However, it got me to thinking, what do other owners do when they need to go to stores?
I've seen dogs tied to trees and poles as they wait for their masters, and I was wondering when, if ever, I could do that with my dog? At what age?
I have never, ever, left one of my dogs tied to a pole or tree outside a store, nor would I ever do that. I would never take the risk that someone might walk off with my dog. I also know that my dogs would not be happy left tied up that way in a strange location. I have also never left my dogs unattended in a car when I went into a store to shop.
Should You Leave Your Dog Tied Up Outside Of A Store?
Posted by Heather Rose
It's a controversial subject! Some people are adamantly against it, while others do it often with no problems. (Wait a minute, that's something that can be said about nearly everything related to dog ownership, training and feeding!)
In this case, we're talking about leaving your dog tied up outside of store for a couple minutes when you're running errands.
There's even a shaming movement, with a blog out of New York City that used to post photos of dogs tied up outside of stores.
"What happens when you lock a bike up on the streets of NYC? It gets stolen or vandalized. Why would you put your dog in that same situation," says the blog header, and that certainly would make sense to a lot of people.
Dog tethering laws (laws that restrict, prohibit or lead to hefty fines for people who tie their dog up in their yard unattended all day, sometimes in extreme heat or cold) are in place across some areas of North America, with new ones being proposed often. However, few places have laws against tying your dog up outside of a store, unattended but there are many, many reasons why you shouldn't. Three of those reasons are extra important:
Your dog could get stolen. Dogs are stolen frequently, regardless of their breed, size or perceived financial value. They are stolen from backyards, cars and from outside shops - even if it's broad daylight and there's lots of people around. It can happen in an instant, regardless of whether you live in a small town or a big city.
If you do feel safe leaving your dog outside of a storefront for a few minutes, consider investing in a leash that's meant for just that purpose. There are a number of cut-proof or steel cable reinforced leashes available, even ones that have combination locks on both the collar and the leash.
Your dog has to deal with strangers without you. While the primary worry about leaving dogs tied up in front of stores is theft, a huge concern is that your dog will be interacting with strangers without you knowing about it. This means your dog could be around strange dogs, or be interacting with people and small children, who may not know the best way to approach a new dog.
Even if your dog is the friendliest dog around, a pile of small children all of a sudden rushing your restrained dog can cause your dog to become nervous or afraid, and you're not around to keep him - or others - safe.
Ten minutes is not always ten minutes. "Just a few minutes" is one thing, but will it really be just a few minutes? What if something's wrong, and the cashier needs to wait for a manager? What if the lines are way longer than you anticipated? What if you can't find the ingredient you needed for dinner tonight, so you need to change your entire recipe and spend more time getting ingredients? When things like this happen, we can easily lose track of time and not realize that 10 minutes quickly turned into half an hour.