What is Debarking a Dog?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Debarking is a veterinary surgery where tissue is removed from a dog's vocal cords.
Debarking is a veterinary surgery where tissue is removed from a dog's vocal cords.

Debarking is a veterinary surgery that involves removing tissue from the dog’s vocal cords. This results in a dog’s voice being quieter, when done properly. It does not stop barking as the word debarking implies, but the bark now sounds like a whisper, and is thus not irritating to neighbors of dog owners that frequently bark.

Debarking dogs is a controversial topic. Some feel it is simply wrong to subject an animal to unnecessary surgery. Further they feel the dog may be emotionally damaged by loss of its voice. Most argue that with training, most dogs, even the “barky” breeds can be trained to bark less frequently. They see debarking as a lazy and cruel method for getting a dog to be quieter.

A dog's bark will sound more like a whisper after debarking.
A dog's bark will sound more like a whisper after debarking.

Supporters of debarking argue that the procedure saves the lives of many dogs that might be sent to pounds because of incessant barking. Some people acquire a dog that barks frequently and are soon immersed in struggles with neighbors who must listen to the dog barking at all hours of the day and night.

For some this means trying to find the dog another home, or simply sending the dog to the pound. Since many dogs never get adopted and are euthanized, supporters see debarking as a far better choice.

Alternatives to debarking a loud dog can include sending the animal to the pound.
Alternatives to debarking a loud dog can include sending the animal to the pound.

Additionally, those who support debarking also state they feel there is no significant evidence suggesting that debarking causes emotional damage to the dog. Since the dog can still bark, though quietly, it has not had its main “warning weapon” stolen. Most dogs that are debarked are usually subject to less remonstration and punishment by owners; so proponents of debarking suggest that dogs that are debarked are actually happier.

Dogs can be trained to reduce barking problems.
Dogs can be trained to reduce barking problems.

Misconception about the results of debarking persists. Some dogs that have undergone debarking are likely to bark frequently, sometimes incessantly. This sounds like a weak cough, and may, in fact, prove especially annoying to dog owners. Thus dogs may be punished for barking even after debarking has occurred.

Opponents of the procedure are partially correct in their assessment that most dogs can be trained not to bark frequently. Certain breeds are associated with barking more often, and they may be the most difficult to train. Further, debarking means the dog cannot use his or her bark to alert owners to danger. However, in some cases, dogs consider just about anything that passes by as danger, so any warnings with a full bark are likely to be ignored.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent AllThingsNature contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent AllThingsNature contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments


Debarking really should only be used if a dog has a growth or cyst and the only way to help the dog or save its life is to "debark" - that I would find agreeable but to debark a dog because people can't tolerate it; I would suggest, don't get a dog or try and train the dog to quieten down a bit; introduce mind challenges, spend more time with them, use the word "softly softly, not so loud!" and this usually works with mine.

To anon3564 - I don't think the procedure can be reversed as it involves "removing tissue from the dog’s vocal cords"; so unless more tissue can be regrown in labs and proceed with a further surgery for the dog to implant the new tissue, I would imagine it's a procedure that has never been done ..


The good news is that the vets who no longer debark can just get retrained to perform last trimester abortions. No wonder the US is the laughing stock of the world, except maybe behind Britain.


One of my dogs barks all the time and I am now at risk of losing my home, which means she is too and so are my other dogs.

She barks on walks, she barks when she plays, she barks at the walls and under tables, she barks when she is happy. All she does is freaking bark! I tried sticking a toy in her mouth but guess what? She still barks! I tried a citronella collar and she figured out how to empty it and even though it means two minutes of being sprayed in the face she still does it and still barks!

These anti debark people have made it impossible for me to find a vet to debark my damn dog so now I am left with two choices: get rid of my dog or me and all three dogs are homeless!


Debarking is plain wrong.


I have a couple of rescued Greyhounds. One was badly treated and is pretty much quiet as a mouse, unless he wants his breakfast or dinner. The other barks all night, and I mean all night. Non-stop. Greyhounds are generally quiet dogs and like to sleep most of the time, but every tiny little noise outside and she's off. We've had complaints from neighbours and tried all kinds of methods to stop the barking.

Now I have two choices: to send the dogs back to the kennel (one cannot live without the other) or have her debarked. The problem is, because the greyhounds are black, nobody wants them. People call up and ask for brindles, or patched, etc. Black greyhounds are not attractive enough for most people. So if I don't have them debarked, I condemn them to another couple of years in a kennel, or even destruction.

Would somebody please tell me how debarking her would make her life worse than being put back in the kennels or destroyed?


I have read numerous articles, talked to several vets, volunteered at animal rescues, taken grooming classes and vet assistant classes.

As an animal lover I was shocked when I first heard of "debarking surgery," but after much research, I am able to see both sides of the issue.

As with any other surgical procedure, there are risks involved, but, when you look into the health, happiness and quality of life for a beloved pet, these procedures might be necessary. Many people, when adopting or rescuing a dog do not think about how much a dog is going to bark. Plus, how would one determine that?

As with declawing a cat, I may not agree with it, but I can understand why it is done. If it is a decision to euthanize an animal, return them to a shelter, or have a surgical procedure that can give you, your pet and your neighbors a higher quality of life, I know what I would do.

There are so many misconceptions about the surgery, that I would suggest that people do their research before judging others.

The voice box is not removed; the vocal cords are only shaved down a bit. The dog is still able to vocalize, just more quietly. I cannot imagine that anyone would do this just because they are "lazy". For most owners, this is a last option after all others have been exhausted.

I want to thank all of the owners who love their animals enough to check out every option available to them, and are not just giving up on their "fur babies".


To anyone who thinks it would be just fine to debark a beagle or any other dog, I think you should muzzle your children and yourself first. You do not deserve a dog if you feel you have to do this.

And to the person who debarked their dog and wants to reverse it, shame on you.


The most annoying thing about reading discussions like this one is that no one bothers to read what has been said before and then information or misinformation gets repeated over and over.

I am curious about debarking. I had to give up a beloved Pomeranian because of her constant barking. I got her as a rescue when she lost her first litter and the breeder wanted to get rid of her. She had lived in a chicken coop of a kennel, barking all the time, and I did not even think of that when we adopted her.

I tried everything that has been mentioned, and still her piercing, shrill bark interrupted the home's quiet from the moment she woke up until the moment she woke up all day all night. She had a best buddy to play with, was held constantly by teenaged children, raced around a half-acre fenced yard, and had loads of toys and activities. If I did it again, I would debark her. I still miss her and one of my daughters still, two years later, cries for her.


Shock collars? What? Let someone else adopt the dog. Treating animals as commodities. It's time humanity stopped chopping bits off here and there for a quieter life and accepted animals as animals.


I have agonized over my decision to have my best friend debarked. I am very limited in where I can live. At the same time I can neither punish or send him back to the pound. Is it more cruel to lock him up or put a torturous shock collar? I've held one of those in my hand, and it is torturous.

His separation anxieties only get worse with a leash or a muzzle. I don't want to do it but I have no choice. I can't move and I would rather die myself then allow him to be euthanized. His bark will stop your heart and can be heard a mile away. My vet told me of the option once he found out my situation. Although it scares me to death, I think I have no choice.


Those of you who are opposed to debarking are full of crap. You've obviously never walked in our shoes and don't know what you're talking about. Here's the common refrain:

1. It's inhumane! And cutting a dog's testicles off is what? Humane?

2. Just train the dog! Sure, just try to train the fetch out of your Lab, then talk to me.

3. If you don't want a barking dog, don't get one! Wow. That's helpful, I've already got the dog!

Yes, we researched the breed before we got it, but it's impossible to predict the dynamic in a particular house, neighborhood, municipality, etc., until it actually happens. We've tried training, citronella collars, every shock collar know to man, invisible fence, daily exercise, etc., etc., etc.

Now, after complaint after complaint, cop visit after cop visit, I'm supposed to do what – turn my dog over to the shelter to be killed? Pull your head out of the sand and understand what's at stake here. People like me don't debark out of convenience because we're "lazy." We debark because the only remaining alternative for our dog is death. Plain and simple. Death. What don't you get about that?


My wife nags too much. Can I get her debarked? My mother-in-law sticks her nose in my business. Can I chop her nose off?

Debarking should not be performed. They debark laboratory dogs so they don't "bother" the scientists. I would love to quick fix some people in libraries.


Train dog to go to crate. Once he knows how to happily do this (because you have given him high reinforcement each and every time he does so) then send him to crate each and every time he barks. Leave him in for one to three minutes, (if he barks in his crate then leave him in there until he quits) then let out again. Repeat every time dog barks.

I, and many of my fellow professional dog trainer colleagues have successfully "debarked" dogs with this method.


I rescued a coonhound mix and after having him several months, realized the reason he was likely dumped was his nuisance barking. I live on a farm and it is annoying as all get out!

I am seriously considering having him debarked after a bark collar and training have not helped. He is bred for this activity (treeing raccoons and barking incessantly to let the hunter know) and my choices are return him to the pound for euthanasia or debarking.

I have two other dogs, and they do not bark like this fella. It's constant, loud and there is no rhyme or reason for it (the other dogs bark when a car pulls in the driveway or someone comes on the property). This dog just barks. All the time. I feel this is a last resort and will actually save his life.


I don't think that the surgery really hurts the dog, I've met plenty of happy dogs who've had it, but at the same time, I've met a lot of people who are a lot louder then dogs at every hour of the night in an apartment complex and I don't see anyone removing their voice box, many people would say that's morally wrong. But anyway, I don't condemn the people that do it. I just wouldn't do it to my own dog.


If you want to have a dog that barks, go live out in the country where your dog won't disturb people. Your dog's "right" to make noise does not supersede my right as a human to peace and quiet.

People post anonymously because owners of noisy dogs have a documented pattern of aggression against people who object.


First of all, it's childish to attack other posters. The point is to post your feelings, not respond to other people.

Second, I have a friend who has since passed away who obtained a Pomeranian whose voice box was removed. She is happy, she is healthy, and she shows no indication of pain. She has been able to live in an apartment and uses a litter box and is classed as a cat because she does not bark. She chirps like a bird when she barks, emitting a high pitched squeak that both I and others find highly amusing and cute. She is very well taken care of and I am more concerned about her adjustment to her new home than her voice.

It's a small snip and the only risk that is infection and the amount of anesthetic.

I have family members angry who have never seen the dog who think it's a rottenly cruel way to silence a dog. My friend could only afford an apartment and she gave him years of comfort. I can, however, understand when you first hear about a dog being debarked that it can sound cruel.


It's quite simple: If you cannot accept that dogs bark, don't get one. Goldfish are silent. It is not your God-given right to put a barky breed where noise is not tolerated or keep any dog without the exercise, companionship and training it needs and then have its vocal cords cut for your convenience.

Fact is, most who order this cruel procedure are breeders, who want to keep many dogs but not hear them, or want them quiet in the show ring. When the dogs are no longer profitable, they're dumped in shelters, with a strange, raspy voice and compromised ability to breathe or swallow. Or they're killed.


Point #1: For those of you who say get a Basenji because it doesn't bark - what about people with allergies who can't have anything but a poodle or a chihuahua?

Point #2: How many people get to choose their neighbors? Maybe we have inhumane neighbors who expect a dog to be silent and won't leave it alone until the dog is killed or given away elsewhere? Maybe we do know the responsibilities of being a dog owner but when we had to move to a new place, we got stuck with those neighbors who won't put up with any noise around the neighborhood? I can try my best to train my dog but I can't train other people to be understanding. Sorry.

Point #3: I have two outside rescue labs who'd be dead if we hadn't taken them in. We've since spent beaucoups of money trying to train them not to bark. We've tried bark collars too. They are smart enough to work around the bark collars. I'm fine with them barking to warn us of an intruder. However, they bark and howl at a full moon all night. They bark at bunny rabbits. They bark at shadows. Sometimes they bark at each other while playing or at the other dogs (like when another neighbors dog gets loose).

Do I care if they bark? No. Do my neighbors care if they bark? Yes. If I'm given the choice between having to have the animal put down/killed simply because of noise complaints from my neighbor or debark them, yes, I'd debark them. I already rescued these dogs once.

Would you really tell me I that I'm a bad person or pet owner? Do you know how much I spoil my babies? Death or make them quieter when barking? How dare anyone accuse someone of being inhumane when given such a choice?


Ever notice all those that say owners are too lazy to train come up as anonymous? Call me lazy, I do not care. I have spent too much on obedience classes, trainers, collars, and hours and hours of time and my rottweiler will still bark at anything that moves.

Around here, they are not adopted much so the pound is not really an option. He is a good dog, he just will not shut up. I am starting to have issues with neighbors over it so I am here reading my options. I have not decided one way or the other, but if I do not opt for surgery he will end up put down for no real good reason.

After six years of expense and training, I'm not willing to give up on him just yet. If six years of trying is lazy, then I am lazy I guess.


The risks and complications with debarking surgery are quite common no matter what the skill of the vet. The surgery does not benefit a dog at all. It is mainly done for breeders who cannot tolerate the sound of many dogs or whose neighbors cannot tolerate it.

This is only a controversial issue because of financial greed of both the breeders who order it and the vets who perform it. It is also done occasionally by uninformed pet owners who are not honestly told of the common serous, sometimes life-threatening complications. How we treat our dogs is a reflection on us as a society. Debarking is banned in the United Kingdom.


Having worked with several breeders over the years and coming into contact with at least 85 dogs, all of which have been debarked, I can say first hand at least by my experiences that debarking has done absolutely nothing detrimental to the dogs. I understand that there are some cases that surgery goes wrong, but honestly, this is in every practice. Spaying and neutering can go wrong. Declawing can go wrong. Cropping and docking can go wrong. Anything that involves surgery can go wrong.

The problem is that people do not see the functionality of what we do to dogs. Spay/neuter prevents unwanted puppies and can also prevent cancer of the testes and uterus. Cropping ears is a long dong practice that actually protects dogs. Nowadays it's mostly done for tradition's sake, but back in the day, these dogs had their ears cropped because they were protection dogs, and it was to prevent ears from being grabbed and torn and also to make dogs more intimidating. Same goes for docking of tails.

Debarking, as it is done nowadays, is for people who either have a lot of neighbors, or a lot of dogs, and it is more convenient and practical to have a dog who whispers rather than screams.

I can honestly say that in all the dogs I have owned, seen, and worked with, debarking is initially a surprise to them, but they quickly get over it and perform just as normally as dogs who are not debarked.

The breeders I know often times have one or two dogs who aren’t debarked, and I have seen absolutely no difference between the debarked dogs and the non debarked dogs. They still have a voice, they still all communicate with each other, there is no segregation of the dogs from one another (which is done with dogs of different colors anyway. Yes, believe it. Dogs can segregate each other depending on color). There is absolutely no difference.

It is a surgery. Find a good surgeon. If you want to, even get testimonials from people. But do not blame the procedure because of one bad experience. That's like saying getting your tonsils removed is bad because the doctor messed up on you. Don't be so biased. I'm not saying there aren't things that go wrong. There are, but that is not the fault of the procedure itself.

For those who say 'it's not natural' well what about dogs who wear collars, leashes, booties and sweaters. You think half of these dogs want that? When we first put the collars on the puppies they scratch and whimper and roll around trying to get the thing off. Its not normal. They don't like it, but they must wear it anyway for our convenience and their safety. Same thing with debarking.

If you want to do it, then learn the actual risks. Not what terrible things happened to Mary and her dog or John and his dog. Learn the true statistics from the vets who perform the surgery. Or from other people who have had it done properly.

Find a good vet in your area, get statements from other people and talk to your vet about the risks as well! It is a surgery just like any other, and I am getting frustrated with people blasting out all types of negative speculation over a helpful and sometimes necessary procedure.


I find it interesting that this article makes no mention of the horrible risks and complications of this procedure. I adopted a debarked dog from a rescue group without knowing he was debarked.

The dog had been dumped by a breeder once the breeder found out that my dog was no longer useful to her business (not "show quality").

Since I adopted my sweet dog, he has had problems breathing and expensive surgery to try to help his breathing, which was compromised due to the scar tissue which formed from the debarking surgery. According to the vet who did the corrective surgery my dog's larynx was permanently damaged from the debarking surgery which I found out was done the "least invasive way" through the oral cavity.

My dog chokes and gags from the debarking surgery. These are common risks that can happen years after the surgery. This surgery is commonly ordered by people who keep dogs for profit or sport. It is cruel and inhumane. A bark collar can be removed. My dog's breathing will never be normal and he is at risk for dying a horrible death because of this convenience surgery.


Comparing debarking to spay/neutering is like comparing a hang nail to declawing! The simple fact is both surgeries are only for the convenience of humans, but spay/neutering is good for the owner, the animal and the community.

Female cats/dogs that are spayed before their first litter have their chances of getting mammary cancer cut by more than half and males have a much lower chance of getting testicular cancer. Plus, having cats/dogs fixed leads to fewer litters, which means fewer animals being carted off to animal shelters to be put to sleep, which usually happens to about half of all animals going there, unless they are no-kill.

Now tell me, besides the dog being quieter and neighbors complaining (and really, who cares what the neighbors say), what wonderful almighty benefits does debarking have? Nothing.

Dogs that are debarked can become more frantic in their need to bark, can develop lots of scar tissue in the throat, causing eating and drinking to be painful. It can leave emotional scars, causing the dog to become forever quiet and less social.

The bottom line is, if you need to alter an animal to fit into your lifestyle, whether it's a dog or cat, then don't get one.


@post no. 62: You require a license to drive a car, catch a fish and have a campfire when camping! Yet any inept and incapable ignoramus can own (and clearly neglect or abuse) a pet. Consider the needs of pets such as dogs and horses, read article 62, then tell me that animal licensing is a bad idea.

Whichever country this ignorant, angry child is from, your society should be concerned. This child dreams of murdering his/her dog. Oh my God! I find this so concerning, since many, if not most, serial killers have animal torture in their adolescence, in common.

If the author of article 62 is not a child (such a disturbing thought) I desperately hope he/she is reported to the RSPCA. If the author is a kid then may the parents be reported to the RSPCA and that child never be allowed to have pet responsibilities -- never!

Please may that dog be taken away and relocated, please!

No one, four legged or two, should be living in a situation where the person caring for them dreams of killing them!

Essentially, may the author of article 62 receive their actions (abuse and neglect) back 10 fold.


Really people, get over yourselves. I hate dogs. i think they're nice to look at, and that's about it. Sadly, my parents got a dog and apparently since i love animals and take care of the ones i have they thought this dog could be my responsibility.

We have now had this dog for a year and she is driving me crazy. Debarking is a great idea, in my opinion. I wish i could get this dog debarked and then problem solved!

We can't have people or family and friends over. She barks at people walking buy our house or into theirs. You people who find it cruel or inhuman to debark a dog or two-faced dog owners who say oh you should get your dog fixed. there are too many dogs in the world. Please, there are too many people in this world but you don't see people being forced to abort their babies or keep them instead of giving them up for adoption.

"My" dog was driving me crazy to the point where I've had dreams of killing her. A lot of you will try and say that I'm a crappy pet owner, but I'm not, which is why my rabbit lived her life to the max 10 years of love and care. My cat, who's still alive and has been with me for seven years, is happy and playful.

My dog is the only unhappy one even though I've been training her and doing all i can. She only changed a little. I've bought the perfect dog dvd and all that crap and my dog is now muzzle trained. That's just crap. She doesn't like the training and as soon as the muzzle is off she is either barking or not listening to the commands given.

The barking is what is going to cause problems. I would love to debark her. I don't get to yell all i want and neither should she. If other people can get their dogs fixed, then other people who want to debark their dogs shouldn't be looked down on, because in both situations you're still taking something away from the dog.

Whoever wants to respond to this can, but I don't care. I won't be back to this site. I've said what i needed to say. Now, I have to go feed my ungrateful dog who thinks she owns the world.


I totally agree with 54. My barker is one of several dogs. He was found as a stray around 8 weeks. He is very intelligent and stops barking if I am standing within 15 feet of him, so he knows he isn't suppose to just bark. I have invested over $2000 in professional trainers--who say the same thing I do--doesn't bark if he can see them. He was debarked.

I no longer yelled, he seemed happier because he thought he was still barking but no one was yelling. He learned to bark around the debark. I have had several citations that I have been lucky enough to fight and win because of all the time, money and surgery that he has had. He has over an acre to run on with another dog (who rarely barks except when needed) That dog is the dominant one. He has worn bark collars of all types and he has figured out how to bark without setting them off or he has actually accepted being burned on the neck by collars that do work. Short of death, what am I to do?

And yes, he does bark in the house and outside. He would never bite or fight. Give me an option please!


I love my dogs. Lucky for me they don't bark excessively. I keep them active, so you know what Cesar says "a tired dog is a well behaved dog". Even if my dogs were yappers I don't think I would debark. After all, I have two cats too, and they scratch stuff, but instead of declawing I just got them a few scratching posts and clip their claws, and the scratching is minimal. It's a little more work clipping their nails every two weeks or so, but declawing would not be an option that I would be comfortable with.


i have a jack Russel (parsons) dog and he barks all the time when he is out in the garden. the people living next door have complained to me first, then to the council. i have tried to get him to stop barking and failed.

he also has fits and bites when he gets excited or when people show anger or aggression. i cannot rehouse him, and i wouldn't if i could.

He is part of my family and with his biting and him having fits, i would have to have him put down as i could not rehouse him. If having him debarked will save his life and keep the council off my back, i will have it done.


Not that anyone asked but here's how I feel:

If you want a dog that doesn't shed, you don't get a Pomeranian and have it shaved weekly, do you? So if you want a dog that doesn't bark, why not get a Basenji (they can't bark naturally)? You don't want a Basenji, you say? Well maybe you should consider not getting a dog at all. How about a cat or a nice pot-bellied pig?

Speaking of cats, if you want a pet that doesn't scratch the furniture, don't get a cat and then have the poor thing declawed! Maybe a hamster?

And while we're on the subject of surgically altering an animal for no medical reason, I think tail docking and ear cropping should be outlawed. Let's face it: the vast majority of times, these are purely cosmetic procedures and anyone who believes otherwise is just plain wrong.

If you think I'm being dramatic, go online and do a quick search. It ain't pretty.


Humans aren't allowed to make as much noise as they want. Why should dogs be any different?


To those who think that debarking is barbaric and cruel: seriously? A little dramatic much? Neutering or spaying a dog has a much more pronounced effect on their life and personality than debarking, and we encourage those surgeries.

Sure, debarking is unnatural, but so are many other things we do to our dogs, and given the quality of life they have living with us versus in the wild, I hardly think they're enduring excessive suffering if we debark them.

I have a dog who is extremely intelligent and has learned to do many things and understand many words, in many cases with barely any instruction at all. That being said, for four years I have been trying to train him not to whine and bark as much as he does, and I've had virtually no success. If I tell him "quiet", he may shut up for about fifteen seconds if I'm lucky before he bursts forth into whining and barking again at the slightest of stimulation.

He is exercised regularly, which only makes it worse. (He's quiet during the exercise, but that's it.)

He's a mutt that was adopted from a shelter when he was eight weeks old, and his background is unknown and not obvious to look at him, so I had no idea what I was getting into personality-wise (apart from the fact that he was gentle) when I adopted him. I'm not planning on having him debarked because fortunately in our living situation, he isn't annoying anyone except for me, but I'm glad to know that it is an option should things change in the future.


Actually 51: Dogs are emotional animals, although they may not feel or express emotions in exactly the same way as humans. If you are ever looking for a good read, I would encourage you to read the book "For the Love of a Dog" by Patricia McConnell. Great information about the relationships between humans and dogs and provides a lot of evidence that dogs do "feel."

I also will likely have my dog debarked as he is becoming very bothersome to the neighbors. For me it's basically come down to the fact that his quality of life - being kept inside all day because he barks - will actually be better off if he can get outside without his barker.


I love dogs and have five of them. I understand what 47 is saying about one starting and them all going and all five of them starting the other eight or nine dogs in the neighborhood barking.

49, you need to understand that dogs are not people. They are animals. The reason people have so many issues training their dogs is that they don't want to offend them. Dogs do not feel emotions like we do. Don't feel bad, because humans naturally and to give animals human emotions to connect with them.

Dogs show what people think of as emotion as a learned behavior. They do not feel guilt, anger, or sadness (contrary to popular belief). Remember, dogs are still reminiscent of wolves and all their behaviors can be traced back to that. I'm not saying dogs are empty shells, but they do not process information in an emotional way, unlike humans.

Personally, if all else fails, my dog will be debarked. I love the hound sound of his deep bark, but the neighbors do not. Nor do they appreciate the fact that he alerts to everything from cars going down the road to birds at the bird feeder. He was a rescue off an Amish farm and has too many traumas in his past to rehome him.

He's quite comfortable around me (the first person to ever touch him in a kind manner) but is still wary of every other human he encounters, even the ones he encounters on a daily basis. There's no way he can be rehomed so if all else fails, it's come down to debarking or death for him and I'd like to keep him around.


It may not be inhumane, but is definitely cruel. If you want a pet/companion that doesn't bark, get a cat.


to story 47, why the hell do you have eight dogs if you can't handle it. get one. don't try and defend yourself by saying you did a lot of research. honestly taking away a dog's bark is like taking away their personality. it's how they communicate.

how would you like it if someone "softened" or "took away" your voice? you wouldn't sound like yourself. of course you would calm down and stop talking after a while. you don't know how dogs think. their culture is much different than ours. I'm taking an english class about them, so don't try and sit here and defend yourself.

you're using your dogs for your own benefit and not theirs. people like you anger me a lot because you think of dogs as objects but not beings. They are the only animals that are social with us so you should respect them like that, and if you can't, then you should give them to someone who can. each dog has a specific environment they should be in.

even if people who take my side don't have specific "evidence," we have specific morals. animals are living things, too.


Well my opinion is that debarking isn't needed per se, but some humans just don't want to control their dogs.

I have a "lovely" neighbor who lets her dogs out very frequently in the backyard and then the barking starts. Sometimes I can't even open a window or the little twirps start barking. Even at two in the morning!

For those kind of people I recommend debarking. Just for the peace of the public.

And for the anti debarking people. How would you like to spend your sunny day off in your yard with constant barking right next to you and you can't do anything about it?

These dogs start the whole neighbourhood dog barking galore. The little creeps start to bark and some dogs just join in. Luckily they are being controlled because after two barks you can hear the owner. Unfortunately the little creeps continue.


No. There's no way to reverse a "debarking" nor is there any need for it unless you're looking for a guard dog. As you must know, debarking is actually bark softening, and the dog can make all of the same sounds it would without the procedure, except for the volume and high pitch. I can't imagine why you'd actually want to reverse it.

I have eight dogs. I just had three debarked, because they have always been naturally more "happy" than the others and bark at the drop of a hat, which in turn gets the other dogs barking, whose excitement then fuels the initially barking dogs, who then continue to bark.

Regardless of what anyone not in this situation may think, multiple dogs are significantly more difficult to train not to bark. It's like putting a bunch of kids in a room and telling them to be quiet. It's easier said than done.

I can only speak from my own experience, but having my three debarked was the best thing I could have done. It was a simple 15 minute procedure, much more safe and with less anesthetic than a dental or spay/neuter, they came home that day, and ate that night.

They don't notice a difference at all, and I still get to hear all their cute sounds and when they want to alert me to something (or nothing), but the other dogs don't get excited and start barking along with them anymore. It's more of a bark or two, I can ask them to be quiet (and they can hear me at a normal voice level, unlike when I had to scream over them when they all go barking, which was useless as was every other tactic I tried), the other dogs stay quiet, and the initial barker settles down and stops barking too.

They are much, much calmer, are able to still alert to well, usually nothing, but they quickly realize no one's getting excited about it, so they calm down.

It's made my life much much better, my neighbours won't have to hear them, not that they were annoying them in the first place, but I don't have to worry about that ever happening, and the dogs are happier and calmer.

So, that's my experience with debarking. I did a lot of research ahead of time, and had heard all the negativity surrounding it, which truthfully only came from people with no real facts to back up their anger filled posts.

I did the only rational thing, which was to listen to everything, but weight them accordingly, giving a lot more weight to the testimonials of people with real world experience with it.

I was nervous, as I would be with any procedure, but I can honestly say that I would do it again if I felt it was the right thing to do, and would recommend it to anyone struggling with barking issues that they can't get under control in other ways.

As I said, I only had three of eight dogs debarked. I don't think it's a procedure that should be done without a very good reason, or without trying other things first, but it can significantly improve the quality of life for the dog, it's owners, it's neighbours and even other pets in the home.

To anyone thinking of doing it. I would just say to do your research, and make a decision based on solid facts, and what you feel is best for you and your dog.

Don't let other people's ignorance make you feel guilty for considering it.


why take a breed known for its voice, take home in the first place and debark it? would you try it on your whining baby? whatever happened to a little love?


We are facing the dilemma of what to do with our little poodle, who loves to yap at everything.

We rescued him when he was five months old so he had already had massive trust issues and learned some bad habits: like barking at everything that moves and peeing on anything left on the floor. We are now tidier people, because nothing gets left on the floor.

But nothing has deterred this little guy from his mission of letting us know he's there. Water spray and the collars don't work. He loves the water and ignores the collar. Constant commands to be quiet work occasionally. Nothing works consistently.

He was abused by a big tall person and we have a son who is very tall. Our little guy hates him with a passion unless he's sitting with our other dogs. Then he will submit to a gentle pat, but if my son moves, then the barking starts again. Now the neighbours have had enough and have complained to the council so we have to find a permanent solution.

This little guy has had a hard life so far we don't want to face the only alternative (the pound) because no one wants an insistent, yappy dog.

Debarking is our last resort. The other option of getting rid of our son wasn't seriously considered either. We love them both.


i have five dogs but one is my lead barking dog. she is so loud it makes your ears ring. i have put her in shock collars, held her muzzle, gave her treats, said no, sprayed her, no use.

i asked my vet to debark her and they said no. if i don't get her fixed when i move she will have to be put in a shelter and because she is overly shy with fear issues, she will be put down, but i will continue to look for a vet till that day comes. Is it inhuman of me to want my baby to live a long happy life or should i let her sit in a cold cage and be put on a table injected and die cold and alone? you choose.


Here are some things to consider: I'll put it on the record that I don't condone any unnecessary surgeries on animals or humans, and this includes debarking dogs, declawing cats, venomoid king of snakes, etc.

I also do not totally condone spaying/neutering either: it is, by logic, an unnecessary surgery if you consider “unnecessary” to be anything that is not done for the benefit of the animal’s health or to save the animal's life, but only to make life easier for humans: will the dog die if it is not neutered? No. The only purpose is to make the lives of humans easier, as it will mean one less litter of feral dogs running around for us to catch and throw in the pound.

That said, I accept the procedure at this time, if for no other reason than to preserve the native wild organisms which would be destroyed by feral animals.

However, in a perfect world where people would need to be certified as responsible citizens to own animals (or have children, for that matter), it wouldn't be needed.

Also, I will point out that people do tend to anthropomorphize dogs and other pets too often: not only are dogs animals and not humans but, to be frank, they are genetically engineered animals and can no longer be considered wild or a part of mother nature any more than one can consider the domestic cow or the mutant zebrafish marketed as “glofish” they sell at pet stores now to be “natural.”

Dogs may not have been produced in a laboratory, but they have still been genetically and physically altered by humans from their natural state through thousands of years of selective breeding to suit our purposes. Just some food for thought for both sides of the argument.


Why not just train your dog not to bark too much? Sheesh, it's like people just want the easy way out these days. If you can't handle your dog barking, then I really wonder why you chose to get one in the first place.

It's as bad as declawing a cat, when it's so easy to train a cat not to scratch the furniture (even by just spending a trivial amount of money to buy it a scratching post).


I adopted an adorable papillon who had been debarked by his breeder. The dog still barks and is able to communicate, but it's easy on my ears.

My dog's happy, I'm happy, my surrounding neighbors are all happy. On the flip side, one of my neighbors has two adorable dogs that bark at the drop of a hat. They're constantly yelling at their dogs and trying to train them, but to no avail. Seems like a no-brainer to me. I strongly recommend debarking and will have any future dogs of mine debarked. All you're doing is turning down the volume.


The world would be better off if we could devoice humans who have nothing better to do than complain about a dog barking. Get a life or get ear plugs- and if it is your dog and you are too lazy and selfish to humanely teach him otherwise, then perhaps you should get a cat.

Dogs have a voice for a reason and not for a matter of your convenience or inconvenience.


I have a six month old who is so loud she sits on the couch and cries. I'm thinking of having her de-barked. I wish she was more like our dog who is ever so quiet. What? If you can do it to the dog members of your family why is it not acceptable for a baby? That's right -- it's not acceptable for either one.

Those who agree with de-barking should have your typing fingers removed as it is very annoying to read what you write.

Don't get a dog if you can't handle barking!


Spay/neuters on animals are done to control over-breeding. taking away an animal's "right" to reproduce is a choice made to prevent over populations in shelters, stray breeding, and even incest.

it is not a surgery to correct a nuisance, such as barking. comparing the two surgeries isn't logical. De-barking is an operation for worst-case scenarios only, and should stay as such.


The first thing in our puppy training class we were taught is that a dog is not a human, so don't compare it to one. I have read about dogs being compared to babies and siblings. Stop that! I am a dog lover too but you have to look at the reality of it: dogs are dogs not humans.

We bought our Prys because we were supposed to live on a farm but due to changes in life we had to move into a village. Our dogs have a lot of space, get a lot of exercise and are great dogs, but they bark constantly. We have tried everything.

For those of you who think debarking is cruel what do you suggest if you have tried everything on the list? Our dogs get plenty of exercise, by the way. Give them away?

And I agree that spaying your dog is the same. For those people who think debarking is cruel, you think cutting off the right for your dog to reproduce is OK? Please people, post educated responses. Do the research please. Debarking is banned for that exact reason, people talk before they look at the facts!


debark a dog? why not just remove the ears of the owners or neighbors? what's the difference?


Listen to yourselves arguing amongst each other. some dogs are sent to pounds and euthanized because they bark too much and the owners have tried to do every "possible" thing.

You may say it's because of the owner and they chose wrong, but by then, it's too late. You can't just say because it'll never be done. if debarking prevents them being euthanized, then why argue? do you want them sent to the pound? and in my opinion i think debarking is wrong. if it's for the best for the dog, then do it.

the owners that debarked the dog aren't wrong, they just did what they thought was best. if they at least thought about what would happen to the dog after its surgery, please don't argue with them because you are not them and you don't know how they think.


Do you quit your job to be there all day to squirt them with the bottle or pay someone to do it when your at work? How does that work?

The people that think this is cruel have never lived with or near a serious barker. I've placed 100 rescue dogs and have owned 10 dogs of my own but now I have a serious barker. I placed him and he came back and I know it's because of the barking.

If I leave to run errands he is barking. When I return he is still barking. The next door neighbors say he will bark non stop for the eight hours I'm at work.

If he is moving he is screeching. He screeches when he plays, when I shift in my chair or take a step towards the door. He's screeching when he runs through the door. I have used a shock collar on him. When it's on he sits in the corner of the room and doesn't move.

If it's on when the dogs are out playing he sits in the corner of the yard and sulks. Which is more cruel? Debarking or never playing again?


For all of you who think debarking is OK, you're no animal lover and are selfish and merciless.

What has society come to when they want to mess with mother nature just to suit their lifestyle? Gimme a break!

I'm a big animal lover and would never ever subject my dog to such a barbaric, cruel and inhumane procedure.

Get to know the dog and its behavior before you adopt it and also seek training and have a patient and loving heart to train your loved one.

All vets should lose their license if they do this procedure. Say no to debarking!


Dogs who get an appropriate amount of exercise will not bark half has much. people are clearly not as prepared as they think they are when they get a dog.

First of all, research the breed. if you live in an apartment, maybe a hound dog is not right for you. clearly, getting a dog is a common sense decision. if you do not have enough time in the day to exercise your dog properly, then don't get one! dogs bark for attention, whether it's for protection or just for someone to pet them. people who get their dogs debarked are just plain ignorant. read the books before you get a dog. if you know you won't have enough time to train it properly, then wait until you do.

a dog is like a child; they need lots of attention. i like the point of the screaming baby. if your child was screaming throughout the night, would you have a piece of its vocal chords removed? No, you wouldn't! so why would you do the same thing with a dog.

Barking is a form of communication. The dog is trying to tell you something. Listen! And yes, i do believe in spaying/neutering because it controls the pet population. because again, ignorant people are buying cats and dogs and letting them run around the neighbourhood getting pregnant, or impregnating and cannot afford to properly care for the litter, which leaves them in pounds or as strays.

so at least in Canada our pounds do not euthanize just because they don't have room for the animals. it's actually illegal now. so yes, i think that dogs should go to better suited people before debarking. Use your heads when it comes to dogs!


How is debarking any more cruel than spaying or neutering? You are taking away something that comes "naturally" to the dog when you spay or neuter, just as you are lessening a bark that comes naturally when you "debark". I'm going to have to debark a dog of mine-he barks at everything.


Sorry debarking is such a barbaric and lazy solution to a problem for the owners. You buy a breed known to bark a lot -- what do you expect? Why would any sane person even consider it? It's a quick fix solution for the owners who can't be bothered to address their dogs real problems. Dogs don't bark for the hell of it, they bark for a reason.

How bizarre people think this is OK? Do people not think there is something wrong with it as it's banned in most countries and numerous US states.

Stop your whining and train your animals!

'My dog barks!' - Solution? Cut its vocal cords! Seriously? You really think that's right?

'My cat scratches my furniture!' - Solution? Declaw the cat! Really? Cats climb and defend with their claws, but it's all right as long as your precious sofa isn't damaged!

What's next? 'My dog won't stop biting! Solution? Remove its teeth! Can guarantee some idiot will try it.

All are quick fix solutions for the owners' comfort and unwillingness to train their animals properly! No one said dog ownership was easy and it does take a lot of work. My two dogs don't bark unless threatened and both have their vocal cords intact. I have well behaved dogs without feeling the need to mutilate them. Put the effort in and you'll succeed. Don't put it in and you end up annoying yourself and neighbours and your poor animal gets mutilated as a result! Well done -- you must be so proud!


I have tried training, medication, citronella collars and shock collars, but nothing works with my Beanie. It has gotten to the point that I cannot leave my house because she barks the entire time and drives my new neighbors crazy. I have put up with this in two different homes and I cannot shut my life away for my pups anymore. I refuse to give her away, so right now, debarking seems to be the only solution. I need my life back, but my dog needs to be in it. How is this cruel? She is not in pain, she is not alone and she is very loved. She would think it crueler to be placed back in the pound.


I am a small Sheltie breeder and have had my more "vocal" Shelties debarked for years and have never had a problem. The dogs come home and act like nothing happened. Once in a while I have one that comes back but my vet will re-do at no charge if that happens. Most of the time the bark is softened for life. We can still hear the dogs, but the sound doesn't carry across the neighborhood! I have never had any problems with the procedure over the years and it doesn't seem to faze the dogs at all. In my opinion it's much more humane than shocking the dog or yelling at it every time it starts barking. My Shelties can happily chase and bark at those squirrels all they want! The problem is there are too many people putting human emotions on dogs. Done properly this procedure is a blessing! More simple than a spay or neuter. I agree training should be a first option for pet owners, but "play barking" is not something that you can just train out of a dog.


I adopted a lab mix from a shelter and it became immediately apparent why she was given up in the first place-incessant barking. We tried everything-the collars, training, plenty of exercise to no avail. Not only were my neighbors up in arms, but it was nerve- wracking in our own home and yard. To avoid having to send her back to the shelter and an unknown fate, I had her debarked. She still had a voice and a quiet bark which was not offensive to anyone, and she lived an astounding 19 and a half years, happy as a clam. It is far more cruel to take an already once-abandoned dog out of a loving home and place them back in a shelter than to have a simple out-patient procedure performed. Hard to imagine that anyone cannot see the irony in calling this cruel, when the alternatives are far more agoninzing.


Debarking a beloved pet is one of the most cruel thing I've ever heard! Take him to training class instead!


I think you bleeding hearts are pathetic...anyone who would think debarking is inhumane and a lazy last resort, obviously hasn't had to deal with the frustrations that come with a screaming dog. Debarking is a last resort that only comes when every factor of the dogs well-being is being jeopardized...for instance, I have four huskies, all working dogs, we race dog sleds, yet, all four live inside, eat with me, sleep with me, dog parks, the whole bit. One of my younger males doesn't just bark...he screams. And at the top of his lungs to boot. I have neighbors and roommates and though I may be able to tolerate it, they cannot. So what's more humane, I'd like to ask you people, that I take a young pup away from his 'pack' because the country is going to take him to be euthanized...or do i simply muttle the shrillness of his voice, in order to keep him where he belongs and keep him happy?


*Thank you*! To all dog owners who have taken responsibility for their canine companions and had them de-barked. First of all, I love dogs.

We moved into a house where you cannot go anywhere in the house to escape a consistent beagle barking.

The first 2 years in this house were hard with no peace, don’t even think about going in the back yard, watching TV, eating in your kitchen or getting a dog of our own! There were other neighbors that this bothered and had tried talking to the owner with no success. I finally had to write a 2 page letter how this effected our life and they finally tried the citronella collar which seemed to work although you have to remember to refill. I think the dog has been de-barked because I can still hear him bark, but in a much lower tone, not a deafening, maddening bark. In which case, I am glad they do not have to remember to put the collar on and spend money all the time. People who think it's cruel have not been to the pound, or lived behind a dog stuck in the backyard all day to bark.


I have litter mates, brother and sister. They are mastiff Husky mix. Both started barking incessantly at the littlest things! One would set the other off and no amount of calming them down worked. I tried training them to only bark at certain things and rewarded them when they stopped. This has worked to an extent but only with the girl. So we invested in a set of electric collars. The girl does not even need hers on now. She hardly ever barks anymore.

As for the boy! I am at my wits end with him. He is not responding to the collar at all. He just barks right through it. He is costing me a fortune in batteries. I love him to bits and I could not separate them or choose between them. I found this article about debarking and I am seriously considering it. I live in Spain and do not know if our local Vet knows about debarking or if he would even do it?


De-barking removes a very small piece of the vocal cord, (not the entire vocal cord) which in turn makes the bark softer. It doesn't eliminate the bark, and it does not change their personalities at all.

Get educated. Make decisions based on fact, not emotion. What really is cruel, is repeatedly spraying your dog in the face, repeated shocking or even worse, your dog being taken away from you to fend for itself in the shelter (where you know it will bark--loudly!) and then get euthanized.


I have had a dog for about 3 years who was passed onto us from a previous owner who could not stand his constant barking. It finally got to the point my husband had enough too and said we needed to do something with him. We tried a shock collar which ended up making raw marks on his neck ($300) then we tried the citronella collar ($300)and after about a week he got used to it and barked all day and night we finally rang a dog training company and got him trained ($450) after a few months of less barking he fell back into his old ways and was annoying the new neighbors that had just moved in all hours of the night. Debarking i wasn't sure about but now i know its the right thing to do. I am getting my dog done this monday and i am hoping although some people say its cruel it is better than giving your dog away the relationship between everyone will be better as there will be no tension over my dog barking. I get to keep my friend and i don't make any enemies


Most behavior problems like excessive barking are taking care by giving your dog enough exercise, training activities, and daily walks. To the comment comparing debarking and fixing a dog is not accurate. You fix a dog so they don't breed not to fix their behavior problems. If you get a dog fixed and still don't care for the dog properly, you will still have problems. If a trainer can't help you with your dog's behavioral problems, either you are not listening to the trainer or your trainer doesn't know what they are talking about.


I have 5 dogs and 2 have been debarked as a last resort rather than have my HOA require me to get rid of them. Those who think it's cruel or inhumane just don't get it. They still bark to greet us, as well as warn us, it's just at a lower volume level. But when I want to play ball in the yard, my neighbors don't call the police. It's general anesthesia through the mouth with no incisions, up in a short time and back home just being themselves by the end of the day. Those that argue about the risks of surgery are the same that advocate spay/neuter (which is, of course, a good thing). Apparently, however, you'll support that because it's easier on you not to have a dog in heat, not to mess your carpet, not to produce unwanted litters. If you were a proper owner, one could argue you're too lazy to keep an eye on your dog running lose, so just spay it to keep it from getting pregnant. I know that is hopefully not the case, but it's the same argument you make against debarking. The argument regarding spay/neuter reducing cancer is somewhat silly since dogs have been around for thousands of years and all of sudden, cancer runs rampant?!? That is probably more to do with feeding processed kibble and table food than it has to do with their reproductive organs. 4 million dogs euthanized in shelters over the last year, and you're arguing about a simple outpatient surgery to keep a dog in it's home with a family that loves it enough to take the steps necessary to keep him there.


We have 2 German Shepherds, litter mates, 4 years old, male & female and both are fixed. He barks! He barks when he is in the house while we are gone, he barks the entire time we are gone, and he has company. With the doors and windows closed our neighbors can hear him and you can hear him from across the street. Anytime someone comes near the door, or the front side walk he barks and barks.. we try to distract, we tell him to Leave It, which works with chasing the cats and jumping on the furniture. We have used bark collars, expensive ones too... even if left on for about 6 hours he gets raw.

So if we want it tight enough to work he ends up raw and if it's loose it doesn't work. We have even had a trainer.. nothing has worked. I can't keep having my neighbors telling me that he barked all day if we go to the zoo or visit family. And his bark is deep and loud. And another neighbor, who is shut in has considered calling the cops. A nuisance dog in our county gets 3 warnings and then it's gone. Do I really have a choice with him at this point?

His sister doesn't bark at all..not at the turkeys that came in our yard, the cats that come through or the neighbors when they are in their own yards.


I tried the spray bottle but my dog would stop barking to take catch the spray for a drink and then he'd bark some more!


To the person who asked about citronella collars:

I have a Pomeranian and I love him to pieces. Pomeranians are a very, very vocal breed. I have tried citronella collars to curb his barking. He figured out that if he barked long enough the citronella ran out and then he could bark to his hearts content. He didn't like the citronella - the first few times the collar sprayed it surprised him enough to stop his barking for a moment. Then he learned it wasn't going to hurt him and the collar was useless.

I also tried a shock collar. They don't work on dogs with long, thick hair since the electrodes didn't touch his skin.

He's getting a lot better about not barking in the house. When he's trying to get my attention he uses what I call a 'whisper bark' (he looks like he's barking but no sound comes out)a very quiet bark, or he growls under his breath. If someone walks by he will bark like he weighs 5000 pounds whether he is inside or outside, but usually stops or quiets down when I tell him "No Bark!" This isn't always successful but I keep on him.

It has been a constant process getting him to stop barking as much as he has. I could retire if I got a dollar for every time I've told him 'No Bark'. I just hope that none of the neighbors complain to the landlord about his barking.

It has taken 6 months to get him partially trained not to bark. If it came to the point of debarking him or being evicted, I would debark him. I'm not in a financial situation to buy my own home out in the country and most apartments in my area do not allow dogs.

I think dogs are more adaptable than people give them credit for. Look at all the dogs who have lost legs, tails, ears, and eye, and they just fine. My mom has a pug with ine eye and she is the same happy dog as she was before.


This is a difficult subject with a lot of emotional weight behind it. But I think most people who have their dogs undergo this, do so because they have neighbors that complain. The comments seem to evidence this. They're not doing it because it bothers them, but because their hands are forced to it.

I also noted a lot of mention of shock collars, but none of citronella collars. These create a bit of a spray that is shocking but not mean. Many don't like the smell. The only thing I have heard is that these only work sometimes and if there are 2 dogs in the home, the barking of one dog can set off the collar on another dog, so they might not be the appropriate reinforcement.

Has anyone had luck with or tried citronella collars? I'd be interested to hear what people thought of them.

The other thing that could be tried in lieu of debarking is a few week's consistent training with a spray bottle. Any time the dog barks, give them a quick spray of water. Most dogs don't care for it, and they begin to quickly associate a squirt of water with barking behavior.


From what I have heard, one of the main arguments for debarking is that it would be even more cruel to send the dog away or have it subjected to euthanasia because of its bark. I ask you, is the person who would be willing to kill off their dog because it was "bothering" them the sort of person suitable for owning a dog in the first place? If you are really preparing to weigh your personal enjoyment against a canine's life, then you are selfish! I have siblings who are annoying. should I dump them in a pound? Perhaps I should degrade myself so that I get rid of everything that conflicts with my personal, selfish enjoyment.


debarking is cruel. you would never remove the vocal chords of a baby that cried all the time. if you want a non barking dog buy a Basenji.


I have Collies and they tend to be barkers. When I had complaints about my dogs barking, I had them debarked. Their behavior did not change. They "barked" as much as they had before the surgery. If anything, they were more relaxed as I didn't have to be constantly correcting them for their barking. A friend of mine had a Collie that had major separation anxiety whenever she left her condo. After he was debarked, he became much more relaxed and less anxious. It seems like his anxiety would escalate when he heard the panic in his voice. The debarking resulted in that not occurring and he became more relaxed. Debarking saved his life as I am sure she would have either had to move or give up the dog. Any new owner would have had the same problem and ultimately he would have been euthanized. Most people resort to debarking only after they have tried everything else to correct the barking problem.


I am an animal lover through and through; I've had my dog Mikki since she was 7 months old, and she'll be 8 this year. I was forced to move into an apartment, and am forced to debark her or give her away. I don't think shock collars are anything more than painful, and training her has not done anything, except lessen the barking, which is still very loud.

I don't believe it's cruel if it is done as a last resort where the only alternative is a new home, or the pound. However, I do not believe it should be done on dogs under a year, no way.


I also am considering debarking my dogs. I have Westies who bark at everything under the sun....heck, they bark at the sun! I have done everything that I can to reduce the amount. I have tried to teach them to only bark when necessary. None of this worked. I then went to bark collars which also has failed to work. These collars are more cruel than debarking my opinion because in order for these to work, they have to be very tight, almost too tight. Then if you have a stubborn dog like we do, they will bark, get zapped, whine, get zapped more...and so on. At least if they are debarked they will ultimately be happier because we will be happier and they will get reprimanded less.

So, I guess you could say that I am cruel. Is it more cruel to lock your dog up in order to keep it from barking at the wind? How about the constant scolding of her/him for their non stop barking? How about that bark collar that constantly shocks them because they just refuse to "get it". Some dogs refuse to minimize the amount they bark no matter how much positive or negative training that we do.


It has been proven that wild dogs do not bark. They manage to survive very nicely in the wild without barking. So barking is not necessary for survival. Only captive dogs, or dog "pets" bark. It is an ugly sound because it is an abnormal, unnatural sound. I love dogs, but i wouldn't put up with a barking dog for two minutes.


my dog is a very yippy and somewhat annoying dog. But I love her to death. the reason why i am debarking her is due to our neighbors complaining constantly. before you jump to any conclusions that i am a cruel, unjust, and just plain lazy person, I would like you to know that I have tried various methods to try and quiet her. Since there is no other option, besides giving her away which to me is not an option, i have decided to go through with this. i do, however, think it is not fair to any puppies that may be debarked before a proper owner is found. if that makes me seem any less "cruel"


crueler would be sending the dog to the pound and possibly its 4th owners at less than 18 months old, possibly being put down because we would be honest enough to say that he is a constant and stupendously loud barker. Cruel were early owners not training the dog to bark only in warning. Cruel were the owners who gave him up when he stopped being cute. Cruel were the owners who took him from a 30 acre farm and tied him up in a suburban yard and let him bark. Cruel would be continually punishing either with voice, hand, rolled newspaper, water spray, citronella collar (he likes it), electric collar (he doesn't care). Our dog has a bark still, it can be heard quite a distance away, however it is not LOUD, it is not piercing, it is not teeth grindingly fingernails on a chalkboard constantly loud. He can still growl loudly. He still 'barks' at the birds, the sun, the wind, life in general, tail wagging, running around as usual - in fact, not a single even slight change in pre and post bark behavior.


Debarking should be banned. It is cruel and it does not change the behavior. People should be told that and any Vet that would do it should be shunned.


i truly think debarking a dog is cruel! not inhumane, just cruel, it's what dogs do, and people. need to ask about these habits in different breeds before they get one!

i know of a dog that i think is debarked, she makes NO SOUND what so ever, and when she looks into my eyes, i see pain, it breaks my heart, i could never do something like that, or condone it!

but that's just my opinion!


Can debarking of a dog be reversed?

We just purchased a dog & were not told she was debarked. We love her & want her voice back!

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    • Debarking is a veterinary surgery where tissue is removed from a dog's vocal cords.
      By: Scott Griessel
      Debarking is a veterinary surgery where tissue is removed from a dog's vocal cords.
    • A dog's bark will sound more like a whisper after debarking.
      By: Sergey Lavrentev
      A dog's bark will sound more like a whisper after debarking.
    • Alternatives to debarking a loud dog can include sending the animal to the pound.
      By: Ivonne Wierink
      Alternatives to debarking a loud dog can include sending the animal to the pound.
    • Dogs can be trained to reduce barking problems.
      By: Sergey Lavrentev
      Dogs can be trained to reduce barking problems.
    • Positive reinforcement training can often stop a dog from excessive barking without the need for surgery.
      By: duncanandison
      Positive reinforcement training can often stop a dog from excessive barking without the need for surgery.