What the chain does to their brain.
Psychology of a chained dog- As living beings on this earth, we all serve to function and fulfill a purpose. What is the function of a dog? To answer that question we must look at where they come from. Dogs come from wolves. Through thousands of years of domestication and genetic manipulation, we have created the most diverse species of the planet. Why did we do that? The answer is simple. Every breed was designed to serve a very specific purpose for us! For example, Dachshunds were bred to fight badgers. Badgers live in tunnels underground. It was no accident that wiener dogs are long and skinny. This applies to EVERY breed. They can function to protect, hunt, track or even be a fashion accessory. The point is that they were designed to function! Fortunately, these animals do not have to function in the way they were designed to function in order to be healthy and happy.
What does the chain have to do with all this? Most of today’s modern domesticated dogs do not function as trackers or hunters. So, what purpose do they serve? They serve as extended family members, best friends and protectors. Each dog will find his niche on his own. He knows where he’s needed. In fact, that is his goal to fulfill his purpose. In the end, all creatures are biologically programmed to fulfill their purpose. How does it make you feel to be without purpose? When chained, the dog loses his ability to function. He certainly can’t function as a family member or best friend from here. He’s useless in protecting his household and family against intruders. Because both the intruder and the dog know that he can’t fulfill his purpose, the intruder “wins”. This causes massive amounts of stress for him. Biologically, stress is designed to induce our “fight or flight” response. Whether he fights or fleas, he would have to expend a tremendous amount of energy in order to survive. When he’s chained, the energy has no place to go. Biologically, oxygen serves as stress reliever. How do we get more oxygen? We exercise. After all the primary goal of blood flow is to carry oxygen to all the organs that need it to function. This is especially true in moments of extreme stress. Oxygen serves to keep us alert and alive. Chaining the dog removes his natural ability to cope with stress and fulfill his function. It also clouds his judgment. The “intruder” could be friend stopping by to borrow some sugar. But in his mind, he still goes through the entire process. This is a toxic cycle.
Now let’s get physical- Let’s first examine the chain and collar. The collar around their neck shifts every time they move. It rotates around their neck when fastened to the chain. The constant rotation causes the removal of their hair and eventually wears down to the skin where it causes damage. As we all know, physical pain can cause us to feel anxious and depressed. If the dog is chained for extended periods of time, the pain will progress into chronic pain. Chronic pain has a plethora of terrible side effects including out of character aggression. If we know how pain affects us, why would we expect anything different for “mans best friend”?
The moral of the story- Dogs become severely depressed and anxious which will result in aggression in most cases. This is unsafe for humans and dogs. Since 2003, 379 children were killed or seriously injured because of chained dogs. This isn’t the dog’s fault. It’s ours. Make a stand. Educate through the eyes of compassion. Remove your judgment jacket when talking with folks on this sensitive subject. We all have blind spots and need guidance from time to time. We best receive this guidance through compassionate teaching. The student is much more likely to implement a behavior when introduced from a positive and understanding perspective.