Chain Game or Cage Rage
An article by Chris “Bully The Kid” Bennett
King stares at his territory, and then walks around patrolling the border of his domain. Nothing seems to be amiss, so he jumps on top of his doghouse and lays his large head on top of his igloo shaped home. The 90 degree heat sapping his energy, the logging chain bangs against the plastic dwelling.
A car pulls up in front of the house in front of his home and King jumps down and sprints to the end of the chain and does his daily jumping jacks. Up and down, the chain beats the ground and his chest, muscles flexing with every four foot vertical takeoff. Lights come on in the house, but no one exits to the back where he resides. He again lies down in the dirt and waits another 8 hours to be fed. The life of the King requires patience.
Princess stares at her world, and yawns with disdain as she looks at the time machine on the stove as if she could read it between the bars. She spins around to give her left side a break from pressing against the metal of her dwelling. Her overgrown nails scratching the plastic bottom of her residence.
An hour goes by, she tries to stretch, but her rear end touches the rear of her home and her front legs push the front of the cage. She chews the edge of the crate. It almost tastes like her water bowl after 10 hours with no water. The garage door opens and she lets out a loud whine as her tail beats the black bars like a drum. Her person walks in and props down on the couch and she hears one of the three commands she has learned, Quiet. She once again curls up in a ball and lies down. Hoping she can hold it, for another 4 hours. The life of a Princess requires control. She needs dog socialization.
The Chain or the Cage, ask which is the better life? Neither if done improperly, no dog deserves to spend their entire life on a chain without any dog socialization. To have a dog on a chain, you have to still take the time to exercise, play and feed the dog.
Dog socialization is still essential as is bathing, and cleaning the yard to prevent disease. The chain allows a dog to be outside and enjoy life, but only if it receives as much attention as the dog in the house. Old dog men kept their dogs on chains but exercised them regularly. The chained dog is still a pet first and needs human contact and companionship, being fed once a day is not the life of a pet but the life of a prisoner.
That being said, no dog deserves to spend 20-22 hours a day in a crate without dog socialization. In this situation the crate stops being a crate and becomes a cell. This is the life of many pets today. Let out only so that the owner does not have to clean up urine and feces out of a crate.
Some even clean out the crate by spraying it out with the dog in it, never even drying the dog off. Being crate trained does not equal being housetrained, to be housetrained a dog has to spend time in the house. If you are home let your pet out its crate. Even the most hardened prisoners get recreation time in the yard. Take the time to housetrain the pet you chose to bring into your home.
Both are sad situations and both could lead to bigger problems because of lack of dog socialization. Dog socialization does not stop at 16 weeks old, the chain dog may rule his territory but when he comes off that chain and leaves the familiarity of his yard, he will be overwhelmed by the world.
Not knowing whether to bite, shake, lick or piss. The crate dog knows nothing but her yard and the spots where she defecates. Take her out and she cowers at unknown objects in the road pulls at the leash to get back into the house and the safety of her 32 inch wide, 36 inch long cage. The caged pet is still a pet first and needs human contact and companionship, and not just the sound of a voice from the television, that’s not the life of a pet, but of a prisoner.
The thought of owning anything should not be about convenience, to show off to your friends and strangers at shows, stores and parks when you feel like dragging it out of its crate or off its chain. We are truly fortunate that this breed does not turn on us, because if most of us were subjected to what they are, I can’t say that we would be as forgiving. So think about it, a King on a chain or a Princess in a Cage?