Doesn't Man's Best Friend Deserve More than Life on a Chain?

20 Ways to Help

Adopt a Rescued Dog

Build Fences

Build Trolleys

Care for Dogs

Donate Money

Educate Kids

Find Homes for Rescued Dogs

Get Handouts & Merchandise

Learn the Facts

Pass Laws

Stop Dogfighting

Talk to Chained Dog Owners

Watch Celebrity PSAs:


Watch Chaining Presentation

Visit Dogs Deserve Better to join others helping chained dogs!




Installing a Trolley System

Easiest Method | Real Cases | How to Sink a Post

A trolley isn't the best solution for helping a chained dog! Please consider building a fence or bringing your dog inside. Dogs need to be able to run free. You wouldn’t want to live on a chain, and neither does your dog!

If your dog is a fence-jumper, you may be able to alter your fence to keep him from escaping.

A trolley/dog run is better than a fixed chain if you carefully build and maintain it so your dog doesn't get tangled or strangled.

see at Petsmart.comYou can buy trolleys from Petsmart, Walmart and other pet and discount stores. You can buy individual parts  (line, trolley, hooks for the posts/trees) at home improvement stores such as Home Depot or Lowe’s.
We think the best trolley is: Prestige® Skyline Aerial Dog Run. The attachments are made of metal rather than plastic, so they are stronger and less likely to break. You can attach a stronger downline (leash), such as the Prestige Beast Tie-Out to the trolley for strong dogs. 

Easiest Method

The easiest way is to run the trolley between two trees. If you don’t have two trees, you can easily sink posts into the ground and run the trolley between the posts. Or you can use a tree and one post.


Put the trolley in a place where your dog won’t get tangled up or be able to jump a fence.
If your dog jumps over a fence on his leash, he could be hung.

The trolley kit should include “stoppers” you can put anywhere on the line to stop the trolley. If you want the dog to stop four feet from one end of the line, put a stopper four feet from the end of the line. The trolley won’t be able to get past the stopper.

rope clampYou can buy extra stoppers at home improvement stores. Ask for rope clamps. Pick the size that works best for the size of your line. If the clamp is too big, it will slide around.

Real Cases: Lady and Maggie

Here's how Lady's and Maggie's lives were improved by installing a trolley. 

Lady was chained to a clothesline post. Her yard was not fenced and the owner wasn't planning to install one.

We ran the trolley between the two clothesline posts that were already in place. Then Lady had about 10 times more area to run, which she loved!

Lady got very tangled up once and hurt - you have to keep a close eye on trolleys to ensure the dog is safe. You can't just build it and never check on it again.

Maggie lived on a six-foot chain for six years. Maggie's guardian didn't want her to have access to the entire yard.

Maggie after: We ran her trolley between a tree and a post we installed. Because Maggie could jump the fence, we had to keep her from getting too close to the fence. Otherwise, she could jump over and hang herself. We put a stopper (rope clamp) on the line a few feet from the fence. The stopper kept Maggie from getting too close to the fence.  Maggie loved RUNNING back and forth on her line. She seemed to enjoy having her choice of spots to curl up and sleep, too.

How to Set a Post


  • Strong wooden post. The post should be long enough to allow for about 1.5 feet under the ground, and 5-7 feet above ground. Ideally, the post should be tall enough for someone to walk under the trolley line. The post needs to be several inches thick so it won't snap.
  • One 40 lb. bag of concrete mix is plenty for one post. You can use quick-set.
  • Stick or dowel.
  • Water from a bucket or hose.
  • Shovel or post-hole digger.


  1. Dig a hole for the post. The post needs to be at least 1 1/2 or two feet underground.
  2. Put a few rocks in the bottom of the hole, then set the post in the hole. It’s easiest if you have someone to hold the post in the center of the hole.
  3. Pour about one-third of the concrete mix into the hole (pour it around the post). Pour about half a gallon of water into the hole and stir the concrete around with the stick.
  4. Keep adding concrete mix and stirring in water in until the hole is filled with the concrete mix. Refer to the directions on the package.
  5. Cover the concrete with the dirt from the hole. Pile dirt or rocks around the bottom of the post to keep it in place while the concrete sets.
  6. In 24 hours, you post should be set with regular concrete. With quick-set, your post will be ready in an hour.


[Back to top]