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When do anti-tethering ordinances/laws go too far?

Discussion in 'Canine News/Informative Articles' started by Regalis, Apr 25, 2017.

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  1. Regalis

    Regalis Notable member

    The difference, Imo, between drunk driving laws and the tethering is this. It's an inherent risk to drive while drinking. If I simply don't drink and drive, there is no way I can be in trouble, correct? So noone is going to inadvertently be in trouble. If you simply choose to not drink and drive, you are minimizing the risk to those around you. If I follow the tethering laws, my dogs suffer or are put at risk (suffer by being stuck inside while we are out, risk by bolting and getting hit by a car). Make sense? And I'm not harping on you for drinking a beer and driving, so please don't take it that way. Usually just a beer or two won't even put a person over the limit. So I just don't see that as comparable.

    As far as why I've needed to tether MY dogs, I'm quite sure I've explained that, in depth. My husky was never reliable off lead. I'm pretty positive that, if knowing that, I let him off lead anyways and he got hit or shot or whatever, people would readily call me irresponsible and ask why he was NOT secured. If I put him in the house, he would have to be crated. He never earned unsupervised house freedom, as he had insane separation anxiety. My senior rescue I could not tether to me. I'm not kidding when I say this dog could not even stand up, let alone walk on her own for the majority of her time with me. Should I have left her in the house alone while we were outside? Especially when it was often cooler and nicer outside than it was inside? Sure, I probably didn't NEED a tether. But I kept it on just in case, as she did surprise me a few times and get a random burst of spunk. Once involved her trying to get between me and a loose dog while camping. She paid for that for days. It made her incredibly sore, but given the right motivation, she could, rarely, spring to life for a few minutes. At camp, I had to have her either tethered or on a leash I was in control of (campground rules). Instead of dragging her all over as I was in and out of the camper or doing stuff, she got to chill out on a memory foam bed, on the elevated deck, under the awning with food and water close enough that she didn't even have to get up. She seemed to rather enjoy being outside with us.

    So your turn, what should I have done in those situations? Mind you, fencing was not an option, as I didn't own the home and I can't fence my camping area. My husky went through training. We worked very hard to try to get him to a point he could be off lead. It never happened. Quite common for the breed and various trainers told me it was just how he was, he would never be trustworthy off lead. I took their word and didn't chance it. If I was out weed whipping (took more than 3 hours) or doing something that was generally not safe for him to be nearby or I couldn't practically keep hold of a leash, he was tethered. Another example, we had a massive raspberry batch behind us. For a solid 3 weeks, I was out there daily, for 6+ hours picking berries to freeze and make jelly out of. No way was I going to drag him through that jungle, he'd have come out a mess of scratches, stains and burrs. Even with long sleeves and jeans on I came out covered in scratches and had burrs everywhere, and lovely purple hands from the berries. White dog + black berries = horrible stains that do not come out. That and he'd have probably eaten so many he'd get sick. His face was stained purple for about 3 months after munching on a patch just within his reach.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Dobieloving

    Dobieloving New Member

    Wow, just very well said. I could not of said or contributed any advice better well said than this.
  3. Drogon

    Drogon Hot Topics Subscriber

    Lack of training.

    Then there is no need to tether.

    Lack of training if when she sprang to life she would run off.

    Not enough training

    Then you weren't attending your dog. Your dog was unattended.
  4. Regalis

    Regalis Notable member

    So the various trainers who tried, and subsequently failed, to achieve helping me to get him reliable off lead were all idiots, eh?

    He was not unattended. I could see him just fine.

    She was 13+ years old, could barely hear or see, was severely malnourished, had a heart condition and severe mobility issues from arthritis and an old injury. That's the condition I received her in. Training was not a priority, in the least. Her health was. It took a month before she could reliably walk on her own, once standing and on solid ground. But lemme guess, I should have focused on her training and forgotten her assorted health issues? Do you even realize what you are saying? I had her for one year, of that year, the first few months were pretty touchy. No trainer in their right mind would have agreed to work with her in her condition. You do realize it takes TIME to train a dog, yes? Often times, more than a few months.
  5. Regalis

    Regalis Notable member

    I also never stated she would run off. I honestly don't know. She was never given the opportunity.
  6. Regalis

    Regalis Notable member

    Also, all of her activity was cleared by her VET. So don't even try to tell me she was being mistreated by being on a tether. We discussed every aspect of her care in depth. In fact, I'm confident her vet would not have cleared her to undergo extensive training, as I had to keep her activity and stress as limited as possible. Training of any aspect was not a priority, letting her live out her days in peace was.
  7. Drogon

    Drogon Hot Topics Subscriber

    I have no idea but I would have found a trainer that could train a solid recall. I wouldn't have accepted a theory like 'this dog can't be trained'.

    Sounds like there was no reason to tether her.

    I've owned GSD/Rot Mix, Border collie, Irish setter, GSP, Akita, Au Shep, Alaskan Malamute, Toy Poodle, Yorkshire terrier. All were trained to have solid recall. Lived on busy streets & took them camping and never tethered any of them except the GSD/Rot mix. I used to tether her when I went into a store that wouldn't allow her. I tethered her to make other people comfortable. I was only in the store 30min max and she never left the down I left her in.
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  8. MischasMomma

    MischasMomma Site Sponsor Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I just want to say, I wouldnt accept a "this dog cant be trained" either... That's their JOB and admittong they cant do their job, well, to me would be a red flag and I'd be looking for a new trainer. Multiple times, if multiple trainers said the same thing. Were still working hard with Mischa, but my trainer says you can train any dog to anything, with the right tools and persistence. You need to know how to train the bahvior correctly and motivation (food? Toys? A happy party?) to build consistency is a huge factor. I see too many trainers think food works for all dogs, when really it doesn't. Mischa is a party dog. The excitement is all she needs! When I make it a party when she comes to me, she gets the zoomies and runs circles around me wagging her whole body. For the last year and a half I've been using food and different toys. We just figured out what works best for this particular command in the last few weeks, but my trainer never gave up on her or said "you just wont be able to train her to do that"
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. Regalis

    Regalis Notable member

    It was campground rules that she be tethered or on a leash held by an adult (yes, the rules are that specific) So yeah, she did need to be tethered. The alternatives were dragging her around as I did stuff - not acceptable. Or lock her up in the camper by herself - also not acceptable as I couldn't monitor her if I couldn't see her.

    As for your dogs, that's nice. None of them were a husky. I suggest you actually do some research into the breed.

    Heres a link to get you started, though I'm sure you know more about them and know more about training than trainers themselves do.
    Why Can’t Siberian Huskies Safely Go Off-Lead? - Sibes and Sled Dogs

    Every other dog I've owned, except those two, were reliably trained off lead. Granted, not something we get to exercise much here in MI as there is a state wide leash law and many municipalities have even stricter ordinances, many don't allow dogs off lead unless they are on securely fenced private property, but none the less, every single other dog was reliable off lead as an adult. Even my pit. Kaizer is not there yet. My really dumb lab is about 95%, but seeing as I no longer have access to places to work on it, it's kinda hard to work on. I used to work them at my moms property, but the last couple years her one dog has decided that no other dogs are allowed on the property and that's beyond my control. It's her property and dog, so her rules.

    I've personally known too many owners who trusted their dog off lead and a tragedy struck. Absolutely no dog is %100 reliable %100 of the time and all it takes is ONE incident for tragedy to strike. One such dog was impeccably trained, always obedient, did agility and shows, just an all around great dog. She was killed by a car, at 8 years old after a lifetime of training and reliability. How did it happen? Her human was in an accident while she was in the vehicle, somehow in the accident, the crate door opened as well as the sliding van door. No one is really sure how, a stroke of terrible luck most likely. That always reliable dog? Not reliable then. She bolted. Her mom spent weeks tracking, setting live traps, hiring a renowned tracking team, etc etc etc. Her closure came about a month later when someone reported a hit dog not too far from where the original accident took place. She was killed instantly. Her owner now only uses a specific line of crates (I can't recall the name) that are pretty much escape and crush proof. Extreme example, sure. But it happens. You can not predict the world or control it.

    Any trainer that tells you you can train any dog to do anything is being ridiculous. If that were the case, there'd be no reason for the multitude of different breeds all bred for specific and intended purposes. If it were as simple as just training, why are specific dogs still used for specific purposes? Excluding size restraints, by that logic, I can train any dog to be a serious protection and working police K9. Or any dog to not kill prey animals. Any dog to herd. So on and so on. Breed and genetics factor in. If they didn't, why seek out specific breeds? Aside from aesthetics, what's the point if I can train any dog to do whatever I wish?
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  10. MischasMomma

    MischasMomma Site Sponsor Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    My campground has the same rule- not arguing there. Public places have their own rules, and we have no control over that.

    @obanner has a dobe that herds. I think it was @Doberman Gang that had a lab (or some random breed you wouldn't expect) do IPO. Size restraints and aesthetics- you nailed it. With the right training, I do feel you can train any dog to do anything. Our springer spaniel was a better guard dog than our dobe. She would have been a damn good K9 police dog. But its the aesthetics. People aren't intimidated by that look. You just answered your own question on that one.

    And ill be sure to tell my trainer who has not only competed nationwide in IPO but also trained dogs that made it to the top 10 in Westminster (so yes, she does both protection and show, plus manners and basic training) that you said shes ridiculous. Ill also keep that in mind next time her GSD doesnt move an in inch when given the command "place" and sits on a chair for an entire hour long session watching 4 other dogs, watching balls bounce across the floor, other dogs barking, and kids running. Ive never seen a better trained dog in my life.
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  11. MischasMomma

    MischasMomma Site Sponsor Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Also, you do realize doberman excel at barn hunt (hunting), hold the world record for nosrwork (tracking), have the ability to herd, have unfortunately been used for fighting, and obviously also excel in protection. I know plenty who have trained the prey drive out of their dobes, so YES IT IS POSSIBLE!
  12. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    We are getting pretty far into the theoretical here. Yes, the Doberman is a very versatile breed. I know the GSD holds enjoys the moniker "Super Dog" but Dobes could at least be their sidekick. I suppose that so could several other breeds.

    There are definitely training challenges and real limitations in some dogs. Oji proves it to me on a regular basis. Now, could I bend sufficiently over backward to make him achieve what I require of him? Probably, but I suffer from resentment. A Doberman should be easy to train, and a working-line Doberman should be especially trainable and willing to work. But I digress.

    Back to the question of can a dog be trained to do anything: I think not. Every dog, regardless of breed, varies individually just as does every human. Throw in health problems, advanced age, and a less than ideal history, and a dog can definitely be untrainable in some ways.

    Seems to me Regalis knows her stuff and is experienced. Not saying others don't/are not. I am saying, though, that I trust that her handling of her dogs is just fine.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  13. Drogon

    Drogon Hot Topics Subscriber

    I suggest you don't patronize me and read up more about Malamutes
  14. NikiL02

    NikiL02 Formerly Nlr02 $ Forum Donor $

    Attended = people at home vs not? Nope I call BS.

    Neighbor's dog was a prime example. They were home every day but the only attention that dog got was food and water. He had sores on his hips fron laying in the dirt all the time. Home =/= attended. Again, if your dog is attended, theres no reason I can possibly think of that every 3 hours you can't take a dog off a tether for 5 minutes. None.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. Regalis

    Regalis Notable member

    Attended = owner out there with the dog. I was never more than 50 feet from him and could always see him.

    How many trainers and how much money would you be willing/able to spend before you realized that perhaps your dog just was not a suitable candidate for something? We ALL have limits. I don't really expect an answer to this, as everyone's limits will vary.

    Let's think of this. Do any of you own dogs with high prey drives? Do you think it's possible and practical to train them to be %100 reliable around loose prey? No toys, no treats, no ecollar. Just you and the dog. If you still need treats, toys or an ecollar, that is not %100 reliable. Would you EVER feel safe letting said dog off lead around loose chickens? Rabbits? Rodents?

    Some dog breeds are quite versatile. They all have their limits. My husky was reliable in controlled settings. The real world can not be controlled. If he saw a rabbit, he was going after it. Same with some birds. Seagull at the beach? Yup, totally prey.

    Breeds that are specifically bred to live and work completely independently from their owners are notoriously unreliable off lead. Because it's in their dna to think about and question everything. A good lead sled dog will blow commands to keep the team safe. If they sense thin ice, their mushers command won't beable to make them cross it. While it's an awesome trait in that situation, it can be problematic for training. It doesn't have some magical on/off switch and not every husky possesses it. Just as not every lab retrieves. Not every herder herds. They are flukes though, not the majority.

    Let's even say that hypothetically you can train any dog to do anything, what about the time until they are trained? It's not some magical over night process. We all know that. Some dogs take exceptionally longer than others to master the same thing.

    If it was truly possible to take damn near any dog and have it excel at whatever we want - why do police and similar organizations spend so much money getting dogs from known and proven working lines. I mean, after all, according to you, the typical lab can be trained in serious IPO. Why not just hit up the local breeder with much cheaper pups? Why go out of state and sometimes out of country to seek out good working lines?

    I'll leave you with this quote, straight from Leerburg along with the link to the article. It debunks your "any dog can do anything" theories and last I checked, Leerburg is quite respected in the field.

    "Right from the beginning, everyone needs to understand that dogs inherit the drives for protection work. It is a genetic factor and neither a factor of training nor a factor of breed. In other words, if a dog does not have the genes for protection work you are not going to train the drives into the dog. Just because a dog is a German Shepherd does not mean that it can be trained in bite work. That would be like saying just because I have a horse I think it can run in the Kentucky Derby."

    Leerburg | Can I Train My Own Dog in Bite Work?
    • Agree Agree x 2
  16. NikiL02

    NikiL02 Formerly Nlr02 $ Forum Donor $

    Interesting to watch the yellow lab that @Doberman Gang has at their ipo club. Labs inherently are not aggressive and have soft mouths.

    Husky is a type or rather a subtype in the working dog group (imo.) Siberian husky is a breed. Alaskan malamute is a breed of husky.

    Since youre again making this about you, if youre 50 feet from the dog, which is twice the width of my house, and you cant take the dog off the tether for 1-5 minutes to comply with this law? If that is such a hassle then fight against it.

    I feel like this conversation is like the "post your bra colour" on facebook to bring awareness to breast cancer. Lots of awareness, lots of complaints, lots of everything but action.

    If it doesnt mean enough to take action, then all you're doing is complaining about nothing. Which you have the right to do but then stop trying to defend your side and just admit it. Just say I dont like it and I dont want to, i just want to complain. On this board, people are pretty okay with that imho. It's what makes this place generally a great forum.

    Im done. GLHF.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  17. Regalis

    Regalis Notable member

    I can't fight it. I no longer live in the city of Detroit. I have no control over their ordinances.

    I actually repeatedly tried to NOT make this about me. However, I was specifically asked about me and my dogs, so I answered.

    My stance on this issue has been clear since the beginning. This ordinance puts dogs that are not abused at risk of being seized or surrendered. Whether you agree with tethering or not, you can not inherently say a dog tethered for 4 hours is abused or neglected. I don't see how that benefits anyone, let alone the dogs. At the end of the day, would you rather see a dog tethered for a while everyday or euthanized? The odds that these dogs will be adopted are slim. They will also take up space and resources that could better be used for true cases of abuse. When our shelters run out of space, dogs are euthanized. The goal should ALWAYS be to keep as few dogs in that system as possible. Our rescues are overflowing. There is simply no where for more dogs to go. As I stated before, there are many things I don't personally agree with. That does not mean I think the dogs should be taken from their owners or euthanized. I don't have to agree with every aspect of their care, they're not my dogs. Unless it is outright abuse or neglect, it's none of my business. And both of those things can be quite subjective. There are folks who think using a crate or leash is abusive, should we start banning those as well? After all, a crate or leash CAN be used in an abusive manner. So let's just ban them completely to make sure no one abuses them.

    Or should I just not care about laws that don't directly effect me?

    I'm really not sure what your point on huskies was. Around here, if you say husky, it is known that you are talking about a Siberian. Maybe it's a location thing.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I think this thread has pretty much run it's course so I'm going to close it. If anyone wants to start a new thread for the working breed discussion, feel free. :D
    • Like Like x 5
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 1
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