Up-the-Creek Sounds like you are doing a fine job to me. Their are many kinds of dogs, for different reasons. Herding dogs: How could they do their job if confined. Show dogs: Should be well protected. Companion dogs: The little ones that get dressed up. They all have a purpose. We need to address the individual dog. Tethering an animal is not a bad thing. Usually it's for it's own protection, or others. It also sounds like the other animals that are around will do their jobs. The other dogs will protect, the chicken's will produce, etc. I had a Border collie that chewed through a chain link fence. I now have a coon hound that is a pet. He is the laziest dog ever, Does not much else but sleep and eat. .. lol We love him. This is a crazy mixed up world we live in now! Everything seems to be A_ _ Backwards.