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Sat Apr 27, 2013, 11:09 AM

This winter, my wife and I got a shelter dog.

We've been exercising him through snow and sleet and gloom of day, trying to keep him from getting out of shape during the winter. Now that the sun is shining again and it's warming up, there will be more time to do that. However, we can't afford to fence the back yard yet this year. So, I headed to my local farm supply store and bought a heavy-duty swiveling stake and a 30' tether for him. We won't leave him outside unattended, but this will give him some room to roam when we can't get to the leash-free dog park.

I hate the idea of a tether, since it restricts his freedom, but then I realize that we're all on some sort of tether. We're all tied to something or more than one thing that restricts our freedom. Dude, the dog, will be restricted some, but will be able to explore the entire backyard, meet the neighbor's dogs, say hi to the next door neighbor's kids, and use the yard until we get it fenced.

Sometimes, being on a tether is better than being locked up inside a house, I think. I think, actually, that I need to take a look at my own tether, and see if there's a way to make it longer.

C'mon, Dude! Wake up. Wanna go in the back yard?

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Reply This winter, my wife and I got a shelter dog. (Original post)
MineralMan Apr 2013 OP
Brainstormy Apr 2013 #1
MineralMan Apr 2013 #2
bluedigger Apr 2013 #3
MineralMan Apr 2013 #5
Donald Ian Rankin Apr 2013 #4
MineralMan Apr 2013 #8
Donald Ian Rankin Apr 2013 #12
The Velveteen Ocelot Apr 2013 #15
MineralMan Apr 2013 #19
The Velveteen Ocelot Apr 2013 #27
MineralMan Apr 2013 #28
Quantess Apr 2013 #14
justiceischeap Apr 2013 #42
PearliePoo2 Apr 2013 #6
Tracer Apr 2013 #7
MineralMan Apr 2013 #9
mnhtnbb Apr 2013 #10
MineralMan Apr 2013 #11
mnhtnbb Apr 2013 #13
dixiegrrrrl Apr 2013 #16
haikugal Apr 2013 #29
Cirque du So-What Apr 2013 #17
MineralMan Apr 2013 #18
Cirque du So-What Apr 2013 #22
MineralMan Apr 2013 #26
Yo_Mama Apr 2013 #20
MineralMan Apr 2013 #23
MineralMan Apr 2013 #21
RebelOne Apr 2013 #24
MineralMan Apr 2013 #25
RebelOne Apr 2013 #31
dixiegrrrrl Apr 2013 #34
woofless Apr 2013 #30
MineralMan Apr 2013 #32
War Horse Apr 2013 #33
MattBaggins Apr 2013 #35
MineralMan Apr 2013 #36
MattBaggins Apr 2013 #37
smirkymonkey Apr 2013 #38
YarnAddict Apr 2013 #39
Auntie Bush Apr 2013 #40
Ilsa Apr 2013 #41

Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 11:14 AM

1. a tether isn't cruel

especially if you've been exercising him. Sounds like your dog picked the right home.

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Response to Brainstormy (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 11:15 AM

2. Well, we'll be out there with him most of the time,

so it won't be that big a deal, I think. In fact, I hear my wife bringing him back from a walk right now. He's baying at a squirrel. Hounds are great!

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 11:19 AM

3. As long as you're around it's fine.

I live in a first floor apartment and put mine outside on one all the time. I'm only a few feet away. She gets tangled up a lot with the neighbor's Corgi when they wrestle.

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #3)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 11:23 AM

5. No loose dogs in my neighborhood. He'll have to

greet the neighbor's dogs through a chain-link fence. They already know each other, so it should be a treat for him. I know he'll be happier than being on a 6' leash every time he goes out. We'll be trying it out this afternoon.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 11:22 AM

4. I'm not sure how much freedom per se matters to dogs.


I suspect there are some things associated with it - like "being able to run" that clearly do make dogs a lot happier, but from what I've read dogs are naturally pack animals and most of them are happier when someone else is clearly dominant and in charge.

I should stress that I'm very much an amateur, but my impression is that it's generally unwise to interpret from "this would make my dog happy or unhappy" to "this will make this animal happy or unhappy".

It's striking that in zoos, the great apes - animals a lot like humans, that you might expect to hate being "imprisoned" - generally seem to do quite well, both mentally and physically*, whereas I have never yet seen a bear in a cage that didn't make me feel sick.

Anthropomorphisation is tempting, but it's better to try to canomorph yourself - have you ever come across tricks like making sure that you eat before the dog does?





*with the obvious proviso of "if kept in good conditions - my local zoo when I was a kid had a rather horrific chimpanzee house, where they just huddled in corners. But I think great apes *can* be - and often are - ethically and humanely kept in captivity if you have the money and expertise, whereas I'm not sure some large predators can be unless you can translate money and expertise into space.

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 11:26 AM

8. Yes. I hate to see large predators confined in zoos.

OTOH, the Como Park Zoo in St. Paul has just opened its new gorilla habitat. It's the largest mesh-enclosed habitat in the US for gorillas, and they're adding two new ones. The gorillas there seem to be content enough, and often interact with humans who visit there.

They have no elephants or lions. It's a very nice small zoo, and it's free to visit which is a real treat for residents of this city who can't afford admission fees. Donations are always accepted, of course, and my wife and I always make a generous one every time we go there, which is frequently.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #8)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 11:34 AM

12. I suspect that gorillas care about interesting, whereas lions care about large.

And it's much, much easier for an urban zoo to produce an interesting environment than a large one.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #8)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 11:51 AM

15. What happened to the lions? They used to have a big cat enclosure

that was pretty nice. I haven't been over there in some years, but I used to hang out there to watch the lions.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #15)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 01:10 PM

19. I don't know. They still have two polar bears, and their enclosure seems

to be a good one, although I've seen pacing behavior.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #19)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 01:54 PM

27. Just checked their web site - they still have lions,

as well as tigers, cougars and snow leopards. That's good, I'll have to go over there some day and watch the cats. Also want to see the Conservatory.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #27)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 01:56 PM

28. Hmm...OK. I'll check them out next time I go.

I sometimes get confused between the Minnesota Zoo and the Como Zoo. I like the Como Zoo better, though.

And the Conservatory is always a treat!

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 11:47 AM

14. Depending on the dog...

If it's a border collie or australian shepherd, count on the dog wanting to roam around freely and explore. Some dogs get bored easily. Other types, like rottweilers and german shepherds just want to stay home and stay close to their people.

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 06:26 PM

42. Please, please, please do a search on Google images for "chained dog photos"

And tell me some of those dogs wouldn't like some freedom.



And to your other point, just because people and animals can survive in caged environments, doesn't mean that it's in their nature to do so and that has nothing to do with anthropomorphisation, that's just common sense. As for great apes, if the only environ they know is that cage, if they're born into captivity, then, sure, they're going to do "okay" but I bet they'd be "happier" in the wild.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 11:23 AM

6. Invisible fencing is great and it works.

My sister had the company come out, install it and they then trained her two dogs for as long as it took. It was kinda expensive but satisfaction and results were guaranteed.
You can also buy another knock-off brand cheaper (Costco?) and do it yourself. Just follow all of the instructions carefully with no shortcuts.
Congrats on "Dude" the shelter dog!! He looks like a real sweetie-pie!

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 11:26 AM

7. You can fence in the yard very inexpensively.

Head to Lowes or Home Depot and pick up a roll of wire fencing and some tall stakes. Shouldn't cost more than $50.

Give that good lookin' furry friend some room to roam!

(I've got 2 rescues -- a 3 year old part Beagle and a 1 year old part Jack Russell)

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Response to Tracer (Reply #7)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 11:29 AM

9. Yes, that would work. But my next door neighbor and I are

discussing building a nicer fence than that this summer. We can do the work ourselves, so it won't be too bad. We just have to coordinate when. The other side of the yard needs only a short fence from the house to the garage, so it's really just fencing one side. of the yard. The rear is already fenced.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 11:29 AM

10. Probably not typical, but tethering dogs is illegal where I live (Chapel Hill, NC)

http://www.ci.chapel-hill.nc.us/index.aspx?page=1363

Congrats on your rescue dog! I have one, too.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 11:31 AM

11. Unattended tethering is illegal here, too.

By that, the law means tethering a dog when nobody is at home. That's to prevent dogs from being tethered all day while people are at work. The constant barking is the reason for the law, not the tethering, per se. In addition, we have harsh winters here, so outside tethering would be very cruel during that long season.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #11)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 11:44 AM

13. Unattended here means not outside WITH the dog...or basically...having the dog on a long leash.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 11:57 AM

16. FWIW..our dog is outside on a long line for a few hours in good weather.

and he does what most dogs do...naps. Alertly, but lying down most of the time.
He has a 30 foot line, but spends most of his time on the cool cement of the shaded carport, guarding the house and yard.
He watches the neighborhood, esp. the house closest to us, and barks if there is anything he thinks we need to check out, then shuts up on command and naps again.
Older the dog gets, the more he likes naps. He is going on 8 now.
Gets exercise 3x a day by long trots and runs (we have a golf cart we use so he can move as fast as he wants.)
and gets to read his "peemail" around the neighborhood.
Most importantly, is NEVER off a leash or long line.EVER. Because we do not have a fenced yard at all.





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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #16)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 02:21 PM

29. We don't have a fenced yard...

and we live on 'the loop' with joggers, horses' and buggies, walkers, birders etc on a fairly (getting more so all the time) busy road. I've wondered about getting an electric fence but I'm not sure it would be secure enough for my guy. He's a small 24# Minpin/Boston terrier mix and takes his job of guarding very seriously.

He has a long line/run with a wheel that his 'lead' is attached to for his outdoor time. He hunts the ground hog, eats grass, lays around and guards the house from everything. He's easily the loudest dog I've had...but he'll stop when asked...

Most of the time he's in the house or on the deck making sure the world is safe...what a hero! lol

Good job rescuing Dude...he looks sweet.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 12:00 PM

17. Me too

As near as I can tell, he's a Pomeranian/Corgi mix. He's still got problems, especially where cordial relations with our cat are concerned, but overall he's been a real prince.

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Response to Cirque du So-What (Reply #17)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 01:08 PM

18. We were lucky about the cat thing.

The shelter had no information about how he got along with cats. Turns out that he was probably raised with cats, who taught him early to play nicely. Our two cats, 17 and 5, were wary at first, and we kept him in a kennel for a week, but there was never a problem. I walked him through the house several time, and introduced him to the cats, and they came up to the kennel to sniff noses. We finally just turned him loose in the house. Now, he's best buddies with the old cat and gets along fine with the other one. A couple of days ago, I found the dog and the 17-year-old cat sleeping together in Dude's dog bed. So, I guess they'll be OK.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #18)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 01:16 PM

22. Their first meeting was quite inauspicious

When he saw the cat, he bolted so quickly that he jerked the leash from my wife's hand, and from there it was ON! It was then that I learned that my cat was a southpaw. After a few encounters that resulted in bloody scratches on Charley's snout, however, there was a period of relative calm. Nowadays, however, Sophie (the Cat) will occasionally pounce from some hiding place and startle the dog. Just the other day I caught Sophie on top of the fridge attempting to knock a cookbook onto the dog's head.

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Response to Cirque du So-What (Reply #22)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 01:31 PM

26. Cats are pretty good dog trainers.

I expect you'll have relative peace, eventually. They'll figure out the boundaries and stick to them, but a bored cat will torment a dog, sometimes. That's for sure.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 01:12 PM

20. A very lucky pooch

I realize that some towns are trying to ban tethers, but I agree with you. If you don't have the money for a fence, a tether is far better than leaving the dog inside too much of the time during nice weather.

If you are working outside, the dog will be far happier being out there with you, even if he's secured.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #20)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 01:18 PM

23. Yup. That's what I figure, too.

My wife and I often have "Happy Hour" sitting outdoors, too, so he can enjoy that time, too, in the fresh air.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 01:13 PM

21. Well, Dude has had his first hour on the tether,

with me having a cool one at the backyard table. He checked out the limitations of his tether, had a sniff with the dogs who live behind us, through a chain link fence, and then came over and laid down next to me. He's smart enough to reverse directions after going around the clothesline pole, but I'm taking that down anyhow. I have to go buy a good blade for my reciprocating saw, though. The crappy ones I have here won't cut the pipe.

Anyhow, it look like it will work OK until I can build the fence.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 01:20 PM

24. In Cherokee County, Georgia, where I live,

a law was passed that dogs could be tethered no longer than 2 hours a day. I agree with that law because the next door neighbor would tie her dog out on a very short chain 24/7 no matter how bad the weather. I had to call animal control one time because it was 30 degrees and the poor dog was shivering from the cold. Another time, there was a very severe thunderstorm and the dog was terrified. I had to bang on her door and ask her to take her dog inside. She reluctantly did and was not happy about it.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #24)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 01:26 PM

25. That makes a lot of sense. I know that some people

tether dogs that way, and I think it's cruelty. I won't be doing that, I guarantee. It's just a way to let him move around on his own initiative. I prefer our large leash-free dog parks, but taking him there takes a lot of time. When he's at either of the two parks near us, he just takes off and runs, sniffs trees, and chases squirrels. When he tires himself out, he comes back and we go home. In the meantime, we can chat with other people who are doing the same thing. One even has a small pond. We'll be interested to see if he's a natural water dog, once the ice is gone. I suspect he'll make directly for the pond and have a swim.

He likes it in the house, too, but we want to give him some other opportunities to be just a dog.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #25)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 02:46 PM

31. I love the leash-free dog parks,

but unfortunately, there are none close by. I had a Rottweiler (I had to send her to doggy heaven in 2010 because of liver and bone cancer) and we visited my daughter in Hollywood, FL, and there was a dog park next door in Ft. Lauderdale. We took her two dogs and my Rottie there. They all had such a great time.

I only have a Chihuahua now and she is an inside dog. There is no way I would let her off the leash because she spooks so easily and if anything frightens her, she would take off and I may never find her.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #24)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 03:12 PM

34. Our town just passed a law about outdoor dogs, too.

Something that I helped our animal control person draft, and the city council had no trouble passing.
(One of the perks of living in a very small town)

for those who might not know, it is very common down south to have a "yard dog".
This is a dog which is kept in a yard, tied or fenced, or even in a doghouse, tied, to serve as a burglar alarm.
the dog is never brought indoors, never gets to play with people, and is not considered a "pet".
It lives its whole life in the one area it is confined in.
No matter the weather.
The owner may also have a "pet" dog who is indoors, cared for, pampered, etc like most of us treat our pets.

Yard dogs have a habit of barking a lot, mostly out of boredom.
Our ordinance now makes it unlawful to have a dog that barks for more than 20 minutes at a time.

What the ordinance really does is to allow the animal control to inspect the housing conditions of the dog, for shelter, food, health, etc.
Sadly, there is no law against a yard dog if the basic needs are met.
and amazingly, the owners do not seem to be disturbed by the constant barking of their 4 legged burglar alarm.


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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 02:30 PM

30. I have a huge Malamute rescue who hasn't been off a lead or rope outside in more than four years.

He's happy, healthy and ALIVE!I saw a bumper sticker not long ago that said it all. "Who rescued who?".

Woof

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Response to woofless (Reply #30)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 02:50 PM

32. I'm glad you enjoy your rescue dog.

We love ours, too. He does get to the leash-free dog park. In fact, my wife just left for one of our parks. He'll run himself until he's exhausted, and then come find her so he can go home and sleep for a couple of hours. Then, he'll wake up and bring me his rope toy so we can play tug-of-war. That game is my primary function, as far as our beagle/basset mix is concerned.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 03:07 PM

33. If you've adopted a shelter dog

AND think that a tether is cruel, the dog has certainly found a good and loving home.

A tether isn't cruel at all. A stable environment where people love, feed, walk and interact with him matters the most.

He just needs to get used to it, and if you join a dog training class he eventually won't need a tether at all if you just do your homework

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 03:13 PM

35. My neighbor put up a nice wood fence

So I am going to take down 50 foot of chain link fence with posts and I have an extra 50 foot of fencing.

Swing by NY and you can have it.

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Response to MattBaggins (Reply #35)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 03:14 PM

36. Cool. Actually, though, that gives me an idea:

I'll check Craig's list here. I'll bet a lot of people take down chain link fences. Thanks!

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #36)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 03:18 PM

37. Call local landscape companies as well.

They might have some fencing they took down for customers.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 03:32 PM

38. Awwww! So sweet. What an adorable doggie!

You must be so happy. I certainly would be with a little angel like that!

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 04:07 PM

39. So glad you got a shelter dog!

 

I have two of them.

A tether isn't a bad thing. They love being outside, even if they are tethered.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 04:55 PM

40. Tether is a good thing...except when

a thunder storm is in the area. My parents dog was staked out and lightening struck somewhere out of the blue and shocked the dog. He jumped so high he pulled the screw stake right out of the ground and took off. Fortunately they found him but he panicked with every storm after that...not a pleasant experience for dog or his owners. He didn't even have to hear it...he somehow sensed it.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 06:02 PM

41. We adopted a rescued labrador today.

He'll be an indoor dog, mostly, but he has plenty of room to roam on our property.

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