If you let your dogs run loose, you’re probably breaking a state law or two. Most states have a “Dog At Large” law, which means you’re not allowed to let your dog roam free on the roadways or neighboring homes. That is unless they’re working dogs on their way from a hunt or herding livestock. You could wind up paying a chunk of money to the courts. Should your dog get hit by a car on the roadway and the car is damaged, you are civilly liable. If the dog has bit someone, no matter the circumstance, you might even wind up being charged with a class “A” misdemeanor. If the dog caused a death of a human, a felony. You, as the dog owner, and no one else, are responsible for the behavior of your dog.
You probably believe you have faith that your good natured canine won’t be a pest or even aggressive to other people or animals. It doesn’t matter how much you trust your dog. A dog is a beast, and a beast will do what a beast will do. If your dog starts running with a pack, that dog will most likely take on the nature of that pack. That’s instinct and that animal will probably follow its instinct when it’s not under your control.
Some state laws say that if a dog is on your property and is acting aggressive or destructive, you have the right to defend yourself and your family against that animal if you feel threatened or in danger. Common sense says that a man should protect his own family and property from danger. That legal school of thought is called the “Castle Doctrine“. In other words, a mans home is his castle. And not only do you have that right, but your neighbors do too. This can apply to animals also!
So how do you make your dog comfortable and still obey the law of the land? First thing I want to mention is that if you tie out your dog with no food, water, or shelter, you’re committing an act of cruelty. There are also many animal cruelty laws of the books that will put you in courts to pay some stiff fines. So here are your options:
- Keeping your dog in the house: I personally don’t believe that a dog should be kept in the house, but that’s just me. I’m a country boy who believes in working animals. For hygiene’s sake, if you house train your dog where he doesn’t mess or pee while in the home, you’re on the right track. Taking it out to do it’s business while under your control will work just fine. If your dog obeys you well enough, just keep an eye on him while he’s hunting a spot outside to relieve himself. Probably best though, that you use a leash just to insure that you’re in control of the situation.
- Building a fenced kennel: This by far is the best method because you’re not having to keep your dog tied to a chain. A good kennel is 12′ x 12′ minimum and is made with a chain link fence that’s high enough to keep your dog contained. That is unless he’s a climber. Then you’d have to fence the top also. Inside the kennel you should have a dog house big enough to accommodate him. Place blankets or straw in the dog house which should be changed from time to time. Make sure that the dog isn’t having to run through it’s own droppings by shoveling it out often.
- Chain or cable runner with a dog house: This method will work just fine if the cable doesn’t have a place to get tangled. Insure that his running area is free of obstacles. And as with the fenced kennel though, make sure that the dog house will keep the wind, rain and snow off of him.
In all cases, make sure that you furnish the dog with “fresh” water and food.