and feel you can no longer keep your pet, we may be able to help you address the problem. And if these tips don't help you keep your pet, we can help you find a new home.

  • September 7, 2015

    How to Use a Head Halter on Your Dog

    If you have trouble controlling your dog on walks, a head halter may solve your problem. It's kinder and more effective than choke and prong collars.

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