Research: Public Safety (2001)

Research into the effects of tethering and isolation on public safety

Independent research on the public safety issues of isolation, chaining and substandard living conditions

The majority of dog bites result from inadequate socialization of puppies and lack of basic obedience training.Most people are bitten not by strange dogs, but by dogs they own or that are known to them.

Marsha T. Wallace, MD. The Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 279, No. 15.

Three reasons for the ordinance [banning all chaining/tethering of dogs in Maumelle, Arkansas]: the dog's well being, public safety and the need to promote responsible pet ownership.

Jeff Wilkinson, Animal Control Officer, Maumelle, Arkansas. Rhonda Luca Donald, Cruel Confinement, Dog Fancy Magazine, January,1994

All 16 dogs reportedly were kept as pets or watchdogs or both.In five cases, dogs were chained at the time of the attack. In three other cases, dogs broke their chains to attack their victims. The majority of the victims were children 8 years of age or younger.

John C. Wright, Ph.D. Severe attacks by dogs: characteristics of the dogs, the victims, and the attack settings. Journal of the U.S. Public Health Service, Vol. 100 No. 1.

A dog treated with kindness and affection is less likely to attack than on that's brutalized or left alone all day. In fact, the practice of confining, chaining, or tying up a dog without social contact for long periods can create viciousness.

Randall Lockwood, Ellen Braaf. Dogs-safety measures. Woman's Day 4/27/93 Vol. 56, Issue 8

Dogs who are chained run a much higher risk of biting.Chaining a dog goes against its natural instincts. Dogs were not meant to be chained. Most become protective of the area around them and in some cases, down right mean, even to their owners. The feel confined, trapped, and it drives them crazy. They are harder to train and some appear to be literally untrainable when really they are just going stir-crazy."

Before you chain your dog. Dog Breeder Info Centre. 2/19/01

The problem of dangerous dogs is often a problem of irresponsible dog ownership.Dog owners must take responsibility for their pets, and local laws should require that they do so. Dogs who receive proper socialization, exercise, and attention, who are given adequate food, water, shelter, and veterinary car, who are sterilized, and who are trained humanely and confined safely present little risk to the community.Dogs chained or caged can be so desperate for activity that they become uncontrollable should they escape.often receive little veterinary care.most importantly, dogs who don't get to experience normal opportunities for socialization and training will undoubtedly act in an unpredictable fashion when exposed to the real world. The HSUS advocates laws that penalize the owners of dogs, not the dogs themselves, for dangerous behaviour.

Leslie Sinclair, D.V.M., Would I Bite? HSUS Programs, Companion Animals. 2/19/01

Because the dogs have to eat, sleep, urinate, and defecate all in the same confined area, it is very unsanitary. Any other animal that comes into their area of confinement is in jeopardy. Cats, rabbits, or smaller dogs may enter the area.then be viciously attacked.A city, county, or state that bans this practice is a safer and more humane community.

HSUS fact sheet: Chaining or Tethering Dogs. 2/97

Aggressive dogs are a growing safety concern in many communities. Vicious dogs owned by drug dealers, criminal groups, and violent or irresponsible individuals pose a threat to public safety. An aggressive dog can endanger life by blocking emergency responders from a fire, medical emergency or other urgent situation.Canada must analyze the extent and nature of the problem in this country, and put into place measures to prevent deaths and injuries from dog attacks.

Emile J. Therien, President's Perspective. Safety Canada, September 2000

The general consensus is that chaining out a dog for long periods makes it aggressive. There are even tracts which were found on the ruins of Pompeii suggesting that the way to make you guard dog vicious is to tether him on a short chain.Anecdotal evidence (from my own 11 years of teaching dog obedience classes) says that dogs which have been tied out are either vicious, fearful and hand-shy or both.

Stanley Coren, Ph.D. E-mail communication to Animal Advocates Society of BC, 2/2/01.

The dog-bite problem should be reconceptualized as a largely preventable epidemic.most of the factors contributing to dog bites and related to the level of responsibility exercised by dog-owners.28.9% (of severe dog attacks) involved a child wandering too close to a chained dog.

Jeffrey J. Sachs, MD, MPH, Randall Lockwood, PhD, Janet Hornreich, MD, Richard W. Sattin, MD. Fatal dog attacks 1989 - 1994, Pediatrics Journal, Vol. 97, No. 6

More than 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year - 60% of them children.Dog bites cost society over $1 billion a year.Of Children seen in emergency rooms for dog bites, 73% were bitten on the face, neck and head, compared to just 30% for adults.

Paul Schnur, MD, President of The American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. Beware of dog bites: Plastic surgeons, insurance agents, join forces to put the muzzle on dog bites 3/30/01

Children are the most frequent victims.Among children, dog bites frequently involve the face, resulting in sever lacerations. Dog bites may cause infection, cause disability, and incur substantial costs.Several environmental factors were also associated with biting. Biting dogs were significantly more likely to reside in homes with one or more children under or at 10 years of age and to be chained while in the yard.Our finding that being chained in the yard may be a risk factor for biting is in agreement with prior studies which have demonstrated that chained dogs account for a substantial proportion of serious and fatal bites.

Kenneth A. Gershman, MD, MPH; Jeffrey J. Sacks, MD, MPH; and John C. Wright, Ph.D. Which dogs bite? A case-control study of risk factors. Pediatrics, Vol. 93, No.6.

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