Chained and Tethered Dogs Are More Likely to Bite | A Newport Beach Injury Attorney Shares Why

Did you know it is illegal in California to chain or tether your dog to a stationary object for more than three hours at a time? While many assume this law is primarily in place to protect the health and wellbeing of dogs, the law also protects us against dog bites and dog attacks. A continuously chained or tethered dog isn’t simply a dog which is treated badly by its owner, it also is a possible threat to those around it. Let’s take a closer look.

  • A tethered dog is a territorial dog. Dogs are territorial animals who may feel threatened when their space or possessions are threatened by others. When a dog is chained to an object, its fight-or-flight response is altered—it cannot flee, it can only fight. The result is that anyone approaching the dog may be attacked, even if the dog is not otherwise provoked.
  • A tethered dog is an unsocial and unhappy dog. Continuously chained dogs are not dogs which spend long hours in comfort or in the company of humans. In fact, a chained dog has a high chance of being hungry, thirsty, uncomfortable, and exposed to the elements. Over long periods of time, a tethered dog can become withdrawn, aggressive, and dangerous.
  • A tethered dog is a dog which can be approached by children. A fence protects in two ways: it keeps dogs from getting out and it keeps other people from getting in. A chain or tether only protects in one way: it keeps the dog from roaming, but it doesn’t keep others from approaching the dog. A child can easily walk up to a tethered dog and suffer injury.
  • A tethered dog is a dog which could escape. Chains, collars, and ropes break. Once a tethered dog is free to roam, everyone in the neighborhood could be in danger, especially if the dog has suffered the long-term effects of continuous tethering.

Many dog owners assume if their pet was chained at the time of a dog bite incident or dog attack, they can’t be liable for damages. However, this is not the case, especially considering California law. If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog attack which involved a chained or tethered dog, speak to a Newport Beach injury attorney today. At Russell & Lazarus, we offer free, confidential consultations: (949) 851-0222.

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