Reminder: The selected responses presented below are a reflection of the collaborative effort of Hybrid Wolf Mailing List aka. Wolfdoglist members to share opinions / information about wolf x dogs, responsible "ownership" and breeding practices. This FAQ is not a scientific or veterinary resource. Some responses have been edited for brevity.
Wolfdog FAQ - Question # 25
Why shouldn't I keep my wolfdog on a chain or an aerial cable run?
(1) Wolves travel large distances, they are very active animals and need room to run. This is something they cannot do on a chain or aerial cable.
(2) A recent death of a child in Michigan relating to a chained animal is a prime example of another reason that it is not a good idea to chain an animal. The animal can become territorial over its area and often times developes aggressive tendencies. This is not only true with wds, but all dogs.
(3) To me, an animal on a chain does not get the quality of life which it needs to survive. Especially when it is never taken off of the chain. To me, leaving an animal chained is like leaving a person in a small cell and not allowing it to move beyond the boundaries of that cell. After a while, it affects the mentality of the individual.
(4) Another reason not to chain an animal is for health reasons. I have known of animals who have lost limbs because a chain or aerial cable has wrapped around a leg or a foot. The animals had become entangled and then layed there for hours until someone came home to find them. I suppose that it could also wrap around their neck and choke them to death.
(5) Then too, if the chain gets wrapped around something away from food, water, or shelter, the animal could dehydrate or suffer damage from a severe storm, etc.
(6) If you chain an animal in an unfenced yard, then others are at risk from any personality disorders your pet may develop. Someone might wander into your yard and be bitten or attacked. If this happens, you could probably have put up an 8 foot gold plated fence for what the lawsuits will cost after the courts get through with you.
If you take an animal into your home. That animal becomes YOUR responsibility. You need to take into consideration whether or not you can provide a good home for the pet. If all you can afford is a chain and not a fenced area, then maybe you just need to wait until you can afford to provide adequate containment.
Well, I had my response all prepared, then realized I was just reitterating what Pam just wrote! I do not agree with chaining a wolf dog (ANY canine) unless it is for an emergency SHORT period of time with SUPERVISION at ALL times.
I worry about harm to the animal, as well as to someone else or another animal if they come into the chained 'territory'. I feel chaining feeds aggression and the animal becomes even more territorial of their small space...
I would NEVER get an animal if my only way of keeping him/her was to chain him. It just isnt right. What quality of life is that?
Chaining encourages aggressiveness.
This is all the space an animal has to call home and it will protect it from intruders. When the chain is all there is, any animal, child or adult can enter at any time. How would you like it if someone just walked into your bedroom without invitation or even knocking?? I'd bite anything inside my little circle, myself.
And speaking of "little circle":
Chains tend to get hung around anything in the way. They twist and make the chain shorter. They can also hang an animal!
If you have a female and she comes into heat, how is a chain going to keep the neighbor's beagle or rottie or bull dog from breeding your girl?
Chains are a bad idea for the long haul. They may be used for emergencies but never for primary containment.
Casa Lobo Kennels
Personal experience! Kind of a long story!!
There times when we have no choice but to tie our animals out for short periods of time. My time came over the summer when we took our vacation to NM. The cabin does not have containment for animals, mine are the only ones who visit there, so I have to tie everyone out or have them all in the house all day, they hate that, or have them leashed to me, with three of them it could be quite a tug of war, so tie outs it is, well supervised!!!! I am constantly aware of what my big boy is doing, he is my crafter critter. However, I have to potty sometimes too, and so it went, I took a quick potty break, I no sooner got my butt settled when the screaming started!!! Scared me out of the bathroom!
I fly out side to find my beloved Zaz in a frenzied fit, screaming at the top of his lungs, thrashing wildly and biting at his rear leg and anyone close by. I couldn't see from where I was what the real problem was but I could see he was becoming more entangled each time he rolled!! Zaz is a very large animal, and a very strong young animal.
My son and ex-boyfriend were to afraid to approach him, they were both standing back looking for a way in, since Zaz was thrashing and snapping neither of them would risk it. However, I don't feel the they way they do about situations like this, I ran over without even thinking about what could happen and grabbed Zaz about the neck and head to stop him for thrashing and becoming even more entangled then he already was, YES I got bit, it hurt like hell, but he means way more then that to me.
I stopped his rolling and thrashing and could see how entangled he was. The plastic coated aircraft cable that we use was wrapped three time extremely tight about his rear leg, then up around his midsection embedded in his fur, again around his middle chest, and once more around his throat and back down twice around his front leg, so that every motion of his front leg tightened the grip it had around his throat scaring him that much more!!! and tightening the bindings through out the rest of his body.
Once he realized it was me, he settled a bit and I began untangling him, he was so scared that his whole body was quivering uncontrollably and he was wetting himself at regular rate. I had to get the wraps off his front leg before my son and ex could approach, the ex-boyfriend was thinking though and brought over a leash. After getting his whole body untangled he stood up I discovered a most remarkable thing!!! Zaz had some how gotten the clip (not your average clip but the kind that is nearly impossible for a dog to slip) off his collar and on to his left rear Achilles tendon, it was secure but not puncturing the tendon. Every time I touched it to take it off he would growl and yip, he was in a lot of pain from it. I had the ex-boyfriend hold his head and just went for it!!!
In Zaz's great relief he tumbled me over and proceeded to shower me with affectionate slobber and apologetic total body wags, quite a sight for the folks who came running up the canyon to see what all the screaming was about!!! One man shouted to get that animal off me, and my son screamed back that Zaz was just saying thank you!! Zazzy took turns and quite happily thanked us all, with loads of tail wags and kisses for all, then settled happily in Mom's lap for a long long time of snuggles, hugs, and scritches, he even tried to lick the bite wound he had given me. Note all the blood at the scene was mine, Zaz had no marks on him. He limped on that rear leg for the afternoon and by the next morning was back to his ol self again.
Did I tie them up again, yes, because my only other choices were to keep them in the back of the truck, or in the house, which they don't like, or with me on leashes. Zaz did learn about the cable and spent the rest of our vacation a very cautious critter! I never once left them without some one to watch them or be with them and will never ever tie them without DIRECT supervision again, not even to go potty! But I know there are times when we have to tie them, so I will provide for times. I have spent a lot time with wolves, wolfdogs and regular garden variety dogs and all must be tied at one time or another for what ever reason, but this was the first time I had a serious problem with it.
I have never had an animal that has lived on a chain, I don't believe in it. I have had to go get chained animals and find them to be far more territorial then those in enclosures, there appears to be a heightened sense of insecurity. They appear to have the sense that they are vulnerable and need to protect themselves more. The caged or contained animals I have retrieved were less aggressive and less scared over all, of course there always exceptions and I have my share of those too. I have also witnessed dogs who have hung themselves trying to escape over a near by fence because of their tie outs.
P.S. Sorry so long but I can't stress enough the need to have someone in constant supervision of the animals when tying is necessary!!! Never EVER leave a tied animal unattended!!!
Tie-Outs & chains are inappropriete for ANY canine (imho) much less wolfdogs...
For one, there's the possibility for injury... if your Fur gets frightened, they can do the most AMAZING contortions... quite like a Line-caught Tiger Shark. Has anyone ever seen how a shark reacts when caught on a fishing line? They twist UP the line, wrapping it around themselves until they are immobilized.
I've seen my woofs, Rhi in particular, do this same thing. If unattended, & on a tie-out or chain, she could easily strangle herself.
My Husband accidentally killed one of Spirit's sisters in JUST THAT WAY. He put her on a leash, & left her alone for just ten minutes. That's all it took. She got frightened, and twisted around, and got caught up in the leash, and she died in his arms with a crushed trachea. (So, PLEASE! Learn from his mistake! Don't let this happen to you!!!)
Another factor is that some woofs become more territorial while on leash, chain or tie-out. This territorial behavior can lead to aggression. I figure it's alot like Testosterone Poisoning. *grin*
Wolf-dog crosses REQUIRE proper containment. Chaining is a fast-track to a bite incident. Chaining does nothing for the mental/social and physical health of the animal, nor does it do anything for safety of the wolfdog and all humans and other animals to come in contact with it. Not to mention, chaining animals is illegal in many areas.
There is no excuse for not keeping your wolfdogs properly contained. Building an enclosure which adequately houses the wolfdog plus companion animal, is not rocket science. No matter what the content range or socialization level, it is entirely possible to maintain the animals in an enclosure without "escapes" and most importantly without use of chains or aerial cable runs.
Laska loves to run and bound, to peer through the fence at passerbys and dogs, chase bugs, catch flies, dig holes. A lot of her growth comes from contact with folks inside the home. This is really where she learns to tailor her behavior to the animals and people around her. She craves attention (when she wants it) and will bring toy bones over for a game of tug of war, or will snake along your leg because she wants some loving, or will just come over to talk/trill at you (I still don't understand the conversations but pretend that I do).
She has a need to belong -- does anyone really spend time with a dog on a chained lead? Chaining seems counterproductive, much like bringing a small child to a park then tying a weight around his/her ankle and telling them to enjoy the playground equipment.
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